Obama warns fate of world at stake
> Momentum shifts in key US election battlegrounds
WASHINGTON: The fate of American democracy is in voters’ hands, President Barack Obama warned yesterday, as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s battle for the White House went down to the wire.
With six days until the election, the world looked on agog as an uptick in support for Clinton’s 70-year-old Republican rival delighted US foes, made its allies queasy and spooked financial markets.
“The fate of the republic rests on your shoulders,” the US president warned voters in North Carolina, one of a handful of swing states where the now tighter race will be decided.
“The fate of the world is teetering and you, North Carolina, are going to have to make sure that we push it in the right direction,” he declared, rallying support for Clinton to become his successor.
“I am not on the ballot, but I tell you what. Fairness is on the ballot. Decency is on the ballot. Justice is on the ballot. Progress is on the ballot. Our democracy is on the ballot.”
While Clinton remains the favourite to win the White House on Nov 8, a contest that appeared days ago to be all but over has become a nail-biter once more.
Since last Friday, when FBI director James Comey announced the discovery of more email messages potentially pertinent to the bureau’s investigation of Clinton’s private server, her prospective electoral college lead has plummeted, according to poll averages taken by RealClearPolitics.
A week ago, the aggregator put Clinton more than 100 college votes ahead of Trump, with 333 to the Republican’s 205 on a map where states were counted according to their more likely electoral outcome.
Yesterday, the same average of polls gave Clinton just 273 votes, eight ahead of her rival’s 265, and barely more than the 270 needed to claim victory.
A series of new state polls released yesterday by CNN/ORC in Nevada, Florida, Pennsylvania and Arizona also showed slimming margins between the candidates, with Trump taking the lead in Nevada by 49% to 43%. In mid-October, the same poll had Clinton ahead by two points.
In Florida, the CNN poll gave Clinton a two-point lead, 49% to 47% – an increase of 1% on the previous poll but well within the margin of error.
The surveys, taken amid the new FBI controversy between Oct 27 and Nov 1, suggested prospective Trump voters in both Florida and Nevada were significantly more enthusiastic than Clinton voters about casting their vote. – The Independent/AFP
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