Donald Trump Just Took the Lead in Florida, Quinnipiac Poll Says

This past Monday, Gov. Rick Scott's "Let's Get to Work" political action committee published its very own presidential poll, which claimed Donald Trump had taken a two-point lead over Hillary Clinton in Florida's presidential race. This being Scott, a man who lies about as often as Frank Abignale, the poll was met with a heaping dollop of skepticism.

It turns out Scott's pollsters might have been actually right about this one. This morning, the folks behind the well-respected Quinnipiac "Swing-State" Poll also found that Trump has overtaken Clinton in the Sunshine State.

According to Quinnipiac, Florida voters really do seem to care about Clinton's ongoing email scandal. Because nothing in this election cycle makes a lick of sense anymore, Trump lost Quinnipiac's very same poll less than a month ago, which said Clinton was riding on a comfy, eight-point lead over Trump in Florida. 

That poll said Trump had basically alienated everyone except Florida's white-guy contingent, leaving him crippled in a state that hosts huge numbers of Hispanic-Americans.

But apparently, Clinton's most recent email woes really are converting people to Team Trump: He's now leading 42 percent to Clinton's 39 percent in the state. Among white people, Trump is winning 50 to 20 percent, and his support among white women also jumped up this round: Though he's still losing that demographic 36 to 48 percent, he's up from 34 percent in June.

"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 emails, she has lost ground to Trump on questions which measure moral standards and honesty," assistant poll director Peter A. Brown said in a statement.

But what the poll numbers show, more than anything else, is that Florida voters seem to have no idea what they want, are about as fickle as the wind, and seem entirely tied to the CNN news cycle. Quinnipiac's last poll came right after Trump had made a series of racist comments about Mexican-American Judge Gonzalo Curiel — this led to a huge, eight-point swing for Clinton.

Less than a month later, though, Florida's voters seem to have the collective memory of goldfish and are running to Trump after Clinton's email scandal reared its ugly head yet again.

(Trump is still getting destroyed among nonwhite voters, losing to Clinton 21 to 56 percent.)

Quinnipiac also studied how Florida voters feel about each candidate's characteristics, and those breakdowns don't seem tied to reality either. In terms of who is "better prepared to be president," Clinton wins 53 to 37 percent. In terms of who is more "intelligent," Clinton also wins, 52 to 35 percent.

But voters don't seem to care about basic traits like "preparedness" — instead, Clinton's credibility rankings took a cannon-ball-size hit this week. In terms of "moral standards," Clinton had been winning 47 to 36 percent; as of today, both candidates are now tied at 42 percent.

Trump and Clinton had also been neck-and-neck in terms of "honesty," but this week, Florida voters seem convinced Trump is the more "honest" candidate, siding with him 50 to 37 percent this round. Floridians also prefer Trump when it comes to immigration reform, job creation, and dealing with ISIS.

But what's most frightening about the poll is this: 71 percent of Floridians said they think it's time for "radical change."
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Jerry Iannelli is a former staff writer for Miami New Times from 2015 to March 2020. He graduated with honors from Temple University. He then earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.