The FBI has reopened its investigation into Hillary Clinton. This is blatantly unwelcome news for her. It reminds the public of her gross incompetence. It also takes away airtime from her policy announcements. For once Donald Trump’s foul outbursts will not be on the airwaves.
This latest event will dent her support but not deny her victory. With only 9 days to go it is too late to change many people’s minds. SOme people have already cast their ballots.
Trump is clutching at straws. Unfortunately he will not perform as badly as polls state. His showing has also improved since Gary Johnson’s support has tumbled in recent days. As it draws closer to polling day some of those who were thinking of voting for a guaranteed loser have decided to vote for Trump after all since he stands at least a slim chance of winning.
An investigation does not prove anything. The FBI might decided not to charge Mrs Clinton again. Even if they did lay charges against her these might be dropped subsequently. Even of she is charged she might be acquitted. She might do a plea bargain and get off with a slap on the wrist. If things proceeded against her very fast could she be pardoned by Obama? That would require this affair to be done and dusted by 20 January? An unlikely proposition. Could a president pardon herself? Hillary Clinton has many bites of the cherry.u
Although Donald Trump is faring a little better than a week ago this is not in swing states. He is simply piling up larger majorities in states he is bound to win anyway. Significantly he is no longer whingeing that the election is being fixed by illegal practices such as non citizens voting. Perhaps even he was canny enough to realise this was demotivating to his supporters.
Trump has done all he can to undermine faith in democracy. Not all those who vote for him believe all his flagrant lies. His arrant dishonesty has put some Republicans off voting for him. Some moderate Republicans will vote for him holding their noses. They are voting for him out of party identity and also because he is the only one with a hope of keeping Mrs Clinton out of the White House. Despite all this at least half of those who cast their votes for Trump will believe his arrant lie that the election will be stolen by bent electoral officials. This means about a quarter of Americans will not accept the legitimacy of Hillary Clinton’s presidency. This is surely unprecedented. Almost all Americans accepted George W Bush as the rightful president despite him receiving 500 000 votes fewer than Al Gore and the tendentious nature of the vote in Florida.