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 23
2012 Electoral Vote: Barack Obama – 332, Mitt Romney 206
Current Electoral Vote (based on last 7 days’ polling): Hillary Clinton – 308, Donald Trump 180, Undecided 50
- Moved New Jersey from “Leans Clinton” to “Solid Clinton” since the last scorecard;
- Moved Nevada and New Hampshire from “Tossup” to “Leans Clinton” since the last scorecard;
- Moved Utah from “Solid Trump” to “Tossup” since the last scorecard;
- Moved Oregon from “Solid Clinton” to “Leans Clinton” since the last scorecard;
(UPDATED 10/23 AM) As the election draws closer, polls are conflicted on the trajectory of the Presidential race. Donald Trump’s disastrous debate performance (and his subsequent behavior after the debate) would seem to indicate that the race is slipping out of his hands, and state by state polling seems to indicate this, with Hillary Clinton (according to JMC’s scorecard) expanding her electoral vote count to 308 – 38 more than what she needs to win. Yet the national polls actually show the race tightened a bit, as what was a four point race for Clinton is now a three point race (Clinton has a 45-42% lead over Trump, with 9% going to third party candidates). Similarly, with early voting almost entirely underway in multiple states (in person early voting commences in Louisiana on Tuesday), there are reports of not as intense partisan enthusiasm, which disproportionately hurts the Democrats. To use two examples: (1) in North Carolina, 24% of early/absentee voters thus far are black, compared to 30% at a similar time in 2012 – that’s a nearly 6 percentage point drop for Hillary Clinton, (2) in Iowa, overall early voting turnout is down 27% relative to 2012, and since Democrats have for years benefitted from early voting, this reduces the number of “votes in the bank” for them.
(UPDATED 10/23 PM) Now that the debates are over, Trump’s conduct (and any shocking new Wikileaks revelations) will basically provide a lot of background noise that either candidate has to deal with. And as this is going on, more have early voted: it was 1.4 million last week, and was 5.9 million as of today. And just about every swing state that offers early voting has begun its early voting process, with one exception: Florida, which starts its in person early voting tomorrow.
There is another piece to the 2016 election puzzle that hasn’t been discussed much on the scorecard: the race for the Senate, which is truly a tossup right now (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 (Indiana and Wisconsin) where they are behind, and four seats (Illinois, 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.
In conclusion, the last several weeks have not been good to Donald Trump, but it all comes down to partisan intensity now, given that a weak poll showing in the state by state polls seems to be offset by lowered Democratic intensity.