Election 2016

UPDATED 11/07/16

Most aggregations of polls give Clinton a narrow lead, which (according to the polls) has increased in the past few days. Some reliable, independent polls tell a different story. Start here:

FIGURE 1
clintons-lead-deficit-in-5-polls-since-oct-1
In this graph and the next one, I plot all of the values against the dates on which polling was conducted or bets were made, not the dates on which results were released. In the case of multi-day polling, I use the central date of the polling period. Therefore, all of the polls are slightly out-of-date, a fact that one should consider when interpreting the numbers.

These are the three aggregations and two polls plotted in figure 1:

  • the aggregation of 4-way polls (Clinton, Trump, Johnson, Stein) at RealClearPolitics (RCP), averaged over 5 days
  • the aggregation of 2-way polls (Clinton vs. Trump) at RCP, averaged over 5 days
  • the IBD/TIPP poll, which has a good track record and a high rating from FiveThirtyEight
  • the USC/LA Times poll, which is another reputable Trump-leaning one.

This graph provides a close up of recent changes in the three aggregations and two polls:

FIGURE 2
day-to-day-change-in-5-poll-average

Trump’s momentum may have slowed, but it won’t take much to push him over the top.

If Trump ekes out 51 percent of the two-party vote, he’ll win upwards of 300 electoral votes. (That estimate is based on my model of the relationship between the popular-vote and electoral-vote outcomes in elections since World War II.)  How would he get there? Here’s a scenario that fits the demographics of the various States:

  • Obama beat Romney 332-206 in the electoral-vote tally four years ago.
  • Clinton could take two States won by Romney in 2012: Georgia (16 EVs) and Utah (6).
  • Trump could more than offset those 22 EVs by taking several States won by Obama in 2012: Florida (29), Iowa (6), Maine (4), Michigan (16), Nevada (6), New Mexico (5), Ohio (16), Pennsylvania (20), and Wisconsin (10).

That would leave Clinton with 240 EVs to Trump’s 298. There are many plausible variations on the scenario that would leave Trump with a majority of EVs, or result in a tie.

Stay tuned.