Trump has 2-point edge over Clinton in all-important Florida, poll says
Donald Trump has a 2 percentage point edge over Hillary Clinton in Florida, according to a new poll released Wednesday, as both presidential campaigns blanket the critical swing state in a full sprint to Election Day.
A new Bloomberg Politics poll finds Trump ahead of Clinton, 45% to 43% — well within the poll’s 3.2 percentage point margin of error — in a four-way race among likely voters. Libertarian Gary Johnson gets 4% support, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein draws 2%. For perspective, President Barack Obama won the state’s 29 electoral votes in 2012 by less than a percentage point.
That’s a significant shift from Florida polling earlier this month, which predominantly showed Clinton in the lead. A Quinnipiac University survey — taken after the release of the “Access Hollywood” recording of Trump and following the second presidential debate — showed Clinton leading by 4 percentage points, 48% to 44%.
Trump’s edge is driven by his advantage among Florida independents, among whom he gets 44% compared to Clinton’s 37%. Third-party candidates Johnson and Stein combine for 14% of the independent vote.
Trump and Clinton rack up big advantages among their core constituencies in the new poll.
Trump wins older voters (51%) and voters without a college degree (50%), and is strongest in more conservative, rural areas and the state’s northwest panhandle.
Clinton wins Hispanics (51%) and voters under 35 (49%) and has big leads among non-whites, and college-educated voters. The Democrat also has a 30-point lead among Miami-area residents.
Veteran pollster Ann Selzer, who oversaw the poll, said that the poll “suggests Trump has more opportunity in Florida than some think is realistic, given his poor standing with Hispanics.”
“But he does well with groups that are key to winning there, including older, more reliable voters,” she added. “Clinton depends on younger voters and a strong presence at the polls of black and non-Cuban Hispanics.”
The Bloomberg poll also surveyed the state’s US Senate race between incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio and his challenger, Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy.
The poll found Rubio with a 10-point lead, 51% to 41%. Murphy has consistently trailed Rubio in most Florida senate polls despite high-profile support from the Clinton campaign and its surrogates. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee pulled its television ad support for Murphy in mid-October. The Quinnipiac poll taken earlier in October showed a 2-point lead for Rubio.
The Bloomberg Politics poll was conducted between October 21-24 and surveyed 953 likely Florida voters. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.