Pre-poll survey sees Hillary lead over Trump

Is it a foregone conclusion that Hillary Rodham Clinton will be the 45th President of the United States of America? If we go by the flood of media reports, she is set to become the first woman in the US history to occupy the White House. As Americans started voting on November 8 (Tuesday in India), in different States, Hillary is said to have a clear lead over her rival Donald Trump.

According to the final Reuters/Ipsos States of the Nation survey,  done a few hours before Americans started casting their votes, Hillary has about a 90 percent chance of defeating Trump. The survey has revealed that she was leading her Republican rival by about 46 percent to 42 percent in the popular vote and was on track to win 303 votes in the Electoral College to Trump’s 235. That means Hillary would score more than 270 Electoral College votes needed for victory.

An upset win for Trump is possible only if some six or seven states vote for the maverick Republican in an overwhelming way. Such possibility looks remote. Nevertheless, experts caution that in one of the closest fought presidential poll battles in the US history, even the slightest tilt in voter preference in the key States of Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia can change the equation.

The five are the fulcrum States that tip the balance in the see-saw political battle. Whoever manages to score a 3-2 win in these crucial States could hope to sit in the White House. If Trump is dreaming of such a victory, FBI’s clean chit to Hillary Clinton in the emails controversy a couple of days before voting began must have tempered the expectations of Republican supporters.

It was a dramatic turn of events when FBI Director James Comey told Congressional leaders in a letter that the Bureau had found “no evidence of wrongdoing by Clinton” in its latest review of emails. Until that time, notwithstanding Hillary’s stout defence of her emails sent using a private server, they became a prime target of a vicious campaign by her opponents. The emails were sent during her tenure as US Secretary of State.

However, Trump did not take it lying down. Accusing FBI of impropriety, he told supporters in Sterling Heights, Michigan: “She is protected by a rigged system… It’s a totally rigged system. You can’t review 650,000 emails in eight days. Hillary Clinton is guilty. She knows it. The FBI knows it. The people know it… and now it is up for American people to deliver justice.”

Hillary’s critics too expressed doubts over the FBI’s claim that it had reviewed thousands of emails in a few days working round the clock. However, the FBI clearing her of wrongdoing has brightened her victory chances with ‘fence-sitters’ making up their minds, say analysts.

To make sure another Democrat returns to the White House, the past and the present Presidents visited the areas where ‘doubters’ of Hillary Clinton were in a majority to impress upon them how and why a woman President is the best bet for America. Both Barack Obama and his wife Michelle expounded the values of family, the virtues of womanhood, the greatness of America and its importance in and to the world in emotional and patriotic speeches. As Hillary’s husband Clinton stood by, the First Couple’s last-minute effort to see Hillary in the White House looked like a fitting finale to the Democratic campaign.

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