It is exactly 8 weeks until the 2016 presidential election. Here are two views of the electoral map as of today. Select either of the maps to use as a starting point to create and share your own forecast.
This map takes a look at the electoral map entirely based on state-level polls. We try and base it on a polling average (vs. a single poll), wherever possible. Since polls are a snapshot in time, this map more closely answers the "If the election were today...." question. It also means the map is subject to significant change between now and Election Day, particularly in states where polling has been very limited to this point.
The national polls have tightened recently, and this has begun to show up in the state-level polling, with many states now in the toss-up category. For this map that is defined as a spread of five points or less. As of now, the closest states in the polling averages are Iowa, Arizona and Florida; these are tied.
Consensus Pundit Electoral Map
This map aggregates the electoral map forecast from nine different organizations into a single map. These are all projections for November. Forecasters consider polling, history, demographics and other variables to come up with their projections. As a result, this map doesn't change as frequently. This morning's update showed no change from the last time we looked at it in late August. Clinton leads 273-175, with 90 electoral votes, from six states, seen as true toss-ups.
As the election nears, these two maps should converge on a pretty similar outlook.
The Associated Press takes another look at the presidential race and the electoral map. In this September 10th update, AP notes that the "presidential race may be tightening nationally, but Hillary Clinton still has the edge in the states she'll need to win in November".
The electoral map itself has changed little from AP's last look in late August. Only New Hampshire has moved, being reclassified from toss-up to lean Clinton. That minor change is notable in that it pushes Clinton across 270 electoral votes.
The latest AP map is below. Click on it for an interactive version to create and share your own 2016 presidential election forecast. We've also added the map to our pundits page, where you can view the latest projection from 10 different outlets.
As is the case every two years, all 435 seats in the House of Representatives will be contested this November. Republicans currently* hold 247 seats, Democrats 188. With 218 seats required for control, Democrats must gain 30 seats to take the gavel from Paul Ryan. At this point, that outcome seems unlikely.
We've updated the House interactive map with ten ratings changes from Sabato's Crystal Ball. After these changes, Republicans are safely in control of 206 seats, Democrats 181. That leaves only 48 races that are at least somewhat competitive**; Democrats would need to win 37 of those. At this point, based on the Sabato team's analysis, a Democratic gain of 10-15 seats seems most likely.
Select the map below to create your own 2016 House forecast. Due to the number and geographical size of Districts, this map works a bit differently than our others. Here are a couple tips on using the map.
* This includes three vacancies that are all expected to remain with the prior incumbent party when filled. The actual composition of the House today is 246 Republicans and 186 Democrats
** This seems like an very small number given how unpopular Congress is. Gallup used to ask people about Congress as a whole vs. performance of their own Representative. It doesn't look like they do that any longer, but this article from a couple years back discusses the wide spread between those two numbers. Other elements come into play as well, including gerrymandered districts and the difficulty of unseating an incumbent, particularly in a primary.
Twelve seats will have gubernatorial elections in 2016, including one special election in Oregon. We've updated the interactive map with the latest ratings changes from Sabato's Crystal Ball.
Note the competitiveness of the races in Vermont and West Virginia, in stark contrast to the presidential race, where we may see two of the largest margins of victory for Clinton and Trump, respectively, this November. The article discussing the changes dives into some of the history behind those seeming contradictions.
Republicans hold the governor's office in 31 states, Democrats 18. Alaska's governor is an independent. Eight of the twelve seats up for election this year are held by Democrats, including five of the seven competitive ones. Seven of the twelve incumbents are not standing for reelection, including Indiana governor Mike Pence, now Donald Trump's running mate.
Here's how the map currently looks. Click it for an interactive version to create your own 2016 forecast.
Updating 3rd party ballot access:
Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson is on the ballot in every state except Rhode Island. Efforts remain underway to get on the ballot there.
Green Party nominee Jill Stein is on the ballot in 42 states. The campaign is awaiting results of their filings in Rhode Island and Wyoming. Write-in votes for Stein will be allowed in Georgia, Indiana and North Carolina. No ballot access in Nevada, Oklahoma and South Dakota.
Both nominees are on the ballot in the District of Columbia.
To track how Johnson and Stein are doing in the public opinion polls, visit our polls page and check the box to display polls with 3rd party nominees. You can also link to all polls for a given state.
We're not following this campaign as closely, but independent Evan McMullin is on the ballot in nine states, including Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, South Carolina, Utah and Virginia.
The Washington Post, in conjunction with SurveyMonkey, has conducted a poll* in each of the 50 states. Per the Post, "Donald Trump is within striking distance in the Upper Midwest, but Hillary Clinton’s strength in many battlegrounds and some traditional Republican strongholds gives her a big electoral college advantage".
For purposes of the map, states with margins of 5 points or less are considered toss-ups, while those with margins greater than 10 points are considered 'safe'. The lighter red/blue are 'lean' states, in-between those two ranges.
In the electoral map based on polls, Clinton currently leads 262-145 with 131 electoral votes as toss-up. 84 of Clinton's electoral votes, and 42 of Trump's are in the 'lean' area. Most of the larger 'lean' states end up as toss-up in the Washington Post-SurveyMonkey poll. Of particular note is Texas, where Clinton led by one. On the other hand, Pennsylvania and Michigan, which together comprise about as many electoral votes as Texas, were much closer in this poll than in the polling average; these states have been leaning toward Clinton. Other significant differences vs. traditional polls include Colorado and Mississippi (much closer) and Missouri (larger Trump lead).
The above analysis is all based on Clinton vs. Trump head-to-head. The poll also looked at a four-way race in each state. Both Gary Johnson and Jill Stein greatly outperformed traditional polling, with Johnson at 10% or higher in more than 40 states, including 25% in New Mexico (just 4% less than Trump). If this set of surveys is correct, the third party nominees have significant support not registering in traditional polling. This would be a very significant finding, although we have no way of knowing which view of the world is correct at this point.
* SurveyMonkey conducts polls using online-based sampling. These are surveys taken from a pool of recruited respondents, a subset of the population that takes surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform. This differs from traditional polling where respondents are selected at random, meaning (in theory) that any member of the population being sampled (e.g., likely voters) could be selected. In traditional polling, a margin of error, to reflect how far the sample population might deviate from the full population (based on probability theory) is calculated. In the SurveyMonkey polls, only those who have opted-in to the platform can be selected, thus no margin of error associatd with the full population can be calculated. However, in these "non-probability samples, testing is necessary to ensure a particular sampling strategy, along with adjustments to match population demographics, can consistently produce accurate estimates."
Public Policy has surveyed the presidential and Senate races in seven battleground states. Nothing dramatically out of line with the existing averages for these races was found. Visit our Recent 2016 Election Polls page to link to the individual details.
All seven states came surveyed were somewhat to highly competitive, with the largest margins a Clinton lead of 7 in Wisconsin and a Trump lead of 6 in Missouri. Other than New Hampshire, where Clinton's average lead is 10.5%, none of these results were more than 2-3 points from the polling average in each state.
This set of polls yielded no change to the electoral map based on polls, where Clinton leads 262-145, with 131 states polling within 5 points or less.
Senate races were a bit more spread out, ranging from a Republican lead of 9 in Ohio to a Democratic lead of 7 in Wisconsin. Arizona was exactly tied. The Ohio number also stands out when comparing to the presidential race there. Donald Trump is running 13 points behind the Republican incumbent Senator, a much greater spread than in any of the other states surveyed. The tightness of the race in Arizona is the largest deviation from polling average, where McCain leads by 6.5%.
Sabato's Crystal Ball has updated rankings on eight of this year's 34 Senate elections. All toss-ups, except for Nevada, have been characterized as leaning for one party or the other. Florida and Ohio move toward the Republican incumbents, with Indiana, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania now leaning Democratic. Those last three seats are also currently held by Republicans. The Illinois and Wisconsin races, two of the most at-risk Republican-held seats this cycle, were moved to Likely Democratic.
With these changes, and a review of the overall race, the Sabato team now sees Democrats as "slight favorites to win a slim Senate majority" as we head into Labor Day.
An interactive version of the current Sabato Senate map after these updates is below. Use it to create and share your own 2016 Senate prediction.
You may have noticed that all the seats discussed above are currently held by Republicans. In fact 24 of the 34 seats up this year are held by the GOP, including 10 of the 11 races seen as at least somewhat competitive. The only Democratic seat that has a real shot at flipping this year is Nevada, where Harry Reid is retiring. This means the GOP is playing a lot of defense to hold control of the Senate. Democrats need to gain 4 or 5 seats* to take the majority.
It is worth noting that 2018 sees a reversal, where Democrats are forced to defend 25 of the 33 seats up that year. It is quite possible that we may be in a period where control of the Senate flips between the two parties much more frequently than in the past.
Visit our Senate Race Ratings & Polls page to see ratings and recent changes from several pundits and links to the Senate polls in each state.
* A gain of 4 seats would tie the Senate at 50-50. Since the president of the Senate (the Vice-President) breaks any ties, control of a 50-50 Senate would go to the party that controls the White House.
Two Wisconsin polls released Wednesday showed a tightening of the presidential race there. The surveys, from Marquette Law and Monmouth University showed Hillary Clinton with leads of three and five points, respectively, among likely voters. Marquette's last survey, three weeks ago, showed Clinton with a 15 point lead among likely voters.
These polls shrink Clinton's lead over Donald Trump to 4 points, and the state is reclassified as a toss-up on the interactive map based on polls. It is worth noting that Clinton has led Trump in all 20 Wisconsin polls conducted this cycle and the state hasn't voted Republican since the Reagan landslide of 1984.
Both pollsters also surveyed the Wisconsin Senate race. Monmouth gave former Senator Russ Feingold (D) a 13 point lead over incumbent Ron Johnson (R). Marquette only showed a three-point lead for Feingold. The average lead for Feingold is eight points.
Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by 7 points among likely voters, a new Monmouth University national poll finds. How you interpret this might depend on your perspective: The lead is down sharply from the 13 point advantage Clinton held in the last Monmouth poll, 3 weeks ago. However, a 7 point lead is slightly above the national average, which now shows Clinton ahead by 6 points (5.4% when 3rd parties are included).
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