Photo credit: Gage Skidmore (CC-By-SA 2.0)
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore (CC-By-SA 2.0)

I asked over at The Pulse 2016 if Donald Trump will be helped by FBI Director James Comey’s press conference about the Bureau’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails, and his subsequent testimony before Congress.

We finally have an answer – yes. Although it is just a slight bump.

Inching up in national polling

The latest CBS/New York Times poll shows Clinton dropped three points, and their latest poll taken after the FBI’s announcement shows Trump and Clinton tied at 40%.

The primary problem for Trump, however, is that voters haven’t really changed their minds about Trump.

Sixty-seven percent of voters now say Clinton is not honest and trustworthy, up from 62 percent last month and the highest percentage this election cycle. Only 28 percent view her as honest. Clinton’s ratings on honesty were more positive soon after she announced her presidential bid in April of last year. Also, fewer now say she is prepared for the job of president than did so last month – although half still say she is.

Although Clinton receives lower marks on these attributes compared to last month, views of Trump have not improved on these measures and remain mostly negative. Sixty-two percent of voters don’t think he’s honest (compared to Clinton’s 67 percent), and two-thirds continue to say Trump is not prepared for the job of president, compared to 48 percent who say that about Clinton.

Clinton drops by six points in the latest McClatchy/Marist poll and now leads Trump by 3. Their last poll was taken in March however. More frequent polling would probably have shown a slight decline. This is head to head polling. However when they poll the Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson and the Green Party candidate Jill Stein her lead increases to 5 points.

The Economist/YouGov poll shows a 3 point drop since their last poll.  Rasmussen, a Republican pollster, has been the only pollster to indicate Trump was leading since May. He gained five points in their latest poll, leading Clinton by seven points.

Swing state polling looks better.

Things look a little more bleak for Hillary Clinton in swing state polling. Quinnipiac polled Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania and showed Clinton dropped since their June 21st poll.

  • Florida – Trump at 42 percent to Clinton’s 39, compared to a 47 – 39 percent Clinton lead June 21;
  • Ohio – Clinton and Trump tied 41 – 41 percent, compared to a 40 – 40 percent tie June 21;
  • Pennsylvania – Trump at 43 percent to Clinton’s 41 percent, compared to June 21, when Clinton had 42 percent to Trump’s 41 percent.

With third party candidates in the race, results are:

  • Florida – Trump leads Clinton 41 – 36 percent, with 7 percent for Libertarian Gary Johnson and 4 percent for Green Party candidate Jill Stein;
  • Ohio – Trump at 37 percent to Clinton’s 36 percent, with Johnson at 7 percent and Stein at 6 percent;
  • Pennsylvania – Trump over Clinton 40 – 34 percent with 9 percent for Johnson and 3 percent for Stein.

A Marist Poll released yesterday indicates a close race in Iowa and Ohio, but they show Clinton ahead in Pennsylvania.

In Iowa, three points separate Clinton, 42%, and Trump, 39%, among registered voters statewide.  The contest has tightened since January when Clinton had an eight point advantage over Trump.  Among registered voters in Iowa who say they definitely plan to vote, one point separates Clinton and Trump.

In Ohio, Clinton and Trump are tied among the statewide electorate at 39%.  Here, too, the contest has become more competitive.  In March, Clinton was ahead of Trump by 6 points among registered voters in Ohio.  Among registered voters in Ohio who say they definitely plan to vote, the margin between Clinton and Trump is 3 points.

In Pennsylvania, Clinton, 45%, leads Trump, 36%, by 9 points in the hunt for the state’s 20 electoral votes.  This is down from the 15 point lead Clinton had in April’s NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Poll.  Among registered voters in Pennsylvania who say they definitely plan to vote, Clinton maintains her 9 point advantage.

“The good news for Hillary Clinton is that she is still even or ahead of Donald Trump in these three critical states in the aftermath of the FBI’s report on her email controversy,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “The bad news for her is the contest has gotten closer in all of these states, and the issue does not seem to be going away anytime soon.”

Any other Republican candidate would be leading Hillary Clinton after this news broke (if not before) the fact Trump still trails nationally, and is close in key states is symbolic of his weakness.

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