Amid Media Circus, Clinton-Trump in Tight Race With One Week to Go
News that the FBI is reviewing new emails that might pertain to Hillary Clinton's private server appears to be having limited impact on polls
Amid a relentless media circus with just a week until Election Day, the latest polls suggest the presidential contest will be a tight race to the finish.
National surveys taken in the wake of Friday's news that the FBI is reviewing recently discovered emails that might pertain to Hillary Clinton's private server show that development having limited impact on voter preferences.
A new Politico/Morning Consult poll published Monday found Democratic nominee Clinton with a slim three-point lead over GOP rival Donald Trump in a two-way race. The survey of 1,772 voters, which had a margin of error of 2 percentage points, was conducted on Saturday and Sunday.
Of the FBI announcement, Politico reported:
Put simply, there is not yet evidence that the revelations have drastically altered the contours of the election.
Thirty-nine percent of voters said the additional review of emails in the Clinton case had no bearing on their vote in November, while 33 percent [said] it made them much less likely to vote for Clinton.
But most of those voters are already aligned against Clinton. Nearly two-thirds of Trump voters, 66 percent, said it makes them much less likely to vote against Clinton.
Among the small pocket of undecided voters remaining, 42 percent said it made them less likely to vote for Clinton, including 30 percent who said it made them much less likely to vote for her. But just as many, 41 percent, said it makes no difference either way.
Meanwhile, a Washington Post-ABC News tracking poll released Sunday showed Clinton ahead 46 percent to 45 percent, within the margin of error.
The Post reported:
The tracking poll, conducted Wednesday through Saturday, found little immediate impact in presidential support after FBI director James Comey's Friday announcement that the agency will review additional emails from Clinton's time as Secretary of State. In combined results from Friday night and Saturday, voters split 45 percent for Clinton and 46 percent for Trump, statistically unchanged from Clinton's 47-44 margin on Wednesday and Thursday. Results in coming days will provide a clear sense of the event's impact. The Post-ABC poll also found no significant shifts in Clinton or Trump's favorability through Saturday.
However, the same survey found Clinton's unfavorable rating at a record high 60 percent, undermining "a key advantage for Clinton throughout most of a presidential campaign where Trump set records as the most unpopular presidential candidate in polling history," the Post wrote.
Still, whereas the national implications may be hard to spot, "there are a few swing states where the bombshell letter FBI director James Comey sent to Congress on Friday could still have a disproportionate effect," Politico reported Monday.
Such a development, the outlet said, "threatens not just to prod voters still on the fence—it could also energize Republicans and depress Democrats at just the right moment to boost Trump and dog Clinton."
On the other hand, a CBS tracking poll of likely voters in battleground states—the 13 states that could swing the November 8 election—released on Sunday found that among voters overall, 71 percent say the FBI's decision either won't change their thinking, or in some cases, couldn't change their mind because they had already voted.
A Reuters/Ipsos States of the Nation poll reported over the weekend showed that Clinton enjoys a sizeable lead among early voters.
The latest polls in Florida—a critical battleground—show the candidates neck-and-neck, though none of the numbers reflect a post-FBI-announcement landscape.
"For Trump, Florida is a must-win state, and right now, it could go either way," said Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. The latest NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll, conducted October 25-26, shows Clinton ahead with 45 percent to Trump's 44 percent. Libertarian Gary Johnson gets five percent and the Green Party's Jill Stein is at two percent.
A New York Times Upshot/Siena poll released Sunday and conducted October 25-27 found Trump ahead by four points in Florida in a four-way race. While the Times urged caution in interpreting the results, noting that "Clinton still leads in an average of recent Florida surveys by nearly three points," the newspaper also said "the poll is not the only one to show Mr. Trump in the lead."
"A Bloomberg/Selzer poll, which is methodologically similar to the New York Times Upshot/Siena poll, showed Mr. Trump with a two-point edge last week," the Times reported.