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Clinton vs. Trump too close to call in Ohio, according to new poll

by Marc kovac | Capital Bureau Chief Published: September 9, 2016 12:16 PM

Columbus -- Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton are statistically tied in Ohio and three other swing states, according to a new poll released Sept. 8.

Among Ohio voters questioned over the past week by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, 46 percent were backing the billionaire businessman, versus 45 percent who supported Clinton.

In a four-way race with third-party candidates added to the mix, Trump was ahead 41 percent-37 percent. Both results had a margin of error of about 4 percentage points.

There were similar results in Florida (Trump and Clinton were tied at 47 percent), North Carolina (Clinton 47 percent, Trump 43 percent) and Pennsylvania (Clinton was up 48 percent-43 percent) in head-to-head match-ups.

"The effect of the Republican and Democratic conventions on the presidential race has run its course," Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the poll, said in a released statement. "As the campaign enters its final stage, Florida and Ohio, two of the largest and most important swing states, are too close to call, while North Carolina and Pennsylvania give Hillary Clinton the narrowest of leads."

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He added, "The obvious takeaway from these numbers is that Donald Trump has staged a comeback from his post-Democratic convention lows, especially in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Taking a bit longer view, however, we see a race that appears little changed from where it was as the GOP convention began in July and at least in these four key states is very much up for grabs."

Connecticut-based Quinnipiac regularly gauges the opinions of voters in Ohio and other swing states on candidates and issues. Its new poll included 775 likely voters in Ohio, where Libertarian Gary Johnson managed double-digit support.

Johnson will appear as an independent candidate on Ohio's ballot.

"Libertarian Gary Johnson could decide the presidential election in the Buckeye State," Brown said. "He is getting 14 percent from Ohio voters and how that cohort eventually votes could be critical in this swing state ---and in the nation."

Green Party candidate Jill Stein was supported by 4 percent of Ohioans questioned.

Marc Kovac is the Dix Capital Bureau Chief. Email him at mkovac@dixcom.com or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.

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