Poll: Hillary Clinton enjoys lead in early voting

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - As the country inches closer to the U.S. presidential election, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton leads Republican Donald Trump by 15 percentage points among early voters surveyed in the past two weeks, according to the Reuters/Ipsos States of the Nation project.

Though data is not available for all early voting states, Clinton enjoys an edge in swing states such as Ohio and Arizona and in Republican Party strongholds such as Georgia and Texas.

An estimated 19 million Americans have voted so far in the election, according to the University of Florida's United States Election Project, accounting for as much as 20 percent of the electorate.

RELATED: Hillary Clinton addresses FBI email probe

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Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a news conference at Theodore Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, Iowa, Friday, Oct. 28, 2016. The FBI dropped what amounts to a political bomb on the Clinton campaign on Friday when it announced it was investigating whether new emails involving the Democratic presidential nominee contain classified information.

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, right, accompanied by campaign manager Robby Mook, second from right, and traveling press secretary Nick Merrill, second from left, departs after speaking at a news conference at Theodore Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, Iowa, Friday, Oct. 28, 2016. Clinton is calling on the FBI to release more information about its review of emails that may be related to its investigation into her private server.

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

DES MOINES, IA - OCTOBER 28: Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to reporters following a campaign rally at Roosevelt High School on October 28, 2016 in Des Moines, Iowa. With less than two weeks to go until election day, Hillary Clinton is campaigning in Iowa.

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, center, accompanied by traveling press secretary Nick Merrill, left, arrives to speak at a news conference at Theodore Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, Iowa, Friday, Oct. 28, 2016. The FBI dropped what amounts to a political bomb on the Clinton campaign on Friday when it announced it was investigating whether new emails involving the Democratic presidential nominee contain classified information.

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton holds an unscheduled news conference to talk about FBI inquiries into her emails after a campaign rally in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S. October 28, 2016.

(REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton leaves after an unscheduled news conference on FBI inquiries about her emails after a campaign rally in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S. October 28, 2016.

(REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton answers a question during a press conference about the FBI's reopening of a probe into her use of a private email server while secretary of State, in Des Moines, Iowa, on October 28, 2016. The FBI dealt Hillary Clinton's seemingly unstoppable White House campaign a stunning blow Friday by reopening a probe into her use of a private email server while secretary of state. / AFP / JEWEL SAMAD

(JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, left, accompanied by traveling press secretary Nick Merrill, center, departs after speaking at a news conference at Theodore Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, Iowa, Friday, Oct. 28, 2016. Clinton is calling on the FBI to release more information about its review of emails that may be related to its investigation into her private server.

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

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Overall, Clinton remained on track to win a majority of votes in the Electoral College, the Reuters/Ipsos survey showed.

Having so many ballots locked down before the Nov. 8 election is good news for the Clinton campaign. On Friday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced that it is examining newly discovered emails belonging to Clinton's close aide, Huma Abedin. Those emails were found on a computer belonging to Anthony Weiner, Abedin's estranged husband, during an unrelated investigation into illicit messages he is alleged to have sent to a teenage girl. The Reuters/Ipsos survey was conducted before the news emerged Friday afternoon.

It remains unclear whether the FBI inquiry will upset the balance in the race. The bureau disclosed nothing about the Abedin emails, including whether any of the messages were sent by or to Clinton. Over the summer, the FBI said it was closing its investigation into Clinton's use of a private email system while secretary of state. Until Friday, her campaign seemed to have weathered the initial FBI email probe.

SEE ALSO: Donald Trump gives a grateful shout out to Anthony Weiner

Clinton has held a lead averaging four to seven percentage points in polls in recent weeks as the Trump campaign wrestled with accusations by women of groping and other sexual advances. Trump has said none of the accusations are true. He also struggled in the recent presidential debates and faced questions about his taxes.

As of Thursday, Clinton's odds of receiving the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the presidency remained at greater than 95 percent, according to State of the Nation polling results released Saturday. The project estimated she would win by 320 votes to 218, with 278 votes solidly for the Democrat.

Early polls indicate Hillary is in the lead:

Clinton's lead among early voters is similar to the lead enjoyed by President Barack Obama over Republican Mitt Romney at this point of the 2012 race, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll taken at the time. Obama won the election by 332 electoral votes to Romney's 206.

But even before the latest email news, it had been a difficult week for Clinton. News coverage of Trump's accusers had diminished, while Clinton confronted the almost daily release by WikiLeaks of emails purportedly hacked from her campaign manager's account. This week's leaked messages raised questions about former President Bill Clinton's finances.

And her lead in the States of the Nation project fell slightly from last week. Though the projected Electoral College votes hardly moved, the number of states solidly for Clinton slid from 25 to 20 this week. Trump didn't see any additional states tilt solidly to him, but he did see some gains: The swing states of Pennsylvania, Colorado, Iowa and Nevada all moved from leaning to Clinton to being too close to call.

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Michelle Obama campaigns for Hillary Clinton
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First lady Michelle Obama (L) and U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton wave after a campaign rally in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, October 27, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (L) arrives to a campaign rally accompanied by U.S. first lady Michelle Obama in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, U.S., October 27, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton listens as U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama speaks during a campaign rally in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, U.S., October 27, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. first lady Michelle Obama embraces U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as they arrive at a campaign rally in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, U.S., October 27, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton arrives to a campaign rally accompanied by U.S. first lady Michelle Obama in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, U.S., October 27, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. first lady Michelle Obama speaks during a campaign rally in support of U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, U.S., October 27, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Supporters touch U.S. first lady Michelle Obama hand after she delivers a speech during a campaign rally in support of U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, U.S., October 27, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton reacts as she introduces U.S. first lady Michelle Obama during a campaign rally in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, U.S., October 27, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
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Still, Trump's path to a victory is narrow, and any realistic chance rests on his winning Ohio, North Carolina and Florida. As of Thursday, Ohio remained a toss-up. Florida and North Carolina were still tilting toward Clinton, according to the States of the Nation results.

Early voting data for Florida and North Carolina was not yet available this week. In Ohio, Clinton led Trump by double digits among early voters. The project's broader polling suggests the state is deadlocked between the two candidates.

In Arizona, Clinton also was solidly ahead among early voters. In the past month, Arizona has gradually moved from a solid Trump state to a marginal Clinton state, although it is still too close to call, according to the project results.

In Georgia, she enjoyed a similar lead among early voters. Overall, Georgia leans to Trump, but his lead narrowed to five percentage points this week, down from eights points last week and 13 points a month ago.

SEE ALSO: Eric Holder condemns FBI Director Comey over Clinton 'mistake'

Even in Texas, where Trump enjoys a sizable lead, Clinton has a double-digit edge among early voters, according to project results.

The States of the Nation project is a survey of about 15,000 people every week in all 50 states plus Washington D.C. State by state results are available by visiting http://www.reuters.com/statesofthenation/

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