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FAU poll in Florida shows Hillary Clinton at 46 percent, Donald Trump at 43 percent

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Hillary Clinton continues to lead Donald Trump in Florida 46 percent to 43 percent, according to a new poll conducted by the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economics Polling Initiative and released on Wednesday. However, momentum is moving with Trump. A similar survey conducted just two weeks ago had Clinton up by six points.

The survey of 500 likely Florida voters was conducted from Oct. 21-23.

As expected, Trump has a 17-point lead among white voters, 53 to 36 percent. Clinton has a 49-point lead among African-Americans, 73 to 24 percent, and leads with Hispanics, 68 to 19 percent. Clinton is winning with independents 50 to 34 percent.

Trump enjoys strong support in northern Florida, where he leads Clinton 56 to 32 percent, as well as in the central part of the state, which is breaking 49 to 38 percent in his favor. Clinton is winning overwhelmingly in South Florida, 68 to 26 percent.

In a sign of the Clinton campaign’s organizational strength, she leads among the 26 percent of respondents who said they already voted, 54 percent to 41 percent for Trump. Clinton also leads 49 to 40 percent among women voters. Trump leads among those who plan to vote on Election Day, however, 50 to 36 percent.

Kevin Wagner, Ph.D., associate professor of political science at FAU and a research fellow of the Initiative, said it increasingly looks like this election will turn on which candidate is better able to get their supporters to the polls. “Secretary Clinton is building a substantial lead among the early voters in our sample,” he said. “That could create a difficult lead to overcome for Mr. Trump on Election Day.”

The poll also shows Marco Rubio leading over Patrick Murphy in the U.S. Senate race, 46 percent to 42 percent.

The poll also shows strong support for Amendment 2, the initiative to legalize medical marijuana in Florida, with 67 percent saying they will vote in favor of the measure. The amendment must get 60 percent support from the public on Nov. 8 to become law.

The poll was conducted in both English and Spanish, and data was collected via Interactive Voice Response. The poll was conducted Oct. 21-23 and carries a 4.3 percent margin of error and a 95 percent confidence level.

A Bloomberg Politics poll released earlier Wednesday showed Trump leading Clinton, 45 percent to 43 percent.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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