The race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is a dead heat at this point in the crucial swing state of Ohio, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday morning.
But the poll – which had Clinton and Trump in a flat-footed tie at 40 percent each – may be a slight improvement for the Democratic candidate, who trailed Trump by four percentage points in a Quinnipiac poll released in May.
The poll showed that women voters are moving to Clinton in greater numbers. Clinton's support among women is at 48 percent now, compared to 43 percent in May.
Trump's support among men hasn't changed much since May – 49 percent then, 51 percent now.
Quinnipiac University periodically releases polls on the presidential and Senate races in three key swing states – Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania. No candidate has won the presidential race since 1960 without winning at least two of those three states. And no Republican has ever won the White House without winning Ohio.
Pennsylvania is too close to call with 42 percent for Clinton and 41 percent for Trump, while Clinton has a fairly substantial lead in Florida – 47 percent to 39 percent.
The Ohio poll included 971 voters interviewed between June 8 and June 19, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
"One reason why Trump may be doing better in Ohio, and for that matter in Pennsylvania as well, is that both states have small Hispanic populations, compared to Florida,'' Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Poll, said in a press release.
"Given Trump's comments on immigration and descendants of immigrants, the much larger Hispanic population in Florida is obviously a boost there for Hillary Clinton,'' Brown said.
In the latest Quinnipiac Poll, Clinton's rival for the Democratic nomination – Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has yet to formally end his candidacy – does much better in Ohio against Trump – Sanders has 48 percent support in Ohio compared to 38 percent for Trump.
If you include the two leading third party candidates in the polling, Clinton has a slight edge with 38 percent support, compared to 36 percent for Trump. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson polled at eight percentage points, while Green Party candidate Jill Green had three percent support.
The poll also asked voters some rather off-the-wall questions, aimed at finding out what kind of people they think the candidates are.
The pollsters asked which candidate voters would rather invite to a backyard barbecue. Among Ohioans, 50 percent said Trump, while 36 percent said Clinton.
When asked "who would you rather come to your aid during a personal crisis," 45 percent of Ohio voters said Clinton, while 42 percent said Trump.
By large margins, voters in all three states say Clinton is better prepared to be president; and that she is more intelligent and has higher moral standards.
Voters in the three states are divided on whether Trump is more honest and trustworthy. Voters in Ohio and Pennsylvania say Trump is more inspiring.