Clinton narrowly leads Trump as US presidential poll nears
DEMOCRATIC US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton holds a five-point lead over Republican Donald Trump in the latest Washington Post- ABC Tracking Poll released early yesterday.
In a Post- ABC poll released two days before, Clinton had led Trump by 47 percent to 44 percent.
Clinton had an advantage in affirmative support, the poll said, with 55 percent of backers saying they are mainly supporting her, compared with 43 percent of Trump voters. More Trump voters say they “mainly oppose Clinton”.
Americans will vote for a new president tomorrow, although millions have already chosen who they want to rule the country in early voting. The new poll came alongside a brief moment of drama in the final days of campaigning. Trump was rushed off stage by security officers on Saturday after a false gun scare during a campaign appearance. The US Secret Service, which provides security for presidential candidates, later said someone in the crowd had shouted “gun” but that no weapon was found.
Trump swiftly resumed his speech in Reno, Nevada after a suspect, who was wrestled to the floor during the incident, was briefly detained then released. The 70-year-old real estate tycoon reappeared to cheers just minutes after being led away by Secret Service agents who shielded his body with their own.
“Nobody said it was going to be easy for us, but we will never be stopped, never ever be stopped,” he declared.
“I want to thank the Secret Service. These guys are fantastic. They don’t get enough credit. They don’t get enough credit. They are amazing people.”
Just before the fracas, Trump was seen shielding his eyes from the lights in order to peer into the crowd as a struggle broke out.
Trump “was removed from the stage” by agents in his protective detail “after a commotion occurred in the crowd”, the Secret Service said.
Television footage showed a suspect pinned to the ground by officers and searched, before he was led away by local law enforcement.
The candidate appeared unrattled and spoke with his usual self-confidence, finishing his planned remarks and accepting applause before returning to his plane safely.
“I’m actually a Republican . . . but I just don’t support Donald Trump,” the protester, who identified himself as Austyn Crites from Reno, said after he was released.
Crites (33) said that he agreed with Trump on many issues, but added: “I believe that he’s very dangerous for the country.”
Crites told NBC News 4 that he came armed “with just one sign that said ‘Republicans against Trump’.”
The protester told The Guardian that he was knocked to the ground, punched, kicked and choked by Trump supporters when he attempted to silently hold up the sign.
On social media, Trump supporters pilloried him as a Clinton mole, pointing to what they said was his deleted pro-Hillary Facebook page.
Crites told The Guardian that he believes the Democratic candidate is the only person who can stop Trump, and said that he briefly canvassed for her campaign.
Trump’s events during this long campaign season have often been disrupted by protesters, but this is only the second time that the candidate was bundled off stage by security.
History Professor Allan Lichtman of American University in Washington has accurately predicted the popular result in presidential elections since Republican President Ronald Reagan defeated Democratic challenger Walter Mondale in 1984.
“This should be a change election. The Republican nominee should win,” Lichtman said. — Al Jazeera.