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Clinton Leads Trump By Wide Margin In Florida

| by Robert Fowler
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonDemocratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton

New polling indicates that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has sustained a large lead over GOP nominee Donald Trump in the key swing state of Florida.

On Aug. 23, a new survey conducted by the Saint Leo University Polling Institute found roughly 52 percent of likely Florida voters would cast their ballot for Clinton if the election were held in August. Trump received approximately 38 percent support.

Meanwhile, roughly 8 percent of respondents chose Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson while Green Party nominee Jill Stein came in last at two percent.

This gives Clinton a 14 percentage point lead over Trump in the coveted Sunshine State. The polling group director, Frank Orlando, noted that the Democratic nominee had a similar lead two months ago.

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“She was winning by 14 points in Florida in our June poll, and she’s still winning by that margin after the conventions,” Orlando said. “The opportunities for Donald Trump to make up that distance are shrinking.”

The survey found that women respondents strongly favored Clinton. White voters favored Trump by roughly 14 percentage points but non-white voters overwhelmingly chose the Democratic nominee.

On Aug. 24, another survey painted a very different picture of the presidential race in Florida. A poll conducted by Florida Atlantic University’s (FAU) Business and Economics Polling Initiative (BEPI) found that Trump was actually leading Clinton by a small margin, Sunshine State News reports.

In this survey, Trump scored 43 percent support among Florida voters while Clinton came in second with 41 percent. Meanwhile, Johnson again received 8 percent support.

The BEPI poll found that Trump’s support among Hispanics in Florida was higher than his national average. BEPI’s director, Monica Escaleras, points to this factor as the reason why he did well in the poll.

“The race between Clinton and Trump among Hispanics in Florida is closer than it is nationally,” Escaleras said. “Some of that is probably the Cuban vote. Trump’s support among Latinos in Florida is helping him stay competitive.”

Trump’s edge in the poll of only two percentage points is within the survey’s margin of error, meaning that the results might as well be a tie between him and Clinton.

It is unusual for two presidential state polls to show such dramatically different results. The Sun-Sentinel noted that this may be because the two polling groups used different methodologies. While BEPI conducted its survey using an interactive voice system and robocalls, the Saint Leo University poll was available online.

It is unclear which methodology gains more accurate results.

Both the Clinton and Trump campaigns have made a concerted effort to visit the Sunshine State, as Florida's 29 electoral votes could make or break an election.

While Clinton or her running mate, Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, have campaigned on the ground in Florida five times since the party conventions, Trump and his running mate Republican Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana, have visited 10 times, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Trump will be campaigning in the Sunshine State on Aug. 24 while Kaine will be touring the state from Aug. 26-27.

Sources: Saint Leo University, Sun-SentinelSunshine State News, Tampa Bay Times / Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr

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