Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump
Photograph by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
By Ben Geier
July 13, 2016

With the general election less than four months away, a new poll says Donald Trump is leading or tied with Hillary Clinton in three vital swing states.

The Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll, released Wednesday, shows Trump leading Clinton 42% to 39% in Florida, tied at 42% in Ohio, and leading 43% to 41% in Pennsylvania.

That is a marked change from Quinnipiac’s June poll, which had Clinton leading by 8 points in Florida.

“Donald Trump enters the Republican Convention on a small roll in the three most important swing states in the country. He has wiped out Hillary Clinton’s lead in Florida; is on the upside of too-close to call races in Florida and Pennsylvania and is locked in a dead heat in Ohio,” stated Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac poll.

Brown does note that Florida may be a difficult lead for Trump to maintain. Though he is doing well with white voters, non-whites are tilting heavily in favor of Clinton. If Trump doesn’t cut into that lead, it may be hard for the white vote to carry him.

 

Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida are generally considered the three most important swing states for winning the electoral college. No candidate has won the presidency without winning at least two of them since 1960.

The next swing state poll will likely come out after both candidates have named their vice presidential running mates and held their party conventions, and will likely be able to give some indication if Trump’s gains are real or the result of a difficult news month for Clinton.

From June 30 to July 11 Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,015 Florida voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points, 955 Ohio voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.2 percentage points, and 982 Pennsylvania voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.

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