Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump remain locked in a tight contest for the U.S. presidency, nine days ahead of the November 8 election, with the campaign roiled by the new investigation into her emails while she served as secretary of state.
One tracking poll of voter sentiment, by The Washington Post and ABC News, showed Clinton clinging to a narrow edge over Trump by a single percentage point, 46 to 45 percent.
The two news outlets said the poll of likely voters covered part of the time after FBI Director James Comey announced that investigators are taking a new look at her use of a private email server while she was the country’s top diplomat from 2009 to 2013. It came in a probe Comey previously ended in July when he declared that she had been “extremely careless” in her handling of national security material found in her emails, but said that no criminal charges were warranted.
Impact on November 8 vote
The Post-ABC survey said that more than six in 10 voters said the new investigation would make no difference in their vote on November 8, but of those who said it would matter, more than 3 in 10 said it would make them less likely to vote for her, and only 2 percent that it would influence them to vote for her. New polling by a raft of news organizations and universities in the coming days could give a better idea whether the FBI investigation will matter in how people vote.
Clinton, who has often said her use of the private email server was a mistake, has demanded that Comey spell out details of what is in the emails that were found on the computer of one of her key aides, Huma Abedin, shared with her estranged husband, Anthony Weiner. Authorities discovered the emails while investigating allegations that Weiner, a disgraced former congressman from New York, was “sexting” with a 15-year-old girl.
At a campaign stop in the key southern state of Florida, Clinton alluded to the “ups and downs” of the campaign, but otherwise did not mention the email controversy. She delivered a broadside against Trump, calling on him to “stop disgracing our democracy” by disparaging women, and contending that he is “temperamentally unfit and totally unqualified to be president.”
“Friends don’t let friends vote for Trump, right?” she asked cheering supporters.
Boon for Trump
Trump, with new life on the campaign trail in the aftermath of Comey’s announcement, said on his Twitter account, “Hillary and the Dems loved and praised FBI Director Comey just a few days ago. Original evidence was overwhelming, should not have delayed!”
Most polls, many of them conducted before the Comey announcement, show Clinton ahead by about four or five percentage points across the country, with often narrower edges in key election states. The state-by-state outcomes will determine the winner in the country’s Electoral College, not the national popular vote.
But Trump claimed in another tweet, “We are now leading in many polls, and many of these were taken before the criminal investigation announcement Friday – great in states!”
Trump started his Sunday campaigning with a stop at a nondenominational church in Las Vegas, Nevada, a closely contested western state, where he swayed and clapped to the music. He planned a later rally in the city and then stops in two other nearby states, Colorado and New Mexico.
On Saturday, Clinton called the timing of the FBI announcement that it is assessing new evidence in her case “unprecedented” and “deeply troubling.”
At a campaign appearance in Daytona Beach, Florida, Clinton said, “It’s pretty strange to put something like that out with such little information, right before an election.”
Clinton later added, “We can’t let this election, in the last 10 days, be about the noise and the distractions. It’s got to be about what kind of country we want for ourselves, our children and our grandchildren.”
Trump, at a campaign event in Colorado, contended that “a vote for Hillary is a vote to surrender our government to public corruption, graft and cronyism that threatens the very foundations of our constitutional system.”