BOCA RATON, Fla., Oct. 13, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hillary Clinton has opened up a six-point lead over Donald Trump in the critical battleground state of Florida, according to a new survey by the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economics Polling Initiative (FAU BEPI).
Among likely voters in Florida, Clinton leads Trump 49 percent to 43 percent with 7 percent undecided. That's an eight-point swing since the last FAU poll of likely Florida voters in August, when Trump was leading 43 percent to 41 percent.
Clinton also continues to enjoy a big lead in the Hispanic poll, winning support from 52 percent of voters compared to 33 percent for Trump, 4 percent for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and 10 percent undecided.
How voters felt about the economy appears to be a significant factor in determining which candidate they favor. Respondents among likely voters who said the economy had improved in the last year support Clinton 77 percent to 18 percent for Trump, while those who said it had gotten worse support Trump 70 to 19 percent for Clinton.
"The voter's perception of their personal finances and the economic outlook for the country is driving this election," said Monica Escaleras, Ph.D., director of the BEPI.
Trump's base of support is in northern Florida, where he leads 60 percent to 39 percent. Clinton enjoys strong support in southern Florida, where she leads 47 to 38 percent, and in the central part of the state, which breaks for her 57 to 36 percent.
Clinton is backed by 92 percent of Democrats, while Trump has the support of 80 percent of Republicans and also leads among Independents 45 to 36 percent.
"Mr. Trump continues to trail sharply among women and minorities and those numbers point to a loss in Florida barring a significant late improvement," said Kevin Wagner, Ph.D., associate professor of political science at FAU and a BEPI research fellow.
Two Florida polls (one of 400 likely voters and one of 400 Hispanic voters) were done Oct. 5-9 using online and Interactive Voice Response and carry a 4.9 percent margin of error.
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SOURCE FAU Business and Economics Polling Institute