Considering that a week ago polls out of Michigan showed Hillary Clinton ahead of Bernie Sanders in Michigan by as much as 18 percentage points, the Clinton camp may want to take the latest numbers out of Florida and Ohio with more than a few grains of salt.
Florida and Ohio, which will hold their primaries on March 15, are big and significant states which could either solidify Clinton’s delegate lead or put Sanders squarely back in the thick of the Democratic race for the 2016 nomination. And polls just released by Quinnipiac University show Clinton with a sizeable lead over Sanders, 62 to 32 in the Sunshine State.
As for Ohio, the former Secretary of State is ahead, but by a much slimmer margin, 52 percent support to 43 percent for the Senator from Vermont.
Quinnipiac polling director Peter A. Brown commented on the Florida poll results:
‘Secretary Hillary Clinton has doubled-up on Sen. Bernie Sanders in Florida. With less than a week until the actual voting, it is difficult to see a path to victory for him in the Sunshine State. He just has too much ground to make up and not enough time in which to do it.’
Perhaps, but that was also the conventional wisdom in Michigan before the ballots were cast.
A noticeable gender gap is also appearing in the Buckeye State: Sanders leads by 9 points among men, while Clinton is in front by 25 points among women.
Brown also noted that most voters in the two states appear to have already made up their minds with nearly a week before votes are cast:
‘In both states, the number of undecided voters is smaller than her lead, meaning that to be victorious Sanders has to get all the undecideds and then take Clinton voters away from her.’
214 delegates are up for grabs in Florida for the Democrats, while Ohio offers 143. A total of 2,382 delegates are necessary to win the nomination. Clinton has amassed 768 delegates so far; Sanders has 553.
So, while the Clinton campaign may be seeking to put the race to bed ASAP, Sanders proved last night in Michigan that there is still plenty of fight in his operation.
Here’s more on Bernie’s surprise win in Michigan: