New State Polls (10/28/16)
Margin of Error
2385 likely voters
550 likely voters
622 likely voters
1028 likely voters
750 likely voters
603 likely voters
2559 likely voters
625 likely voters
800 likely voters
814 likely voters
Polling Quick Hits:
11 days to go.
As the work week comes to a close, allow FHQ an opportunity to address the "tightening" talk that has been a feature of the week. To first state the obvious, this was a pretty good week for Trump. Now, that "good" is very much dependent on how one defines it. For October Trump, a good week is one in which negative news about him and his past actions does not dominate. By that measure, Trump is in relatively good standing.
But let us be frank about his positioning. The race is in one of those lulls that has been a feature of general election Trump. And those lulls tend to see a rebound of Trump's numbers.
Negative event --> widening gap --> heat dies down --> regression to the mean --> repeatClinton's numbers at the state level have mostly stabilized or at least entered into a phase of very modest gains. [Of course, another email story may alter that trajectory.] Trump, on the other hand, bottomed out again and has seen his numbers turn around. Again. This is the pattern. This is the regular rhythm of this race (on the Trump side of the equation). Part of this is skittish Republicans and Republican-leaning independents coming back home; drifting away from Johnson or coming back out of the ranks of the undecided (again). Call it differential response in surveys or chalk it up to indecision among folks who do not want to vote for Clinton but who also have deep reservations about Trump. Whatever it is, this pattern has occurred with regularity since June.
As of now the closest states are Arizona, Iowa and Ohio. Those are the states most likely to move across the partisan line on the Electoral College Spectrum below. They are all three also superfluous to Clinton in her chase for 270 electoral votes. That is a pretty clear signal about the state of this race. Now, the pollsters could be off, bringing a few more states into that group as this election winds down. However, there are a lot of smart people who have made a lot of (mostly clear) assumptions (in the aggregate) about what the electorate will look like in the end. That collective picture put together over the last few months would have to be historically wrong for Trump to approach 270. For now, this one looks like 2012 plus or minus a small handful of states.
To the day's polls...
It is rare to see both candidates in the upper 40s in a multi-way Arizona poll. More often than not, both Clinton and Trump have been stuck in the upper 30s and lower 40s. The Saguaro poll is unique in that regard, but more in line with the rest of the polling in the state in finding the race there close. Arizona has had its moments along the way where it appeared as if it was tracking toward the Lean Trump category, but it has been a toss up throughout. That has not changed. The trajectory of movement has. As election day approaches the race in the Grand Canyon state is slowly narrowing while continuing to advantage Trump. [Late addition:] The update to the Data Orbital polling is consistent with that overall picture.
The temptation with this Sacramento State poll is to say that Clinton is near Obama-level support from 2012. She is. But she has not been all that for off his mark all along. What gives pause concerning this survey is that +/-7.0 percent margin of error. Look, Clinton is well ahead in the Golden state. This poll mostly confirms that, but with a lower level of certainty.
This Saint Leo poll is an outlier in the context of recent polling in the Sunshine state. Granted, Clinton has not really budged since the mid-September Florida St. Leo survey. She was hovering around 50 percent then and is now. The change happened on the Trump side. The New York businessman's support flagged in the time since that last poll, dropping six points. St. Leo was an outlier then as now, but the change is in the direction most surveys have gone in Florida since debate season intervened.
There has yet to be any evidence that Evan McMullin is replicating his Utah rise anywhere else. Idaho is most often discussed in those conversations, but while McMullin is siphoning off support from Trump, it is not enough to draw the two of them into a near three way tie with Clinton. Instead, McMullin seems to be pulling enough from Trump to lower the typical share of support a Republican nominee would receive in the Gem state. A modest spoiler vote only serves to lower the margin by which Trump wins Idaho rather than threatening the likely victory.
Through the lens of this UNO poll, Louisiana looks a lot like 2012 with both candidates nearly equivalent amounts behind their counterparts from four years ago. The last Clinton won Louisiana twice. That will not happen in 2016.
A couple of surveys out of the Show-Me state find differing margins, but the number to focus on is Trump's. Across the two polls, the Republican nominee is hovering around 50 percent in the former bellwether. Alternatively, Clinton is in the familiar lean state position for the trailing candidate: stuck around 40 percent with no sign that the trend will break. And with a little more than a week in the race, that break does not seem to be in the offing.
This Pulse survey is a break from the string of two to four point margins that have popped up in recent polls of the Lone Star state. But it is right around the FHQ average and does little to shift the outlook in Texas. This is a state where the margin has been narrowing, but where the Republican candidate maintains a consistent lead.
Like the St. Leo poll of Florida, this Christopher Newport survey in Virginia finds little movement over polls in the Clinton numbers. All the changes are on the Trump side. But whereas Trump lost ground across the series of St. Leo polls of the Sunshine state, he made up some of the larger deficit in last week's CNU survey. This one is consistent with the tightening narrative, then, but more or less brings the series of polls back in line with where the bulk of the polling in the Old Dominion have been of late.
Nothing changed on the map or Watch List from a day ago, and only Idaho shifted on the far reaches of the Strong Trump category on the Spectrum.
NOTE: A description of the methodology behind the graduated weighted average of 2016 state-level polling that FHQ uses for these projections can be found here.
The Electoral College Spectrum1
(272 | 275)
(301 | 266)
(316 | 237)
(322 | 222)
(340 | 216)
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
from Toss Up Clinton
to Lean Clinton
from Lean Trump
to Strong Trump
from Toss Up Trump
to Toss Up Clinton
from Strong Trump
to Lean Trump
from Toss Up Clinton
to Toss Up Trump
from Lean Clinton
to Strong Clinton
from Lean Clinton
to Toss Up Clinton
from Lean Trump
to Strong Trump
1 Graduated weighted average margin within a fraction of a point of changing categories.
The Electoral College Map (10/27/16)
The Electoral College Map (10/26/16)
The Electoral College Map (10/25/16)
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