by Angela Bell
The presidential candidates are in a dead heat.
As of Nov. 5, the IBD/TIPP poll has Trump and Clinton tied at 44 percent, the Rasmussen poll has Trump up 41 percent over Clinton at 39 percent and Fox News has Clinton at 45 percent and Trump at 43 percent. This is the closest polls have been for a while, and according to Rasmussen, this is the first time Trump has held the matchup since last October.
In contradiction to many polls from early October, like CNN’s who had Clinton carrying a steady lead at 47 percent to 42 percent, the race is getting tight. This may be in part due to multiple October surprises that both candidates endured throughout the month.
First, the New York Times dropped a story just after the first debate that suggested Trump could have avoided paying any taxes for the last 20 years. Trump quickly went down in the polls but regrouped.
WikiLeaks came out with a few October surprises of its own. The website released a tape of Donald Trump and Billy Bush in 2005 bantering about sexual misconduct with women. They also incrementally released a series of Clinton’s emails that exposed the president may have known about her private server, several contradictory statements she made in previous speeches regarding refugees and open borders, and questionable practice by the Clinton Foundation. The media had a firestorm with the information, specifically Trump’s inappropriate conversation.
After release of the 2005 tape, Trump experienced his largest fall in polls since winning the nomination and also lost support among his Republican base. Several elected Republicans withdrew their endorsements for Trump and many analysts speculated that it would be the nail in the coffin for his campaign.
That was until FBI director James Comey penned a letter to Congress stating that the bureau had stumbled upon a new set of emails that “appear to be pertinent to the investigation.” Back in July, the FBI closed the case regarding Clinton’s mishandling of classified information using a private server, but as of Oct. 28, the investigation is back on. The new emails were found in an unrelated case regarding Anthony Weiner’s sexting scandal and the FBI is taking necessary steps in the investigation.
In addition, Fox News recently reported that according to their sources, the Bureau’s investigation into the Clinton Foundation now has a “very high priority.” They have been investigating whether there were any “pay-to-play” activities during Clinton’s time as secretary of state.
It would appear that Clinton came out as the net loser of the October surprises. Her favorability in national polls has plummeted, allowing Trump to regain the ground he had lost as a result of his various scandals. With the election just a few days away, it’s a toss-up. Americans are in for a real nail biter come Nov. 8.