Earlier this week FBI Director James Comey ‘Reopened’ the investigation into the Clinton email scandal. This ‘reopening’ led to huge levels of uproar and debate once again as to whether Hillary Clinton, legally and morally, is the right person to be the next US President, and in some cases, if she should even be allowed on the ticket. This latest twist in the tail of the election has sent the world’s media into a frenzy as they speculated as to the effect this twist will have on November 8th.
In these following days since this revelation about the FBI ‘reopening’ the email investigation, we have seen headlines telling us suddenly how close this election is going to be. Headlines such as “Financial markets jolted as US election polls tighten” by the Financial Times in a headline which is purely meant to send the public into fear about the devastating effects of a Trump victory. ABC Online ran the headline “Donald Trump takes one point lead over Hillary Clinton” in another desperate bid to add a note of peril and drama to the US election. However, are the polls actually narrowing and Trump’s chances of victory on November 8th actually improving?
Well technically yes, the polls have narrowed and Trump does stand a greater chance of victory in six days. In reality no. Donald Trump’s hopes of a victory on November 8th are still very pathetic, especially given the amazingly flawed opponent Mr Trump is running against.
On October 19th after the final Presidential debate, FiveThirtyEight gave Donald Trump a 12.6% chance of winning the election. After this great ‘narrowing’ of the polls and Trump’s ‘resurgence’ in the polls, FiveThirtyEight has responded and has in fact over doubled Trump’s chances of winning from an impossible and laughable 12.6% to a merely embarrassing and potentially party devastating 28.8% chance of winning. Not exactly the odds you’d want to hear if you were hoping to win the election in six days.
I’m not saying we are in more or less the same position we were a week ago, but this race is not as open recent headlines would suggest. Granted the landslide victory, which looked increasingly likely a week ago, is no longer as greater a landslide as it could have been. However, it’s not like this election in the space of a week has come down to a single point race.
The states which could have led to a Clinton landslide have very much narrowed and could see a one point race. States such as Iowa, Arizona and Ohio where Trump now looks likely to win were less than a week ago neck and neck and before that were leaning towards Clinton. However, those three appear to be the only states which Trump may win thanks to this ‘reopening’ of the investigation. However, the problem is these three states only make up 35 electoral votes of the 538 on offer.
Whereas, if we look at the others battleground and tight states, such as Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Colorado and Nevada, which make up 45 electoral votes, have all tightened but nowhere near as much as Trump needs and all look overwhelmingly likely to go to Clinton.
So far this ‘narrowing’ in the polls still gives Hillary 10 more electoral votes over Trump before we even get to the big states at play. Both Florida, worth 29 electoral votes, and North Carolina, worth 15 electoral votes, are extremely tight. Recent polls have Clinton up on average by 2.4% in Florida, and by 2.2% on average in North Carolina. Both states in mid-October were highly expected to the way on Clinton, however, it appears that this is where any narrowing in the polls is important. According to FiveThirtyEight Clinton does remain the more likely to win them, although it is tight.
This means if you are gonna be keeping a close eye on any state on November 8th make sure it’s either Florida or North Carolina.