August 25, 2016
For third party candidates, ballot access is crucial if polling support is to translate into votes on Election Day. As of now, Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson is on the ballot in 43 states + DC, with efforts underway to get access in the remaining seven states. Green Party nominee Jill Stein is on the ballot in 35 states + DC.
Johnson's ballot access represents 487 of 538 electoral votes, while Stein is at 425. Although clearly less desirable, it is worth noting that some states allow limited access via write-in for names not printed on the ballot.
Both Johnson and Stein are repeat nominees for their parties. In 2012, Johnson was on the ballot in all but Michigan and Oklahoma. Stein was on the ballot in 36 states + DC.
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August 23, 2016
The Clinton campaign is opening a field office in Salt Lake City, the USA Today reports. Although no Democrat has won the state since 1964 and Mitt Romney won by almost 50 points in 2012, the campaign sees an opportunity in the high unfavorable ratings for Donald Trump.
A new poll out today, however, shows it will be a steep climb. Public Policy finds Trump ahead by 20 points in a head-head match-up vs. Clinton. When third parties are included, Trump's lead drops to 15 points, with Gary Johnson receiving 12%. Independent Evan McMullin, who entered the race on August 10th, is at 9%. (McMullin, a member of the Mormon church, would be expected to see his best numbers in the state, where he is already on the ballot.)
August 23, 2016
Hillary Clinton has opened up a 19 point lead over Donald Trump in Virginia, a new poll from Roanoke College finds. This is the fourth August poll finding the Democratic nominee with a double digit lead. When 3rd party nominees are included, the lead is 16 points. The last time Roanoke surveyed the Commonwealth, back in May, the race was tied.
Clinton's average lead over Trump is now well over 10%, placing the state into the 'Safe Clinton' category in the Electoral Map Based on Polls. It is worth noting that Virginia was one of only four states decided by 5 points or less in 2012. The last time Virginia was decided by 10 points or more was when George H.W. Bush defeated Michael Dukakis by about 20% in 1988. The last time a Democrat won by 10 points here was in 1944, when FDR won by 25% over Thomas E. Dewey.
August 21, 2016
The Associated Press is out with an analysis of the electoral map this weekend, reporting that "Hillary Clinton heads into the fall out front in enough states to give her at least a tie in the Electoral College, meaning a victory in any of the several states now a toss-up would be enough to push her over the top and into the White House.
Here's a look at the AP ratings on our electoral map. Click or tap the map to view an interactive version.
August 15, 2016
The August 15 update* to the Consensus Pundit Electoral Map gives Hillary Clinton 279 electoral votes to 191 for Donald Trump; 68 electoral votes in four states are seen as true toss-ups.
The main changes from the prior map were to move Virginia and New Hampshire from toss-up to leaning Clinton. This was enough to push Clinton across the 270 electoral vote threshold for the first time. Several red states also became more competitive, with Kansas and South Carolina moving from safe to likely Trump, Missouri from likely to leaning Trump.
Click the map above to use it as a starting point for your own 2016 forecast. You can also review the individual forecasts (links above the map) that make up the Consensus Map.
* This article was first published based on updates as of early Monday, August 15. Subsequent updates that morning led to additional modifications of the map. The article and image were updated to take these changes into account.
August 12, 2016
Hillary Clinton leads by 14 in Colorado, 13 in Virginia, 9 in North Carolina and 5 in Florida, according to a new series of battleground polls from NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist.
With today's result, Virginia moves to Lean Clinton in the electoral map based on polls, putting the Democratic nominee across 270 electoral votes for the first time.
Click/tap the map to use it as a starting point for your 2016 election forecast.
While the poll numbers have been very good for Clinton the past couple weeks, keep in mind that polling is only a snapshot in time. The election is still more than 12 weeks away and this map will likely change considerably as the election nears and more polling is available. Whether future polls reverse course and show a closer race, or move in a direction where we're left with little suspense as to who will win on Election Day remains to be seen.
August 12, 2016
While other traditionally red states have shown signs of being competitive this November, the Lone Star State still looks safe for Donald Trump. The Republican nominee leads Hillary Clinton by 11 points in Texas, a new poll from Dixie Strategies finds.
This is the first Texas poll since the conventions, with the 11 point lead slightly wider than the 7-8 point lead found in a couple of late June Texas polls.
Texas has voted Republican since 1980. Its 38 electoral votes (up from 26 in that 1980 election) are the 2nd most in the country, only trailing California.
Bookmark our presidential election polls page to track the polls and their impact on the electoral map. On that page, you can see the 270toWin Polling Average for each state. You can sort those state averages various ways, including by level of competitiveness. The page also includes a link to the electoral map based on polls and a running list of the most recent presidential and Senate polls.
August 11, 2016
The first 2016 survey of South Carolina shows a tight race in a state not won by a Democrat since Jimmy Carter in 1976. Public Policy finds Donald Trump leading by 2 points 41%-39%, with 5% supporting Gary Johnson.
The surprisingly narrow margin seems to be office-specific, as the same poll found incumbent Republican Senator Tim Scott with a 17 point lead over his Democratic challenger.
South Carolina moves to toss-up in the electoral map based on polls.
August 10, 2016
Hillary Clinton continues to get good news in the polls. Today it is from Wisconsin. The mid-August release of the well-respected Marquette Law poll gives her a 15 point lead over Donald Trump, a gain of 11 points from mid-July. Including 3rd parties, the lead remains well into double digits.
Wisconsin last voted Republican in the Reagan landslide of 1984. Barack Obama won by 7 points in 2012.
August 9, 2016
The latest version of the Electoral Map based on polling gives Hillary Clinton a 249-164 lead over Donald Trump. 125 electoral votes, from nine states and Maine's 2nd District are currently seen as toss-ups. For purposes of the polling map, a toss-up state is where the average difference between Clinton and Trump is five points are less. Leaning states are 5-10 points, with the darkest blue or red reserved for states where the 2016 presidential polls show a spread of greater than ten points.
The map shows that the battlegrounds of recent elections remain competitive, with Georgia and Arizona also looking to be in play. It is also worth noting that if the above map plays out, Florida becomes a must win for the Trump campaign, as a loss there puts Clinton over 270 electoral votes.
State-level polling should begin to pick up in earnest in the weeks ahead, so the map will undoubtedly shift as that happens, and as the campaigns decide the level of resources to commit in each state.
Note that we've slightly modified the methodology with this update. For states with no current polling (nothing after April), we are basing the categorization on a combination of what polling is available and the 2012 actual margin of victory. If no polling at all, then it is exclusively based on 2012. This moved a few states that were not particularly competitive in 2012, but that were shown as toss-up based on a single, outdated poll, into the leaning category. These include Alaska, Minnesota, Mississippi and South Carolina.