New polls show Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump handily in several key battleground states

Hillary Clinton is ahead of Donald Trump in several key battleground states.

A series of NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls of registered voters released on Friday found the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee with a significant lead in several key battleground states.

Clinton held an eight point edge in Colorado, accoding to one poll, a similar margin to other surveys released in the last several weeks.

The former secretary of state garnered 44% support to Trump’s 37% in Florida, the battleground state with the largest number of electoral college votes.

Clinton held a six point lead over the real-estate magnate in North Carolina and a nine point advantage in Virginia.

“With 66 electoral votes at stake in these four states, Donald Trump is playing catch-up against Hillary Clinton,” Marist College polling director Lee Miringoff said in a release.

The polls came just days after a series of battleground state surveys showed Trump gaining on Clinton in states like Pennsylvania and Ohio, which some observers attributed to FBI Director James Comey’s critical assessment of Clinton’s handling of classified information. Friday’s NBC/WSJ/Marist polls, however, were largely conducted after Comey’s announcement.

Still, some analysts cautioned against reading too far into early swing-state polls, noting that the lack of a large and constistently-updated number of state polls could create an illusion of volatility in the race.

Other recent polls of Florida have shown a far tighter race in the Sunshine state than Friday’s NBC/WSJ/Marist poll showed.

“Generally, it would be ideal to watch battlegrounds such as Ohio/Florida/Pennsylvania,” Princeton University polling expert Samuel Wang told Business Insider recently in an email. “However, state polls are sparse. This year’s states are mostly correlated with 2012, so there’s no realignment. This means that watching national numbers is probably a reasonable substitute.”

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