Hillary Clinton is finally pulling ahead of Donald Trump by four points in the must-win battleground state of Florida.
POLITICO reports Friday’s latest Mason-Dixon Polling & Research survey shows Hillary Clinton ahead of Donald Trump 46-42 percent since their last poll in August. But she’s still not in the clear. With an error margin of ± 3.5 percentage points, the race is still a real nail-biter.
As the survey’s lead pollster Brad Coker explained in a memo:
‘Despite small shifts that have given Clinton a post-debate bump, the race is still very competitive and the outcome will hinge on where and among whom voter turnout is higher.’
Here are some key findings from the Mason-Dixon Polling & Research survey:
- Hillary Clinton has a slight edge in “the generally decisive I-4 corridor.” This consists of the Tampa Bay area, where Clinton leads 47 percent to Trump’s 40 percent, and Central Florida, where Donald Trump squeaks out a three-point lead with 46 percent to Clinton’s 43 percent.
- Hillary Clinton wins the majority of the following groups: Democrats (83-10 percent), women (54-36 percent), blacks (92-1 percent), Hispanics (64-29 percent) and in Southeast Florida (58-29 percent).
- Donald Trump is more popular with Republicans (77-13 percent), unaffiliated voters (41-33 percent), men (49-37 percent) and non-Hispanic whites (53-33 percent). Trump still has very strong support in North Florida (53-37 percent) and Southwest Florida (51-36 percent).
- Both candidates have appalling favorability ratings. Still, the 39 percent that views Hillary Clinton favorably trump’s the Donald’s abysmal 31 percent.
- Among those surveyed, The Libertarian’s Gary Johnson wins 7 percent, the Green Party’s Jill Stein gets a scant 1 percent, and 4 percent remain undecided.
Hillary Clinton still has a lot of work to do.
This good news comes in the nick of time for Hillary Clinton. On Wednesday, an earlier post from POLITICO reported her campaign’s been in “panic mode” over Florida’s black voters. They may have a “favorable” view of the Democratic White House hopeful.
But is that lukewarm feeling enough to turn out the vote on election day? Even when it came to re-electing Barack Obama, our first African-American president in 2012, 201,000 would-be voters didn’t show because they were discouraged by those notoriously long lines at the polling places.
Leslie Wimes, who lives in South Florida and is president of the Democratic African-American Women Caucus, told POLITICO:
‘Hillary Clinton’s campaign is in panic mode. Full panic mode.’
The Clinton campaign is pulling out all the stops with Bill Clinton, Sybrina Fulton (Trayvon Martin’s mother), Barack and Michelle Obama, and others with clout among black voters, out stumping for Hillary. But Wimes explains that may not get the job done.
‘They have a big problem because they thought Obama and Michelle saying, “Hey, go vote for Hillary” would do it. But it’s not enough. In the end, we don’t vote against somebody [Donald Trump] . We vote for somebody.’
Recent polls still show Hillary Clinton just under 85 percent of African-American voters saying they’re likely to vote for Hillary Clinton, compared to Donald Trump’s 5 percent. That sounds great, but that still won’t win Hillary Clinton the White House unless they turn out in force.
Hispanic voters also seem less than fired up.
‘Clinton faces a similar potential problem with Hispanic voters. Though Florida Hispanics back her by double-digit margins similar to the level of support Obama enjoyed, activists fear their turnout rate will be lower. Hispanics account for more than 15 percent of the Florida voter rolls and African-Americans are more than 13 percent. About 65 percent of registered voters are non-Hispanic white, and they heavily favor Trump.’
Ouch. In the end, it’ll all depend on whether the ghastly thought of Donald Trump in the White House and the GOP controlling all three branches of government outweighs the Hillary Clinton blahs.
These poll numbers are an encouraging sign.
The Mason-Dixon poll was taken Sept. 27-Sept. 29 with a sample of 820 registered voters. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. This poll is seen as fairly reliable with a B+ rating from data guru Nate Silver’s highly esteemed “Pollster Ratings” page on FiveThirtyEight.