Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Electoral College Map (7/27/16)



Polling Quick Hits:
Changes (July 27)
StateBeforeAfter
KansasToss Up TrumpLean Trump
A couple of Trump polls from the Heartland.


Kansas:
One could say that there was one outlier poll early on in Kansas that has made the race in the Sunflower state appear closer than it actually is. And while true, that does obscure just how much Trump is currently underperforming Romney 2012 there. That is again the case in the new poll out of Kansas from Fort Hays State. Comparatively, Trump still lags, but the margin over Clinton is more "normal". Other than the aforementioned outlier, the remainder of the polling in the state is point in the same direction: toward Trump.

Missouri:
The same thing could be said next door in the Show-Me state. The former bellwether with just one exception has been firmly within Lean Trump territory through the lens of the polls. That positioning was affirmed by the addition of the latest poll of Missouri from Survey USA. The Trump +10 margin is right in line with where the previous Public Policy Polling survey had the race. However, that poll was in the field before the Republican convention. The Survey USA poll, on the other hand, straddled the convention; overlapping with the final two days of the Cleveland confab.




The Electoral College Spectrum1
HI-42
(7)
WA-12
(164)
NH-4
(253)
UT-6
(158)
LA-8
(55)
VT-3
(10)
NJ-14
(178)
PA-203
(273/285)
AK-3
(152)
SD-3
(47)
MD-10
(20)
WI-10
(188)
IA-6
(279/265)
IN-11
(149)
ND-3
(44)
RI-4
(24)
OR-7
(195)
FL-29
(308/259)
MO-10
(138)
ID-4
(41)
MA-11
(35)
NM-5
(200)
NC-15
(323/230)
TX-38
(128)
NE-5
(37)
CA-55
(90)
CT-7
(207)
OH-18
(341/215)
KS-6
(90)
AL-9
(32)
DE-3
(93)
ME-4
(211)
AZ-11
(197)
SC-9
(84)
KY-8
(23)
NY-29
(122)
CO-9
(220)
NV-6
(186)
TN-11
(75)
WV-5
(15)
IL-20
(142)
MI-16
(236)
GA-16
(180)
AR-6
(64)
OK-7
(10)
MN-10
(152)
VA-13
(249)
MS-6
(164)
MT-3
(58)
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 285 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 Pennsylvani
a is the state where Clinton crosses the 270 electoral vote threshold to win the presidential election. That line is referred to as the victory line.



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
New Hampshire
from Toss Up Clinton
to Lean Clinton
New Jersey
from Strong Clinton
to Lean Clinton
Pennsylvania
from Toss Up Clinton
to Lean Clinton
Tennessee
from Lean Trump
to Strong Trump
Utah
from Toss Up Trump
to Lean Trump
Virginia
from Toss Up Clinton
to Lean Clinton
1 Graduated weighted average margin within a fraction of a point of changing categories.



Recent Posts:
2016 Democratic National Convention Presidential Nomination Roll Call Tally

The Electoral College Map (7/26/16)

The Electoral College Map (7/25/16)

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2016 Democratic National Convention Presidential Nomination Roll Call Tally

Roll Call Tally from Day Two of the 2016 Democratic National Convention (7/26/16)



--
Announced totals at the conclusion of the Roll Call of States
Due to Senator Sanders' motion to suspend the rules at the end of the roll call, there was no total announced by the chair of the convention, Marcia Fudge (D-OH, 11th). However, that total is reflected in the above spreadsheet.

NOTE: With regard to the non-votes, FHQ is making a distinction between expressed abstentions -- of which there were only three (3) -- and votes not accounted for in a delegation's reported tally. There were 53 votes in 17 states that were unaccounted for. More precisely, the convention secretary would call out the total number of delegates in a given state delegation, and the subsequent reported delegation vote did not sum to that total. Although convention secretary, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, cast one such vote -- one from Alabama -- as an abstention, that vote better fits the "not voting" category described above.


--
State tallies that differed from the results of the primaries or caucuses
The following six states were states won by Sanders during primary season, but that ended up casting more delegate votes for Clinton during the roll call of the states:
  • Indiana
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • Rhode Island
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming
This outcome is a function of the votes of superdelegates in those states formally casting their votes. The six states represent a little more than a quarter of the total number of states won by Sanders (highlighted in light blue in the spreadsheet).


--
Roll Call of States Sequence
As is the case at Republican conventions, the roll call of states proceeds in alphabetical order. The only break in that in Philadelphia was Vermont. When the sequence got to the Green Mountain state, its delegation passed. When the process came back to Vermont at the end, the delegation reported its tally and deferred to Senator Sanders. Sanders then made a motion -- similar to then-Senator Clinton's in 2008 -- to suspend the rules, record all of the votes and for the convention to nominate Clinton. Different from Clinton eight years ago, Sanders failed to call for that nomination by acclamation. While Sanders' motion did not include a specific mention of "acclamation," the convention chair reported the motion as such to the convention when calling for a voice vote. That voice vote passed, the roll call concluded and Clinton was formally nominated.

Though it was not heralded in the sequence, Clinton crossed over the majority 2382 delegate threshold following the South Dakota delegation's report to the secretary. There was no attempt as there was in Cleveland and has traditionally been the custom at national conventions (regardless of party) to yield to the home state of the candidate. New York did not put Clinton over the top as it did for Trump at the Republican National Convention.



Recent Posts:
The Electoral College Map (7/26/16)

The Electoral College Map (7/25/16)

The Democrats' Unity Reform Commission

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Electoral College Map (7/26/16)



Polling Quick Hits:

There were a couple of late day polls released on the opening day of the Democratic convention. Neither of them did much to shake up the map or the spectrum below.

Georgia:
The first was a Landmark/WSB survey from the Peach state where a handful of 2016 polls have shown a race that is more competitive between Clinton and Trump than was the case in the general election four years ago. This poll only confirmed that trend. In fact, Trump's two point advantage was just a fraction under the previous FHQ average in Georgia. Georgia may be closer than is years past, but the direction of the polling thus far in 2016 has with only one exception been point toward the New York businessman. While that has been consistent, there has nonetheless been volatility in terms of each candidates' share of polling support in the state as is typical of an election cycle with no incumbent running.


Nevada:
In the polls Georgia has moved toward the Democrats since 2012, but Nevada has shifted in the direction of the Republican Party in the presidential election polling conducted in the Silver state. Now, there has not been a lot of survey work done in Nevada, but what little has been done has shown a race between Clinton and Trump that is about eight points more Republican than the state was in November 2012. That trend line was buttressed by the inter-convention survey of the state from KTNV/Rasmussen. Trump's five point advantage keeps Nevada on the Republican side of the spectrum below but still squarely in toss up territory for the moment.





The Electoral College Spectrum1
HI-42
(7)
WA-12
(164)
NH-4
(253)
KS-6
(158)
LA-8
(55)
VT-3
(10)
NJ-14
(178)
PA-203
(273/285)
UT-6
(152)
SD-3
(47)
MD-10
(20)
WI-10
(188)
IA-6
(279/265)
AK-3
(146)
ND-3
(44)
RI-4
(24)
OR-7
(195)
FL-29
(308/259)
MO-10
(143)
ID-4
(41)
MA-11
(35)
NM-5
(200)
NC-15
(323/230)
IN-11
(133)
NE-5
(37)
CA-55
(90)
CT-7
(207)
OH-18
(341/215)
TX-38
(122)
AL-9
(32)
DE-3
(93)
ME-4
(211)
AZ-11
(197)
SC-9
(84)
KY-8
(23)
NY-29
(122)
CO-9
(220)
NV-6
(186)
TN-11
(75)
WV-5
(15)
IL-20
(142)
MI-16
(236)
GA-16
(180)
AR-6
(64)
OK-7
(10)
MN-10
(152)
VA-13
(249)
MS-6
(164)
MT-3
(58)
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 285 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 Pennsylvani
a is the state where Clinton crosses the 270 electoral vote threshold to win the presidential election. That line is referred to as the victory line.



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
New Hampshire
from Toss Up Clinton
to Lean Clinton
New Jersey
from Strong Clinton
to Lean Clinton
Pennsylvania
from Toss Up Clinton
to Lean Clinton
Tennessee
from Lean Trump
to Strong Trump
Utah
from Toss Up Trump
to Lean Trump
Virginia
from Toss Up Clinton
to Lean Clinton
1 Graduated weighted average margin within a fraction of a point of changing categories.



Recent Posts:
The Electoral College Map (7/25/16)

The Democrats' Unity Reform Commission

The Electoral College Map (7/23/16)

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Monday, July 25, 2016

The Electoral College Map (7/25/16)



Polling Quick Hits:
Ohio:
As tempting as it might be to suggest that Donald Trump received a bump coming out of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, the story is more complicated than that. At the state level, the first post-convention survey comes out of convention host Ohio from Public Policy Polling. Compared to the firm's survey of the Buckeye state a month ago, Trump is seemingly up (and Clinton down).

That is "seemingly" because it is a bit of an apples to oranges comparison. A month ago Clinton led Trump in the Ohio PPP poll 44-40. The new poll -- at least the version of it that is getting the most attention -- has Trump ahead 42-39. But the June poll only surveyed a two-way race. The Trump +3 poll from July is a multi-candidate result including both Gary Johnson and Jill Stein. PPP did also ask the head-to-head question and found a 45-45 tie.

In other words, Clinton barely budged in the last month through the PPP lens and Trump exceeded what has often been viewed as his ceiling (40%) in polling both nationally and at the state level. That is a bump to be sure, but represents a drawing even rather than Trump surpassing Clinton. It remains to be seen whether this pattern will hold in other post-RNC polling.

The addition of the new Ohio poll does nothing to lodge the Buckeye state from its current position on the Electoral College Spectrum below as the closest state on the Democratic side of the partisan line.





The Electoral College Spectrum1
HI-42
(7)
WA-12
(164)
NH-4
(253)
KS-6
(158)
LA-8
(55)
VT-3
(10)
NJ-14
(178)
PA-203
(273/285)
UT-6
(152)
SD-3
(47)
MD-10
(20)
WI-10
(188)
IA-6
(279/265)
AK-3
(146)
ND-3
(44)
RI-4
(24)
OR-7
(195)
FL-29
(308/259)
MO-10
(143)
ID-4
(41)
MA-11
(35)
NM-5
(200)
NC-15
(323/230)
IN-11
(133)
NE-5
(37)
CA-55
(90)
CT-7
(207)
OH-18
(341/215)
TX-38
(122)
AL-9
(32)
DE-3
(93)
ME-4
(211)
AZ-11
(197)
SC-9
(84)
KY-8
(23)
NY-29
(122)
CO-9
(220)
NV-6
(186)
TN-11
(75)
WV-5
(15)
IL-20
(142)
MI-16
(236)
GA-16
(180)
AR-6
(64)
OK-7
(10)
MN-10
(152)
VA-13
(249)
MS-6
(164)
MT-3
(58)
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 285 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 Pennsylvani
a is the state where Clinton crosses the 270 electoral vote threshold to win the presidential election. That line is referred to as the victory line.



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
Nevada
from Toss Up Trump
to Toss Up Clinton
New Hampshire
from Toss Up Clinton
to Lean Clinton
New Jersey
from Strong Clinton
to Lean Clinton
Pennsylvania
from Toss Up Clinton
to Lean Clinton
Tennessee
from Lean Trump
to Strong Trump
Utah
from Toss Up Trump
to Lean Trump
Virginia
from Toss Up Clinton
to Lean Clinton
1 Graduated weighted average margin within a fraction of a point of changing categories.



Recent Posts:
The Democrats' Unity Reform Commission

The Electoral College Map (7/23/16)

The Electoral College Map (7/21/16)

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Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Democrats' Unity Reform Commission

The members of the Democratic National Convention Rules Committee convened on Saturday, July 23 to consider the report the committee will present to the convention on its opening day in Philadelphia. After a lengthy primary season that highlighted procedural issues surrounding superdelegates, caucuses and the openness of participation in the Democratic nomination process, it was expected that those matters would dominate the proceedings.

Not surprisingly, they did.

Following a series of uncontentious votes -- on convention officers and convention procedure -- and a short recess, the committee began to consider amendments to the charter of the party and the rules of the nomination process. This began with a series of amendments with respect to the influence of superdelegates on the process. But in each instance, the same basic pattern emerged: any change to the current superdelegate system was voted down by a ratio of around 3:2. That happened first on an amendment to abolish superdelegates. It happened again on measures to reduce their influence (or number) on the nominating process.

It was at that point that committee members from both the Clinton and Sanders teams rose to call for a recess. What followed was an over three hour break that produced a unity amendment chartering a post-convention commission to examine not only the superdelegate process that had triggered a slew of amendment proposals, but the other perceived shortcomings of the process (chiefly, caucuses and participation).

The Unity Reform Commission, successor to the Democratic Change Commission of eight years ago, will have a specific mandate if the convention votes in favor of the Rules Committee report on the first day of the convention on Monday. What passed the Rules Committee on Saturday was this:

  1. No more than 60 days after the election of the next chair of the Democratic National Committee early next year, the chair will establish the Unity Reform Commission (URC).
  2. Its membership will include Clinton surrogate, Jennifer O'Malley Dillon, as commission chairwoman and Sanders proxy, Larry Cohen, as vice chair. Clinton will fill nine (9) additional slots and Sanders, seven (7). The DNC chair (see #1) will select three (3) additional members. 
  3. Consistent with the timeline of the Democratic Change Commission, the 21 member Unity Reform Commission will meet during 2017 with the goal of producing a set of rules recommendations to the Democratic Rules and Bylaws Committee by January 1, 2018.
  4. The normal procedure is for the Rules and Bylaws Committee to consider those commission recommendations before sending them -- potentially in an amended form -- to the full Democratic National Committee for a final vote. That procedure remains intact. However, the URC retains the ability to place their recommendations before the full DNC if the Rules and Bylaws Committee "fails to substantially adopt" any of them. [NOTE: How the commission arrives at a conclusion that the RBC has not met that requirement greatly depends on who the members of the commission are.]
  5. Substantively, the unity amendment calls for another reconsideration of the caucus process. This was a Clinton campaign complaint after 2008 and is again in 2016. The question confronting the URC will be whether they come to a different conclusion than the Democratic Change Commission. The 2009 commission called for the development of a set of "best practices" for caucuses, but ultimately left the primary versus caucus matter up to the states (in order to best tailor a process at the state level). 
  6. The amendment is less forceful on the parameters of discussion on participation in the nomination process. The commission's charter only calls for the development of recommendations that "encourage" increased involvement in the process. In the end, the directive on what essentially boils down to an open versus closed primary discussion is more passive. The Sanders proxies on the commission will likely push for something promoting more open primaries, but historically the DNC (and the RNC for that matter) have remained mostly hands-off on this matter, deferring to the states. [NOTE: This question is certainly more difficult to deal with considering both major national parties are being pulled in opposite directions on the matter. Sanders supporters are advocating for more open primaries, while the liberty faction within the Republican Party are aiming for a more closed process. That potentially mixed message will be more likely produce mixed results if and when either party moves more forcefully on any recommendations on this front.] 
  7. While the open primaries mandate was passive, the part of the amendment devoted to superdelegates had more teeth to it. In any event, there was more clarity as to the specifics of the superdelegates mandate of the commission. While the group will broadly consider the superdelegates' role in the process, it will specifically recommend that elected officials -- Democratic members of Congress, governors and distinguished party leaders (presidents, vice presidents, etc.) -- remain as unpledged delegates. However, the second part of the recommendation shifts the remaining superdelegates (approximately two-thirds of them) out of the unpledged category and into a pledged territory (to be proportionally pledged/bound based on the results of primaries and caucuses). [NOTE A: Again, these are recommendations. The URC can go over the heads of the Rules and Bylaws Committee if it does not adopt any part of the commission's recommendations, but it cannot necessarily force the full DNC to adopt these rules. If the commission is near unanimous in its recommendations, that may make any inaction on the part of the RBC or DNC more difficult. And ultimately, that issue circles back around to the membership of the committee. If they are divided from the start, they will likely be somewhat divided at the end, issuing recommendations that are less clear and less likely to be ratified by the DNC.] [NOTE B: The specificity of this superdelegate section of the unity amendment presented to the Rules Committee moves in the direction of what the Sanders campaign wants: curbing the influence of the unpledged delegates. But while it hypothetically reduces their number, it does not address the core problem Sanders and his supporters had with superdelegates. The root complaint was that a significant number of superdelegates endorsed Clinton in 2015 before any primary and caucus votes had been cast. There are potentially fewer superdelegates after this, but the pre-primary endorsement problem is and will still be an issue. The commission is not confined to just this action on superdelegates though. It has to make that recommendation, but can go beyond that on the matter.]
  8. There is an additional section to the amendment dealing with expanding the party nationally that echoes not only what Sanders has said over the last year, but also is reminiscent of the Dean DNC's 50 state strategy. 
  9. The main perceived problems of 2016 are addressed in the amendment, but the scope of the commission's actions can expand beyond those areas at the discretion of the chair and vice chair of the commission. The group can look at other parts of the rules behind the presidential nomination process. 
One thing that is an interesting side note to all of this is something hinted at above. This Unity Reform Commission will be active simultaneous to the newly created study panel that came out of the Republican National Convention Rules Committee in Cleveland. Each group will most certainly have an eye on the actions of the other and that will undoubtedly affect the recommendations that come out of either. A similar separated, bipartisan consideration of rules occurred after 2008. That resulted in the Democratic Change Commission and (Republican) Temporary Delegate Selection Committee finding common ground on problems like the frontloading of primaries and caucuses and the January start to primary season. That sort of unofficial semi-coordination could repeat itself in 2017, but that outcome is dependent on the two groups seeing common ground. That was clear with the calendar after 2008, but may not be with open versus closed primaries and other issues following 2016. 

In any event, it will make for an eventful 2017 on the rules front.


Recent Posts:
The Electoral College Map (7/23/16)

The Electoral College Map (7/21/16)

2016 Republican National Convention Presidential Nomination Roll Call Tally

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