May 29, 2016
Libertarians have selected former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson as their party's 2016 presidential nominee. He won on the 2nd ballot at this weekend's party convention in Orlando.
Johnson has selected former Massachusetts governor William Weld as his running mate. As of this writing, Weld has not been nominated, and there is some possibility his candidacy will be rejected. UPDATE: Weld was nominated as Johnson's running mate.
Johnson was also the party's 2012 nominee, when he received almost 1.3 million votes, about 1% of the general election total. That marked the highest vote count for a Libertarian in any presidential election. Percentage-wise, it was slightly less than the 1.06% total that Ed Clark (VP David Koch) received in 1980. In neither case did the party win any electoral votes.
No 3rd party candidate has won electoral votes since 1968? Will that change this year? Game it out with our interactive 3-way electoral map that includes the Libertarian Party.
Click/tap the map to use. Colorado is colored yellow for display purposes. Each state will rotate between the three available party options.
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May 29, 2016
Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump 253-191 in this early look at the consensus electoral map for the 2016 general election. This particular map combines the projections of five pundits as of late May. Click or tap the map to use it as a starting point for your own 2016 forecast.
Only states rated safe by all five pros are shown in the deepest blue and red on the map. Five additional states were rated safe by four of five (MS, MT, NJ, NM, OR).
The general election campaign is just getting underway, so much could change, particularly given the dynamics of the 2016 race. However, if the map ended up this way, Florida and Ohio would be must-win among the toss-up states. In addition, this particular map has no tie possibilities. Use The Road to 270 below the map to investigate different paths to victory for each candidate. That feature updates with each change you make to the map.
The specific pundit maps used:
Sabato's Crystal Ball, Cook Political Report, Rothenberg-Gonzales Political Report, NBC Political Unit and The Fix (Washington Post).
May 26, 2016
The Associated Press reported Thursday morning that Donald Trump has reached the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination.
While this was not expected until June 7th, "Trump was put over the top in the Associated Press delegate count by a small number of the party's unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the national convention in July."
These unbound delegates are akin to superdelegates on the Democratic side, although far fewer in number. The AP query netted additional unbound delegates from North Dakota and Pennsylvania, among others.
Trump will be officially nominated at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland the week of July 18th.
May 26, 2016
A new poll from the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) shows a virtual tie between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sander. Clinton leads by just two points, 46% to 44%.
Polling results for the Democratic nomination has been inconsistent, generally showing a tight race or a blowout, with not much in-between. Two SurveyUSA polls this month, including one earlier this week, give Clinton a lead of almost 20 points, while a Fox News poll from late April also showed a two point margin. If we average the PPIC and recent SurveyUSA polls, this gives Clinton a 10% lead.
Regardless of where the result lands, the outcome is unlikely to change the trajectory of the race. Thanks in part to superdelegates, Hillary Clinton will surpass the 2,383 delegates needed to win the nomination on June 7th, when California is joined by a number of other states in the last big day of the Democratic calendar. Sitting at 2,305 delegates, Clinton is just 78 away from being declared the winner.
The math remains daunting for Sanders even excluding superdelegates. He would need to win roughly 2/3 of the remaining pledged delegates to catch her in that category. A loss in California, even a small one, would require him to win at least 85% of the popular vote in just about every other remaining contest.*
While neither Clinton nor Sanders will arrive at the Philadelphia convention with 2,383 pledged delegates, Clinton will likely have won about 300 more than Sanders. That makes it difficult to envision that hundreds of superdelegates will change their previously stated preference for the Democratic frontrunner.
* Democratic delegates in each contest are proportionately allocated, with a 15% threshold to qualify for any.
May 25, 2016
As expected, Donald Trump easily won the Washington state primary on Tuesday, getting about 76% of the vote. Withdrawn candidates Ted Cruz, John Kasich and Ben Carson were also on the ballot.
Trump's win adds 40 delegates to his total, the state's other 4 delegates remain to be allocated. This brings him to 1,209 delegates, just 28 from the 1,237 needed to win the nomination. He is expected to cross the finish line at 8PM on June 7th, when he is declared the winner of the New Jersey primary and that state's 51 winner take all delegates.
June 7th is the next and final date on the Republican calendar. In addition to New Jersey, four other states will hold contests that day, with 303 total delegates.
May 24, 2016
A new California poll by SurveyUSA gives Hillary Clinton a 57% to 39% lead over Bernie Sanders. This finding is little changed from another survey by the same firm earlier in May.
California holds its primary June 7th, the last big date on the Democratic nominating calendar. Owing largely to the Golden State's 475 pledged delegates, the date trails only Super Tuesday in the number of delegates available.
The table below summarizes the remaining Democratic events, along with polling - only available in California and New Jersey thus far - and an estimated delegate allocation for those two states based on those polls.*
Hillary Clinton will be reported to have clinched the Democratic nomination on June 7th, easily surpassing the 2,383 delegates needed to win. However, she will likely be about 150 short of that total based purely on pledged (event) delegates alone. For that outcome to change, the Sanders campaign would need to flip several hundred superdelegates by the time they cast their vote at the party's Philadelphia convention this July. Given that Clinton will win the pledged delegate race by about 400, this seems unlikely.
* Democratic allocation is proportional, some based on the statewide vote, some on the result within each congressional district. The delegate estimate assumes that the statewide polling average applies in each district. That won't be the case but with only two candidates expected to get the vast majority of the vote, many of the differences should offset each other.
May 24, 2016
Washington state Republicans will have their voices heard today in the final May primary. While no polling is available, most of the state's 44 delegates will likely go to presumptive nominee Donald Trump. The election is conducted by mail, with ballots due back no later than 8PM Pacific Time.
Trump enters the day with 1,169 delegates, just 68 short of the 1,237 needed to clinch the Republican nomination. He will easily surpass that number on June 7th, the final date of the Republican nominating calendar. 303 delegates, mostly from California, are available on that date.
May 22, 2016
Two polls out Sunday, one from ABC/Washington Post and another from NBC/Wall Street Journal show the 2016 presidential race has become a toss-up. The NBC/WSJ poll has Hillary Clinton up by three, while ABC/WP has Donald Trump up by two.
The last time these surveys were taken, Clinton was at 50%, with a 9 to 11 point lead over Trump. The narrowing spread is not surprising as the November match-up has moved from hypothetical in March/April to highly likely. As the race becomes more concrete, people naturally return to their partisan corners. In particular, Trump seems to be consolidating party support. The NBC/WSJ poll found Republicans prefer him to Clinton by 86% to 6%, vs. 72% to 13% last month.
The NBC/WSJ poll also looked at Sanders vs. Trump. As has usually been the case, Sanders performs better than the former Secretary of State. Sanders leads 54%-39% over Trump. Separately, ABC/WP considered a three-way race including 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney. In this case, Clinton leads by two, 37%-35% over Trump; Romney scored a surprisingly robust 22%.
For more, see our 2016 polls page, where you can review national and state-by-state surveys. We also have a Clinton vs. Trump electoral map that is based on state-level polling.
May 20, 2016
The announced retirements this week of Democrat Mark Takai (HI-01) and Republican Curt Clawson (FL-19) bring to 44 the number of House members not seeking reelection to their seat in 2016. This is just over 10% of the 435 voting members. In addition, two others will not be in the same seat next year: Democrat Chaka Fattah (PA-02) lost in a primary; Republican Randy Forbes (VA-04) is running in VA-02 after court-ordered redistricting.
Of these 46, 28 are Republicans, 18 are Democrats. As with the House as a whole, most of these seats are expected to stay with the same party. Three are likely to change hands, two in Florida and one in Virginia, all related to court-ordered redistricting. Only two Democratic and seven Republican seats are seen as toss-ups at this point. All ratings courtesy of Sabato's Crystal Ball.
Of the 46, 28 are retiring, 14 are running for Senate (two of those have already been defeated in a primary), 3 are running for other offices and one lost in their House primary.
Republicans control the House by a 246-188 margin; that will likely increase to 247 after the June 7 special election in OH-08 to fill the seat of former Speaker John Boehner. Looking ahead, the Sabato team sees 221 seats as safe or likely for Republicans in November, vs. 184 for Democrats. 30 seats are more competitive, including 18 toss-ups.
The bottom line is that Republicans are very likely to lose some but not all of their majority in 2016. 218 seats are needed for control. You can create your own forecast using our Interactive House Map.
May 18, 2016
Bernie Sanders had another good night Tuesday but Hillary Clinton moved to within 100 delegates of clinching the Democratic nomination. Sanders won Oregon by about 9 points and appears to have come within a whisker of taking Kentucky. The Bluegrass State still has not been called by Associated Press as of this writing, although some media outlets are characterizing Clinton as the 'apparent winner'. She leads by about 0.5%.
Regardless of who wins Kentucky, proportional allocation means roughly a 50/50 split there. As of this morning, 27 delegates have been awarded to each, with one still outstanding. In Oregon, despite a decent Sanders margin, he only won four more delegates --28 to 24 -- than Clinton.
As of this morning, Clinton has 2,291 delegates, just 92 away from the 2,383 required to win the nomination.
On the Republican side, Donald Trump won Oregon and moved to within 77 of the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch.
Both Clinton and Trump should cross the delegate finish line on June 7. Between now and then, the election calendar is light. Next Tuesday, Republicans will vote in Washington followed by Democratic caucuses in the Virgin Islands on June 4 and Puerto Rico on June 5. The final big day of the primary season is the aforementioned June 7. California headlines five primaries that day.