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.



Monday, August 22, 2016

The Electoral College Map (8/22/16)



New State Polls (8/22/16)
State
Poll
Date
Margin of Error
Sample
Clinton
Trump
Undecided
Poll Margin
FHQ Margin
North Carolina
8/15-8/17
+/- 3.6%
723 registered voters
38
39
10
+1
+2.22
Ohio
8/18-8/21
+/- 4.9%
402 likely voters
43
39
8
+4
+2.40
South Carolina
8/15-8/17
+/- 3.5%
768 registered voters
37
41
11
+4
+3.03


Polling Quick Hits:
With just more than 11 weeks until Election Day, the beginning of the work week offered one new poll each from the Carolinas and another Ohio survey.


North Carolina:
In the Tar Heel state, the latest Gravis survey found a closer race than had the other polling firms in the post-convention period. While Clinton led by one in the head-to-head with Trump, in the multi-candidate race, Trump was ahead. This one is closer to the PPP survey (Clinton +2) than it was to the Marist poll that had the former secretary of state up nine points. This nudged the FHQ average in North Carolina down slightly, but kept it the cluster of Clinton-leaning toss up states (with Florida, Iowa and Ohio).


Ohio:
For the second consecutive day there was a new poll out of the Buckeye state. The range established in the few polls to have been released since the conventions has had Clinton ahead anywhere from two to six points ahead. And the first Monmouth poll of Ohio of this cycle falls into that gap. Clinton +4 is not only the average Ohio poll lead since the conventions but modal poll margin as well. In any event, the polling out of Ohio continues to push the FHQ weighted average (margin) higher and higher and away from Trump. This poll and the latest North Carolina poll above kept both states in the cluster of toss ups mentioned above but causes the two to trade places in the Electoral College Spectrum.


South Carolina:
One could argue that the Gravis survey of North Carolina discussed above is off by showing Trump ahead. Perhaps, but is it within range of the post-convention PPP poll there. What is more difficult to square is the idea that only three points separate the margins North and South Carolina. Trump's lead in the four-way race in South Carolina is just four points. That, too, is proximate to a recent PPP survey of the Palmetto state. However, North and South Carolina have been separated by a bit more than eight points in the final results over the last two cycles. Something could be wrong with one of these two Carolinas polls, but it could also be that the two states are reverting to a pre-Obama era proximity to each other in the order states (albeit one that has the pair in a more competitive space on the Spectrum than was the case when both were Strong Bush states in 2000 and 2004).

Though this Gravis survey does not move South Carolina on the Spectrum, it does provide a little more evidence that South Carolina is more competitive than it has been while still being consistently tilted in Trump's direction.





The Electoral College Spectrum1
HI-42
(7)
NJ-14
(175)
VA-133
(269 | 282)
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)
UT-6
(142)
SD-3
(39)
MA-11
(32)
ME-4
(192)
OH-18
(320 | 236)
KS-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)
PA-20
(256)
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 Virginia (all Clinton's toss up states plus Virginia), he would have 282 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 Virginia 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 Virginia 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
Missouri
from Toss Up 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.