Clinton still frontrunner despite FBI emails letter: poll

US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally at the Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, on October 31, 2016 (AFP Photo/Jewel Samad)
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Washington (AFP) - Democrat Hillary Clinton maintained her lead over Republican Donald Trump in their race for the White House, even in the wake of renewed scrutiny of her use of a private email server, a poll showed Monday.

Barely a week from the election, the NBC News/SurveyMonkey weekly poll showed Clinton's six-point national lead remained essentially unchanged since last week.

FBI Director James Comey's announcement on Friday of the recent discovery of emails that could be "pertinent" to the agency's investigation of Clinton's use of a private email server while she served as secretary of state had little impact on voters, the October 24-30 online poll found.

Results of the week's tracking poll showed that, in a four-way race including two "third-party" candidates, Clinton is supported by 47 percent of likely supporters while Trump maintains 41 percent support.

Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson dropped a single percentage point to six percent support, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein had three percent support.

In a race with just the major party candidates, Clinton has a seven-point lead over Trump, with 51 percent in favor compared with his 44 percent, in the final stretch ahead of the November 8 election.

The pollsters included questions about Comey's announcement on Saturday and Sunday.

The poll showed likely voters were split on whether they thought the FBI announcement it was an important issue to discuss -- 55 percent -- or more of a distraction to the campaign -- 44 percent.

For independent voters who do not lean toward either party, 68 percent said it was an important issue, while 31 percent said it was a distraction.

The poll was conducted among 40,816 people considered likely voters, with a margin of error of plus or minus one percentage point.

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