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theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer
Monday, November 7, 2016
Trump LEAD WIDENS To 2, Biggest Yet, Despite 'November Surprise'
With one day to go, Donald Trump extended his lead over Hillary Clinton, 43% to 41%, according to the latest IBD/TIPP presidential tracking poll. That comes after a third bombshell from FBI Director James Comey, who announced Sunday he would not indict Clinton for her email scandal.
Trump's two-point lead now matches his largest so far during the 20 days of polling.
Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson gets 6% of the vote, Green Party candidate Jill Stein just 2%.
In a two-way matchup that excludes the two third-party candidates, however, Clinton still holds a 43% to 42% lead over Trump, with 9% of those responding saying they were "unsure" for whom they would vote.
The unrounded poll numbers give Trump a 2.4 percentage point advantage over Clinton in the four-way race, 43.1% to 40.7%. Trump and Clinton had essentially been deadlocked for four days through Friday, but Trump moved into the lead Saturday and widened it on Sunday on a steady drumbeat of news surrounding Hillary Clinton's emails.
Also in the unrounded tally, Johnson now has 6.3% to Stein's 2.2%.
The poll of 1,026 likely voters reflects a weighted response of 319 Democrats, 322 Republicans and 314 Independent and "other" voters. It has a margin of error of +/-3.1 percentage points. The results are now based on the latest four days of polling.
Among demographic groups, Trump holds a commanding lead among men, getting 47% to Hillary's 38%, a 9-point difference. And he has made up ground with women, moving from a deficit in the double-digits to just 3 points down in the latest poll, 43% for Clinton and 40% for Trump.
Trump still leads handily among all those who earn more than $50,000 a year. The GOP candidate also has a strong edge among high school graduates and those with just some college, but loses to Hillary with those who have a college degree or higher.
Comey's November Surprise
With the election coming down to the wire, FBI Director James Comey threw the already-topsy turvy presidential contest into further chaos, telling lawmakers Sunday that he still has no plans to indict Hillary Clinton after reviewing recently discovered emails.
"Since my letter (of October 28)," Comey wrote in his letter Sunday, "the FBI investigative team has been working around the clock...During that process, we reviewed all of the communications that were to or from Hillary Clinton while she served a Secretary of State.
"Based on our review," Comey said, "we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to Secretary Clinton."
On October 28, Comey dramatically announced in a letter to Congress that he had reopened the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a home-based, unsecured email server while serving as secretary of state. That followed the discovery of thousands of Clinton's emails on devices owned by former Rep. Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of Clinton's top aide, Huma Abedin.
On July 5, Hillary Clinton's run for the White House got a significant boost after Comey told Congress: "Although there is evidence of potential violations of statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case."
"Hillary Clinton is guilty. She knows it, the FBI knows it, the people know it," Trump declared. "Now it's up to the American people to deliver justice at the ballot box on Nov. 8."
Hillary Clinton was largely mum Sunday, but her surrogates weren't. Clinton's campaign communications director, Jennifer Palmieri, on Sunday warned against believing any "whopper"WikiLeaks release of emails before the election, claiming it would be fake.
The Real Clear Politics average of 9 recent polls has Hillary Clinton at 46.6% and Donald Trump at 44.8%, a 1.8 percentage point lead for Hillary.
The electoral college race, waged state by state, shows the race is still too close to call.
Real Clear gives Hillary 216 likely electoral votes currently, while Trump has 164. There are 158 electoral votes that, based on local polls, are tossups. They include Arizona (11 electoral votes), Florida (29), Michigan (16), Pennsylvania (20), Georgia (16), North Carolina (15), and Ohio (18).
Both candidates have been spending time in those states, hoping to eke out victories and gain enough electoral votes to get to 270, the number needed to win the presidency.