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Poll shows Clinton, Rubio leading in Florida

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Coming out of the national political conventions, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton leads Republican Donald Trump in Florida's critical election battle, according to a Suffolk University poll released Thursday.

Clinton leads Trump by a margin of 48 percent to 42 percent in a head-to-head matchup and also leads by a margin of 43 percent to 39 percent when Libertarian and Green Party candidates are factored in.

David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston, pointed to Clinton's advantages in Democrat-heavy South Florida and among women voters.

"Hillary Clinton is leading thanks to southern Florida and women," Paleologos said in a statement accompanying the results. "Trump is even seeing some Republicans holding back at this point while Clinton is a bit stronger among registered Democrats."

University of North Florida political science professor Michael Binder said a bump for Clinton the week after the Democratic National Convention is to be expected.

"These polls were conducted right after the conventions, so give it another week or two," Binder said. "The polls will come down and I think it will tighten up a little bit, but I still think Hillary is ahead at this point."

The poll also found that Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio has hefty leads over Democratic Congressmen Patrick Murphy and Alan Grayson in the state's closely watched Senate race.

Rubio leads Murphy by a margin of 46 percent to 33 percent in a head-to-head matchup and similarly leads Grayson by a margin of 45 percent to 31 percent, the poll results said.

Suffolk surveyed 500 likely voters from Monday to Wednesday, and the poll has a margin of error of 4.4 percentage points.