18 October 2016

Battleground/National Report, 17 October, 2016 - T-minus 22 days (Clinton 344 / Trump 194)

Monday, October 17th, 2016, was exactly 22 days before the General Election on November 8, 2016. Just a little more than three weeks to go...

Complete polling results for all states for 2016 to-date are here as an EXCEL table for 10/17/2016 in GOOGLE DOCS. All polls are hyperlinked.

So, my methodology for doing averages in this wild-and-wooly-sometimes-3-way election was explained in yesterday's starting Battleground Report, from 11 October, 2016.

The Battleground table is pretty darned detailed. The LEGEND for said table is HERE. In fact, you need to read it in order to develop an "eye" for the Battleground tab.

Because the IPSOS/Reuters State of the Nation polls were released on 17 October, 2016, virtually every state was polled (AK, VT, DC, HI and ND were not polled). Just a reminder: IPSOS/Reuters, like API/Cvoter, does only two-way matchups, but this election is still partly a three-way race, although Johnson's numbers tend to be receeding.

In addition to the Ipsos/Reuters, a number of key battleground states also received high quality polls, for instance, from Quinnipiac. The result is that there are now only 6 states left in the battleground zone and almost all of the margins have changed some and where they did not, the margins literally stayed the same in spite of new polling, for instance, in MO.

Just as I find it very unlikely that either MS or SD are going to ever enter the true battlegrounds on this table, I also find it extremely unlikely that MN, VA, ME or MI are going to ever re-enter the battlegrounds as well. Frankly, I never thought I would live to see the day where a Democratic presidential nominee would be holding a +9 aggregate i Virginia.

That being said, of the 6 states still in the battlegrounds, I think we are seeing a hardening of fronts: Clinton's lead in NC seems lean but extremely resilient and the same applies to Trump's lead in IA. If there are two states that are very likely to switch sides in this election, those appear to be the two states to me, especially considering that early voting is fully underway.

In Florida, Clinton's aggregate continues to creep up, whereas in Ohio, it is shrinking. The latest CNN/ORC has Trump ahead by between +2 and +3 and CNN correctly called Ohio in 2012, 2008, 2004, 2000, 1996 and 1992.  So, I would say that Trump really could win the Buckeye state, even in the face of a national landslide loss.

But the two big stories from 10/17 may be Arizona and, amazingly again, Utah.  In Arizona, the 4th three-way polling matchup in a row either shows Clinton ahead of Trump by a nose, or tied. In ARIZONA!

In Utah (which in a normal universe would never be a battleground), now the 4th 3-way matchup in a row (this time, Rasmussen), showing a three-way tie in the Beehive State. But even more importantly, even the IPSOS/Reuters, which only does 2-way matchups, shows Trump at only +6 over Hillary, down from +15 the week before. And the Rasmussen poll shows a mathematical tie with 4th party candidate Evan McMullin. I dunno, but I think the TV networks had better start programming their so-called "magic walls" with a couple of extra colors other than blue and red.... because I see a real possibility that Utah could go for a 3rd or 4th party this time around, even if only out of protest.  Please not that Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee and Utah's favorite son, has not yet indicated for whom he is planning to vote. Let's say that Trump really bombs the debate on Wednesday and it is then clear to Republicans like Romney that Trump is heading for a historic loss on November 8th - in that case, Romney could openly declare his support for either Johnson or McMullin and I bet that would have enough sway to turn the state a color other than red or blue. Wait and see. 

Another important detail happened on 10/17: one congressional district in Minnesota received a poll, from SUSA. In the poll, Republican congressional candidate Erik Paulsen appears to be ahead by +11, a landslide margin in a CD that is a relatively swingy-CD on the presidential level. Obama won MN-03 in 2008 by less than one point, but lost it to Romney in 2012 by about 7 points. However, in this poll, Clinton is beating Trump in MN-03 by +13, a huge margin for a swing-CD. If she is doing this well in an R-leaning CD, but swingy, then imagine how well she is doing in Democratic leaning CDs.

All said and told, the electoral outlook is still unchanged:


The tracking list:

12 October 2016, Clinton +5.52, -0.21
13 October 2016, Clinton +6.61, +1.08*
14 October 2016, Clinton +6.75, +0.14
15 October 2016 - no battleground report posted
16 October 2016, Clinton +6,44, -0.31
17 October, 2016, Clinton +7.35, +0.92*
*Due to rounding, the difference is off by 0.01

In six days time, Clinton's aggregate has increased from +5.52 (almost exactly Bill Clinton's 1992 winning margin) to +7.35 (just a little over Barack Obama's 2008 winning margin).

And some end-statistics: I first started collecting 2016 presidential polls at the beginning of October 2013 and since then I have logged 4,078 matchups from 1,980 individual polls. You can find the breakdown to this stuff at the EXCEL table, in the tab that says "poll totals".

For past reference, here is the BATTLEGROUND REPORT from 22 days before the GE 2012, from 10/15/2012. And here is the corresponding report from 10/13/2008.


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