Election News

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.

 



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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.


Jolly: Rubio Running for Reelection to Senate

June 17, 2016

According to Rep. David Jolly (FL-13), Senator Marco Rubio will reverse course and run for reelection this fall. Rubio had previously indicated he was not seeking a second term to focus on his presidential campaign. The unsuccessful conclusion to that, coupled with increasing GOP concern about maintaining Senate control is contributing to the apparent about-face.

This decision will set some dominoes in motion in the Sunshine State. Jolly, currently in the Senate race, is expected to defer to Rubio and instead run for re-election in his Congressional District. Jolly's official decision is expected at noon today. Jolly will face an uphill battle to hold his seat against former Gov. Charlie Crist in a district that is now more Democratic after court-ordered redistricting.

Rep. Ron DeSantis (FL-06), another Senate candidate, may choose to run for another term as well.

The filing deadline in Florida is June 24th, with the primary elections taking place on August 30th.

Assuming Rubio wins the primary, he would likely face either Rep. Patrick Murphy (FL-18) or Rep. Alan Grayson (FL-09). The race is currently seen as a toss-up by Sabato's Crystal Ball, a rating that is not expected to change in the near-term, even with a Rubio candidacy.


Updated State Poll Page Features

June 13, 2016

With the November match-up between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump now set (in all likelihood), we've updated our polling content for the general election.

On the polling home page, you can review the most recent general election poll for each state. Initially sorted by date, these can be sorted alphabetically, or by competitiveness. Each state listed has a link to polling detail for the state, as well as a new 'when did it last happen?' feature.

Using Florida as an example, the top part of the page lists the available Clinton vs. Trump general election polls.

Where sufficient polling is available, an average is displayed. It is also easy to compare the two most recent surveys by the same pollster.

The 2nd part of the page introduces a new feature that displays the various combinations for state and election winner and when it last happened. For example, the last time a Republican won Florida while a Democrat won the election was in 1992. 

You can view each map on the poll page by selecting the year or click/tap the map for more details about the specific presidential election.


President Obama Endorses Hillary Clinton for President

June 9, 2016

President Obama has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president in a new video out this afternoon. 

The endorsement comes on the heels of Obama's meeting with Bernie Sanders at the White House earlier today. 


Clinton Wins California

June 8, 2016

Hillary Clinton has won California, according to the Associated Press (AP) and other media outlets. This gave Clinton four victories out of the six states where Democrats voted Tuesday night. More importantly, it avoided the prospect, based on tightening polls, that the presumptive Democratic nominee would lose the nation's most populous state to Bernie Sanders.

 

Clinton, with an estimated 2,755 delegates, is now almost 400 delegates clear of the 2,383 required to win the nomination. She's less than 200 short of achieving that number based on pledged delegates alone. 

As of late last night, before Clinton was known to have won California, Sanders said he would remain in the race.


Clinton Leads California; Will Achieve Pledged Delegate Majority

June 8, 2016

With 82% of the vote counted, Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders by about 14 points in California. The race remains uncalled by the Associated Press at this hour.

 

Elsewhere Tuesday, Clinton easily won New Jersey, the other large delegate prize of night. She has also been declared the winner in New Mexico and South Dakota, while Sanders won in Montana and North Dakota.

Turning to delegates, Clinton has thus far picked up 114 on the night to Sanders 94. Clinton is now 100 delegates from winning a majority of pledged delegates (2,026), a number she'll easily surpass once California's 475 delegates are allocated. She will remain about 200 pledged delegates short of an overall majority (2,383); she is the presumptive nominee as superdelegates committing to her have made up the difference.

 

On the Republican side, Donald Trump won all five primaries, adding 297 delegates to his total.


AP: Clinton Clinches Democratic Nomination

June 6, 2016

Hillary Clinton has secured enough delegates to win the Democratic nomination, according to the Associated Press. Clinton becomes the first woman in U.S. history to lead a major party in the race for the White House.

She has reached 2,383 delegates, the exact number needed to win, as an additional block of superdelegates has apparently committed to vote for her at the Democratic convention in July. 

Clinton was expected to easily cross the threshold tomorrow, when six states hold contests. However, the AP apparently surveyed uncommitted superdelegates and found enough to get her to 2,383. We noted this as a possibility yesterday, as the AP did something similar on the Republican side, making Donald Trump the presumptive nominee on May 26th; earlier than the expected date of June 7th. 

For their part, the Bernie Sanders campaign disagrees with the AP's assessment, putting out this statement:


Six Democratic Contests Tuesday: Polling & Delegate Preview

June 6, 2016

After strong showings in Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands, Hillary Clinton is poised to become the presumptive Democratic nominee Tuesday night, easily surpassing the 2,383 delegates required to win. As of Monday morning, Clinton is just 26 delegates short of the magic number.

Nearly 700 pledged delegates are available in the six contests Tuesday, which includes five primaries and the North Dakota caucus. The first polls close in New Jersey at 8PM ET. Clinton leads the polls by 21 points over Bernie Sanders there, and she will likely cross the delegate threshold before voting ends in any of the other states. 

The big prize is California, with 475 pledged delegates. The polls close there at 11PM ET. Sanders has drawn nearly even in recent polling. A Sanders win there would make for an odd evening for Democrats, bookended on one end by Clinton being declared the presumptive nominee, only to have her lose the largest Democratic state a few hours later. 

Limited polling in New Mexico points to a Clinton victory. No polling is available in the other states. However, Sanders has won every other state in that part of the country so he should do well.

The table below allocates delegates assuming the polling averages are exactly right. It also assumes the statewide vote is the same in each congressional district. That won't be the case, but with proportional allocation and only two candidates, it is a pretty good proxy.

Even assuming Sanders takes most of the Dakotas and Montana delegates, Clinton will likely end up in the neighborhood of 2,700 delegates, 300+ clear of the needed number and a lead of well over 800 on Sanders. Clinton will still be about 200 short based on pledged delegates, but with a 300-325 delegate margin expected in that category, there's little reason to believe superdelegates will switch en masse barring a major 'black swan' event between now and the Democratic convention in late July.

The one remaining Democratic primary is June 14 in District of Columbia.



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