FBI experts are examining thousands of emails recently discovered on a laptop computer. Some of the e-mails are thought to be connected to long-time Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin. This turn of events was an unexpected “October surprise” that may impact the presidential election.
The FBI, which previously investigated the use of a private email server while Clinton was Secretary of State, has pulled the hard drive from a laptop. It was used by Abedin’s estranged husband, Anthony Weiner. Weiner is under investigation for allegedly having a text message conversation with an underage female.
Will the announcement by the FBI that the organization was effectively re-opening the investigation on e-mail related to the former Secretary of State have an impact on voters’ preferences in the presidential election?
Timing of This Survey
On October 31st, the Monday after the FBI announced its intention to open the investigation on emails on a laptop used by Huma Abedin’s estranged husband, we asked readers this question: “If the presidential election were held today, for whom would you vote?”
No reference was made to the investigation, nor was any mention made of any particular issues pertaining to either candidate.
A large majority of those voting expressed their preference on November 1st and 2nd, shortly after the news of the FBI investigation was well known.
A Volatile Election Cycle
The results in this survey are dramatically different from the previous survey on this issue. While we do not know if the FBI’s announcement is the cause for the change in the results, given the timing of the news and when the survey was published, it may have had an impact.
Some other polls have also had big changes in the last few days. An ABC/Washington Post poll showed a 12 point swing in a period of about one week; a recent 15 point swing in the State of Virginia is reported in one poll; and a significant swing for Trump has occurred in a Los Angeles Times poll.
The Real Clear Politics polling average still shows an overall advantage of 1.7% for Hillary Clinton in a four-person race.
18-Point Margin for Trump
With more than 2,100 people responding, 97% of whom are current or retired federal employees, the results below are from our users who chose to participate and reflect their stated preferences:
93% of those voting in this survey are “extremely interested” or “very interested” in the election.
The 18 point margin for Donald Trump is a surprising difference when compared to previous FedSmith.com user surveys.
Further information will be forthcoming on the results of this survey in the next several days.