The nation’s largest swing state could once again prove to be a decisive battleground between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, according to a new statewide poll that shows the likely presidential rivals essentially tied in Florida.
The Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday found support for Clinton and Trump at 43-42 percent, with a “massive” gender gap between women, who back Clinton, and men, who back Trump. Women favor Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee, 48-35 percent, while men prefer Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, 49-36 percent.
Florida’s large Hispanic population could pose problems for Trump, but Clinton’s got her own problems with the state’s white men, according to Peter A. Brown, the poll’s assistant director.
“Republicans’ weakness among minority voters is well known,”he said. “But the reason this race is so close overall is Clinton’s historic weakness among white men. In Florida, she is getting just 25 percent from white men.”
Quinnipiac found the same 43-42 percent Clinton-Trump split in Pennsylvania, and a 39-43 percent Trump edge in Ohio. The university surveyed voters in all three swing states because no candidate since 1960 has won the presidency without winning at least two of the three states.
Though Clinton has virtually assured her nomination, rival and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders fares better than she does against Trump in all three states, according to Quinnipiac. He leads 44-42 percent in Florida, 47-41 percent in Pennsylvania and 43-41 percent in Ohio.