Election News

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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Clinton Easily Wins Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico Votes Today

June 5, 2016

Hillary Clinton easily defeated Bernie Sanders in Saturday's Virgin Islands caucuses, winning at least six of the U.S. territory's seven delegates. This gives Clinton 2,322 delegates, just 61 from the required 2,383.

This article indicates Clinton won all seven delegates by virtue of Sanders only receiving 12% of the vote territory-wide, below the 15% required threshold. However, the island is divided into two 'districts, and Sanders exceeded 15% in one of them. It is possible that he may have won that 7th delegate. 

For now, we are showing the totals excluding that final delegate:

Today is the Puerto Rico primary, with 60 pledged delegates available. Polls are open from 8AM to 3PM Eastern Time.


Democrats in Two U.S. Territories Vote this Weekend

June 4, 2016

Democrats in two U.S. territories vote this weekend as Hillary Clinton closes in on her party's nomination. On Saturday, 7 delegates are available in the U.S. Virgin Islands caucuses. On Sunday, 60 more are available in the Puerto Rico primary.

Caucus hours in the Virgin Islands are 10AM to 6PM Atlantic Standard Time (AST) Saturday. Polls are open 8AM to 3PM AST in Puerto Rico on Sunday. Neither country is on Daylight Savings Time so these times are the same as Eastern Time.

Clinton enters the weekend just 70 delegates short of clinching the nomination. It's mathematically possible, although highly unlikely, that she could reach 2,383 this weekend.

The full June calendar is on the map below. Apart from the two territories this weekend, and Washington D.C., which votes on June 14, all the contests will be held this Tuesday, June 7th. 

 

Note that the delegate totals on this map include superdelegates. 


Field Poll: Clinton Leads Sanders by 2 in California

June 2, 2016

The final survey from the highly-regarded Field Poll in advance of next Tuesday's California primary gives Hillary Clinton a two-point lead over Bernie Sanders. This is the third poll in the last five to show Clinton with a two-point lead. The other two polls showed her with a double-digit lead. 

Clinton lead by six in Field's last poll, conducted in early April.

 

The poll found that Clinton leads by 9 among those who have already cast a ballot, while Sanders leads by one among those not yet voting. Mark DiCamillo, director of the Field Poll said that "it will boil down to turnout. If Sanders can get his voters to the polls, he could pull out a victory in California.”

As we noted yesterday, "regardless of how California turns out, Clinton will easily surpass the required 2,383 delegates (including committed superdelegates) next Tuesday. She is expected to arrive at the Philadelphia convention with a lead of about 300 pledged delegates, making a case against those superdelegates flipping their position. That said, a Sanders victory here would certainly give him momentum to push his policies at the convention."


Who Will Win the California Dem. Primary? 6 Days Out, Polls Tell a Conflicting Story

June 1, 2016

Six days out, polls say the California Democratic primary is either tied or Hillary Clinton leads by double-digits. Not much in-between. 

An NBC News/WSJ/Marist poll out Tuesday has Clinton up by just two on Bernie Sanders, well within the polls margin of error. This is consistent with a PPIC poll from last week, also showing Clinton up two. However, two other polls in recent days show Clinton up from 13 to 18 points.

 

The 270toWin polling average gives Clinton a lead of about 9 points. Unclear how useful an average is in this case.  

Regardless of how California turns out, Clinton will easily surpass the required 2,383 delegates (including committed superdelegates) next Tuesday. She is expected to arrive at the Philadelphia convention with a lead of about 300 pledged delegates, making a case against those superdelegates flipping their position. That said, a Sanders victory here would certainly give him momentum to push his policies at the convention. 

California's 475 pledged delegates are the largest number for any state. New Jersey, New Mexico, Montana and both Dakotas also hold events on June 7th. In total, it is the most delegate-rich day outside Super Tuesday for the Democrats


The Simulator Returns for 2016

May 31, 2016

The 270toWin simulator has returned for 2016, currently featuring the most likely November match-up: Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump. The tool populates an electoral map in about 15 seconds, based on a probability set for each state.

The probabilities will be determined by polling, particularly as that becomes more frequent. For now, a combination of polling, 2012 actual and pundit projections are considered.

New for 2016: The 2016 simulator is no longer coded in Flash, so it will work on your mobile device. Results can now split Maine and Nebraska, as there is at least some possibility that one congressional district in each of those states may be competitive in November. Finally, the map can be populated randomly or more East-to-West, based on actual poll closing times.

 

Additional new features will be coming soon.

The way the site is structured, we can only have one simulation pairing, and so we've chosen to launch (rather than wait) with the most likely fall match-up. For the Bernie Sanders fans out there, we continue to maintain the Sanders vs. Trump electoral map.


Gary Johnson Wins Libertarian Nomination

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 the map to create your own at 270toWin.com
 
Click/tap the map to use. Colorado is colored yellow for display purposes. Each state will rotate between the three available party options. 

Clinton Leads Trump in Late May Consensus Electoral Map

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).  


Donald Trump Clinches Republican Nomination, Reaching 1,237 Delegates

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.


Sanders, Clinton Virtually Tied in California; New Poll Finds

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.



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