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News polls show Clinton, Trump in dead heat in Georgia

Three public polls show Clinton now within the margin of error

♦By Rich Shumate, editor

georgia mugATLANTA (CFP) — Three new public polls show that Hillary Clinton may be poised to do something no Democrat has done in 24 years — carry Georgia in a presidential race.

The latest poll results come as Priorities USA, a Clinton-allied Super PAC, announced that it would begin airing TV and radio ads in the Peach State  — the first sign that the Clinton campaign may make a play for the state’s 16 electoral votes.

All three polls showed Clinton within the margin of error in her contest against Donald Trump, in a state Mitt Romney won by 8 points in 2012.

The poll results included:

  • Landmark Communications: Trump, 47 percent, and Clinton, 43 percent,  within the margin of error plus or minus 4 points.
  • Fox5/Opinion Savvy: Trump,  50 percent, and Clinton, 46 percent, within the margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 points.
  • Atlanta Journal Constitution: Trump, 44 percent, and Clinton, 42 percent, within the margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 points.

white-house-chaseIn addition to those polls, a Washington Post/Survey Monkey survey of online respondents gave Clinton a 3-point lead, 45 percent to Trump’s 42 percent. However, that survey did not use a random sample and, therefore, its margin of error cannot be calculated.

The last time a Democratic presidential candidate carried Georgia was when Clinton’s husband, Bill, won in 1992. However, with independent Ross Perot in the race that year, Bill Clinton won with only 43 percent of the vote.

In the past 50 years, a Democrat has carried Georgia with a majority only twice, in 1976 and 1980 when Georgian Jimmy Carter was the nominee. During the same period, Republicans have pulled off that feat seven times, including the last four elections in a row.

In addition to Georgia, three other Southern states are also in play this year — Virginia, Florida and North Carolina. These four states are the largest in the South outside of Texas, with a combined 73 electoral votes, about a quarter of what is needed to capture the presidency.

The latest state polls show Clinton with a strong lead in Virginia and smaller margins in North Carolina and Florida.

No Democrat has captured all four of these states since Harry Truman back in 1948.

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