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Monmouth poll: Clinton's Florida lead over Trump has shrunk

@PatriciaMazzei

Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump in Florida but by a smaller margin than she did last month, according to a new poll that, taken with other recent surveys, indicates the race has tightened significantly in the nation's largest swing state.

The Monmouth University polls shows Clinton ahead of Trump by 46-41 percent -- within the survey's 4.9 percentage-point error margin. Last month, Clinton held a 48-39 percent lead. (Support for Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein remained unchanged, at 6 percent and 1 percent, respectively.)

"Although Clinton's lead is smaller than in our last poll, she is maintaining her advantage in Florida given the ominous state of her poll standing last week," Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said in a statement. He argued that Florida is "less of a crucial battleground" as Clinton and Trump wage political war in the Rust Belt states. "However, a win here would make the path to 270 electoral votes that much easier for the victor and difficult for the loser," he said.

Other recent polls have shown a tied Florida race. What matters most is the trend: Taken together, the latest surveys all point to a closer race, with Trump making up ground.

While other polls have found Marco Rubio holding on to a lead over Patrick Murphy in Florida's U.S. Senate race, Monmouth's results show a smaller Rubio advantage of 47-45 percent. Last month, Rubio was ahead by 48-43 percent.

Monmouth interviewed 400 likely Florida voters from Sept. 16-19.

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