Hillary Clinton may have a solid lead over Donald Trump in national polls, but a new state poll shows perhaps an even more alarming problem for the Trump campaign.
A new set of Quinnipiac University polls released Tuesday showed the former secretary of state expanding her lead over Trump in Florida, garnering 47% support to his 39% support among self-identified registered voters surveyed last week.
That’s a notably larger lead than a similar Quinnipiac University survey taken last month that showed Clinton with a 1-point lead over the real-estate magnate.
But Tuesday’s polls also found a much tighter race in Ohio and Pennsylvania. According to the Quinnipiac surveys, Clinton and Trump remain tied in Pennsylvania, while Clinton leads Trump by just a single point in Ohio.
Quinnipiac University surveyed 975 individuals in Florida and 971 in Ohio with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1%. In Pennsylvania, 950 voters were surveyed with a margin of error of 3.2%.
“Secretary Hillary Clinton is pulling ahead in Florida, but the pictures in Ohio and Pennsylvania are much less clear,”Quinnipiac’s assistant polling director Peter Brown said in a statement.
Brown suggested that Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric about immigrants has made the presumptive Republican presidential nominee toxic among Hispanic voters.
“One reason why Trump may be doing better in Ohio, and for that matter in Pennsylvania as well, is that both states have small Hispanic populations, compared to Florida. Given Trump’s comments on immigration and descendants of immigrants, the much larger Hispanic population in Florida is obviously a boost there for Hillary Clinton,” Brown said.
After several recent national surveys found that voters remain deeply sceptical of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s qualifications for office, Trump quickly latched onto the Quinnipiac survey findings on Tuesday.
In an interview on “Today” on Tuesday, the real-estate magnate noted that he is still tied with Clinton in Ohio and Pennsylvania after several tough weeks.
“I’m right there, with the horrible few weeks I’ve had with the press,” Trump said. “Pennsylvania, Ohio — we’re practically even,” Trump said.
Despite Trump’s insistence on his strength in states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, many high-profile Democrats remains sceptical that Trump can flip Rust Belt states, which have voted Democratic in the past several election cycles.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who is reportedly on a short list of potential Clinton running mates, told Business Insider earlier this month that he “rejects” the idea that Trump’s is well poised to win in Rust Belt states.
“Millennials, younger Americans, even those who are Gen X overwhelmingly support immigration reform, even in the most working class, Midwestern, Rust Belt states,” Garcetti said.
Still, many experts warn that it may still be too early to read too far into state polls. Tuesday’s Quinnipiac surveys of Ohio and Pennsylvania were the first and second major polls respectively in about a month.
“Generally, it would be ideal to watch battlegrounds such as Ohio/Florida/Pennsylvania. However, state polls are sparse,” Princeton University polling expert Samuel Wang told Business Insider in an email last week. “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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