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Email probe impact or not, it’s already a tighter race

On Friday, Oct. 28, 2016, Hillary Clinton speaks

On Friday, Oct. 28, 2016, Hillary Clinton speaks with senior aide Huma Abedin aboard her campaign plane at Westchester County Airport in White Plains. Abedin is at the center of a renewed FBI email investigation. Photo Credit: AP / Andrew Harnik

Rivals’ support shaken, stirred?

Hillary Clinton’s lead was shrinking over the past week before the disclosure that the FBI was going to look at a new trove of emails to see if they are relevant to its past investigation of her private server while at the State Department.

It will take a few more days, and a much larger collection of new polls, to fully and accurately gauge the impact. But there are clues.

A Washington Post-ABC News tracking poll taken partly after the news broke found Clinton leading Donald Trump by just 1 point, 46% to 45%.

Meanwhile, a  Politico-Morning Consult poll released Monday -- and taken entirely after the FBI announcement -- puts Clinton at 46 and Trump at 43 in a head-to-head matchup.

In a four-way comparison, the same poll has Clinton 42, Trump 39, Libertarian Gary Johnson 7 and Green nominee Jill Stein 5. 

And the latest Rasmussen's tracking poll for Monday shows Clinton with 45 percent among those it deemed to be likely voters, with 42 percent for Trump, 5 percent for Johnson 2 percent for Stein. "No fallout for Clinton so far," goes its summary.

About a third of likely voters told the WaPo-ABC pollsters they’re less likely to support Clinton, but they were overwhelmingly Trump voters already. CBS News battleground state polling found a similar split in reaction along partisan lines, and GOP pollster Frank Luntz tweeted that he hasn’t detected a swing-state shift so far.

But if the overall race is closer, turnout will be more critical. The fear for Clinton — and the hope for Trump — is that the story will dampen enthusiasm among her supporters and stoke it among his, turning crucial swing states Trump’s way.

Unread: 650,000

There are roughly 650,000 emails on a laptop computer that Clinton aide Huma Abedin used along with her now-estranged husband, Anthony Weiner, according to The Wall Street Journal (pay site).

There may have been thousands sent to or from Clinton’s private server, but it’s unknown whether any contained classified information and how many were duplicates of those the FBI has already seen.

According to CNN, FBI agents in New York investigating Weiner, who allegedly sexted a 15-year-old girl, knew about the Abedin email cache weeks ago, but FBI Director James Comey wasn’t told until Thursday. And the agents didn’t obtain a warrant to examine them until Sunday, NBC News said.

Comey under fire

For a third straight day, the FBI investigation dominated election news. The Clinton campaign and Democratic allies ripped Comey for announcing it so close to Election Day, against the advice of the Justice Department.

Since that can’t be undone, the Clinton campaign called on him to put out more details, reports Newsday’s Emily Ngo.

“If he doesn’t come out and get all the information on the table, he’s going to let anyone, any conspiracy theory take the day,” said campaign manager Robby Mook.

Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said, “For the FBI to make this remarkable move 11 days before the election means there must be something there.” Behind the move, there are reports of an internal federal feud over whether to probe the Clinton Foundation.

The take-away: Fake and furious

With Halloween here and Election Day near, the flood of phony scare stuff on social media, television, emails and radio is on the rise.

A case in point, writes Newsday’s Dan Janison, is a counterfeit “report” from a Clinton adviser blasted out via email last week by Carl Paladino, Trump’s New York co-chair. The memo lists as an option launching a fake extraterrestrial event to “salvage” the Clinton campaign.

An uncharitable look

Seeking to turn negative attention back on Trump, Clinton quoted at length from a Washington Post story about the New York billionaire’s penchant for seeking credit for charity he had not given — or claiming other people’s giving as his own.

One new anecdote had Trump crashing a ribbon-cutting event in 1996 for Manhattan schoolchildren with AIDS. He posed with the kids, but never gave to a dollar to the charity that sponsored the school, said its executive director.

“Who does that?” asked Clinton, speaking at an LGBT nightclub in Wilton Manors, Florida.

Trump tries to redraw map

Trump rallied Sunday in Colorado and New Mexico, focusing on traditionally Democratic states in a bid to expand what for weeks has been an increasingly narrow path to victory, The Washington Post reported.

He was scheduled to make two stops Monday in Michigan — and visit Wisconsin the day after that. Trump strategists argued Sunday that the race’s fast-changing dynamics and unpredictability give them an opening.

What else is happening

  • Clinton has made headway recently among African-American millennials, but others are not convinced, The Associated Press reports.
  • CNN offers seven things to know about Comey.
  • A warmup speaker for Trump at a Nevada rally, conservative commentator Wayne Allyn Root, fantasized about the deaths of Clinton and Abedin, imagining a scenario where “the ending is like ‘Thelma and Louise’ ” — the 1991 film in which the title characters drive over a cliff in a suicide pact.
  • A Trump supporter in Iowa was arrested after voting for him twice. Terri Rote said she did it because “polls are rigged.”
  • Trump campaign manager Conway said the conduct of a man at a rally Saturday in Phoenix who stood outside the press section and shouted “Jew-S-A” was “deplorable” and “completely unacceptable.”
  • Melania Trump will deliver a speech for her husband Thursday in Pennsylvania.
  • Weiner’s self-destruction as a political and public figure was complete, but the collateral damage for Democrats hasn’t stopped, The New York Times notes. As Trump put it Sunday: “We never thought we were going to say thank you to Anthony Weiner.”


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