Polls Tighten Following FBI Re-opening Clinton Investigation

The latest polls Monday from various news outlets generally show Clinton leading by no more than three points.

By Nancy Flory Published on October 31, 2016

The polls are on a tightening trend, particularly over the past few days as news of additional leaked Hillary Clinton private server emails have surfaced, which were found on Clinton aide Huma Abedin and her husband Anthony Weiner’s electronic devices.

While the polls were already tightening — Trump was only trailing by 4 – 4.5 points as of last Friday — the polls Monday began to pick up on the FBI’s decision to re-open the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server case and they contracted further. As of Monday morning, Trump was down by only 2.5 points, according to the latest Real Clear Politics (RCP) poll average.

Of the 270 electoral votes needed to win, RCP is predicting that Clinton has clinched 263 and Trump has claimed 164. Here’s how it’s broken down.

Clinton is expected to take California, Hawaii, New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, Maryland and Washington D.C. States leaning toward Clinton are Washington, Oregon, New Mexico, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey and Delaware.

Trump is expected to take Idaho, Wyoming, North Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kentucky, Alabama and West Virginia. States leaning toward Trump are Montana, South Dakota, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, South Carolina, Indiana, Texas, Missouri, Utah and Alaska.

States at a toss-up as of Monday are Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

The latest polls Monday from other news outlets generally show Clinton leading by no more than three points. LA Times/USC Tracking shows a 4-point spread in favor of Trump, ABC/Washington Post says Clinton leads by 1 point, IBD/TIPP Tracking has Clinton leading by 1 point while Rasmussen Reports shows Clinton in the lead by 3 points.

Over the past year, polls have shown regular expanding and contracting within the numbers spread between Clinton and Trump. In July, 2015, Clinton had the lead at 19.5 points, but by September of last year it was .8 points. The beginning of October, 2015 saw a jump in the spread back to 3.6 points in favor of Clinton, but by mid-October the gap had closed to 1.6. The bouncing trend has been consistent with Trump’s best month at 1.1 points in the lead late July, 2016. Even so, at that point Trump was sitting at 45.7 percent and as of Monday he was at 45 percent, which means Hillary is experiencing a great deal of fluctuation in the public’s confidence as well.

This week Clinton plans to focus on Arizona, among other states that are typically Republican or right-leaning, reported RCP’s Tom Bevan.  Bevan said that Trump needs to win Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and some combination of states to get to 269-270.

The U.S. is an evenly-divided country, Bevan said, with few undecided voters. With just a handful of days left, it’s impossible to foresee how this race will turn out.

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