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Polls show Clinton ahead or even in key Midwest battlegrounds

Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump in Iowa and Pennsylvania, while the two are tied in the key battleground state of Ohio, according to a trio of new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls.

In Iowa, the presumptive Democratic nominee is ahead of Trump by three points among registered voters, 42 percent to 39 percent, which is within the poll's margin of error of plus-minus 3.4 percentage points while a combined 18 percent say neither, other or undecided. (Back in January, Clinton held an eight-point advantage over Trump, 48 percent to 40 percent.)

In Pennsylvania, she leads the presumptive GOP nominee by nine points, 45 percent to 36 percent, with 19 percent saying neither or undecided. (In April, it was Clinton 54 percent, Trump 39 percent.)

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But in Ohio, the two candidates are tied at 39 percent each, with 21 percent saying neither, other or undecided. (In March, Clinton held a six-point lead over Trump in the Buckeye State, 48 percent to 42 percent.)

These polls were conducted July 5-10 - so all in the immediate aftermath of FBI Director James Comey not recommending charges against Hillary Clinton in her handling of government emails, but saying that she was careless. The polls also come as Clinton enjoys a considerable advertising advantage over Trump in these battleground states.

"The good news for Hillary Clinton is that she is still even or ahead of Donald Trump in these three critical states in the aftermath of the FBI's report on her email controversy," says Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, which conducted these three surveys.

He adds, "The bad news for her is the contest has gotten closer in all of these states, and the issue does not seem to be going away anytime soon."

Measuring the Four-Way Horserace

The numbers change slightly when the presidential contest is expanded to four candidates, including Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson and the Green Party's Jill Stein.

In Iowa, Clinton gets support of 37 percent of registered voters, Trump gets an equal 37 percent, Johnson gets 7 percent and Stein gets 4 percent.

In Ohio, Clinton is at 38 percent, Trump at 35 percent, Johnson at 9 percent and Stein at 3 percent.

And in Pennsylvania, it's Clinton 43 percent, Trump 35 percent, Johnson 8 percent and Stein 2 percent.

The NBC/WSJ/Marist polls were conducted July 5-10 of 822 registered voters in Iowa (which has a margin of error of plus-minus 3.4 percentage points), 848 registered voters in Ohio (plus-minus 3.4 percentage points) and 829 registered voters in Pennsylvania (plus-minus 3.4 percentage points).