Introduction – How JMC Analytics and Polling calls a state
(1) Safe Democratic/Clinton or safe Republican/Trump (dark blue/red) – If no polls have been conducted within the last 7 days for that state, a 2012 Obama (or Romney) percentage of 60% or above gets this rating. If polls have been conducted, a Clinton (or Trump) average of 50% (or at least a 10-point lead in the polls) or more gets this classification;
(2) Lean Democratic/Clinton or lean Republican/Trump (light blue/red) – If no polls have been conducted within the last 7 days for that state, a 2012 Clinton (or Trump) percentage between 53-59% gets this rating. If polls have been conducted, a Clinton (or Trump) average percentage of 49% or less with a lead of between 3-10 points will get this classification;
(3) Tossup (yellow) – If there was any polling done, a candidate leads by less than 3 points or the 2012 election results had the winning candidate (Obama or Romney) receiving 52% or less;
Presidential Scorecard as of October 30
2012 Electoral Vote: Barack Obama – 332, Mitt Romney 206
Current Electoral Vote (based on last 7 days’ polling): Hillary Clinton – 270, Donald Trump 174, Undecided 94
- Moved Iowa from “Leans Trump” to “Tossup” since the last scorecard;
- Moved Michigan from “Solid Clinton” to “Leans Clinton” since the last scorecard;
- Moved Colorado and Florida from “Leans Democratic” to “Tossup” since the last scorecard;
We are now in the homestretch, with just over a week to go until Election Day. As this article is being written, 22 million have already early/absentee voted, including a record 367K in Louisiana. And despite the latest allegedly “shocking” revelations against either candidate, the race has settled into a kind of equilibrium: Hillary Clinton has a four point lead (46-42% over Trump, with 8% for third party candidates), which is a one point uptick relative to last week. But as this is happening, the state by state polling has tightened, with Colorado, Florida, and Iowa now becoming tossup states.
It comes down to partisan intensity now, and on that score, the numbers are mixed: while Hispanics seem energized, blacks are not: in North Carolina, 22% of early voters are black (compared to 29% in 2012). Similarly, blacks in Louisiana, 26% of early voters are black (compared to 31% in 2012). And in Georgia, 28% of early voters are black (compared to 30% in 2012). Given that blacks support Democrats with near unanimous support, this lessened intensity can directly impact the results in places like Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, and Ohio.
And the race for the US Senate remains a tossup (Republicans are expected to win the Louisiana Senate race, although in the meantime there is a competitive race with 23 candidates in it). JMC currently shows Republicans leading in 48 races, Democrats in 47, and 5 “tossup” races. Given that Republicans start off with 54 seats, there are two seats (Illinois and Wisconsin) where they are behind, and four seats (Indiana, Missouri, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania) where they are in tight races. There is only one Democratic held seat in any jeopardy: the Nevada seat held by retiring Harry Reid. Republicans only need to win 3 of these 5 “tossup” seats to hold onto the Senate.
A final note on the early voting: JMC’s thought (and research in Louisiana confirms this) is that these are chronic voters wanting to “get it over with”, as opposed to the increased turnout representing a surge in turnout on November 8.