Polls: Clinton ahead in Florida, Pennsylvania

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Democrat Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump in the key battleground states of Florida and Pennsylvania, including by double digits in the Keystone State due to her strength in Philadelphia and its suburbs, according to two brand-new NBC News/Wall Street Journal polls.

In Florida, Clinton is ahead of Trump by three points among likely voters, 45 percent to 42 percent, which is within the poll's margin of error. Libertarian Gary Johnson gets 5 percent, and the Green Party's Jill Stein gets three percent.

In a head-to-head matchup in the Sunshine State, Clinton holds a two-point edge over Trump among likely voters, 46 percent to 44 percent. The NBC/WSJ/Marist poll of Florida was conducted Oct. 3-5 - well before Hurricane Matthew hit the state.

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Mitt Romney has been critical of Trump's rhetoric. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Senator John Thune (R-SD) addresses delegates during the third session of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, August 29, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)
Republican U.S. Sen. Mike Lee speaks during the Utah Solutions Summit Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016, in Salt Lake City. Donald Trump's running mate Mike Pence is scheduled to make his first visit to Utah on Thursday since becoming a vice presidential candidate, and the Indiana governor is expected to use the visit to help bolster support for the Republican nominee. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Former U.S. President George H. W. Bush has not endorsed Trump, and insiders revealed in September he plans to vote for Hillary Clinton.


Former President George W. Bush campaigned for his brother Republican presidential candidate, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush Monday, during the primary, and has taken what many think were subtle digs at Trump. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Jeb Bush, former Governor of Florida and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, was one of Donald Trump's primary targets during the primary season. 

Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former Republican presidential candidate and Ohio Governor John Kasich stayed in the primary longer than most other candidates, and notably refused to appear at the GOP convention in the same arena with Trump, attending other events instead. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a close friend to Sen. John McCain, has been a vocal critic of Trump's. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
UPDATE: Although he didn't endorse Trump during the 2016 convention, Ted Cruz eventually changed his mind, saying in September he'd vote for the GOP nominee (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images) 
Pictured: George Pataki participates in CNBC's 'Your Money, Your Vote: The Republican Presidential Debate' live from the University of Colorado Boulder in Boulder, Colorado Wednesday, October 28th at 6PM ET / 8PM ET -- (Photo by: David A. Grogan/CNBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
In this June 9, 2014, file photo, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk R-Ill., speaks in his office in Chicago. In his fight to keep his Senate seat, Kirk has repeatedly criticized opponent Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth's service as director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs. His latest attacks come in two new campaign ads. But the ads leave out important facts and context. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)
U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) addresses the second session of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida August 28, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)

In Pennsylvania, Clinton's lead over Trump is 12 points among likely voters, 49 percent to 37 percent, with Johnson at 6 percent and Stein at 4 percent. Her advantage is an identical 12 points in a two-way contest, 51 percent to 39 percent.

Both polls were conducted before Friday's bombshell release of audio of Trump speaking in 2005 about groping and kissing women.

It would be virtually impossible for Trump to win the White House if he loses both states, especially Florida.

"In terms of pathways to 270 [electoral votes], it's hard to see how Trump can win the White House without carrying this state," says Lee Miringoff, director of Marist College's Institute for Public Opinion.

In both states, Clinton's lead is due to her performance with minorities, whites with college degrees and urban voters.

In Florida, Clinton runs ahead of Trump in a two-way contest among African Americans (86 percent to 6 percent), Latinos (63 percent to 27 percent), likely voters ages 18-29 (63 percent to 31 percent) and women (51 percent to 41 percent).

Trump, meanwhile, leads among men (48 percent to 41 percent) and whites (55 percent to 36 percent). But there is an important difference here: Trump is ahead among whites without a college degree by a 62 percent-to-29 percent margin.

Yet among whites with a college degree, Trump is up by only four points, 48 percent to 44 percent.

Geographically, Trump holds the advantage in Florida's Panhandle (52 percent to 42 percent) and the Tampa area (49 percent to 39 percent), while Clinton is ahead in the Miami area (57 percent to 34 percent) and Orlando (50 percent to 39 percent).

In Pennsylvania, Clinton has equally large leads among African American likely voters (88 percent to 6 percent) and those ages 18-29 (54 percent to 37 percent. But she holds a nearly 2-to-1 advantage among whites with a college degree (58 percent to 32 percent).

In Philadelphia, Clinton leads Trump by a whopping 74 percent-to-21 percent margin, and her advantage is almost as big in the Philadelphia suburbs, 64 percent to 28 percent.

Trump, by contrast, holds the edge in the western part of the state (45 percent to 42 percent) and in the Northeast (49 percent to 39 percent).

Rubio leads Florida Senate race, Toomey trails in Pennsylvania

Both Florida and Pennsylvania also feature important Senate contests.

In Florida, incumbent Republican Sen. Marco Rubio leads Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy by two points among likely voters, 48 percent to 46 percent.

And in Pennsylvania, incumbent GOP Sen. Pat Toomey trails Democratic challenger Katie McGinty by four points - McGinty gets 48 percent among likely voters, while Toomey gets 44 percent.

The NBC/WSJ/Marist poll of Florida was conducted Oct. 3-5 among 979 registered voters (which has a margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points) and 700 likely voters (plus-minus 3.7 percentage points).

The NBC/WSJ/Marist poll of Pennsylvania was conducted Oct. 3-6 among 971 registered voters (plus-minus 3.1 percentage points) and 709 likely voters (plus-minus 3.7 percentage points).

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