New poll shows narrow Clinton lead over Trump
A new Washington Post/ABC poll conducted last week shows Republican Donald Trump trailing Democrat Hillary Clinton by just one percentage point. But pollsters are still predicting a big win for the former secretary of state.
The telephone survey, which reached a national sample of 1,781 likely voters, was taken from Tuesday to Friday, the same day the FBI announced it had discovered new emails “pertinent” to an investigation of Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state. The poll showed Clinton with 46 percent of likely voters, compared to Trump’s 45 percent.
Survey respondents reached on Friday were quizzed about their feelings about FBI Director James Comey’s announcement that the Bureau was renewing its investigation in light of a new batch of emails discovered on devices owned by Clinton aide Huma Abedin and shared with her estranged husband, former Congressman Anthony Wiener. The emails were discovered as part of a separate investigation of Wiener, who allegedly sent sexually suggestive messages to a 15-year-old girl.
Three in 10 likely voters said that Friday’s news made them less likely to vote for her. Six in 10 said the announcement made no difference.
Trump’s numbers have likely been bolstered by greater unity within the Republican Party as Election Day approaches, according to an analysis of the polling data by the Washington Post. The recent release of the 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape catching Trump in vulgar comments plunged the GOP into chaos, prompting many key Republican players to withdraw their support from their party’s candidate or call on him to step down.
But since then, many of those who had abandoned Trump have been circling back and offering tepid support.
Trump’s support among likely Republican voters has risen five percentage points in the last week, according to the same poll. Independents also seem to be swinging toward Trump. The latest data shows Independents favoring the Republican nominee by 19 points. Last week, the same poll showed Independents favoring Clinton by eight points.
But despite Trump’s recovery in the polls, the odds still appear to be in Clinton’s favor. Both Nate Silver and The Upshot estimate that Clinton has a more than 75 percent chance of winning.
Since poll results have varied so widely during this election, it’s difficult to draw too many conclusions from a single poll. As of Friday, Nate Silver’s analysis of polling data at FiveThirtyEight — which includes the new ABC/Washington Post poll — puts Clinton at 45.6 percent of likely voters compared to Trump’s 40.7 percent.