Trump and Clinton: Dead Heat in Three Swing States

Nate Silver cautions against looking at the polls too closely.
By Steven Klett
Steven Klett
Steven Klett
May 10, 2016 Updated: May 10, 2016

Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll shows tight races between presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton in three important swing states, Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania.

The poll shows that there’s a wide gender gap between the two candidates, prompting Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Poll to say that it would be a good election for divorce lawyers:

“This election may be good for divorce lawyers. The gender gap is massive and currently benefits Trump,” Brown added.

“In Pennsylvania, Clinton’s 19-point lead among women matches Trump’s 21-point margin among men. In Ohio, she is up 7 points among women but down 15 points with men. In Florida she is up 13 points among women but down 13 points among men.”

The poll also shows that Democratic challenger Bernie Sanders does better against Donald Trump than Clinton in all three states. 


In Florida, Clinton leads Trump 43 percent to Trump’s 42 percent.

The poll notes a gender gap where 48 percent of women are in favor of Clinton, and 49 percent of men are in favor of Trump. 

Florida voters say 54-40 percent that Trump would do a better job than Clinton handling the economy, and say 49-43 percent that he would be better on terrorism.

Both candidates get a negative 37-57 percent favorability overall. 

Bernie Sanders leads Trump by slightly more than Clinton, edging out Trump 44 percent to 42 percent. 


In Ohio, Trump leads with 43 percent to Clinton’s 39 percent

The gender gap is also high in Ohio, where Trump leads 51-36 percent among men, and Clinton takes women 43-36 percent.

The racial gap is split, with most white voters voting Republican 49-32 percent, and non-white voters voting Democrat 76-14 percent.

Clinton gets a negative 34-62 percent favorability, compared to Trump’s negative 36-57 percent.

Ohio voters say 47-39 percent Clinton is more intelligent than Trump and by a narrow 43-39 percent that she has higher moral standards.

As in Florida, Bernie Sanders does better against Trump, leading 43 to 41 percent. 


In Pennsylvania, Clinton leads with the same margin as in Florida: 43 percent to Trump’s 42 percent.

As with the other two states, the poll shows a gender and racial divide.

Women back Clinton 51-32 percent, while men go to Trump 54-33 percent. White voters go Republican 48-37 percent, while non-white voters go Democratic 74-14 percent.

Pennsylvania voters oppose 51-45 percent building a wall along the border with Mexico. White voters are divided as 49 percent want a wall with 47 percent opposed. Non-white voters are opposed 71-26 percent.

Clinton has the temperament to handle an international crisis, Pennsylvania voters say 55-42 percent, while Trump does not, voters say 62-33 percent.

Bernie Sanders has his best numbers in Pennsylvania, beating Donald Trump 47 percent to 41 percent. 

Nate Silver

Following the release of the poll, noted statistician and editor-in-chief at the website FiveThirtyEight went on a Twitter rant about the inaccuracies of general election polls before the convention.   

“For [expletive]’s sake, America. You’re going to make go on a rant about general election polls — in May?” Silver wrote. 

Silver pointed out that the data compiled fits with previous data that suggests a 6 percent lead for Clinton. He also said, “It’s early. Trump could win. Also, he could lose in a landslide.”