Election News

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.



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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.


Oregon Poll: Clinton Leads Sanders in Primary, Trump in November

May 11, 2016

A new poll from DHM Research, in advance of next Tuesday's Oregon primary, gives Hillary Clinton a 15 point lead over Bernie Sanders, 48-33. On the Republican side, Donald Trump has 45% to 14% for Ted Cruz and John Kasich, both of whom have suspended their campaign.

Both parties have a more-or-less proportional method of delegate allocation in the state. The Democrats have 61 pledged delegates there, Republicans 28.

A Clinton vs. Trump match-up in November was also tested. Here, Clinton bested Trump by 43-32. Although lots of undecided/other in that result, the 11 point margin is similar to Barack Obama's 12 point win over Mitt Romney in 2012. Oregon has not voted Republican in the general election since 1984.

We've updated the Clinton vs. Trump electoral map based on polls for this result. 


Delegate Update; Preview of West Virginia and Nebraska Primaries

May 10, 2016

Tuesday brings us the West Virginia primary for both parties, while Republicans in Nebraska will also go to the polls. The polling places are open until 7:30 ET in West Virginia. In Nebraska, polls close at 9:00 ET, meaning 8:00 PM locally for those in the Central Time Zone and 7:00 PM for those in the Mountain Time Zone.

Delegate Update

 

Hillary Clinton starts the day 155 delegates from the 2,383 she needs to clinch the Democratic nomination, while Donald Trump, now the presumptive Republican nominee, needs 169 to officially reach the magic number of 1,237 delegates. Neither can reach the required total today with the pledged delegates available.

Democratic Primary:  There are 29 pledged delegates available in the Democratic West Virginia primary. Sanders leads the limited polling by 6 points. 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. Regardless of the outcome today, Clinton is likely to clinch the nomination on June 7th. Six states, including California with 475 pledged delegates, vote that day.

Republican Primaries: 70 delegates are available today. Nebraska has 36 delegates, winner take all. There has been no polling here, but, with no competition, little reason to think anyone other than Trump will win. Trump has a commanding lead in West Virginia. He should win most or all of the state's 34 delegates, depsite the convoluted way they are awarded. June 7th is also the most likely date for Trump to officially seal the nomination.


Close 2016 Race in Three Swing States, Quinnipiac Finds

May 10, 2016

A new Quinnipiac poll of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania finds a competitive general election battle in those states between Donald Trump and either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.

This poll shows a closer race in Florida and Pennsylvania than other recent 2016 election polls; Ohio remains close. This is the first set of polls in these traditional swing states since Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee. Future polls will tell us whether this result indicates a growing acceptance of Trump as Republican standard-bearer. 

Note: The image above has been corrected from an earlier version. The initial version said Clinton - Sanders when it should have been Sanders - Trump.


Indulge Your Inner Third Party with this Three Way Electoral Map

May 7, 2016

For those that think a viable alternative to Clinton vs. Trump might emerge in the weeks ahead, here's a new version of the 270toWin interactive map that lets you game out those possibilities. Click or tap the map to get started!

 

Background: Democrats and Republicans have held a monopoly on the electoral map since 1968, when George Wallace won the popular vote in five southern states and amassed 46 electoral votes. While that probably won't change in 2016, the two major parties are on the cusp of nominating historically unpopular candidates as their standard-bearers. This has led to more talk than usual about alternatives.

With Donald Trump becoming the presumptive Republican nominee this past week, much of the current talk is around finding a conservative alternative. Bill Kristol, Editor of The Weekly Standard, has been pushing the Independent Republican idea. He recently met with 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney. (Needless to say, this strategy is not popular with Mr. Trump's supporters).

Given ballot access issues associated with an independent bid, another option mentioned is achieving this via a 3rd party. The Libertarian party is already on the ballot in most states, and is working toward being an option in all 50 states. The party holds its nominating convention Memorial Day weekend in Orlando. In 2012, former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson received over 1.2 million votes (about 1% of the national total) as their nominee. Johnson is running for the party's nomination again in 2016. A big hurdle for the Libertarian nominee will be achieving the 15% national polling support needed to qualify for this fall's presidential debates.  

However a Trump alternative emerges, the 'dream scenario' for those seeking that is one where none of the three candidates reaches the required 270 electoral votes. In that case, the election will be thrown into the House of Representatives, with each state delegation getting one vote. Since Republicans control most of these votes, the thinking is the majority will side with the Trump alternative.

That outcome is highly unlikely, as Trump and the 3rd party/independent would mostly be competing for the same subset of voters. This might actually increase the electoral vote count for Hillary Clinton. For it to have a remote shot at working, Clinton would need to be a weak nominee by Election Day and the Trump alternative would need to be someone that could focus on and win a couple blue states without significantly diluting the non-Clinton vote elsewhere. 



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