Collapse? Clinton's 12-Point Lead Over Trump Has Completely Evaporated

Posted: Oct 30, 2016 8:35 PM
Collapse? Clinton's 12-Point Lead Over Trump Has Completely Evaporated

If there’s anything we’ve seen from national polling, it’s that when Hillary Clinton does manage to get a decisive lead on Donald Trump, she can’t maintain it. Whether it be new details about her emails or the Clinton Foundation, her leads over the unpredictable GOP nominee always evaporate—and it’s happened again. A new Washington Post/ABC News poll shows that Clinton’s 12-point lead over Trump has all but vanished into the ether. She now leads him by just one point in a four-way race if you factor in Libertarian Gary Johnson and Jill Stein of the Green Party; One-on-one she holds a three-point lead over Trump. Either way, she’s dropped eight to eleven points, depending which poll you cite, in a week. That’s a total collapse, right?

A slim point separates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in the latest ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll results, cementing Trump’s resurgence in the past week and marking the potentially critical role of turnout in the election’s outcome.

The race stands at 46-45 percent, Clinton-Trump, in the latest results, so tight that the draw by third-party candidates Gary Johnson and Jill Stein could matter. Clinton, +1 vs. Trump in a four- way trial heat, is +3 head-to-head – not a significant difference, but suggestive.

About a third of likely voters say they’re less likely to support Clinton given FBI Director James Comey’s disclosure Friday that the bureau is investigating more emails related to its probe of Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state. Given other considerations, 63 percent say it makes no difference.

Well, not really. Maybe for this poll, but there’s no doubt that momentum seems to be going to Trump, albeit not in a manner that’s all that remarkable—a one or two bump at the most. We’ll need to see more polling throughout the week to get a definite conclusion. In Florida and North Carolina, there’s some good news. Trump is in a dead heat according to the latest Wall Street Journal poll; Fox has him up four points over Clinton. But Clinton has taken the lead in North Carolina (CBS News has it closer). If Clinton wins either North Carolina or Florida, it’s going to be a short night. In a rough hypothetical should Trump win Arizona, Utah, Florida, Nevada, Ohio, and take an elector via congressional district in Maine, he loses. He would need to win Pennsylvania to offset that loss, which is another tall order.

CBS News’ Elections Director Anthony Salvanto broke down the numbers and found that Trump still has a tough hill to climb to get to 270, with his performance shaky in key GOP states, like Texas, because he’s underperforming with typical strong Republican voters. At the same time, the thought was that he could put areas where the GOP isn’t competitive into play. That’s no longer the case. Yet, this race has always been Clinton’s to lose. If polls show a steep drop in support, like the WaPo poll, what do Democrats do so close to Election Day? Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight listed four options, some of which have already been deployed:

  1. Demand for more details relating to the new email probe that set off a firestorm last Friday
  2. Get the base energized by attacking everyone, including FBI Director James Comey
  3. Lay low
  4. Drop a new opposition bomb on Trump

Well, the third option isn’t happening, given how strong the Clinton campaign has reacted to the news. Maybe an opposition research bomb might drop this week, but they’ve certainly gone after Comey…hard—and their initial reaction, besides shouting holy crap, was to demand the FBI give more details, which they probably couldn’t because they didn’t review the emails because they needed a warrant to provide the legal framework to conduct the search. Anthony Weiner’s investigation, which found these Clinton-related emails, isn’t connected to the Clinton email server probe. Weiner’s investigation involves his online interactions with an underage girl; Huma Abedin is said to have shared the laptop that was being reviewed by the FBI when they stumbled upon possible State Department emails. So, there was a delay, which ended tonight when the FBI obtained that warrant to analyze the emails on the Abedin-Weiner laptop. It’s been reported that 650,000 emails were found. As I’ve seen some pundits ask over social media, does the Clinton campaign really want full disclosure here? For now, they’re using Comey as a punching bag—and hoping for the best. More polls will be released this week. Let’s see if this collapse seen in the Washington Post poll does become a national trend. Keep in minds, a good chunk of voters have said the new email development wouldn’t impact their vote. 

Guy will have more on the polls in the morning.