With early voting having started in some 37 states, and some 20 million ballots already cast, Hillary Clinton has a commanding lead over Donald Trump.
Based on a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Saturday, the Democratic nominee leads her Republican rival by 15 points among early voters surveyed over the past two weeks.
The roughly 19 million Americans who have already voted make up about 20 percent of the electorate. The survey was conducted before FBI Director James Comey sent his letter to Congress informing them that his team had discovered additional emails while conducting an independent investigation that may pertain to the Clinton private email server matter.
Prior to Friday, in July, Comey had announced at a press conference and then in testimony to congress that he would not recommend any criminal charges in the matter, and that he did not see that any reasonably prosecutor would choose to file charges based on the evidence the FBI had developed.
The new emails were discovered while the FBI was investigating former Congressman Anthony Weiner for potential criminal wrongdoing based on his sexting a teenage girl. Investigators apparently stumbled upon the emails on one of the devices that Weiner and his now estranged wife and close Clinton confidant Huma Abedin shared. Sources have also disclosed that the emails in question are those of Abedin and not Clinton and do not involve her private email server. However, Comey’s letter has once again cast the cloud of a FBI investigation over Clinton’s head.
The Director’s disclosure has only highlighted Clinton’s virtually unprecedented ground game and get out the vote effort and her substantial advantage over Trump’s which are all but nonexistent.
As of Thursday, Clinton’s odds of receiving the 270 electoral votes she needs to win the presidency are greater than 95 percent, according to the State of the Nation polling results released on Saturday. Clinton’s early voting lead is comparable to President Obama’s in 2012 against Mitt Romney, a race that Obama won by 332 electoral votes to 206.
In the state by state tallies, Clinton continues to enjoy leads in Florida and North Carolina which are ‘checkmate’ states — states that Trump must win even to have a chance at getting to 270.
The Democratic nominee also has some very notable advantages in a couple of ruby red states, Arizona and Georgia. Obviously, should she be victorious in these states, Trump would have virtually no chance of winning.