NewsPolitics

Actions

Palm Beach County voters sound off on politics, issues ahead of GOP debate in Milwaukee

Florida Atlantic University political science professor weighs in on early election polls
Posted at 3:17 PM, Aug 23, 2023

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The top GOP candidates vying to become the next president of the U.S. will be in the spotlight Wednesday night as they take the stage in Milwaukee for the first Republican debate.

WPTV visited the "This Is It Cafe" in the Northwood neighborhood of West Palm Beach at lunchtime to talk to voters about the big night.

Some patrons at the cafe said they would be tuning in to watch.

"I plan to, yes," voter Nelson Chivers said.

However, others said they were not interested.

John Biederwolf, the owner of the "This Is It Cafe," discusses with WPTV reporter Tory Dunnan what his patrons are talking about concerning politics.
John Biederwolf, the owner of the "This Is It Cafe," discusses with WPTV reporter Tory Dunnan what his patrons are talking about concerning politics.

"I don't think I am," voter Josiah McDonald said. "I am being completely honest."

It's all about issues at the cafe, aside from lunch of course.

"Gas prices," McDonald said when asked about the issues that matter to him.

"Issues that matter are the border, the state of the economy and this crazy fight against woke-ism," voter Brian Sharp said.

What to watch for in the first 2024 GOP presidential debate

Scripps News

What to watch for in the first 2024 GOP presidential debate

Justin Boggs
2:34 PM, Aug 22, 2023

Kevin Wagner, a professor of political science at Florida Atlantic University, said FAU's most recent summer polling looked at the state of Florida.

"There is likely to be some movement since we last polled," Wagner said. "We had (former President) Donald Trump well ahead of the field, and we had (Gov.) Ron DeSantis in second with the other candidates, largely in singles digits here in Florida, which has been consistent with what we've seen in the national polls as well."

Wagner said conventional wisdom tells you the closer you get to Election Day, the stronger opinions are.

"It is fair to point out that polls taken some distance from Election Day can have higher degrees of variability," he said.

Florida Atlantic University professor Kevin Wagner shares why polls still matter despite there being months before the first voting is scheduled to take place.
Florida Atlantic University professor Kevin Wagner shares why polls still matter despite there being months before the first voting is scheduled to take place.

Back at the "This Is It Cafe," not many people are paying close attention to polls, yet.

"It's too early," Sharp said.

But Wagner said polls at this point still matter.

"They suggest which candidates have some name recognition, which candidates have already gotten some traction in the race, and it's also important for fundraising," Wagner said.

John Biederwolf, the owner of the cafe, said he has a pulse on his patrons.

"As far as polling goes, I hear people are more interested in what the pulse of America is versus what the polls are saying," Biederwolf said. "I think the main thing I keep hearing is how it seems like we are becoming more and more divided. The restaurant here, we have a very diverse clientele, and everybody gets along here regardless of their politics, and I think the common feeling is that's the way the country should be."