Election News

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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Trump Wins Washington State; 28 Delegates From Nomination

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 Withdrawn candidates Ted Cruz, John Kasich and Ben Carson were also on the ballot.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.


Clinton Leads Sanders by 18 Points in California, New Poll Finds

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.


Trump 68 Delegates From Nomination as Washington State Votes Today

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.


New Polls Point to Tightening Presidential Race

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.


More than 10% of U.S. House Members Not Seeking Reelection in 2016

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. 


A Solid Night For Sanders, but Clinton Moves Closer to Winning the Nomination

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.


Democrats Vote in Kentucky and Oregon; Could Be a Close Election in Both States

May 17, 2016

Oregon voters of both parties will vote Tuesday, while Democrats in Kentucky will also go to the polls. Oregon conducts voting by mail; ballots must be received by 8:00 local time. In Kentucky, polls are open until 6:00 local time. Both states span two time zones, so expect results to be reported after the latest closing times, which will be 7PM Eastern for Kentucky, 11PM Eastern in Oregon. 

Delegate Update

 

Hillary Clinton starts the day 143 delegates from the 2,383 she needs to clinch the Democratic nomination, while Donald Trump, now the presumptive Republican nominee, needs 103 to officially reach the magic number of 1,237 delegates. Neither can reach the required total today with the pledged delegates available.

Democratic Primaries:  There are 61 pledged delegates available in the Democratic Oregon primary. A single poll from last week gabe Clinton a 15 point lead over Bernie Sanders. However, the Vermont Senator has done quite well in other Western states, winning all those in orange in this map:

The PredictIt market is pricing Sanders with about an 80% chance of winning, seemingly ignoring the single poll result. 

The likely winner is also unclear in Kentucky, where no recent polling has been conducted. While the state should favor Clinton, she was easily beaten by Sanders last week in neighboring West Virginia, a state with many similarities. 55 pledged delegates are available in the Bluegrass State. 

As with all Democratic contests, the delegates will be awarded proportionately based partially on the statewide result, partially on the result within each congressional district. 

Republican Primaries: 28 delegates are available in the Oregon primary, allocated based on the statewide result. As the presumptive nominee and with the only active campaign, Trump should receive most of these.


Updated Clinton vs. Trump Polling Map

May 16, 2016

We've updated our poll-based Clinton vs. Trump electoral map with an additional ratings tier (leaning) to better reflect differences in the polls across states as we move closer to the general election. Previously, states where the difference between Clinton and Trump was greater than 5 points were shown as a deep blue or red. This is now limited to those states where the difference is greater than 10 points. States between 5 and 10 points are shown as a lighter blue or red.

As you look at the maps, keep in mind that state-level polling to this point has been infrequent and may prove to be of limited predictive value. However, it gives us a place to start.

The first map is the polling map; limited to states that have been polled in 2016. Most of the dark blue states are the usual suspects. While Michigan and Wisconsin haven't voted Republican in a generation, the Trump campaign will likely try and put these and other rust belt states into play; those may poll closer as the campaign wears on.   

 

Some of the traditionally Republican states where polling has been done are surprisingly close, with Arizona actually leaning Clinton in the limited polling. It is worth noting, however, that most of the deep red states have not yet been surveyed.

If we take the above map, and apply the 2012 winning party to the states that have not yet been polled, we get the following map. Click/tap it for an interactive version:
 

Your 2016 Forecast Map

You can create your own forecast starting from any interactive version, including the home page, the above map, our pundit maps or the library maps. For 2016, we've added the capability for electoral maps to have 3, 5 or 7 colors in the rotation. Just click/tap 'Map Options' near the share buttons below the map. 

 


Trump 102 Delegates From Securing Nomination; Clinton 144 Despite West Va. Defeat

May 11, 2016

While Bernie Sanders won the battle in West Virginia Tuesday, Hillary Clinton moved 11 delegates closer to clinching the Democratic nomination. She's now 144 away, counting committed superdelegates, from the required 2,383. 

No longer facing any competition, Donald Trump easily won Nebraska and West Virginia, picking up an additional 67 delegates. (Three West Virginia delegates remain outstanding as of this writing). That gives Trump 1,135 delegates, 102 from the required 1,237.

Looking at the number of pledged delegates available in upcoming events, both Clinton and Trump should cross the finish line on June 7th. 

 

Clinton's path to victory has been made easier by the overwhelming support of party superdelegates. Despite the math, Sanders has vowed to stay in the race "until the last vote is cast". His best hope is to pass Clinton in pledged delegates over the course of the remaining contests and use that to persuade superdelegates to rethink their commitment. Sanders would need to win about 2/3 of the remaining pledged delegates for the first part of this to occur. While not impossible, it would require a pretty dramatic shift in this final month of Democratic voting. That said, the closer Sanders can get, the more influence he and his supporters are likely to have in shaping the platform and program at the Democratic Convention this July.



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