Two new academic polls show Hillary Clinton losing ground in Florida as Donald Trump draws closer in the largest electoral swing state.
Monmouth University released a poll on Tuesday showing Clinton’s lead over Donald Trump--9 percent in an August Monmouth survey--shrinking in the Sunshine State. Clinton takes 46 percent in the new poll followed by Trump with 41 percent, Libertarian Gary Johnson at 6 percent and Green Party candidate Jill Stein at 1 percent. The August Monmouth poll had Clinton at 48 percent and Trump at 39 percent while Johnson was at 6 percent and Stein at 1 percent.
There is a major racial divide in Florida, the poll shows. Trump takes a majority of white voters--53 percent--while 35 percent of them prefer Clinton. But Clinton takes 69 percent of non-white voters while 16 percent are for Trump.
"Although Clinton's lead is smaller than in our last poll, she is maintaining her advantage in Florida given the ominous state of her poll standing last week," said Patrick Murray, the director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, before adding that other states are starting to grow more important. "Florida has become less of a crucial battleground now that the campaigns' attention has turned to the Rust Belt. However, a win here would make the path to 270 electoral votes that much easier for the victor and difficult for the loser."
Clinton and Trump are both upside down in the poll with more voters seeing the candidates as unfavorable. Trump is seen as favorable by 32 percent and unfavorable by 56 percent. Clinton is seen as favorable by 38 percent and as unfavorable by 49 percent.
The Monmouth University Poll of 400 likely voters in Florida was taken from September 16 to 19, 2016 and had a margin of error of +/-4.9 percent.
That poll was mirrored by one from St. Leo University also released on Tuesday. The St. Leo poll also found Trump making up ground in Florida.
When leaning voters were included with decided ones, Clinton leads with 49 percent followed by Trump with 45 percent, Johnson with 6 percent and Stein with 2 percent. When only decided voters were included, Clinton takes 45 percent followed by Trump at 40 percent, Johnson at 4 percent and Stein at 2 percent.
Frank Orlando, the director of the Saint Leo University Polling Institute and a political scientist at that university, said Trump was coming on in Florida and pointed to a 9 percent lead Clinton had in August poll from St. Leo.
“This is a 9-point swing away from Clinton since our August poll findings” said Orlando. “This is probably a much closer race than the Clinton campaign thought they would be in at this point. The eyes of the nation will be on the presidential debate on Monday.”
The St. Leo University poll of 475 likely voters in Florida was taken from September 10 through September 16 and had a margin of error of +/- 4.5 percent.