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New Emerson poll shows Clinton, Trump virtually tied in three key states

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"Considerably better news for Republican Senate candidates."

A new poll just released by Emerson College shows presidential nominees Donald Trump (R) and Hillary Clinton (D) virtually tied in three key states, while Republican Senate candidates in each of those states are pulling ahead of their Democratic opponents.

According to the poll, Clinton has taken a two-point lead in Arizona, outpacing Trump 44 percent to 42 percent. This is the first poll to show Clinton with an outright lead in Arizona since August, although other polls have shown that Arizona is expected to be unusually close this presidential election. Arizona has voted for a Democratic president only once since 1952. If Trump is unable to hold this Republican stronghold, his path to an Electoral College victory will be all but blocked.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump (AP Photos/Charlie Neibergall)

The good news for the Trump campaign is that the poll shows Trump leading 45 percent to 44 percent in Florida and tied with Clinton at 43 percent in Nevada. Ultimately, all three of these states are virtual must-wins for the Trump campaign.

The poll is considerably better news for Republican Senate candidates:

In Florida, onetime GOP presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio holds a comfortable lead over Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy, 47 percent to 39 percent.

Republican Joe Heck leads Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto 45 percent to 41 percent in the race to replace retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada.

And Arizona Sen. John McCain holds a comfortable lead over Democratic challenger Ann Kirpatrick 52 percent to 36 percent.

If these poll numbers are accurate, Trump faces an uphill battle in the presidential race, but Democrats' odds of retaking the Senate are even longer.

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