02:29 GMT +316 October 2018
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    Republican US presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton look on at the start of their first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, US, September 26, 2016.

    October Surprise? Early Voting Shows New Clinton Email Scandal Has Little Impact

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    Despite controversy over a renewed investigation into leaked emails, early voting results show Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton establishing an early lead over Republican rival Donald Trump in several key swing states.

    After FBI Director James Comey announced that he was reopening the case, POLITICO/Morning Consult conducted a poll of 1,772 likely voters that showed the former Secretary of State leading Trump by only three points. It is not yet clear whether the new leak will have an impact on Clinton’s chances at the White House.

    Kyle Dropp, Morning Consult cofounder and Chief Research Officer doesn’t believe it will, telling Politico, "It is unlikely that there will be a dramatic shift in the polls before Election Day…While Friday's news may be considered an 'October Surprise,' it doesn't seem to be moving the needle as of now." 

    On Sunday evening the FBI obtained a warrant to search the 650,000 emails, which chiefly originate from a computer owned by US Representative Anthony Weiner, the now-separated husband of Clinton aide Huma Abedin who has recently been investigated for exchanging sexually explicit text messages with a teenage girl.

    Seizing upon an opportunity to close the numbers gap, Trump, who has been vocally critical of FBI Director James Comey neglecting to charge Clinton during the first round of leaks, praised him at a Michigan rally saying, "I have to give the FBI credit. That was so bad, what happened originally. And it took guts for Director Comey to make the move that he made, in light of the kind of opposition he had, where they’re trying to protect her from criminal prosecution."

    The reality television star called the leak "the motherlode" and described it as the biggest political scandal since Watergate. 

    Responding to the controversy Clinton told an audience at a Florida rally, "We cannot get distracted by all the noise in the political environment…We’ve got to stay focused."

    The 2016 election has proven to be one of the most polarizing in US history. An ABC News/Washington Post conducted in August showed that the two candidates very nearly equal in unpopularity. A July poll from Public Policy Polling actually showed 13% of participants preferring a giant meteor striking Earth to either major candidate.

    Roughly 21 million people have already voted in the US, including in states like Nevada, California and Florida, places most likely to have a decisive impact on the election’s outcome.

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    Tags:
    email hack, Email Scandal, Election2016, Poll, James Comey, Donald Trump Jr, Hillary Clinton, United States
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