They don’t call it an ‘October surprise’ for nothing. I think most will agree that the recent announcement by the FBI Director to reopen his investigation into Hillary Clinton was as surprising as you’ll get. Usually October surprises originate from a candidate’s campaign, and specifically their opposition research team. In this case, it was a surprise to both sides. At least, that is what we’re being led to believe, based on media reports, and responses from both major political party campaigns.
We’ll find out more next week if this new development will have any effect in the polls. But as they stand even now, the polls continue to tighten up, compared with about a week ago which saw Hillary with a massive lead. Now, they’re within the margin of error for a tie.
According to ABC News, it’s not so much that voters are switching sides to Donald Trump. Rather, it’s that more Republicans are saying they’re going to participate. In addition, ABC News reported:
- As Trump’s controversies last week and the week before move further into the rearview mirror, Republicans are expressing greater likelihood to participate: Eighty-one percent of registered Republicans now are likely voters, up from 75 percent a week ago.
- In one example, there are 6 points more Republicans and GOP-leaning independents showing up in the ranks of non-college white women. This group was broadly for Trump a few weeks ago, then less so; it’s now back, favoring him by 59-29 percent.
- Loosely affiliated or reluctant Clinton supporters look less likely to vote, perhaps given their sense she can win without them — a supposition that looks less reliable today.
- Vote preferences also are part of the mix. At its lowest early this week, 82 percent of Republicans supported Trump. It’s 86 percent now. And his share of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents has gained 6 points, from 78 to 84 percent.
Trump, meanwhile, has gone from a 6-point deficit to a 16-point advantage among independents, with more Republican-leaners in their ranks.
Hopefully next week, we’ll know more details about Comey’s curious decision to reopen the Bureau’s investigation into the Democratic nominee. We’ll also be expecting more emails from WikiLeaks, and presumably the Clinton campaign has more October surprises up their sleeves which will be conveniently “leaked” the closer we get to Election Day.
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