- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has opened up an 8-point lead over presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump in the crucial battleground state of Florida, and the two candidates are effectively tied in Ohio and Pennsylvania, according to polling released Tuesday.

Mrs. Clinton had a 47 percent to 39 percent lead over Mr. Trump in Florida, while the two candidates were tied at 40 percent apiece in Ohio, and Mrs. Clinton had a 1-point, 42 percent to 41 percent lead over Mr. Trump in Pennsylvania, according to the Quinnipiac University polling.

“Secretary Hillary Clinton is pulling ahead in Florida, but the pictures in Ohio and Pennsylvania are much less clear,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Poll.

“The at-times bitter verbal battles between Trump and some Republicans leaders is showing in these numbers,” Mr. Brown said. “In these three key states, Clinton is doing better, and in the case of Florida much better, among Democrats than Trump is among Republicans. Traditionally, GOP presidential candidates score better on this party loyalty test.”

In Florida, 93 percent of Democrats supported Mrs. Clinton, while 82 percent of Republicans supported Mr. Trump. Mrs. Clinton also had a 44 percent to 35 percent lead among independents.

In Ohio, 80 percent of Democrats supported Mrs. Clinton, while 76 percent of Republicans backed Mr. Trump. Independent voters also broke for Mr. Trump by 9 points, 41 percent to 32 percent.

In Pennsylvania, Mrs. Clinton had the support of 82 percent of Democrats, while Mr. Trump had support from 78 percent of Republicans. Mr. Trump also led among independent voters by 8 points, 42 percent to 34 percent.

There were also significant gender gaps in each state, with more women choosing Mrs. Clinton and more men opting for Mr. Trump.

“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,” Mr. Brown said. “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.”

In four-way contests that included Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein, the margins were similar, although their additions appeared to hurt Mrs. Clinton marginally in Florida and help her in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

In Florida, Mrs. Clinton was at 42 percent, Mr. Trump was at 36 percent, Mr. Johnson was at 7 percent, and Ms. Stein was at 3 percent.

In Ohio, Mrs. Clinton was at 38 percent, Mr. Trump was at 36 percent, Mr. Johnson was at 8 percent, and Ms. Stein was at 3 percent.

In Pennsylvania, Mrs. Clinton was at 39 percent, Mr. Trump was at 36 percent, Mr. Johnson was at 9 percent, and Ms. Stein was at 4 percent.

Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders, who has not yet conceded the Democratic nomination to Mrs. Clinton, led Mr. Trump in head-to-head match-ups in all three states.

Mr. Sanders led Mr. Trump in Florida by 6 points, 45 percent to 39 percent; he led Mr. Trump in Ohio by 10 points, 48 percent to 38 percent; and he led in Pennsylvania by 7 points, 47 percent to 40 percent.

The surveys were taken from June 8-19. Mrs. Clinton effectively wrapped up the nomination by winning four of six Democratic contests on June 7, and the deadly terrorist attack in Orlando happened early in the morning on June 12.

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