Donald Trump is gaining on Hillary Clinton according to nearly all available relevant measurements of the presidential race.
That startling pronouncement comes two days after FBI Director James Comey made a disturbingly ambiguous announcement that new emails had been discovered which are related — in an undisclosed way — to the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s usage of a private email server while she served as Secretary of State.
The FBI’s Clinton email investigation was pronounced closed earlier this fall by none other than Comey himself. The agency director’s Friday announcement, however, prompted figures ranging from leading Congressional Republicans to members of the media to proclaim that the Clinton email investigation had been “re-opened.”
With the accusation that Clinton broke the law and endangered Americans by sending classified information over her private — and thus unsecured — email server haunting her since the beginning of the presidential race, Comey’s announcement is bad news to say the least.
Whereas before last Friday, the Clinton campaign was effectively preparing itself for a relatively smooth path to victory in two weeks time come Election Day, Friday afternoon saw Clinton’s campaign chair come to the point of issuing a biting public statement demanding that James Comey explain himself and make amends for what amounts to his meddling in the presidential race.
Comey, however, has not done so.
There remains no confirming word from the FBI as to what the emails — which have sparked the return of the Clinton email scandal to pre-eminent importance in the presidential race with less than two weeks to go until Election Day — actually contain.
There, of course, remains the distinct possibility, as noted by various personnel from within the FBI itself, that the newly discovered emails will change absolutely nothing about the Clinton email investigation.
The problem for Clinton, however, is simple: the realm of public opinion and media hype cares little about technicalities. Thus, on the minds of American voters since Friday is, yet again, the question of whether or not Clinton endangered national security. (There remains no actual indication that she did.)
And all of this turmoil is showing up in the polls. Headlines appeared Sunday such as “Donald J. Trump closed a 12-point gap between the two candidates in just days.”
In the highly accurate FiveThirtyEight electoral college model — an image of which is featured below — Trump has risen to just under a one in four chance of winning the presidency, up from a rather recent one in ten chance of winning.
The Real Clear Politics national polling averages have Clinton remaining barely ahead of Trump.
When third party candidates Gary Johnson and Dr. Jill Stein are considered, the Democratic presidential nominee’s leading edge over Trump is one tenth of one percent above the largest margin of error found among the polls making up the average.
When only Trump and Clinton are considered, the Democratic nominee’s lead is one tenth of one percent below the largest margin of error found among the polls making up the average.
And, making liberals even more queasy, polls conducted completely following Comey’s Clinton email announcement are only just beginning to roll in.
To be sure, there is far from any guarantee that Trump will be able to ride his increasingly favorable poll numbers to an actual victory.
But the possibility remains real, perhaps more real than it was before.
Featured Image via Spencer Platt/Getty Images