New WSJ Poll: Hillary Clinton Widens Lead Over Donald Trump in Battleground States

BN-PG321_POLL08_G_20160804163633Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is opening a wider lead in three battleground states, while maintaining an advantage over Republican rival Donald Trump in Florida, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Marist poll has found.

In Colorado, Mrs. Clinton leads Mr. Trump by 14 percentage points, 46% to 32%—six points more than a poll taken in July before the two parties held their national conventions.

Mrs. Clinton also gained some ground in two southern states Republicans hoped to make competitive: Virginia, where she leads 46% to 33%, and North Carolina, where she is ahead 48% to 39%.

In Florida, one of the most important states this fall with its 29 Electoral College votes, the race is tighter. Mrs. Clinton’s support stands at 44%, compared with 39% for Mr. Trump, which is a slight improvement in his position from a month ago when the poll had him trailing 2 points further behind.

Looking ahead to November, Florida looms large as Mr. Trump’s fortunes seem to be fading in the other swing states. Republicans are seeking to win Colorado and North Carolina; Mitt Romney won in North Carolina in 2012. Meanwhile, Democrats’ position in Virginia is likely enhanced by Mrs. Clinton’s selection of the state’s popular junior senator, Tim Kaine, to be her running mate.

North Carolina Gov. Jim McCrory is losing ground to his Democratic rival, Roy Cooper, who now leads 51% compared with 44%. A month ago it was tighter, with the governor trailing by only 4 percentage points.

In other states, the down-ballot races haven’t significantly changed. In Colorado, Sen. Michael Bennet is maintaining a 15 percentage point lead over Republican rival Darryl Glenn, 53% to 38%—the same spread as a month ago.

In one important bright spot for Republicans, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has widened his lead over likely Democratic nominee Patrick Murphy by 3 percentage points over the past month, with his support at 49% and Mr. Murphy’s at 43%.

The polls surveyed 862 registered voters in Florida, 897 in Virginia and 899 in Colorado, and have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points. Also surveyed were 921 registered voters in North Carolina, with a margin of error of 3.2 percentage points.

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