Election News

Updated Electoral Map Based on Polls

July 15, 2016

Here's the latest electoral map based on state-level polling. States not yet polled are in gray. Toss-up states (tan) are those where the average difference between Clinton & Trump is five points or less. The lighter blue/red reflect spreads of five to ten points, and the darkest blue/red greater than ten points.

There have been quite a few state polls this week, which have led to some shifts in the map. Most notably, Colorado and Virginia have moved from toss-up to leaning Clinton. On the other hand, national polls have been showing a tightening race. Since state polling isn't as frequent at this point in the campaign, this map may not fully capture the current state of the race.

This lack of frequency and/or recency can also yield some unlikely results. States like Kansas and Mississippi are not likely to stay where they are now as more data comes in.

The map below takes the polling map and applies the 2012 outcomes for unpolled states. Click it for an interactive version. 

 



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Reports: Mike Pence to be Donald Trump's Running Mate

July 14, 2016

The Indianapolis Star is reporting that governor Mike Pence is "dropping his re-election bid in Indiana to become Donald Trump's running mate. 

The New York Times is slightly more cautious with the news, saying "Trump's campaign has signaled strongly to Republicans in Washington that he will pick Mike Pence, the governor of Indiana, as his running mate, though Republicans caution the party’s mercurial presidential candidate may still backtrack on his apparent choice." 

Whether Pence or someone else, a formal announcement of Trump's choice is expected at 11:00AM Friday morning.


Poll: Presidential Race Tied As FBI Investigation Weighs on Clinton

July 14, 2016

A new poll from the New York Times and CBS News finds the presidential race tied nationally at 40%. The last time this poll was taken, Clinton had a six-point lead, 47-41%. 

 

According to the Times: "Clinton has emerged from the F.B.I. investigation into her email practices as secretary of state a wounded candidate with a large and growing majority of voters saying she cannot be trusted."

Overall, Clinton leads by 3.2% in the 270toWin Average of National Polls. 

Fully 20% of respondents, one out of every five registered voters, would not choose either Clinton or Trump. We looked back at some 2012 national polls conducted around the same time, and generally found this number to be less than 10%. For example, the same NYT/CBS poll in mid-July, 2012 also showed a tied race, but only 7% didn't prefer Barack Obama or Mitt Romney.

Many of those 20% may be looking for another option. As it turns out, the poll also tested a three-way race including Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson. Here the race was tied at 36%, with Johnson getting 12%. It is worth noting that if Johnson can reach an average of 15% in national polls, he could qualify for the first presidential debate, scheduled for September 26th in Dayton, Ohio.  The specific criteria are as follows:

"Under the 2016 criteria, in addition to being Constitutionally eligible, candidates must appear on a sufficient number of state ballots to have a mathematical chance of winning a majority vote in the Electoral College, and have a level of support of at least 15% of the national electorate as determined by five selected national public opinion polling organizations, using the average of those organizations' most recently publicly-reported results at the time of the determination. The polls to be relied upon will be selected based on the quality of the methodology employed, the reputation of the polling organizations and the frequency of the polling conducted. CPD will identify the selected polling organizations well in advance of the time the criteria are applied.

The CPD's determination with respect to participation in the CPD's first-scheduled debate will be made after Labor Day 2016, but sufficiently in advance of the first-scheduled debate to allow for orderly planning."


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.


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.  



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