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NBC Places Candidates for First Presidential Debate

2016 Presidential Simulation (Clinton vs. Trump)

This isn't a popularity contest™

As you land on this page, a simulated election will be conducted, with all states colored red or blue in about 15 seconds. Each run of the election simulator will populate the electoral map based on a calculated probability in each state.

Take a look at our Battleground 270 page to see the results of 10,000 elections run nightly. While perhaps not as much fun as doing individual simulations, looking at aggregated results can provide a better perspective on the range of plausible election outcomes.

Simulation Order:
Random
Simulation Order:
Poll Closing Times
Clinton
0
Trump
0
MA
RI
CT
NJ
DE
MD
DC
Split Electoral Votes
ME 3 1
NE 3 1 1

New for 2016: The simulator is no longer coded in Flash, so will work on your mobile device. Results can now split Maine & Nebraska. Finally, you can choose to populate the map randomly or more East-to-West, based on actual poll closing times.

The probabilities are calculated and updated based on recent polling. Where polling is outdated or unavailable, we look back to 2012 actual and/or consider pundit projections. Those probabilities reflect the frequency of victory in a state. For example, if Clinton has an 80% chance of winning Minnesota, she will, in the long run, win 80% of the simulations conducted. Some uncontested states (e.g., Wyoming) will always yield the same result.

The simulator is not a predictor of the election. It provides a range of electoral outcomes that are plausible if the state polls are accurate and if each state were a fully independent event. While each state is, in theory, a separate election, the reality is that there are usually correlations. As a result, this model underplays the likelihood of toss-up states breaking heavily for one candidate or the other.


Amaze your friends with trivial knowledge: There are over two quadrillion (15 zeros) ways that the U.S. map can be colored red or blue.

The calculation is 251, where we have 51 locations (50 states + DC) and two possible outcomes in each location. The number would be exponentially larger still if we included the possibility of a split in Maine/Nebraska or 3rd parties. Of course, with many states not competitive in November, the number of plausible map combinations is much smaller.


Headlines

NBC Places Candidates for First Presidential Debate

Elizabeth Warren and Beto O'Rourke have center stage night one, with Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders side-by-side on the 2nd night

Rep. Susan Brooks to Retire, Putting a Safe GOP Seat in Play for 2020

One of only 13 Republican women in the U.S. House

Groupings for First Democratic Debate

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, who have been 1-2 in most polls, will appear together on the 2nd night

DNC Names Debate Qualifiers

The first Democratic debate will take place over two nights in Miami later this month

Oregon Joins National Popular Vote Compact

15 states and DC, for a total of 196 Electoral Votes have joined; agreement only effective when number reaches 270



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