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Quinnipiac poll: Debate helped Clinton in Florida

@PatriciaMazzei

Hillary Clinton's strong debate improved her standing in Florida against Donald Trump, according to a new poll published a week after the two presidential candidates faced off for the first time.

Clinton now leads Trump by 46-41 percent, the Quinnipiac University survey shows -- a significant improvement for Clinton, who tied Trump at 43 percent in the same poll published Sept. 8.

Florida was the only swing state polled by the university post-debate where Clinton's numbers moved. Quinnipiac polled 545 likely Florida voters from Sept. 27-Oct. 2. The poll has an error margin of 4.2 percentage points.

"Although Hillary Clinton clearly won the first debate with Donald Trump, this victory did her only little good in her race for the White House,” said assistant poll director Peter A. Brown said in a statement. "Likely voters in Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania, the four largest and most important Swing States seem little closer to an Election Day decision."

Quinnipiac found two third-party candidates, Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein, polling at 5 percent and 2 percent, respectively, in Florida. In a head-to-head match-up, Clinton leads Trump 49-44 percent.

Asked who won the debate, 56 percent of Florida poll respondents picked Clinton, compared to 21 percent who picked Trump. Of those who handed Clinton the victory, 27 percent were Republican.

"One thing is for sure: Many voters don't have to think a presidential candidate is a good debater to support their candidate in 2016," Brown said. "In Florida, likely voters give Hillary Clinton a 35 percentage point margin for winning the debate, but only a five-point margin in the election matchup."

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