A new poll from the CBS News Battleground Tracker poll released on Sunday shows slim margins for both presidential candidates in Florida and Texas.
The poll showed that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has a three-point lead in Florida, while Republican Donald Trump has the same three-point lead in Texas.
Texas, traditionally a red state, is not expected to swing blue, but the excruciatingly narrow margin may be the opening that the Dems need to take it.
But the close numbers in the CBS poll are also revealing extreme voter frustration. Conservative Republicans in both states are echoing their nominee’s doubts about the legitimacy of the election, and support him in his claims that he may question the results of Election Day. More than 80 percent of Florida and Texas Republicans believe that voter fraud is a widespread and real problem. Many of them believe that Trump would be well within his legal rights to contest the results as a candidate: 72 percent of Trump supporters and 60 percent of Republicans overall. In contrast, 39 percent of voters feel that Trump is “undermining a U.S. tradition” by expressing his doubts so adamantly.
Although she is leading among voters nationally, Clinton has failed to convince Floridians that she can relate to “regular people” and can fix the economy, with only about half of them thinking she does or can. Fewer than 50 percent of Florida voters feel that Clinton would “act with integrity” in office.
However, Trump is considered a riskier choice by Floridians, with 53 percent feeling Clinton is a risk, and 66 percent perceiving Trump as a risk.
Clinton is, however, enjoying stronger support from her own party than Trump is receiving from the GOP. Clinton has 91 percent of the vote from Democrats, while only 82 percent of Republicans support their nominee.
Currently, Florida Republicans are still just as excited by the Trump campaign now as they were in late summer: 48 percent of Republicans, both now and back in August. However, 22 percent of Florida Republicans are disappointed with the campaign, and 14 percent are down right angry about it. These are small numbers, but in a highly contentious battleground state for which Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight awards the highest chance of being the electoral tipping point (16.9 percent), angry and disappointed voters might make a bigger difference than they would where margins are much wider.
In Texas, Trump is performing poorly with his key demographics, down 10 points with white men, white women, and college-educated whites — although many in this group say they will be voting for a third party candidate rather than Clinton. Texas Hispanics, however, may provide the Democrat with enough support to tip Texas in her favor, considering the narrow three-point margin.
The poll was based on 2,073 registered voters in Florida and Texas from Oct. 20-21. The margin of error for Florida is +/- 3.6 percent and for Texas is +/- 4.4 percent
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