What a change in the polls a week makes.
Despite a 12-point lead as recently as one week ago, Hillary Clinton is now trailing Donald Trump by a full point after James Comey’s premature and partisan announcement that emails being investigated on former congressman Anthony Weiner’s laptop revealed emails from his former wife, Clinton’s chief of staff at the time, during the time period when Clinton served as secretary of state, according to an ABC News/The Washington Post poll released on Tuesday.
Although there is absolutely no word yet on whether or not any of the emails are new to the investigation, and it is not believed that any of them were sent to or by Secretary Clinton, Comey’s announcement appears to have achieved the exact effect he had intended. With no context, no clarification, and absolutely no proof of anything at all, the presidential election is no longer one-sided toward the more qualified candidate.
In a four-way matchup, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton polled at 45 percent of likely voters, Republican candidate Donald Trump was the likely choice of 46 percent of voters, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson polled at an election season low of 3 percent, and Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein received 2 percent of likely voters’ nods.
Even more concerning is the fact that Donald Trump scored eight points higher in voter enthusiasm than Secretary Clinton. Fifty-three percent of Trump’s voters reported being enthusiastic about voting for their choice of candidate, while only 45 percent of voters are enthusiastic about voting for Clinton. The former secretary of state and first lady has lost a full seven percentage points in voter enthusiasm since Comey’s announcement.
Compared to past elections just one week out from voting day, enthusiasm is historically low for both.
The one-point deficit is well within the margin of error for ABC News/The Washington Post‘s poll. In fact, that deficit is not atypical compared to past elections and does not indicate that all is lost for the former secretary of state.
However, the numbers do reflect a successful, albeit unprofessional and deeply troubling strategy by the Republican head of the FBI. They are also indicative of the concerning trend toward distrust of the Democratic candidate, helped along in no small part by the false scandals the GOP is endlessly able to dredge up to affect public perception.
Featured image screengrab via YouTube