Election News

List of Prospective Running Mates

July 12, 2016

NPR recently ran articles listing a set of prospective running mates for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. For each prospect, a short biography was included as well as a brief (100 words or less) narrative.

While the lists are extensive, the ultimate choice for one or both nominees could be someone else. For example, today brings news of a new name being vetted by Clinton, retired Admiral James Stavridis. 

Donald Trump

NPR listed eleven prospective running mates for Donald Trump. The list is comprised of four current Senators, four current Governors and three former officeholders. Trump has said he's likely to pick someone with political experience. Since the NPR article came out (July 7), a military name has surfaced: Retired Lt. General Michael T. Flynn. 

Trump is likely to make a decision this week, with the Republican convention starting next Monday in Cleveland. One reported frontrunner, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, faces a Friday noon deadline to appear on the ballot for reelection or as vice presidential candidate. State law precludes him from doing both.

Hillary Clinton

Having achieved some level of party harmony with the endorsement of Bernie Sanders, Clinton can now finalize her choice of a running mate in advance of the Democratic convention, beginning July 25 in Philadelphia. NPR lists 8 possibilities in their article out July 12th.

  

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine is frequently cited as a frontrunner. Supporters of Sanders might be more enthusiastic with a choice from the more progressive wing of the party, such as Senators Sherrod Brown of Ohio or Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. The article notes that Labor Secretary Tom Perez is very popular with labor unions and is a close friend of the presumptive Democratic nominee.



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Sanders Set to Endorse Clinton Today

July 12, 2016

Bernie Sanders is expected to endorse Hillary Clinton at a rally today in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Per NBC News, "...the joint event with Sanders, an unexpectedly fierce challenger who tried to stage a hostile takeover of the Democratic Party, will carry special emotion and significance. The event helps fuse two wings of the Democratic party together that, despite their real differences, seem to be closer together than their counterparts across the aisle."

The rally is scheduled to begin at 11:00AM Eastern Time.

Clinton's expected general election opponent, Donald Trump, took to Twitter with his thoughts on the endorsement:  


Bayh to Enter Indiana Senate Race; Likely Republican Hold Now Competitive

July 11, 2016

Evan Bayh will replace Baron Hill as the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate in Indiana, instantly transforming a race that favored Republican nominee Todd Young into a toss-up. Hill withdrew from the race Monday morning.

Bayh previously served two terms in the U.S. Senate, opting not to run for reeleection in 2010. He was succeeded by Republican Dan Coats, who opted not to run in 2016. (Interestingly, Coats also preceded Bayh in the Senate). Todd Young, who currently represents Indiana's 9th District in the House of Representatives, won the Republican nomination and will face Bayh in November. 

All 3 pundits that we follow on our Senate Race Ratings page reclassified the race to toss-up with this change. The PredictIt price for the Indiana Democratic Senate nominee more than doubled, from 24 cents to 57 cents as of Monday afternoon.

 

According to Sabato's Crystal Ball, 11 of this year's 34 Senate races are seen as competitive, defined here as toss-up or leaning to one party. All but one of these are currently held by Republicans. Democrats need to gain 4 or 5 seats to take control in 2017. Those ratings are reflected on the map below. Click it for an interactive version you can use to create and share your own 2016 Senate forecast. 



 

Trump Campaign Focusing on 17 States in General Election

July 7, 2016

Donald Trump's political director, Jim Murphy, told House members that the campaign would focus on 17 states this fall, the Wall Street Journal reports. Included are 12 states Barack Obama won in both 2008 and 2012 (145 electoral votes) and five states Mitt Romney won in 2012. Not in the list are extreme longshots like California and New York, states Trump has previously indicated would be competitive for him. 



The five 2012 red states have been Republican safe havens in recent history, although Obama won North Carolina and Indiana in 2008. Perhaps with an eye on polling and/or demographics, the Trump campaign must feel the need to play some defense to hold these states.
 
Looking at the 2012 map, with the Trump targets as undecided, gives us this map: 
Many of the blue states 'in play' with this strategy are the traditional battlegrounds, although Minnesota hasn't voted Republican since Richard Nixon won there in 1972. Other than DC, that is the longest single party streak in the country. Maine isn't seen as a battleground either, but recent polling has indicated at least one electoral vote could be competitive there. New Mexico isn't listed, despite having voted Republican as recently as 2004.  The campaign must think that state's demographics are too much to overcome. Finally, Utah isn't on the list, despite several polls indicating Mormon dislike for Trump could put the state in play this November.

Consensus Electoral Map Update: Pennsylvania Moves to Toss-up

July 7, 2016

Pennsylvania has moved from leaning Clinton to toss-up in the latest iteration of the Consensus Pundit Electoral Map. While Clinton has led in almost every Pennsylvania poll this year, most surveys fall within the margin of error, and more pros are identifying the state as a potential battleground this November.

It seems that each election cycle, Pennsylvania appears competitive for a time, but ultimately votes Democratic. The last time the state voted Republican was in 1988. This article highlights the ten counties that could decide if that changes in 2016.

Clinton leads 233-191, with 114 electoral votes in toss-up states. 

 

To arrive at the consensus map, we assign a point value to each rating category. From there we calculate the average rating. Those average ratings determine the consensus rating, which may or may not be the most frequent one. For example, only states rated safe by all seven pundits are shown in the darkest shade of blue or red.  

Correction (July 8): Recent ratings adjustments have moved Mississippi and Montana from 'likely' to 'safe' Trump. The original map posted above did not reflect those changes. This moved 9 electoral votes to safe Trump, although the total of 191 is unchanged.


Clinton Maintains Lead in Updated NBC Battleground Map

July 1, 2016

Hillary Clinton maintains her edge in the July 1 update to the NBC Battleground Map. The NBC Political Unit made several ratings changes from their first map in early May, but the net effect was minimal. The new map gives Clinton a 255-190 lead over Donald Trump vs. 253-190 in May.

From NBC: "The big changes from two months ago: We moved Florida from Tossup to Lean Dem; Nevada and Pennsylvania from Lean Dem to Tossup; Utah from Likely GOP to Lean GOP; Mississippi and Montana from Lean GOP to Likely GOP; and New Jersey from Lean Dem to Likely Dem."

An interactive version of the map is available on 270toWin. Use it to create and share your 2016 presidential election forecast. 


Consensus Electoral Map Little Changed in Recent Weeks

June 28, 2016

The latest consensus electoral map, now aggregating the electoral ratings of seven forecasters, shows little change since the last map in late May. Hillary Clinton still leads Donald Trump by 253-191, with seven states, representing 94 electoral votes, seen as toss-ups.

Only Utah has shifted since late May, moving from safe to likely for Trump. Forecasters are likely responding to a couple polls showing the state could be competitive, reflecting less than enthusiastic support for the presumptive Republican nominee from the Mormon community. 

To arrive at the consensus map, we assign a point value to each rating category. From there we calculate the average rating. Those average ratings determine the consensus rating, which may or may not be the most frequent one. For example, only states rated safe by all seven pundits are shown in the darkest shade of blue or red.  


Clinton Leads By 7 In Maine; Competitive 2nd District May Put One Electoral Vote in Play

June 26, 2016

Hillary Clinton has a seven point lead over Donald Trump in a new poll conducted for the Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram. This is the first Maine poll conducted this cycle (that we've seen). If the state played out this way, it would be the closest election result there since 2000, when Al Gore defeated George W. Bush by nine points. Barack Obama won in 2008 and 2012 with margins in the mid-teens.

The survey also broke down the vote within each of the state's two congressional districts. This is relevant as Maine is one of only two states to award its electoral votes partially based on the vote within each district. In the more rural 2nd district, the poll showed Trump with a one point lead on Clinton, 37-36, meaning one of the state's four electoral votes may be in play this year. Maine has never split its electoral votes since the current system was implemented in advance of the 1972 election. In 2012, Obama defeated Mitt Romney by about 8.5% in this district.

 


Swing State Poll Shows Tight Race in OH and PA; Clinton Lead in FL

June 21, 2016

A new series of swing state polls from Quinnipiac show a very competitive general election battle in Ohio and Pennsylvania, while Clinton has a fairly significant lead in Florida.

Ohio:  Quinnipiac found the race tied at 40-40, a small improvement for Clinton over their last survey in mid May, which gave Trump a 4-point lead. It is worth noting that no Republican has ever won the presidency without winning Ohio, while 1960 was the last time a Democrat won while losing the state. (Put another way, the state has sided with the winner in every election since 1964, the longest such streak in the country). The Consensus Pundit Map shows the state as a toss-up.

 

Pennsylvania: Clinton leads by one, 42-41, in the poll, indicating the race is essentially tied in the most delegate-rich competitive state in the rust belt. Almost all polling in this state has shown a competitive race, notable in a state that has voted Democratic since 1992. The Consensus Map shows the state as leaning Clinton. This distinguishes it from Ohio and Florida, seen as toss-ups, although that's probably somewhat based on recent history, as those other two states voted Republican as recently as 2004.

 

Florida: Quinnipiac found an eight point lead for Clinton here, up from just one five weeks ago. While Trump can win without Florida, it would likely require a near-sweep of rust belt states that haven't voted Republican in a generation. In a separate article from earlier this week, we discussed paths to victory for Clinton and Trump. The Consensus Map shows Florida as a toss-up.

 


Paths to Victory for Clinton and Trump

June 19, 2016

Politico is out with two articles discussing the Clinton and Trump paths to 270 electoral votes this November.

Hillary Clinton's Path to Victory:  "Rather than expand the 2012 map in any significant way, the Clinton campaign and its allies want to replicate it." 19 states, representing 242 electoral votes have voted Democratic in each election since 1992. The map below reflects all states that have voted the same in these last six elections.

 

If that 'blue wall' holds and Clinton wins Florida, the race is over. Even without Florida, there are many paths to victory via other states Obama won twice, including Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio and Virginia. Clinton's super PAC is planning to spend $145 million in these six states, Florida and North Carolina, which Obama won once.

Donald Trump's Path to Victory: "Trump's team is aiming to capture America's Rust Belt -- specifically Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin -- where polls generally show him performing better than Mitt Romney did at this point in 2012. If he can capture Florida and keep North Carolina — the 2012 red state of the lightest hue — a strong showing that includes capture of the Rust Belt could, Trump’s team believes, put him over the top." 

In the map below, we've started with the actual 2012 result, moving the four rust belt states to Trump. We kept Florida blue to highlight that Trump can reach exactly 270 by winning those four states, keeping everything else the same from 2012.  

 

If Trump was able to flip Florida in the above scenario, he would not need to win all four of the rust belt states. He need only win Pennsylvania and either Ohio or Michigan. He could also get there by losing Pennsylvania and winning the other three states.

While Trump's team is pursuing the rust belt strategy, it is worth noting that the candidate himself believes he can put 'blue wall' states such as California, New York, New Jersey and Maryland into play. To that end, a Trump super PAC is spending on national cable ads as opposed to focusing on the traditional battleground states.



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