Clinton confidence grows after FBI news

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House accuses Biden of pushing ‘conspiracy theories’ with Trump election claim Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton qualifies to run for county commissioner in Florida MORE backers are bullish about their chances for victory on Tuesday after another surprise from the FBI — this time in the Democratic presidential nominee’s favor.

FBI Director James Comey’s Sunday letter to Congress said recently discovered emails had not changed his conclusion that Clinton should not face criminal charges for her use of a private email address and server while secretary of State.

The letter comes on top of promising early-vote data for Democrats, particularly in Nevada, where Hispanic voters appeared to be flocking to the polls. Clinton’s standing in opinion polls has also stabilized in the past couple of days. 


“She’s got it,” one close friend of the Democratic nominee told The Hill in the immediate aftermath of Comey’s announcement, predicting that Clinton would win between 310 and 320 votes in the Electoral College. The number required to win the presidency is 270.

Others expressed their views in even more colorful ways. Reached by text by The Hill, one Clinton aide replied to a question about how he was feeling by sending a celebratory emoji.

The FBI letter delivered a jolt of momentum for Democrats after a difficult stretch since Oct. 28, when Comey shocked the political world with news his agents were looking at new emails.

Polls had already been tightening before Comey’s first surprise, raising worries among Democrats that a race that had seemed to be in the bag could be lost after all.

Two widely respected national polls released Sunday, from ABC News/Washington Post and NBC News/Wall Street Journal, also gave reason for optimism to the Clinton camp.

They indicated that the Democratic nominee was leading Trump by 5 points and 4 points, respectively.


“While recognizing that [Clinton] is not yet in the end zone, I would say it is first down and goal to go,” said Chris Lehane, a Democratic strategist who served in President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonWill the ‘law and order’ president pardon Roger Stone? Five ways America would take a hard left under Joe Biden The sad spectacle of Trump’s enablers MORE’s White House. 

Pro-Trump Republicans believe they will prevail on Tuesday night.

Trump, sprinting around a number of battleground states including Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Virginia on Sunday, continued to exude confidence, insisting that his campaign would upset the experts.

During a stop in Minneapolis, Trump said his opponent’s strategists are belatedly realizing that they are in trouble.

“They know better than anybody this is a whole different ball game,” he said. “They don’t know about us, folks. We know how to win. They don’t know how to win.”

Republicans have also pointed to Clinton’s decision to spend time in Michigan, a state thought to be safely in her column, as evidence that the Democrats are nervous.

Clinton’s husband campaigned in the state on Sunday, while Clinton will visit on Monday, having been in Detroit on Friday. 

At his rally in Minnesota, Trump implored the crowd not to let him down by failing to deliver victory in the state. 

Minnesota last backed a Republican for president in 1972. If Trump were able to flip its 10 electoral votes, however, it would give him a significant boost. It would also augur very well for his chances in a swath of Midwestern and Rust Belt states including Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Reflecting the fluidity of the race, Trump was continuing to perform strongly in some national polls as well. He was up by 1 point over Clinton in an IBB/TIPP tracking poll released Sunday and just 1 point adrift in a McClatchy/Marist poll.

Democrats believe that Clinton’s get out the vote operation is superior to Trump’s and will pay dividends on Election Day. But conservatives counter that there could yet be a “hidden” Trump vote, meaning supporters who are reluctant to tell pollsters they are backing the controversial businessman turn up to cast their ballots.

The other question is how the new Comey letter might affect the closing hours of the race.

Clinton aides have taken a muted approach so far, with communications director Jennifer Palmieri telling reporters simply that the campaign was “glad this matter is resolved.” 

Outside groups aligned with Clinton have taken a more muscular approach. Brad Woodhouse, the director of the pro-Clinton group Correct The Record, said in a statement that Comey’s announcement “makes clear that Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE’s closing argument is a complete fraud.”

Trump did not make direct reference to the new letter in his first campaign stop after it emerged, but he did assail Clinton as “the most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency of the United States.” 

During an interview with MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki, Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway also argued that the latest Comey letter would do nothing to change the widespread distrust of Clinton that shows up in many opinion polls. 

“The reason that so many Americans have a problem with Hillary Clinton’s honesty and trustworthiness and veracity does not change,” Conway insisted.

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