Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Electoral College Map (8/25/16)



New State Polls (8/25/16)
State
Poll
Date
Margin of Error
Sample
Clinton
Trump
Undecided
Poll Margin
FHQ Margin
Arizona
8/18-8/23
+/- 3.5%
809 likely voters
38
45
0
+7
+1.26
Michigan
8/22-8/24
+/- 4.4%
500 likely voters
43.6
37.2
10.8
+6.4
+7.75
North Carolina
8/18-8/23
+/- 3.5%
803 likely voters
45
45
0
+/-0
+2.04


Polling Quick Hits:
Calm before the storm? Thursday was light in the survey release department. Not counting the late, previous day polls out of Arizona and North Carolina from CNN, the only poll added to the mix was the Suffolk release from Michigan.


Arizona:
There are two truths to the polling of Arizona in 2016. First, there has not been nearly enough it. And second, with only three exceptions -- two from one firm (OH Predictive Insights) and another from a Democratic-leaning outlet (GQR) -- Trump has narrowly led in nearly all of them. The CNN poll of the Grand Canyon state incrementally addresses the first point and is in the direction of the second point. It only breaks with the established margin. But focusing less on that Trump +7 -- +5 in the head-to-head -- the key may be that this poll has Trump on the upper end of the 42-45 percent range he has been in in Arizona all year. And Clinton is on the lower end of her 38-42 percent range. In other words, this is well within the range of results one would expect. But given that the polling has been trending against Trump of late, that +7 will tend to catch the eye.

Arizona remains a Trump toss up, but comes off the Watch List below and trades spots with Georgia on the Electoral College Spectrum.


Michigan:
If there is one thing that can be gleaned from the post convention polling in Michigan it is that Hillary Clinton has something very close -- tightly clustered -- around 43 percent support. One can even take it out one decimal point to highlight the point. Both the new Suffolk survey and the one from Mitchell Research last week had Clinton at 43.6 percent. Now, that synchronicity is just coincidence, but the bigger point should not be lost: any variation in the margin is about Trump fluctuations in support rather than Clinton. And on that front, Trump can be seen rebounding somewhat from his dip into the low 30s in the Great Lakes state following the conventions. But that rebound, if one wants to call the changes across just four post-convention polls a rebound, brings the race in Michigan right back in line with where FHQ has it: somewhere between seven and eight points.


North Carolina:
North Carolina has had a few recent polls, so there really is not much to add. The key question in the Tar Heel state at the moment is whether we will see a break from the established pattern: a small but persistent lead for Clinton. In some respects, that facet is reminiscent of North Carolina from four years ago, but just on the other side of the partisan line. However, the margin from Romney was always a little greater. The better comparison -- a persistent by but narrow lead that never seemed to go away -- might be Florida in 2012. At least through the lens of FHQ's methodology, Florida never jumped the partisan line and turned pink. But that margin did dip very close to zero in the waning days of the campaign. Still, that comparison remains how FHQ sees North Carolina until the data breaks from the Clinton by a narrow margin pattern.


--
There were no changes to the map as compared to the last update. Only the Arizona moves -- coming off the Watch List and switch with Georgia on the Spectrum -- were different.




The Electoral College Spectrum1
HI-42
(7)
NJ-14
(175)
PA-203
(269 | 289)
MO-10
(155)
TN-11
(58)
MD-10
(17)
DE-3
(178)
NH-43
(273 | 269)
AK-3
(145)
LA-8
(47)
RI-4
(21)
WI-10
(188)
FL-29
(302 | 265)
KS-6
(142)
SD-3
(39)
MA-11
(32)
ME-4
(192)
OH-18
(320 | 236)
UT-6
(136)
ND-3
(36)
VT-3
(35)
NM-5
(197)
NC-15
(335 | 218)
TX-38
(130)
ID-4
(33)
CA-55
(90)
MI-16
(213)
IA-6
(341 | 203)
IN-11
(92)
NE-5
(29)
NY-29
(119)
OR-7
(220)
NV-6
(347 | 197)
MS-6
(81)
AL-9
(24)
IL-20
(139)
CT-7
(227)
GA-16
(191)
AR-6
(75)
OK-7
(15)
WA-12
(151)
CO-9
(236)
AZ-11
(175)
MT-3
(69)
WV-5
(8)
MN-10
(161)
VA-13
(249)
SC-9
(164)
KY-8
(66)
WY-3
(3)
1 Follow the link for a detailed explanation on how to read the Electoral College Spectrum.

2 The numbers in the parentheses refer to the number of electoral votes a candidate would have if he or she won all the states ranked prior to that state. If, for example, Trump won all the states up to and including Pennsylvania (all Clinton's toss up states plus Pennsylvania), he would have 289 electoral votes. Trump's numbers are only totaled through the states he would need in order to get to 270. In those cases, Clinton's number is on the left and Trumps's is on the right in bold italics.


To keep the figure to 50 cells, Washington, DC and its three electoral votes are included in the beginning total on the Democratic side of the spectrum. The District has historically been the most Democratic state in the Electoral College.

3 New Hampshire and Pennsylvania are collectively the states where Clinton crosses the 270 electoral vote threshold to win the presidential election. That line is referred to as the victory line. If those two states are separated with Clinton winning Pennsylvania and Trump, New Hampshire, then there would be a tie in the Electoral College.



NOTE: Distinctions are made between states based on how much they favor one candidate or another. States with a margin greater than 10 percent between Clinton and Trump are "Strong" states. Those with a margin of 5 to 10 percent "Lean" toward one of the two (presumptive) nominees. Finally, states with a spread in the graduated weighted averages of both the candidates' shares of polling support less than 5 percent are "Toss Up" states. The darker a state is shaded in any of the figures here, the more strongly it is aligned with one of the candidates. Not all states along or near the boundaries between categories are close to pushing over into a neighboring group. Those most likely to switch -- those within a percentage point of the various lines of demarcation -- are included on the Watch List below.


The Watch List1
State
Switch
Alaska
from Lean Trump
to Toss Up Trump
Arkansas
from Strong Trump
to Lean Trump
Delaware
from Strong Clinton
to Lean Clinton
Georgia
from Toss Up Trump
to Toss Up Clinton
Indiana
from Lean Trump
to Strong Trump
Mississippi
from Strong Trump
to Lean Trump
Nevada
from Toss Up Clinton
to Toss Up Trump
New Hampshire
from Lean Clinton
to Toss Up Clinton
New Jersey
from Strong Clinton
to Lean Clinton
Wisconsin
from Lean Clinton
to Strong Clinton
1 Graduated weighted average margin within a fraction of a point of changing categories.



Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Electoral College Map (8/24/16)



New State Polls (8/24/16)
State
Poll
Date
Margin of Error
Sample
Clinton
Trump
Undecided
Poll Margin
FHQ Margin
Florida
8/19-8/22
+/- 2.7%
1200 likely voters
41
43
5
+2
+3.14
New Mexico
8/19-8/21
+/- _._%
1103 registered voters
40
31
9
+9
+8.64
North Carolina
8/20-8/23
+/- 4.9%
401 likely voters
44
42
6
+2
+2.21
South Carolina
8/18-8/21
+/- 4.0%
600 likely voters
39
39
16
+/-0
+1.98


Polling Quick Hits:
Rare are the weeks in which polls are simultaneously released in North and South Carolina. This is the second such day this week bringing new polls from each along with a new survey from Florida and an update in New Mexico.


Florida:
FHQ likely does a disservice by talking about average margins in these daily write-ups. The weighted average is taken on the candidates' shares of support and the polls and the margin calculated from the difference. That came to mind as I was typing up my thoughts on the Saint Leo poll yesterday. It comes up again today with another -- though less egregious -- outlier in Florida. It is not that a Trump +2 is bad or anything. Rather, that sort of outcome has become more sporadic in the post-conventions landscape.

But it may be more instructive to examine the candidates' shares of support in these two surveys released over the last couple of days instead of the margins. What makes today's FAU poll "better" is that Trump 43 - Clinton 41 offers levels of support that are well within the range of results for both across all Florida polls. The Saint Leo poll by comparison only got halfway there. Trump's 38 percent in that poll is at least in his Florida range. Clinton's 52 percent is not. Again, it is not yet. Things could change.

The straight average share across these two outliers is a bit more plausible -- Clinton 46.5 - Trump 40.5 -- but still a wider gap than the more modest difference in the FHQ methodology.


New Mexico:
There is a lot to say about Florida, less so in New Mexico. The tale in the Land of Enchantment is a brief one based on just two surveys now. Both are from the same firm (PPP) and both show basically the same thing despite three months separating them: Clinton is ahead in the upper single digits in a state Obama carried by just more than ten points in 2012. That is the end of the story for the time being.


North Carolina:
Nothing against the Marist polling in North Carolina, but few other polls -- even in the post-convention uptick for Clinton -- have had the Tar Heel state above anything more than about +4 for either candidate. But the balance of the polling through the FHQ graduated weighted average tilts in Clinton's direction by a couple of points. Needless to say, adding in a Clinton +2 from Monmouth does little to alter the course there. North Carolina is close just as it was in 2012. The difference in 2016 is that it has consistently fallen on the Democratic side of the partisan line rather than the Republican end.


South Carolina:
One could undoubtedly see a tie in South Carolina in this Feldman survey and get carried away, and then see the resulting average and repeat that process. Let's take a step back from both for a moment. The data, limited though it may be, is pointing toward a closer than usual race in the Palmetto state. However, it is still a state that tips toward Trump by what might seem like a decreasing amount over time. Perhaps, but shunt that average to the side for a moment. South Carolina did not budge on the Spectrum below despite that change. It still occupies a space that is distinct from closer Trump toss ups like Arizona and Georgia. And it is probably closer to Missouri though the averages do not quite reflect that at the moment. Very simply, we need more data in South Carolina. But what we have has consistently shown a close race that advantages Trump.


The new polls today did little to change either the Electoral College Spectrum or the Watch List. Both remain unchanged from a day ago.




The Electoral College Spectrum1
HI-42
(7)
NJ-14
(175)
PA-203
(269 | 289)
MO-10
(155)
TN-11
(58)
MD-10
(17)
DE-3
(178)
NH-43
(273 | 269)
AK-3
(145)
LA-8
(47)
RI-4
(21)
WI-10
(188)
FL-29
(302 | 265)
KS-6
(142)
SD-3
(39)
MA-11
(32)
ME-4
(192)
OH-18
(320 | 236)
UT-6
(136)
ND-3
(36)
VT-3
(35)
NM-5
(197)
NC-15
(335 | 218)
TX-38
(130)
ID-4
(33)
CA-55
(90)
MI-16
(213)
IA-6
(341 | 203)
IN-11
(92)
NE-5
(29)
NY-29
(119)
OR-7
(220)
NV-6
(347 | 197)
MS-6
(81)
AL-9
(24)
IL-20
(139)
CT-7
(227)
AZ-11
(191)
AR-6
(75)
OK-7
(15)
WA-12
(151)
CO-9
(236)
GA-16
(180)
MT-3
(69)
WV-5
(8)
MN-10
(161)
VA-13
(249)
SC-9
(164)
KY-8
(66)
WY-3
(3)
1 Follow the link for a detailed explanation on how to read the Electoral College Spectrum.

2 The numbers in the parentheses refer to the number of electoral votes a candidate would have if he or she won all the states ranked prior to that state. If, for example, Trump won all the states up to and including Pennsylvania (all Clinton's toss up states plus Pennsylvania), he would have 289 electoral votes. Trump's numbers are only totaled through the states he would need in order to get to 270. In those cases, Clinton's number is on the left and Trumps's is on the right in bold italics.


To keep the figure to 50 cells, Washington, DC and its three electoral votes are included in the beginning total on the Democratic side of the spectrum. The District has historically been the most Democratic state in the Electoral College.

3 New Hampshire and Pennsylvania are collectively the states where Clinton crosses the 270 electoral vote threshold to win the presidential election. That line is referred to as the victory line. If those two states are separated with Clinton winning Pennsylvania and Trump, New Hampshire, then there would be a tie in the Electoral College.



NOTE: Distinctions are made between states based on how much they favor one candidate or another. States with a margin greater than 10 percent between Clinton and Trump are "Strong" states. Those with a margin of 5 to 10 percent "Lean" toward one of the two (presumptive) nominees. Finally, states with a spread in the graduated weighted averages of both the candidates' shares of polling support less than 5 percent are "Toss Up" states. The darker a state is shaded in any of the figures here, the more strongly it is aligned with one of the candidates. Not all states along or near the boundaries between categories are close to pushing over into a neighboring group. Those most likely to switch -- those within a percentage point of the various lines of demarcation -- are included on the Watch List below.


The Watch List1
State
Switch
Alaska
from Lean Trump
to Toss Up Trump
Arizona
from Toss Up Trump
to Toss Up Clinton
Arkansas
from Strong Trump
to Lean Trump
Delaware
from Strong Clinton
to Lean Clinton
Georgia
from Toss Up Trump
to Toss Up Clinton
Indiana
from Lean Trump
to Strong Trump
Mississippi
from Strong Trump
to Lean Trump
Nevada
from Toss Up Clinton
to Toss Up Trump
New Hampshire
from Lean Clinton
to Toss Up Clinton
New Jersey
from Strong Clinton
to Lean Clinton
Wisconsin
from Lean Clinton
to Strong Clinton
1 Graduated weighted average margin within a fraction of a point of changing categories.



Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Electoral College Map (8/23/16)



New State Polls (8/23/16)
State
Poll
Date
Margin of Error
Sample
Clinton
Trump
Undecided
Poll Margin
FHQ Margin
Florida
8/14-8/18
+/- 3.0%
1380 likely voters
51.7
37.7
--
+14
+3.42
Missouri
8/19-8/22
+/- 4.9%
401 likely voters
43
44
5
+1
+3.70
Utah
8/19-8/21
+/- 3.1%
1018 likely voters
24
39
14
+15
+7.82
Virginia
8/7-8/17
+/- 3.5%
803 likely voters
48
32
9
+16
+6.95


Polling Quick Hits:
Tuesday marks the 11 week mark until Election Day and brought with a handful of polls. Two are what FHQ would call confirming polls and two others are either outright outliers or pushing the boundaries of such a distinction.


Florida:
The clearest of the two outliers comes from the Sunshine state. Hardly underpolled, Florida has seen its fair share of polling-based evidence as to the state of the race there. The upper end of the range in Florida surveys has had Clinton's advantage approaching double digits, but more often than not, the margin has fallen somewhere in the tied to Clinton +5 range. This internet-based survey from Saint Leo does not jibe well with that. Clinton may very well be up by 14 points, but this would be the first hint of that. While that bumps the average margin in Florida up some, Florida maintains its position on the Spectrum and as the least competitive of the toss up states.

...which is to say that Florida is still competitive.


Missouri:
Missouri has been hovering around the Toss Up/Lean line for a while now. However, the latest survey from Monmouth, like a number of post-convention polls, has the Show-Me state close. All three post-convention surveys (and even one between the two conventions) there have found the race in Missouri favoring Trump, but by three or fewer points. This survey buttresses that and draws the FHQ margin in Missouri even closer, pulling the state off the Watch List (off the lean line).


Utah:
A few early surveys in Utah found Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton knotted somewhere in the 30s. But those polls are now distant memories, but indicative of a broader trend there. As FHQ has pointed out when new polls have emerged in the Beehive state, the issue is less that it is close. The more important point in Utah is that while Clinton is around where Obama was in 2012 there, Trump is running over 30 points behind Mitt Romney's mark. If Clinton can over perform Obama -- as she was in earlier polls -- then this one could be close. At this point, Utah seems like a race to 40 percent and Trump is best positioned to get there.

Utah remains in the Lean Trump category even after adding in the new survey from PPP.


Virginia:
It is harder to call the newly released Roanoke poll an outlier because there have been a number of polls that pegged Clinton's advantage in the Old Dominion in the double digits. Yet, a Clinton +16 is stretching out from what had been a few polls in the lower double digits; not pushing +20. As FHQ mentioned, Roanoke has had a noisy series of polls in the past. Even this year, January's 17 point Clinton lead melted away to literally nothing by the time Roanoke conducted another poll in May. Now that lead is back up to 16 points. That is two pretty large swings.

Adding this one increases Clinton's lead in Virginia via the FHQ averages, but Virginia is still very much rooted in the Lean Clinton area. Notably, on the weight of this survey, Virginia and Pennsylvania swap positions on the Electoral College Spectrum. That has the effect of making Pennsylvania one of the tipping point states huddled around the victory line bisecting Pennsylvania and New Hampshire in the order. If those two are split between the candidates and the order behind them holds, then there would be a tie in the electoral college. Right now, though, those two states are well within the blue side of the partisan line.





The Electoral College Spectrum1
HI-42
(7)
NJ-14
(175)
PA-203
(269 | 289)
MO-10
(155)
TN-11
(58)
MD-10
(17)
DE-3
(178)
NH-43
(273 | 269)
AK-3
(145)
LA-8
(47)
RI-4
(21)
WI-10
(188)
FL-29
(302 | 265)
KS-6
(142)
SD-3
(39)
MA-11
(32)
ME-4
(192)
OH-18
(320 | 236)
UT-6
(136)
ND-3
(36)
VT-3
(35)
NM-5
(197)
NC-15
(335 | 218)
TX-38
(130)
ID-4
(33)
CA-55
(90)
MI-16
(213)
IA-6
(341 | 203)
IN-11
(92)
NE-5
(29)
NY-29
(119)
OR-7
(220)
NV-6
(347 | 197)
MS-6
(81)
AL-9
(24)
IL-20
(139)
CT-7
(227)
AZ-11
(191)
AR-6
(75)
OK-7
(15)
WA-12
(151)
CO-9
(236)
GA-16
(180)
MT-3
(69)
WV-5
(8)
MN-10
(161)
VA-13
(249)
SC-9
(164)
KY-8
(66)
WY-3
(3)
1 Follow the link for a detailed explanation on how to read the Electoral College Spectrum.

2 The numbers in the parentheses refer to the number of electoral votes a candidate would have if he or she won all the states ranked prior to that state. If, for example, Trump won all the states up to and including Pennsylvania (all Clinton's toss up states plus Pennsylvania), he would have 289 electoral votes. Trump's numbers are only totaled through the states he would need in order to get to 270. In those cases, Clinton's number is on the left and Trumps's is on the right in bold italics.


To keep the figure to 50 cells, Washington, DC and its three electoral votes are included in the beginning total on the Democratic side of the spectrum. The District has historically been the most Democratic state in the Electoral College.

3 New Hampshire and Pennsylvania are collectively the states where Clinton crosses the 270 electoral vote threshold to win the presidential election. That line is referred to as the victory line. If those two states are separated with Clinton winning Pennsylvania and Trump, New Hampshire, then there would be a tie in the Electoral College.



NOTE: Distinctions are made between states based on how much they favor one candidate or another. States with a margin greater than 10 percent between Clinton and Trump are "Strong" states. Those with a margin of 5 to 10 percent "Lean" toward one of the two (presumptive) nominees. Finally, states with a spread in the graduated weighted averages of both the candidates' shares of polling support less than 5 percent are "Toss Up" states. The darker a state is shaded in any of the figures here, the more strongly it is aligned with one of the candidates. Not all states along or near the boundaries between categories are close to pushing over into a neighboring group. Those most likely to switch -- those within a percentage point of the various lines of demarcation -- are included on the Watch List below.


The Watch List1
State
Switch
Alaska
from Lean Trump
to Toss Up Trump
Arizona
from Toss Up Trump
to Toss Up Clinton
Arkansas
from Strong Trump
to Lean Trump
Delaware
from Strong Clinton
to Lean Clinton
Georgia
from Toss Up Trump
to Toss Up Clinton
Indiana
from Lean Trump
to Strong Trump
Mississippi
from Strong Trump
to Lean Trump
Nevada
from Toss Up Clinton
to Toss Up Trump
New Hampshire
from Lean Clinton
to Toss Up Clinton
New Jersey
from Strong Clinton
to Lean Clinton
Wisconsin
from Lean Clinton
to Strong Clinton
1 Graduated weighted average margin within a fraction of a point of changing categories.