Last week, the NBC News/SurveyMonkey Tracking poll showed Hillary Clinton with a 6 point national lead over her rival Republican Donald Trump. This week’s poll, released on Monday, is the first poll with data for an initial test to glean whether Friday’s FBI letter to Congress has had any effect on the presidential race.
The poll results released on Monday are stunning — at least as an early indicator — in that they show that Clinton is maintaining her 6 point lead over Trump. Even when looking at the data for Saturday and Sunday only, her lead remained the same — 47 percent to 41 percent for Trump. The coming days will be a much better indicator of whether the FBI announcement is having an effect and if so, how much.
The poll was conducted online from October 24 through 30, and questions about Comey’s announcement regarding a new batch of emails were included in the surveys for October 29 and 30.
Looking at the entire week in a four way match up, Clinton has 47 percent of the support of likely voters, while Trump has 41 percent, with Libertarian Gary johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein getting 6 and 3 percent of the vote respectively. In a two way contest, Clinton’s lead expands to 7 points with her eclipsing the 50 percent mark, getting 51 percent support versus Trump’s 44 percent.
On Friday, FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to congressional leaders informing them that his agency had discovered new emails that may be pertinent to the Clinton private email server as part of an unrelated investigation. It was later learned that the unrelated investigation was that of former congressman Anthony Weiner for sexting with an underage girl. Weiner is the estranged husband of Clinton confidant Human Abedin. It was also learned after Comey’s letter that the emails in question were Abedin’s and were found on a laptop that she shared with her husband.
The Democratic nominee appeared at a press conference on very short notice on Friday to address the matter, Expressing anger and confusion with the announcement. When asked whether she believed that the announcement would affect the election, the former Secretary of State replied that she believed that the email issue was baked into the numbers long ago.
When asked about the importance of the announcement by the FBI, likely voters were split, with 55 percent saying that they believed it was an important issue, and 44 percent saying that the news was somewhat of a distraction. When broken down along party lines, there was a sharp difference, however, with 83 percent of Democrats saying the issue was a distraction, and 93 percent of Republicans saying that it was an important issue to discuss.
Despite this, Clinton’s lead remained unchanged.