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Poll: Clinton leads Sanders among voters in Ohio and Florida

Thursday, March 10, 2016

By Marc Kovac


Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leads Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders among voters in Ohio and Florida, according to the latest Quinnipiac University Poll.

Clinton topped Sanders 62 percent-32 percent in Florida and 52 percent-43 percent in Ohio, though 16-17 percent of likely Democratic primary voters said they might change their mind.

“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,” Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the poll, said. “The fact that there is no meaningful difference between the two candidates’ supporters when it comes to professed loyalty to their candidate contributes to Sen. Sanders’ problems.”

Connecticut-based Quinnipiac regularly gauges the opinions of voters in Ohio and other swing states on candidates and issues.

Its latest poll included 511 voters in Florida and 521 in Ohio. The results had a margin of error of about 4 percentage points.

Brown said Clinton has a nearly “unsurmountable” lead among women in both states – women voters in Ohio side with her, 59 percent-34 percent, over Sanders.

But more men (53 percent) picked Sanders over Clinton (44 percent).

Sanders also was backed by voters age 18-44 (65 percent-34 percent), while Clinton was preferred by those 45-64 (64 percent-29 percent) and older than 65 (68 percent-24 percent).

Clinton is more than halfway to the Democratic nomination, with 1,200-plus delegates toward the nearly 2,400 required. Sanders won Michigan Tuesday and has 571 delegates.

Meanwhile, billionaire businessman Donald Trump is retaining his lead over Gov. John Kasich among likely Ohio Republican primary voters, according to another Quinnipiac University Poll.

Trump outpaced Kasich, 38 percent to 32 percent, among 685 Ohioans questioned over the past week. That compares to 31 percent to 26 percent in favor of Trump two weeks ago.

Five percent of Ohio Republican voters remain undecided, and 27 percent said they might change their mind by next Tuesday’s primary.

Trump remained well ahead of Sen. Marco Rubio in Florida, 45 percent-22 percent.

“The effort within the Republican Party to stop Donald Trump from winning the presidential nomination appears unlikely to stop him from taking Florida’s delegate-rich winner-take-all primary,” Brown said. “But that effort might have a better chance of success in Ohio where Gov. John Kasich is giving ‘The Donald’ a tougher run for his money. In the Sunshine State, hometown hero Sen. Marco Rubio is 23 points behind Trump and isn’t even doing much better than Sen. Ted Cruz. Also discouraging for the anti-Trump folks is that Trump voters say they are less likely than those supporting any of the other candidates to change their mind in the closing days.”

This latest Republican poll included 685 likely Republican primary voters in Ohio and 657 in Florida. The results had a margin of error of about 4 percentage points.

Among other results in Ohio, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was backed by 16 percent of voters, and Rubio by 9 percent.