Experts Divided On Clinton FBI Scandal

Published On October 31, 2016 | By nivearaj | News, Politics
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Image: Flickr, Gage Skidmore

By: Brandon-Richard Austin

Polls are indicating that the race for the White House is tightening as new details are released concerning Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

The FBI announced it would be reopening the investigation on Friday, when polls were already showing the Democratic candidate neck and neck with Republican competitor Donald Trump.

A Washington Post/ABC poll released this morning shows Clinton leading Trump by just two points – a far cry from the 12 point lead that same poll had reported just six days ago.

Political experts have been questioning the validity of advanced polls all throughout this election. A number of voters are raising that very question now.

“In this election, I’ve been wrong many times,” cautions Stephen Newman, associate professor in the Department of Political Science at York University. “But my guess is, at this point both candidates have a solid core. You could set off a nuclear bomb underneath [Clinton/Trump supporters] and it wouldn’t shake them.”

Newman, author of Constitutional Politics in Canada and the United States, says voters don’t seem to be “shopping for candidates” in the current election.

“Most voters are locked in,” he said, referring to this loyalty as “tribalism.”

Newman said he believes Clinton supporters will not be swayed by the ongoing Clinton/FBI controversy.

Further, Newman said Trump and his supporters are reading too deeply into the FBI’s announcement.

“They’ve released no damaging information,” said Newman. “Trump has been reading it that way but the FBI hasn’t even looked at the emails yet.”

Indeed, The Guardian reports that the FBI only today received a warrant to look at the emails that prompted the reopening of its investigation. Hillary Clinton herself has expressed concern about misinformation among citizens on this topic:

Chris Daminato, first-year student at Humber College, said the fact that Clinton deleted emails in the first place would actually be enough to convince him to vote for Donald Trump.

“Neither is too appealing,” Daminato said. “Even before the FBI investigation, as soon as I heard that she deleted emails that kinda raised suspicions into why she would do that.”

Humber accounting student Jeena Mansoor said the FBI’s new investigation into Hillary Clinton “possibly” raises concerns in her mind about the candidate’s appropriateness for presidency. However, “there’s stuff I don’t like about Trump,” she said.

Regardless of what effect this controversy may actually have on Clinton’s campaign, several experts agree the Democratic candidate has a tough week ahead of her. Commentators like CNN’s Stephen Collinson warned that a new twist in the email scandal might be especially damaging.

Stephen Newman, though, said he’s confident “the Clintons must have something in their back pocket. Maybe another tape of Trump saying terrible things.”

Newman said Clinton’s strength lies in the fact that she’s been able to build her numbers, while Trump’s strategy has been to appeal to his extreme base – which may not be enough to bring him a win come Nov. 8.

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