Donald Trump made up his deficit against Hillary Clinton in a series of new key battleground-state polls, swinging to leads in Florida and Pennsylvania and a tie in Ohio.
The new set of Quinnipiac University polls released Wednesday found the presumptive Republican presidential nominee in a dead heat with Clinton in the three states, a slight change from similar Quinnipiac University polls conducted last month.
Clinton’s biggest drop was in Florida, where last month she led Trump by 8 points. In Wednesday’s poll of the state, Trump garnered 42% support to Clinton’s 39% — within the poll’s 3.1% margin of error.
Wednesday’s poll of Pennsylvania voters, meanwhile, found Trump with 43% support to Clinton’s 41%, a slight change from last month’s poll which found the former secretary of state leading Trump by one point. Ohio’s race remained unchanged, as both candidates remained tied for the second month in a row.
“Donald Trump enters the Republican convention on a small roll in the three most important swing states in the country. He has wiped out Hillary Clinton’s lead in Florida, is on the upside of too-close to call races in Florida and Pennsylvania, and is locked in a dead heat in Ohio,” Quinnipiac University polling director Peter A. Brown said in a statement.
Though the poll was conducted partially before FBI Director James Comey’s staunch criticisms of Clinton’s email practices while serving as secretary of state, Brown pointed out that survey respondents now saw Trump as more honest and trustworthy.
“While there is no definite link between Clinton’s drop in Florida and the US Justice Department decision not to prosecute her for her handling of emails, she has lost ground to Trump on questions which measure moral standards and honesty,” Brown said.
Not all the news in Wednesday’s polls was bad for Clinton. The polls showed that voters found her to be more intelligent and prepared to be president by wide margins.
Some analysts caution against reading too far into early swing-state polls, pointing out that the lack of many state polls several months out from the election can provide the illusion of a volatile race.
“Generally, it would be ideal to watch battlegrounds such as Ohio/Florida/Pennsylvania. However, state polls are sparse,” Princeton University polling expert Samuel Wang told Business Insider recently in an email. “This year’s states are mostly correlated with 2012, so there’s no realignment. This means that watching national numbers is probably a reasonable substitute.”