Poll shows very tight presidential race in Florida, North Carolina

Miami, Nov 8 (IANS) US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her Republican rival Donald Trump were in a “technical tie” in critical battleground states, showed a poll released on Monday.

The Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll shows a technical tie between Clinton and Trump in Florida and North Carolina, EFE news quoted Peter A. Brown, the Assistant Director of the poll, as saying.

Clinton held a 1-point lead over her Republican rival Donald Trump in Florida and a 2-point lead in North Carolina, well within the poll’s margin of error.

The error margin in the two state surveys is 3.3 per cent, and thus the states remain “too close to call”.

The landline and cellphone surveys in the two states were conducted on November 3-6 among 884 possible voters in Florida and 870 in North Carolina.

According to Brown, it is not realistic to think about a scenario in which Trump wins the White House without winning either of these two states, and Clinton can win even without them that is “not a road she wants to travel”.

Brown said he does not believe that a situation will arise where the winner in either state will be decided by as few as 548 votes, as was the case in George W. Bush’s 2000 win over Al Gore in Florida.

“However, both states could keep the country up counting ballots well into Wednesday morning and perhaps beyond,” he added.

In Florida, almost half of the registered voters have already voted by absentee ballot or in early voting, and most of those who have cast ballots so far have been Democrats, according to the latest official figures.

The state’s election authorities reported on Monday that some 6.42 million voters, out of Florida’s 12.9 million eligible voters, have already cast their ballots.

Of those who have voted, 2.56 million are Democrats and 2.47 million are Republicans, along with 1.23 million who are listed as independents, EFE news reported.

More than 8.5 million people voted in Florida in 2012, when President Barack Obama won re-election.

Quinnipiac University said that 47 per cent of the early or absentee voters have cast their ballots for Clinton and 43 per cent for Trump in the Sunshine State, and 45 per cent of independents have voted for the former First Lady and 43 per cent for the business magnate.

Trump has received 86 per cent of the votes of registered Republicans and Clinton has received 85 per cent of the votes of registered Democrats.

While Trump is ahead of Clinton among white voters, 57 per cent to 34 per cent, and among men, 48 per cent to 40 per cent, former Secretary of State is leading among non-white voters by 68 per cent to 23 per cent and among women, 50 per cent to 42 per cent.