President Barack Obama will get out on the road Tuesday to campaign for Hillary Clinton, his pick to replace him in the White House. If the polls are any indication, his timing could not be better.
Hillary Clinton's lead over presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump has slipped to just five points, according to the latest USA Today/Suffolk University poll released Monday. Just weeks ago, Clinton held a double digit lead, but the persistence of her State Department email scandal and the emergence of third party candidates has helped Trump close the gap.
The USA Today/Suffolk poll, which surveyed 1,000 likely voters from June 26 to June 29 with a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points, shows Clinton with a 45.6 percent to 40.4 percent lead. The same poll two months ago showed a score of 50 points to 39 points in favor Clinton.
In that time, the FBI's investigation into Clinton's use of a personal email account to handle State Department business while she was serving as secretary of state has continued to plague her campaign. A private meeting last week between Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton, and U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who will make the ultimate decision about whether Clinton will be indicted, has led some to call Lynch's objectivity into question. Clinton was also interviewed by the FBI regarding the email investigation, further fueling the scandal headlines.
Another factor affecting Clinton's shrinking lead: third party candidates. When Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein are tallied as potential options in the USA Today/Suffolk polls, Clinton’s lead over Trump drops to just four points. The two alternatives, especially Johnson, are receiving an abnormal amount of attention in a year where the major party candidates have record unfavorability numbers. Johnson is chasing the 15 percent mark in the polls that would qualify him for participation in the presidential debates down the road.
In the wake of the Clinton campaign's current slump, Obama is looking to come to the rescue. Obama will join Clinton Tuesday in Charlotte, North Carolina, for the pair's first joint campaign stop of the 2016 election cycle. Obama has already endorsed Clinton and plans to campaign for her heavily in order to help her defeat Trump.