New Quinnipiac University polls out Thursday show close races in the four largest, most consequential swing states on the 2016 map — but also give Hillary Clinton an edge in two of the four, confirming her Electoral College advantage.
Clinton and Donald Trump are running neck-and-neck in Florida, where the race is deadlocked, and Ohio, where Trump leads Clinton by a single percentage point. But Clinton has a 4-point lead in North Carolina, a poll there shows, and a 5-point edge in Pennsylvania.
The new polls are mostly consistent with other public surveys — though the North Carolina result differs from a Suffolk University poll, also released Thursday, that showed Trump up slightly there. And Quinnipiac shows a toss-up race in Ohio, where other public polls have shown a small, but consistent, Clinton advantage.
The math for Trump is still daunting. He needs to run the table in the four states surveyed by Quinnipiac — which were the same four states where he began his first TV ad campaign last month — if the other 46 states and the District of Columbia go for the same party they did in 2012. If he loses even one of those four populous states and can’t flip any other combination of smaller states on the map, Trump would lose.
In Florida, Clinton and Trump are deadlocked at 47 percent among likely voters, according to the poll, which first asked respondents to choose only between the two major-party candidates. Trump leads Clinton among male voters by 22 points, 58 percent to 36 percent. But Clinton equals him with a 20-point lead among women, 56 percent to 36 percent.
Trump also leads Clinton among white voters in Florida, 59 percent to 36 percent, with only a slight difference between white voters with and without college degrees. But Clinton wins two out of three nonwhite voters, outpacing Trump, 67 percent to 25 percent.
Clinton’s 4-point lead in North Carolina — 47 percent to 43 percent — is driven by the eradication of the gender gap: Clinton leads by 2 points among men and 7 points among women. And she’s ahead despite Trump winning white voters by a 2-to-1 margin, 60 percent to 30 percent.
There’s a massive education gap among white voters in North Carolina: Trump has a 50-point lead among whites without college degrees, 71 percent to 21 percent — but he leads by just 7 points among whites with college degrees, 48 percent to 41 percent. (Clinton leads among nonwhite voters, 81 percent to 10 percent.)
In Ohio, Trump has a 1-point edge over Clinton, 46 percent to 45 percent. But that advantage swells to 4 points when Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein are included. The differences between the head-to-head and four-way matchups in the other three states are negligible.
Clinton leads Trump in Pennsylvania by 5 points, 48 percent to 43 percent. While Trump, overall, has an 8-point lead among white voters, Clinton is winning two important constituencies: She has a 7-point lead among white college graduates, and a 1-point edge with white women.
The polls were conducted Aug. 29-Sept. 7, including over Labor Day weekend. Quinnipiac surveyed 761 likely voters in Florida, 751 likely voters in North Carolina, 775 likely voters in Ohio and 778 likely voters in Pennsylvania. The margins of error for Florida and North Carolina are plus or minus 3.6 percentage points, and for Ohio and Pennsylvania the margins of error are plus or minus 3.5 percentage point