Clinton's edge ebbs after FBI's announcement of new email review: poll

Updated: 2016-10-31 08:48


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Clinton's edge ebbs after FBI's announcement of new email review: poll

US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton greets voters at an early voting brunch at Fado's Irish Pub in Miami, Florida, US October 30, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

WASHINGTON - The Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) decision to review new emails related to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's email probe appeared to take its toll on Clinton's edge over her Republican rival Donald Trump, a new poll found on Sunday.

According to the ABC/Washington Post tracking poll, about one in third likely US voters said the new development of Clinton's email federal probe made them less likely to support her.

Meanwhile, the poll found that 46 percent voters support Clinton at the moment, compared to 45 percent who support Trump. A week ago, the same poll found that Clinton had a 12-point edge over Trump.

FBI Director James Comey on Friday rocked the already chaotic presidential race with an unexpected announcement that the bureau was reviewing new emails which appeared to be linked to the FBI's Clinton email probe completed in July.

"The FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation," said Comey in a letter to the Congress.

"I agreed that the FBI should take appropriate investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation."

However, Comey said the FBI "cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant," adding that he could not predict how long it would take investigators to complete the "additional work."

The announcement vexed the Clinton campaign, and Clinton's spokesman and her surrogates spent the weekend demanding the FBI provide the public more information than was contained in the letter sent to the Congress.

At a press conference in March 2015, Clinton acknowledged that she had exchanged about 60,000 emails from her private email account during her stint in the Obama administration, among which about half were personal and thus deleted.

All emails were sent and received via a private email server based at Clinton's home.

In response to requests from the State Department, the Clinton camp turned over the other half, roughly 30,000 emails in total, to the State Department in December 2014.

The controversy surrounding Clinton's email practices again burst into public view in August 2015 after the inspector general for the intelligence community revealed that two of the thousands of emails held by Clinton contained top-secret information. The revelation then trigged a federal investigation into whether Clinton had mishandled sensitive information.