Results of a Quinnipiac University swing state poll released Wednesday show Donald Trump leading presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in Florida by three points (42 to 39 percent) in a one-on-one race.
In a four-way race that includes Green Party nominee Jill Stein and Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson (a former Republican governor of New Mexico), the news is worse for Clinton: Trump hangs onto 41 percent of the vote and Clinton's share drops to 36 percent. Stein polled at 1 percent and Johnson polled at 7 percent.
Both scenarios are a stark contrast to a June poll showing Clinton leading Trump 47 to 39.
In the two other swing states surveyed, Ohio and Pennsylvania, Clinton trailed in every race but one: a one-on-one matchup between Clinton and Trump in Ohio.
While it's impossible to know exactly why those numbers shifted, Clinton's trustworthiness factor has likely taken a nosedive in the wake of the latest revelations over Clinton's email flap, in which, while no charges are being brought against her, FBI director James Comey called her "extremely careless" in her handling of sensitive information.
"While there is no definite link between Clinton's drop in Florida and the U.S. Justice Department decision not to prosecute her for her handling of e-mails, she has lost ground to Trump on questions which measure moral standards and honesty," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.
Looking at some of the questions asked of those who took the polls, it appears that, when it comes to voter opinions of each candidate's "moral standards," Clinton and Trump are tied; 42 percent think Clinton has higher moral standards and the same number (gasp) think that of Trump.
Half of Florida's voters also think Trump is more "honest and trustworthy" than Clinton — this despite the fact that Politifact has rated 76 percent of the Trump statements they've analyzed as "Mostly False," "False" or "Pants on Fire." Clinton statements have garnered one of those three ratings 27 percent of the time (though this Daily Show segment last week probably didn't help).
So, going into next week's unpredictable Republican National Convention, Trump's getting an edge.
"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," Brown said.
Other key findings:
- Something to keep in mind when you're out and about in Florida: One in two males want Donald Trump to be president.
- Independent voters, who supported Clinton over Trump 44 to 35 percent last month, have shifted, and now back Trump 43 to 30 percent.
- While Republican respondents back Trump some 82 to 6 percent, Clinton wins over Democrats some 87 to 4 percent.
- Most, 57 percent, think Clinton is more prepared to be president than Trump.
- Most, 52 percent, think she's also more intelligent.
- And, perhaps predictably, 71 percent of Florida voters think "that the old ways don't work and it's time for radical change."