US election: Clinton narrowly leads Trump in poll

Democratic hopeful has five-point lead as Trump bundled off stage by secret service officers at campaign rally.

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a church service at the Christian Cultural Center in the Brooklyn borough of New York
Clinton during a church service at the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, New York [Brendan McDermid/Reuters]

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 on Sunday.

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”.

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Americans will vote for a new president on November 8, 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 drama

Trump was bundled off stage by secret service officers at a rally in Reno, Nevada, on Saturday night after a perceived security threat as he and Clinton made a final campaigning push across states that could prove decisive.

The security agents seized Trump by the shoulders and hustled him backstage as police officers swarmed over a white male in the front of the crowd and held him face down on the ground while they searched him.

Moments later, the man was escorted by police away with his hands behind his back. Trump, seemingly unruffled, returned to the stage and continued his campaign speech.

“Nobody said it was going to be easy for us,” he said. “But we will never be stopped.”

The Secret Service later said the incident was provoked by unidentified individual in front of the stage shouted “gun”. No weapon was found, it said.

“Secret Service agents and Reno Police Officers immediately apprehended the subject. Upon a thorough search of the subject and the surrounding area, no weapon was found,” the Secret Service said in a statement.

“A thorough investigation is ongoing at this time by the U.S. Secret Service and the Reno Police Department.”

In a statement, Trump thanked the Secret Service, Reno and Nevada law enforcement for “their fast and professional response.”

Analysis: ‘US election 2016 a head-on collision’

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 told Al Jazeera.

He added, though, that given many Republican politicians and a large number of Americans do not feel that Trump is capable of leading the US, the outcome of this election is incredibly difficult to predict.

“While the keys suggest a generic Republican, for the first time in over 30 years – and I’ve been right with this system before, I’m not a hedger – I have a big qualification, and that is in Donald Trump. The Republicans may have glummed on the one candidate that such a segment of the American people believe is unfit to hold the presidency, that he could break patterns that have been held since 1860 historically, and snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.”

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies