NEW YORK/WASHINGTON: Following the controversial decision by FBI chief James Comey to reopen a case about the Democratic candidate’s emails, a new poll has found Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump virtually tied.
The latest ABC News/The Washington Post tracking poll showed Trump barely edging Clinton among likely voters, 46-45pc, well within the poll’s 3 percentage point margin of error.
According to news agencies, an explosive new poll showed Donald Trump leading the race for the White House on Tuesday, amid an avalanche of revelations and allegations a week before Election Day.
An ABC News/The Washington Post tracking poll showed the Republican leading his rival Hillary Clinton 46-45 percent, with news of a renewed FBI probe apparently devouring the Democrat’s long-held lead.
Experts caution not to put too much stock in any one poll, especially one well within the statistical margin of error.
Clinton is still the overwhelming favourite, thanks to the quirks of the US electoral system, which tallies the winner based on weighted state-by-state races.
The New York Times’ statistical model gives Clinton an 88 per cent chance of winning, while respected website FiveThirtyEight says 74pc. But the shock ABC poll caps a series of surveys that point to a race which is narrowing in the final sprint.
However, the poll found little shift in Clinton’s overall support following news about the FBI’s decision to take another look at Clinton’s emails.
Trump’s supporters said they were “very enthusiastic” about him now, compared to Thursday and Friday when he was trailing Clinton 53-51pc, the poll said.
Voter enthusiasm has been in short supply for both Clinton and Trump through the fall campaign and continues to lag excitement about candidates on the ballot four years ago.
At this point in 2012, 64pc of Obama supporters said they were “very enthusiastic” about him; Romney was only narrowly behind.
The discovery of another cache of emails raised an immediate question: Was close Clinton adviser Huma Abedin unaware of their existence?
The emails were found on a computer seized during an unrelated investigation involving Abedin’s estranged husband, disgraced former New York congressman Anthony Weiner.
An online news blog says that in a sworn deposition taken in June as part of a lawsuit filed by the conservative legal group Judicial Watch, Abedin was asked about which devices she had used to send or receive messages from her account on the clintonemail.com server.
As part of the process in 2015 of returning her work-related emails to the State Department, Abedin said she “looked for all the devices that may have any of my State Department” work and provided two laptops and a Blackberry to her lawyers for review.
Abedin made no mention of there being additional devices where her emails might have been saved.
Meanwhile, in an expose on Trump’s finances, The New York Times said the Republican nominee proudly acknowledges he did not pay a dime in federal income taxes for years on end. He insists he merely exploited tax loopholes legally available to any billionaire — loopholes he says Clinton failed to close during her years in the United States Senate.
“Why didn’t she ever try to change those laws so I couldn’t use them?” Trump asked during a campaign rally last month.
The Times said the newly obtained documents showed that in the early 1990s, as he scrambled to stave off financial ruin, Trump avoided reporting hundreds of millions of dollars in taxable income by using a tax avoidance manoeuvre so dubious that his own lawyers advised him that the Internal Revenue Service would most likely declare it improper if he was audited.
The Times said: “Thanks to this one manoeuvre, which was later outlawed by Congress, Mr Trump potentially escaped paying tens of millions of dollars in federal personal income taxes. It is impossible to know for sure because Mr Trump has declined to release his tax returns, or even a summary of his returns, breaking a practice followed by every Republican and Democratic presidential candidate for more than four decades.
Tax experts who reviewed the newly obtained documents for The New York Times said Trump’s tax avoidance manoeuvre, conjured from ambiguous provisions of highly technical tax court rulings, clearly pushed the edge of the envelope of what tax laws permitted at the time. Agencies