Did Donald Trump really just surge past Hillary Clinton in two of the election’s most important battlegrounds?
New swing-state polls released Wednesday by Quinnipiac University show Trump leading Clinton in Florida and Pennsylvania — and tied in the critical battleground state of Ohio. In three of the states that matter most in November, the surveys point to a race much closer than the national polls, which have Clinton pegged to a significant, mid-single-digit advantage over Trump, suggest.
The race is so close that it’s within the margin of error in each of the three states. Trump leads by three points in Florida — the closest state in the 2012 election — 42 percent to 39 percent. In Ohio, the race is tied, 41 percent to 41 percent. And in Pennsylvania — which hasn’t voted for a Republican presidential nominee since 1988 — Trump leads, 43 percent to 41 percent.
Clinton’s campaign responded to the surveys by cautioning that while the swing states were always expected to be close, the urgent stakes of a possible Trump election remain high.
“We know the battlegrounds are going to be close til the end. That’s why we need to keep working so hard,” Clinton press secretary Brian Fallon tweeted Wednesday morning. “Trump is a serious danger, folks.”
Hillary Clinton on Trump ‘Crooked Hillary’ Nickname:
Clinton Brushes off Trump’s New ‘Crooked Hillary’ Nickname | “He can say whatever he wants to say about me, I really could care less,” Clinton said on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos,” “I don’t respond to Donald Trump and his string of insults about me.”
Trump, meanwhile, thanked his supporters for the strong showing, tweeting a celebratory series of images featuring Fox News graphics showing the Quinnipiac results. “Thank you!” Trump tweeted, adding “#ImWithYou,” an implicit shot at the Clinton campaign’s initial slogan, “I’m With Her.”
In another blow to Clinton, a McClatchy-Marist poll of registered voters nationwide released on Wednesday showed Clinton’s lead over Trump slip to three points, 42 percent to 39 percent, after leading by six points in a Fox News poll conducted in late June.
But other polls give Clinton an advantage in all three states. Including the new Quinnipiac surveys, POLITICO’s Battleground State polling average — which include the five most-recent polls in each state — gives Clinton a 3.2-point lead in Florida, a 2.8-point edge in Ohio and a larger, 4.6-point advantage in Pennsylvania.
By Wednesday afternoon, a quartet of battleground polls painted a hazy picture of the race in those three states, as well as in Colorado and Wisconsin. The latest NBC News/Marist/Wall Street Journal polls showed Clinton up by three points against Trump in Iowa (42 percent to 39 percent), tied in Ohio (41 percent to 41 percent) and up by nine points in Pennsylvania (45 percent to 36 percent), in contrast to her two-point deficit in the Quinnipiac poll.
Monmouth University’s survey of likely Colorado voters found Clinton with a significant 13-point advantage, while Trump cut into Clinton’s Wisconsin advantage by five points compared to last month, trailing 45 percent to 41 percent compared to last month, when Clinton led 46 percent to 37 percent.
While the Quinnipiac results are eye-popping, they don’t represent any significant movement — except in Florida. In three rounds of polling over the past two months, the race has moved from a four-point Trump lead in Ohio in the first survey, then tied in the next two polls. In Pennsylvania, Clinton led by one point in the first two polls and now trails by two. source