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Poll shows Clinton leading Trump in Pa., Fla. battlegrounds

Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary

Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton responds to a question during the town hall debate at Washington University on Oct. 9, 2016 in St Louis, Mo. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Chip Somodevilla

ALBANY -- Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton leads Republican Donald Trump in Florida and Pennsylvania, which are two key battleground states, according to the NBC News /Wall Street Journal / Marist Poll released Monday.

The poll conducted before Sunday’s second presidential debate showed Clinton leading Trump 45-42 percent in Florida among likely voters including undecided voters leaning toward one candidate. Clinton held a 49-37 percent lead in Pennsylvania, the poll showed.

“Florida has voted for the winner in 12 of the last 13 presidential elections dating back to 1964,” says Lee M. Miringoff, director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “It’s hard to see how Trump can win the White House without carrying this state.”

Clinton’s advantage in Florida appears to be due in a large part to her support by African-Americans and Latinos, Miringoff said.

The poll questioned 1,131 voters from Oct. 3 to Wednesday and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

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