Aside from a short period after the Republican National Convention in July, Hillary Clinton has led Donald Trump for the entire election cycle. And for a few weeks in October, it looked like the election was over. Clinton won all three debates decisively, and when a clip of Trump bragging about committing sexual assault leaked days before the second debate, many assumed the race was over.
But the 2016 race began tightening after the third debate. James Comey’s announcement last Friday that the FBI was investigating (possibly) new emails relating to Clinton’s use of a private email server may not have hurt her electoral chances, but it certainly didn’t help them either. The rule in 2016 has been that whichever candidate is in the news is losing and Clinton has very much been in the news since Friday. With six days to the election, polls continue to tighten, both nationally and in key battleground states like North Carolina and Nevada.
Of course, Clinton’s path to the White House has been highly flexible for most of the election and it still is today. She can lose a handful of the states she’s currently leading by slim margins and still beat Trump. Trump, meanwhile, basically has to shoot the moon to get there. Still, it’s very possible that Clinton will only eke out a victory, against one of the most toxic presidential candidates of all time.
Clinton’s camp has plenty to worry about, especially when it comes to enthusiasm: Black voter turnout is down and it’s possible that the suburban, Republican-leaning voters Clinton has targeted for the last four months may be turned off by the latest twist in the never-ending email saga. Is it time to panic for Clinton supporters? No. Well, maybe a little.