President Clinton?

The final Electoral College map from ElectoralVote has Hillary Clinton leading in states worth 317 Electoral Votes (EVs), while Donald Trump leads in states worth 215 EVs.

Since Saturday, Nevada has gone from a Trump lead to tied.  I believe ElectoralVote is making an error in moving Florida from a Clinton lead to tied, by mistakenly assigning a YouGov poll for Georgia to Florida.

While there is little change in overall leads, Clinton now only leads by five points or more in states worth 239 EVs, down from 260 on Saturday (light and dark blue states). Trump leads by five points or more in states worth 161 EVs, down from 168 on Saturday (light and dark red states).

There were many national polls released in the final 48 hours before voting, and most showed Clinton with three-six point leads - up slightly on her leads in the immediate aftermath of the renewed FBI investigation. Clinton’s relatively weak Electoral College position is due to poor polling in the midwestern swing states, where there is a greater proportion of non-university educated whites than nationally.

If Clinton wins the popular vote by the four points or so that national polls predict, she will win the Electoral College.  However, there is some possibility that a narrow Clinton popular vote win could see Trump win the Electoral College by taking states such as Pennsylvania and Michigan.  Poll analyst Nate Silver’s model finds there is only a 10% chance of losing the Electoral College if she wins the popular vote.

Clinton’s ground game could be decisive in the close states. Trump has put hardly any effort into developing a field operation capable of turning out his non-university educated white base.  Educated white Americans are more likely to vote than uneducated white Americans, so this is a disadvantage for Trump.  The Democrats, however, have a great deal of experience and resources aimed at encouraging poor black voters to turn out.

On Sunday, FBI Director James Comey informed Congress that the FBI had reviewed additional emails pertaining to Clinton’s private server. These emails had been discovered on Anthony Weiner’s laptop, which was also used by his wife, top Clinton aide Huma Abedin.  There was no change in the FBI’s assessment of Clinton as a result of the additional review, so she will not be indicted.

Polls have not had enough time to react to this late development, but if Clinton performs better than expected today, this will be a factor.

Early Voting

A few weeks ago, I wrote about dangers for Trump.  One of those dangers was that Hispanics would be motivated to vote in greater numbers than previously, and give Clinton a greater margin over Trump than Obama’s margin over Romney among this demographic in 2012.

The evidence from early voting is that Hispanics are turning out in force, and that there are many who previously did not vote. Although opinion polls have Nevada close, Clinton is a near certainty to win according to Nevadan pundit Jon Ralston, owing to strong Hispanic turnout in early voting.  In Florida, 36% of all Hispanics who have voted early did not vote in 2012 according to analysis by Election Smith.

A danger for Clinton that I discussed previously was that many non-college educated whites who had not voted for Romney would turn out for Trump.  The Florida data does not suggest this is happening.  The proportion of registered Republican early voters who voted in 2012 (79%) is greater than for Democrats (76%) and registered Independents (60%).

Early vote analyst Michael McDonald thinks that Clinton will win Colorado and Nevada based on early votes.  North Carolina is leaning to Trump, and Florida is a toss-up.  If Clinton wins Colorado and Nevada, Trump would need to win the other swing states at this election, and take a blue state such as Michigan or Pennsylvania.

Congressional Elections

The Republicans currently hold a 54-46 Senate majority, but they are defending 24 of the 34 seats up at this election, while the Democrats are only defending 10.

Including seats not up for election, Democrats now lead in 51 seats and Republicans in 49.  On Saturday, Republicans led 51-49.  Here is the final Senate map from ElectoralVote.  There are eight Senate contests where the current margin is within four points.

Electoral College map from Electoral Votes

While Clinton has strengthened her position in recent days, the Democrats are unlikely to take the House.  Nate Silver’s model has Republicans reducing their deficit to just one point, with the Democrats leading by 45.4-44.2. A one point win for the Democrats would not be close to putting the Republicans’ current 247-188 majority in doubt, given Republican-favouring gerrymandering in many important states.


Dr Adrian Beaumont

Election Watch polls analyst


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