Presidential polls Monday, Oct. 31: Renewed email controversy can't stop Hillary Clinton


The spookiest thing about Halloween 2016 is that somehow, election season still isn't over. At present, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton looks poised to win — according to RealClearPolitics, she has a nearly 3-point lead on her opponent, Donald Trump. 

Looking at both state and national polls, the New York Times's Upshot calculated Clinton's victory odds at 90% — even despite Trump's impressive 1-point gain on Oct. 30. His chances of winning are about 10%.

FiveThirtyEight's notoriously accurate election forecast also puts Clinton far ahead of her opponent, with a 76% chance of victory to Trump's 24%. 

Carolyn Kaster/AP

How do Clinton's damn emails and the FBI investigation affect the race?

On Friday, FBI Director James Comey dealt Clinton an "October Surprise" in the form of a vague announcement stating that he was revisiting the question of the candidate's use of a private email server during her time as Secretary of State. 

Comey had previously declared the investigation closed. In revisiting it Friday, he introduced a number of questions: What do the emails — sent and received by Clinton aide Huma Abedin and found on the computer of her estranged husband, Anthony Weiner, in the course of a separate federal investigation into his possible sexting relationship with a minor — have to do with Clinton? Is Comey trying to influence the outcome of the election? And if so, will he succeed?

In an ABC/Washington Post poll released Sunday, the majority of voters surveyed didn't care about the most recent installment in Clinton's email saga. Sixty-three percent of voters were indifferent to the news, while 34% said they were less likely to vote for Clinton.

Long story short: Comey's investigation doesn't seem to have had much of an effect on the candidates' standings. 

Things look good for Clinton, but Trump is still in the race

As is his wont, Trump will tell anyone who asks — or doesn't ask — that he is ahead in the polls. Save for a few outliers, that claim is untrue.

Still, Clinton supporters are ill-advised to assume she's got this in the bag. Allan J. Lichtman, a distinguished professor of history at American University and election predictions wizard, maintains that Trump will win. His forecasts have been consistently correct since 1984.

There's also the potential pitfall of overconfidence: If Clinton supporters take for granted that she's going to win and assume their votes don't count — if they don't show up and vote — we could be living in Trump's America come 2017. 

Some would say that's the scariest prospect of all.