Wednesday, April 12, 2017

California and the 2020 Prime Time Primary

Legislators in California are eyeing an earlier position on the 2020 presidential primary calendar.

There has been legislation (SB 568) to do something with the California presidential primary that has been active in the Golden state legislature since February. Amendments quietly added at the end of March garnered more attention yesterday with a press release from the secretary of state and the bill's author in the state Senate.

The change? Move California's June primary up in the process. But not just move it up, shift it into a position on the heels of Iowa and New Hampshire at the front of the 2020 queue.

In reality, this sounds more provocative than it actually is. This is not Florida or Michigan moving into January for the 2008 cycle. Instead, the California maneuvering is more subtle, yet motivated by the similar reasoning. States, regardless of size, mainly want a couple of things out of the presidential nomination process: 1) their voters to have a say in the identity of the nominees and 2) to have the candidates pay some attention to -- spend money and time on -- them.

The best ways to accomplish those two goals are to be early and/or to have a specific spot on the calendar for your contest and your contest alone. Iowa and New Hampshire, and since 2008, Nevada and South Carolina have each of those in spades. There are many reasons for that, but currently, the important fact is that all four are protected by the delegate selection rules of the national parties. Without a change there -- to the national party rules -- efforts by California or any other state to move up usually means settling for the earliest allowed date after the four carve-out states or taking a substantial penalty. The former is an attractive gathering point for other states, which gets them early but not alone. And the latter -- the penalty -- reduces a state's clout, affecting the campaigns' calculi in approaching the state.

This is what happened when the California state legislature shifted the Golden state primary in both 2000 and 2008. California was early in both cases, but shared the date with numerous other states, giving campaigns options in terms of where and how to expend the finite resources at their disposal. These are not problems unique to the Golden state.

What is unique in California's case is its size. But the number, diversity and wealth of the population are both blessing and curse. Enough wealth is concentrated in the state that the candidates of all stripes have been more than willing to come into the state early to raise funds. But then they go spend it elsewhere; Iowa and New Hampshire chief among the recipients. Californians have often bemoaned this ATM treatment, and have at various points (1996, 2000, 2008) seen their legislatures seek a different relationship; a different, earlier position on the calendar that allows both fundraising and fund spending in the state. But again, all of those experiments got the state early, but not alone.

And the proposed 2016 experiment will not end any differently.

Let's game this out in a way that the proponents of this legislation have only partially thought out.

First, the SB 568 moves not only the California presidential primary to the third Tuesday in March, but everything else traditionally scheduled for June. That spares the state the $100 million plus price tag of a separate presidential primary, but also creates extended general election campaigns for all those down ballot who win February or March primaries.

But the legislation also provides another scheduling option on top of that baseline March primary date. Like other states which have mimicked New Hampshire to some degree, the California bill grants an individual -- not the state legislature -- the final say in the matter. States like Arizona, Georgia and New Mexico have experimented with allowing one individual -- typically the secretary of state as in New Hampshire, or the governor -- set the date of the presidential primary. In those cases the state legislature ceded the power to an executive branch actor in order to streamline the date setting process. It is understating things, but the legislative process can be messy and slow, and a political question like when a presidential primary should be held can trigger divisions that can derail legislation. Legislatures across the country are also not always in session during the second half of a year. That time constraint often compounds the problem of a glacial legislative process.

To be more nimble and reactive, then, a handful of state legislatures have given up the date-setting powers, granting them to an individual not hampered by internal division nor similar time constraints.

This California proposal partially ventures down the same road. The legislature sets the mid-March date, but gives the governor the ability to shift the primary up even further by proclamation. This is where most of the quick reaction analysis on this legislation has ended; with California's governor of the future hypothetically moving the California primary into the third position on the calendar behind Iowa and New Hampshire.

But there is more to the story than that.

This future California governor, if empowered by the provisions of this bill, is not unfettered. He or she would have to make a decision on the date a full 240 days prior to the proposed new/earlier presidential primary date. Now, if it is assumed that Iowa and New Hampshire will fall roughly in the same spots on the calendar as each did in 2016, then the calendar looks something like this (on the Democratic side) in 2020:

Monday, February 3: Iowa
Tuesday, February 11: New Hampshire
Tuesday, February 18: California
Saturday, February 22: Nevada
Saturday, February 29: South Carolina

Of course, it is anything but assured that the four carve-outs will be in those positions come 2020. And the reason why is because of ambitious states like California that introduce uncertainty into the process of the calendar coming together. Since that uncertainty has been routinized -- not to mention counterbalanced by national party rules -- the early four states usually hold off on formally scheduling their contests until the fall in the year prior to the presidential election. In other words, those states will not have official dates until fall 2019. Keep that in mind.

That affects California. If the governor waited until the end of September to set a date around the same time that the carve-outs settle on their own dates, then the 240 day buffer provision would mean that the earliest the future California governor could schedule the presidential primary for would be the very end of May. That would default to basically the same position California occupies now on the calendar.

But the reality of the provision is that it calls for the governor to move the date up from mid-March to an earlier date, not a later one. The 240 day buffer means the governor cannot wait to the fall to make a decision alongside Iowa, New Hampshire and the others. Waiting means giving up that power and falling back on the baseline March date the legislators are attempting to establish.

And making a decision earlier means the governor would be making the decision earlier and with less than complete information. To schedule a February 18 primary, a decision would have to be made by late June. A number of state legislatures will be out of session by that time and that may cut down on any potential clustering around a February 18 California primary. But that would be a decision that would give the carve-out states plenty of time to react accordingly and schedule their contests ahead of California.

That all leads to one conclusion: The third spot is out of the question for California.

The best they can hope for is fifth; playing the Florida role from 2012. That is the "we don't want to be first, we want to be early all by ourselves" argument. California's proposal logistically prevents it from getting the third slot, and the national party rules, unless amended, will prevent it from claiming a spot that is fifth in the order and before March. California could move up to the first Tuesday in March, but as the earliest date allowed by the national parties, that is a date that California would share with a number of other states, just like the 2000 and 2008 experiments.

What in the national party rules would prevent California from going before March? Penalties. Now, the national party rules can change and likely will in the coming months. But there is no apparent desire to alter basic framework of the calendar: carve-outs in February and everyone else between March and early June. A rules-defying February primary would cost California half of their delegates on the Democratic side and would reduce the Republican delegation from 172 to 12, a 93 percent reduction. Additionally, any Democratic candidates who campaign in a rogue California would lose any delegates won from the reduced pool. In that scenario, California could move up, be early and alone. Alone on the calendar and alone in terms of candidates spending time and money there.

This is a long and winding path with exit ramps that end in dead ends.

One cannot fault California legislators for walking down this path. They are not alone, and have adopted some innovations from other states. Still, the thinking is old and somewhat outdated. The race to the front is one that cannot be won. However, there are alternatives. A savvier approach might be to choose a spot on the calendar that is pretty barren. There is a lot of space in early and mid-April that could potentially benefit California. No, the primary would not be among the first to winnow the field, but it could serve as a knockout blow in the race for the nomination. Sure, proportional rules on the Democratic side work against that theory as does California's size. An April California primary would give those mid-Atlantic/northeastern states with later April primaries pause. California's gravitational pull in the delegate math means that states that want to give their voters a say -- any say -- in the nominations would want to be before a state as delegate-rich as California.

Even that route is fraught with peril and uncertainty. And keep in mind that the proposed proclamation power would only allow the governor to move the date up, not back to April. It really is a toothless provision.

So, third Tuesday in March? Set the date. Join Illinois. Join Arizona.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

2016 Election Night

11/28/16 3:30pm:
The Michigan results are certified, handing the Great Lakes state to Trump.



11/14/16 5:30pm:
The Trump camp failed to request a recount in New Hampshire before the 5pm deadline. Clinton takes the Granite state's four electoral votes.



11/10/16 7:45pm:
Arizona added to Trump's column.



11/9/16 11:30am:
The AP calls Minnesota for Clinton. That is a narrow hold for Democrats.



11/9/16 2:40am:
Wisconsin puts Trump over the top; another flip for the Republican.



11/9/16 2:15am:
Alaska stays in the Republican column.




11/9/16 2:10am:
And the second congressional district in Nebraska is called for Trump.



11/9/16 2am:
The Maine call is in and we have the second electoral vote split in the Maine/Nebraska era. Maine's second congressional district follows Nebraska's second district in 2008 in going against the statewide result. Clinton wins the state and CD1 while Trump takes CD2.



11/9/16 1:40pm:
Pennsylvania flips to Trump. That 20 electoral votes puts Trump within range of 270 (and with some networks having called Wisconsin for him).




11/9/16 12:25am:
Clinton holds Nevada.



11:35pm:
Trump flips Iowa; something that has been in the cards since at least the conventions. Trump also holds Georgia after a lengthy wait.




11:25pm:
Utah goes for Trump. He will lag behind Romney there, but still take the Beehive state with relative ease.




11:15pm:
North Carolina is a Republican hold for Trump. Oregon is another non-Rust Belt leaner to stay with the Democrats.




11pm:
The next round of closings out west put California, Hawaii and Washington into the Clinton category. Trump takes Idaho. The close night in the Rust Belt extends to the electoral vote count for the time being.




10:55pm:
Florida follows Ohio as a Trump flip. Understatement alert: That is a big one.




10:40pm:
Colorado stays in the blue column. The outside the Rust Belt/midwest leaners are falling into place for Clinton. Those in that region are tighter.




10:25pm:
Ohio goes to Trump and Virginia to Clinton. One of those is bigger symbolically than the other.




10:10pm:
Missouri to Trump and New Mexico to Clinton.



10pm:
Closings in Arizona, Iowa, Nevada, and Utah. No calls. Montana to Trump.



9:30pm:
Arkansas and Louisiana turn red and Connecticut falls into Clinton's column.



9:00pm:
An extended radio hit pulled FHQ away. We will feel in the gaps in time. As for now a big jump for both candidates.




7:30pm:
West Virginia to Trump. North Carolina and Ohio are too close to call as of now.




7:00pm:
Wasting no time, Indiana and Kentucky go Trump and Vermont is added to Clinton's column.



6:00pm:
Let's color this thing in. FHQ will have maps and comments both here and on twitter (@FHQ) all evening.


--
Recent Posts:
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The Electoral College Map (11/8/16) -- Election Day



Changes (11/8/16):
Election Day.

As there were only a few more polls added to the mix on the final day of the 2016 campaign -- or in just under the wire yesterday -- there were only a few subtle changes to the figures here at FHQ. 
  • South Carolina pushed past Texas toward the partisan line on the Electoral College Spectrum below, but neither will budge from the Trump column. Both had at various points shown to be much closer than normal. Neither, however, will end up anywhere other than red as the results trickle in. 
  • Wisconsin once again traded spots with Michigan on the Spectrum. Similar to the two Trump states above, neither state seems poised to jump the partisan line away from Clinton. The trajectory of the race has headed in that general direction here at the end, but it is likely that that was more consolidation of partisan support (for Trump) than any wholesale shift away from Clinton or the Democrats. The temptation is there to suggest that the tightening in states like Michigan and Wisconsin is perhaps a reversion to the pre-Obama mean for the pair. Yet, that simply is not the case. Both are within range of exactly where they were in the Obama-Romney race four years ago.
  • The map and Watch List remained unchanged from a day ago.  

Changes since June 13 (first map of the cycle):
Rather than a noisy race, the opposite occurred instead. It has been a steady race through the lens of the graduated weighted average FHQ utilizes. Yes, that is largely a function of methodology. As the dataset grows -- as the number of polls increase -- shocks become less likely. Note, however, that even with the pedestrian methodology and the limitations it carries, FHQ ended up where a great many of the more sophisticated models are. We will have more on this in the aftermath of the election, but for now, what has changed since June:
  • The map always seemingly had 2012 as a jumping off point. Most presidential elections tend to build on the previous elections. The order of states remains largely the same and the movement tends to be more of a uniform shift one way or the other (with exceptions -- see Utah, 2016).
  • If 2012 was the starting point, then the first map was the 2012 Obama states plus North Carolina and Arizona. Arizona pushed back across the partisan line toward Trump around the conventions and settled in. North Carolina did not. There have been fluctuations from one poll to another in the Tar Heel state, but it, too, settled into the Clinton column. 
  • Arizona was not alone in jumping the partisan line over the last few months. The general election campaign witnessed Iowa cross the partisan line into the red and never really look back. Ohio, here at FHQ anyway, was more resistant. While the Buckeye state hopped the partisan line into Trump territory just yesterday, the second debate -- the town hall debate immediately after the Access Hollywood tape was released -- was the turning point in Ohio. The polls shifted toward Trump after that point and the average here shrunk smaller and smaller over time. 
  • One final change in comparing the first and last maps was the addition of the congressional districts in Maine and Nebraska. FHQ had not previously focused any on any of them, but added them since there was some data. We will confess that it was probably not enough data, but they were added nonetheless. Adding them did shift what had been a reliably electoral vote under the statewide distribution from Maine's second congressional district to Trump's total. 
  • The tipping point state has changed over time as well. Virginia was the initial spot where either Clinton or Trump would have crossed 270 electoral votes, but that changed a number of times and often included pairs of states as things split at 269-269 over the summer. That settled down later as the order of the states along the Lean/Toss Up line on the Clinton side of the Spectrum reshuffled. Colorado has been in that position since just before the first debate. And bear in mind, while the states have changed, the position of the tipping point state has not. The order has been that stable. 

Incorrect Projections?

  • FHQ has the least confidence in a few areas. First, Ohio is very close; the closest of all the states here at FHQ. It would not be a surprise if if jumped back over the partisan line into Clinton's column. At the same time, that is not what we are predicting. 
  • Second, the lack of data from Maine's second congressional district does not inspire confidence. The recent polling has favored Clinton by narrow margins, but a handful of Trump-favorable outliers from the late summer -- even when discounted in the weighted average -- still has that one tipped toward Trump here at FHQ.
  • Tough-to-poll Nevada is always a bit of a problem child. It has been biased toward the Republican (compared to the final results) in each of the last two cycles. It would not be a shock if the Silver state is not a more comfortable win for Clinton. But again, that is not the prediction here. 


--


Final FHQ Margins -- 11/8/16
State
MarginRating
Alabama
+20.86
Strong Trump
Alaska
+5.59
Lean Trump
Arizona
+1.73
Toss Up Trump
Arkansas
+18.46
Strong Trump
California
+22.89
Strong Clinton
Colorado
+3.83
Toss Up Clinton
Connecticut
+12.45
Strong Clinton
Delaware
+13.19
Strong Clinton
Florida
+1.87
Toss Up Clinton
Georgia
+3.17
Toss Up Trump
Hawaii
+28.24
Strong Clinton
Idaho
+24.19
Strong Trump
Illinois
+15.07
Strong Clinton
Indiana
+9.71
Lean Trump
Iowa
+1.33
Toss Up Trump
Kansas
+12.50
Strong Trump
Kentucky
+19.70
Strong Trump
Louisiana
+12.71
Strong Trump
Maine
+6.74
Lean Clinton
Maine CD1
+15.08
Strong Clinton
Maine CD2
+3.05
Toss Up Trump
Maryland
+28.12
Strong Clinton
Massachusetts
+23.92
Strong Clinton
Michigan
+6.46
Lean Clinton
Minnesota
+7.39
Lean Clinton
Mississippi
+10.69
Strong Trump
Missouri
+8.02
Lean Trump
Montana
+14.16
Strong Trump
Nebraska
+19.42
Strong Trump
Nevada
+0.81
Toss Up Clinton
New Hampshire
+4.82
Toss Up Clinton
New Jersey
+11.79
Strong Clinton
New Mexico
+6.58
Lean Clinton
New York
+19.73
Strong Clinton
North Carolina
+1.36
Toss Up Clinton
North Dakota
+19.01
Strong Trump
Ohio
+0.14
Toss Up Trump
Oklahoma
+24.96
Strong Trump
Oregon
+9.01
Lean Clinton
Pennsylvania
+4.86
Toss Up Clinton
Rhode Island
+12.52
Strong Clinton
South Carolina
+7.50
Lean Trump
South Dakota
+12.03
Strong Trump
Tennessee
+14.50
Strong Trump
Texas
+7.52
Lean Trump
Utah
+9.97
Lean Trump
Vermont
+24.07
Strong Clinton
Virginia
+6.12
Lean Clinton
Washington
+12.77
Strong Clinton
Washington, DC
+65.00
Strong Clinton
West Virginia
+24.76
Strong Trump
Wisconsin
+6.36
Lean Clinton
Wyoming
+35.69
Strong Trump


The Electoral College Spectrum1
HI-42
(7)
RI-4
(162)
NH-4
(263)
SC-9
(161)
TN-11
(61)
MD-10
(17)
NJ-14
(176)
CO-94
(272 | 275)
TX-38
(152)
AR-6
(50)
VT-3
(20)
OR-7
(183)
FL-29
(301 | 266)
MO-10
(114)
ND-3
(44)
MA-11
(31)
MN-10
(193)
NC-15
(316 | 237)
IN-11
(104)
NE-53
(41)
CA-55
(86)
ME-23
(195)
NV-6
(322 | 222)
UT-6
(93)
KY-8
(36)
NY-29
(115)
NM-5
(200)
OH-18
(216)
MS-6
(87)
AL-9
(28)
IL-20+13
(136)
MI-16
(216)
IA-6
(198)
SD-3
(81)
ID-4
(19)
DE-3
(139)
WI-10
(226)
AZ-11
(192)
KS-6
(78)
WV-5
(15)
WA-12
(151)
VA-13
(239)
GA-16+13
(181)
LA-8
(72)
OK-7
(10)
CT-7
(158)
PA-20
(259)
AK-3
(164)
MT-3
(64)
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 Colorado (all Clinton's toss up states plus Colorado), he would have 275 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 Maine and Nebraska allocate electoral college votes to candidates in a more proportional manner. The statewide winner receives the two electoral votes apportioned to the state based on the two US Senate seats each state has. Additionally, the winner within a congressional district is awarded one electoral vote. Given current polling, all five Nebraska electoral votes would be allocated to Trump. In Maine, a split seems more likely. Trump leads in Maine's second congressional district while Clinton is ahead statewide and in the first district. She would receive three of the four Maine electoral votes and Trump the remaining electoral vote. Those congressional district votes are added approximately where they would fall in the Spectrum above.

4 Colorado 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. Currently, Colorado is in the Toss Up Clinton category.



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
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 Toss Up Clinton
to Lean Clinton
Ohio
from Toss Up Trump
to Toss Up Clinton
Oregon
from Lean Clinton
to Strong Clinton
Pennsylvania
from Toss Up Clinton
to Lean Clinton
Utah
from Lean Trump
to Strong Trump
1 Graduated weighted average margin within a fraction of a point of changing categories.


Recent Posts:
The Electoral College Map (11/7/16)

The Electoral College Map (11/6/16)

The Electoral College Map (11/5/16)

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Monday, November 7, 2016

The Electoral College Map (11/7/16)



New State Polls (11/7/16)
Morning Polls
State
Poll
Date
Margin of Error
Sample
Clinton
Trump
Undecided
Poll Margin
FHQ Margin
Colorado
11/1-11/2
+/-2.27%
1863 likely voters
42
41
6
+1
+3.91
Florida
11/1-11/2
+/-2.02%
2352 likely voters
45
48
3
+3
--
Florida
11/3-11/6
+/-3.3%
884 likely voters
46
45
5
+1
+1.98
Georgia
11/6
+/-2.8%
1200 likely voters
46
49
2
+3
+3.04
Missouri
11/4-11/5
+/-3.5%
750 likely voters
41
47
4
+6
+8.02
Nevada
11/1-11/2
+/-2.31%
1793 likely voters
45
46
4
+1
--
Nevada
11/4-11/5
+/-3.9%
600 likely voters
47
46
2
+1
+0.96
New Hampshire
11/4-11/5
+/-3.0%
1000 likely voters
45
44
3
+1
--
New Hampshire
11/3-11/6
+/-3.7%
707 likely voters
49
38
4
+11
+4.82
New Mexico
11/6
+/-1.8%
8439 likely voters
46
44
1
+2
+6.44
North Carolina
11/1-11/2
+/-1.92%
2596 likely voters
45
48
2
+3
--
North Carolina
11/3-11/6
+/-3.3%
870 likely voters
47
45
4
+2
--
North Carolina
11/4-11/6
+/-3.5%
800 likely voters
44
44
6
+/-0
+1.36
Ohio
11/1-11/2
+/-1.94%
2557 likely voters
44
45
3
+1
--
Ohio
10/31-11/3
--
1194 likely voters
40
43
2
+3
--
Ohio
11/4-11/5
+/-3.2%
900 likely voters
39
46
6
+7
+0.01
Pennsylvania
11/1-11/2
+/-1.89%
2683 likely voters
46
45
3
+1
+5.00
Virginia
11/1-11/2
+/-1.77%
3076 likely voters
46
44
3
+2
--
Virginia
11/4-11/6
+/-3.6%
1193 likely voters
48
42
5
+6
+6.20
Wisconsin
11/1-11/2
+/-1.88%
2720 likely voters
49
41
4
+8
+6.49
Afternoon Polls
State
Poll
Date
Margin of Error
Sample
Clinton
Trump
Undecided
Poll Margin
FHQ Margin
Arizona
11/4-11/6
+/-4.12%
550 likely voters
44
47
1
+3
+1.71
Florida
11/5-11/6
+/-3.4%
853 likely voters
48
46
1
+2
--
Florida
11/6
+/-2.89%
1100 likely voters
46
50
1
+4
+1.89
Georgia
11/3-11/5
+/-4.6%
995 likely voters
43
49
3
+6
+3.14
Michigan
11/6
+/-2.77%
1200 likely voters
47
49
1
+2
+6.51
Nevada
11/1-11/4
+/-3.02%
1100 likely voters
45
50
2
+5
+0.80
Pennsylvania
11/3-11/5
+/-2.68%
1300 likely voters
47
48
2
+1
--
Pennsylvania
11/3-11/5
+/-4.3%
931 likely voters
45
43
4
+2
+4.84
Utah
11/3-11/5
+/-2.67%
1350 likely voters
30
40
2
+10
--
Utah
11/3-11/5
+/-4.9%
762 likely voters
23
40
4
+17
+9.971
Evening Polls
State
Poll
Date
Margin of Error
Sample
Clinton
Trump
Undecided
Poll Margin
FHQ Margin
Florida
11/1-11/2
+/-2.8%
1220 registered voters
46
45
2
+1
+1.87
Michigan
11/1-11/4
+/-3.0%
1079 registered voters
46
41
3
+5
+6.46
Nevada
11/3-11/6
+/-2.9%
1158 likely voters
45
43
5
+2
+0.83
New Mexico
11/1-11/2
+/-2.7%
1327 registered voters
45
37
2
+8
+6.58
North Carolina
11/1-11/4
+/-2.8%
1250 registered voters
46
45
3
+1
+1.36
Virginia
11/1-11/4
+/-2.7%
1362 registered voters
47
42
3
+5
--
Virginia
11/2-11/6
+/-4.4%
802 likely voters
45
41
14
+4
+6.12
1Excluding the two head-to-head online panel surveys in Utah lowers Trump's average advantage there to 8.48 points. Those polls are outliers in view of the majority of surveys in the Beehive state during 2016 and serve as an anchor on the data. The change would shift Utah within the Lean Trump category, closer to Toss Up Trump. McMullin garnered 24% in the YouGov survey and 25% support in the Trafalgar survey. He currently has an FHQ graduated weighted average share of support of 23.39%, trailing both Trump and Clinton.


--
Changes (11/7/16) -- Early edition
One last day.
Changes (November 7 -- Morning)
StateBeforeAfter
OhioToss Up ClintonToss Up Trump
  • Ohio jumped the partisan line from Toss Up Clinton to Toss Up Trump, but note the average: +0.01. The Buckeye state is close here at FHQ. 
  • Nevada rejoins the Watch List, slipping under the Clinton +1 threshold, but the Silver state has been hovering there. 
  • Colorado slides off the Watch List. It is now just a bit more than a point from the Lean/Toss Up line (+5) on the Clinton side of the partisan line. 
  • The ZiaPoll survey of New Mexico -- given the sample size, it was the whole state -- drew the average in a bit further. It has tracked down to about a six and a half point lead for Clinton in the Land of Enchantment. That pushed New Mexico down to the lower half of the Lean Clinton group of states on the Electoral College Spectrum. 
Late edition
Changes (November 7 -- Afternoon)
StateBeforeAfter
PennsylvaniaLean ClintonToss Up Clinton
  • The Trafalgar and YouGov surveys were enough of a drag on the FHQ average in Pennsylvania that the Keystone state slipped just under the Lean/Toss Up line. Pennsylvania, then, follows New Hampshire as states that have until recently been just above that line but have hopped over it into the Toss Up Clinton area. Both remain clustered around that line, however; just on the opposite side.  
  • That move also flips Pennsylvania on the Watch List, but keeps it in the same position on the Spectrum. 
  • The Trafalgar survey of Michigan is the first to show Trump ahead since 2015. It may be a sign of something in the Great Lakes state or it could be an outlier (balancing out that MSU survey from last week). Either way, it decreased the average margin enough to ease Michigan past Maine on the Spectrum. 
  • Also, Utah once again traded spots with Indiana, pushing to the very end of the Lean Trump area. The new polls out of the Beehive state nudge Trump even closer to 40 percent in the averages. Again, that will be enough to keep Clinton and McMullin at bay there and Utah in the Republican column.
Late late edition

  • The Breibart wave of last minute Gravis polling releases mostly confirmed the state of the race in each of the states. There was some shuffling among the New Mexico, Michigan, Wisconsin cluster in the Lean Clinton area. New Mexico bounced back slightly after pushing down that column earlier in the day. Everything else held steady.


Barring anything unforeseen or any straggler surveys, this is likely what the final map will look like on election day. There are a few polls yet to be added into the dataset (the non-Breitbart wave of Gravis polls), but the expectation is that that will not alter the bottom line any if at all. It will not where it counts in any event: Clinton 322, Trump 216.

--


The Electoral College Spectrum1
MD-102
(13)
RI-4
(162)
NH-4
(263)
TX-38
(161)
TN-11
(61)
HI-4
(17)
NJ-14
(176)
CO-94
(272 | 275)
SC-9
(123)
AR-6
(50)
VT-3
(20)
OR-7
(183)
FL-29
(301 | 266)
MO-10
(114)
ND-3
(44)
MA-11
(31)
MN-10
(193)
NC-15
(316 | 237)
IN-11
(104)
NE-53
(41)
CA-55
(86)
ME-23
(195)
NV-6
(322 | 222)
UT-6
(93)
KY-8
(36)
NY-29
(115)
NM-5
(200)
OH-18
(216)
MS-6
(87)
AL-9
(28)
IL-20+13
(136)
WI-10
(210)
IA-6
(198)
SD-3
(81)
ID-4
(19)
DE-3
(139)
MI-16
(226)
AZ-11
(192)
KS-6
(78)
WV-5
(15)
WA-12
(151)
VA-13
(239)
GA-16+13
(181)
LA-8
(72)
OK-7
(10)
CT-7
(158)
PA-20
(259)
AK-3
(164)
MT-3
(64)
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 Colorado (all Clinton's toss up states plus Colorado), he would have 275 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 Maine and Nebraska allocate electoral college votes to candidates in a more proportional manner. The statewide winner receives the two electoral votes apportioned to the state based on the two US Senate seats each state has. Additionally, the winner within a congressional district is awarded one electoral vote. Given current polling, all five Nebraska electoral votes would be allocated to Trump. In Maine, a split seems more likely. Trump leads in Maine's second congressional district while Clinton is ahead statewide and in the first district. She would receive three of the four Maine electoral votes and Trump the remaining electoral vote. Those congressional district votes are added approximately where they would fall in the Spectrum above.

4 Colorado 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. Currently, Colorado is in the Toss Up Clinton category.



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
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 Toss Up Clinton
to Lean Clinton
Ohio
from Toss Up Trump
to Toss Up Clinton
Oregon
from Lean Clinton
to Strong Clinton
Pennsylvania
from Toss Up Clinton
to Lean Clinton
Utah
from Lean Trump
to Strong Trump
1 Graduated weighted average margin within a fraction of a point of changing categories.


Recent Posts:
The Electoral College Map (11/6/16)

The Electoral College Map (11/5/16)

The Electoral College Map (11/4/16)

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