Poll: Donald Trump holds slight lead in Florida

Donald Trump holds a narrow two-point advantage over Hillary Clinton in the crucial battleground state of Florida, according to a new poll released Wednesday.

A Bloomberg Politics survey in the Sunshine State found that Trump attracts 45 percent of support among likely voters, compared to Clinton’s 43 percent, when third party candidates are included. When it’s just a two-way race, the two are virtually tied –Trump’s lead drops off to a single point: the GOP nominee has 46 percent with Clinton at 45 percent. The advantage falls within the poll’s margin of error, 3.2 percentage points.

Independents are fueling Trump’s slight lead, with 43 percent of independent voters choosing the real estate magnate over 41 percent for Clinton, if the contest did not include third-party candidates. With other contenders factored in, Trump gets more of a boost: 44 percent of independent voters would choose Trump, 37 percent would choose Clinton, Libertarian party nominee Gary Johnson gets 9 percent, and the Green Party’s Jill Stein earns 5 percent.

In comparison, President Obama won independents in 2012 by just three points, and carried the state by less than a point that year.

The two presidential nominees have trained their sights on Florida over the last week, as early, in-person voting has started in the state. Trump made two stops in the battleground Tuesday, with a rally in the evening where he seemed to challenge Vice President Joe Biden to a fist fight. As a counterpunch, Clinton earned the backing of British pop star Adele, who endorsed the Democratic nominee in a packed arena that same day.

Clinton and Trump hold their own among different demographic groups in Florida. Non-white voters favor the Democratic nominee by 33 percentage points, and those with college degrees are also for Clinton by 10 points. In the Miami area, Clinton is showing a 30-point advantage. Trump, meanwhile, wins among rural residents in Florida by 31 points, those voters without college degrees by 9 points. In the Florida panhandle, Trump also has a lead of 14 points.

Bloomberg Politics surveyed, from Oct. 21-24, 953 registered voters in Florida who were likely to vote in the general election.

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