20 October 2016

Battleground/National Report, 19 October, 2016 - T-minus 20 days (Clinton 323 / Trump 197 / Tossup 18)

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016, was exactly 20 days before the General Election on November 8, 2016. Less than three weeks to go... October 19th was also the day of the third and final presidential debate. All of this data was collected before the debate began and no data from that day came in afterwards.

Complete polling results for all states for 2016 to-date are here as an EXCEL table for 10/19/2016 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 the first 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.

Polls were published for the following states on 10/19:  AZ (1), KS (1), MO (1), NH (2), NY(1), OR (1), PA (1), UT (1), VT (1), VA (1), WI (2).

Three important things happened in the battlegrounds, but first, let's look at the table itself:

1.) UTAH, statistically the most Conservative state in the nation, has now entered the +5 or less battleground zone. I never in my life thought this would ever happen, but it has. I must explain. When you calculate the two-way values (all cold coffee by now) plus the four-way values, it's Trump +5.07 over Clinton, which is already a margin drop of over more than ten points since the last calculation. Remember, Utah is traditionally an R +40 state!  When you calculate that four-way matchups, it becomes Trump +4.14. And worse yet, in the latest Utah poll, fourth party candidate Evan McMullin is now ahead of Trump:

That makes for five four-way matchups from 10/12 to 10/19, with margins of: mathematical tie, Trump +17, Trump +6, Trump +2, and now, McMullin +4.3. Wow.

Just to hammer the point home, here are the historical margins for Utah going back to the 1940s:

I'll let that table speak for itself.  So, quite obviously, Trump has a Utah problem, and a big one at that. I see the REAL possibility that out of pure protest and straddled by an at least for now - four-way vote, that a fourth party candidate could very well pick up this state. Since Utah's 6 EV were never in the Democratic calculations for a victory on November 8th, it would be no big surprise were Clinton to lose. But for Trump to lose this state would not only be humiliating for him and the GOP, he simply cannot get to 270 without those 6 EV. Now, it's entirely possible that the state might "snap-back" to it's traditionally very red electoral behavior, but based on what I have been seeing, I have my doubts. And now that the third debate is over with and the polling is showing a clear trend for Hillary Clinton, were Mitt Romney, Utah's favorite son, come out in direct support of Evan McMullin, then I would say that McMullin could really, truly win the state, ala Robert LaFollette in Wisconsin in 1924. Hey, even the Democrats could decide to make Trump's life miserable and simply switch their vote from Hillary to McMullin in order to deprive Trump of these 6 EV. I would say that at this point in time, anything is possible. However, the very strong Mormon resistance to Donald Trump being the face of the Republican party is surely not making his life any easier in neighboring states like Arizona, Colorado, even Idaho and Wyoming, where there are also Mormon populations.

2.) Speaking of Arizona, a poll was released showing Clinton leading Trump by +5.1, and on the heels of the WAPO poll from the 18th showing Trump up by only 1 point in the state. Arizona is current at an aggregate of Trump +1.1, but is likely to fall into the pure tossup category next to Ohio. Arizona has 11 EV. So, Arizona and Utah combined make for 16 EV (the equivalent of: Michigan) that Trump cannot necessarily rely on to have in his column come November 8th.

3.) On the Democratic side, all of the states that are outside of the green real battleground zone are really quite far outside of it. None of them are on the edge of the zone: Pennsylvania +6.77, Wisconsin +6.83, Colorado +7.46, New Hampshire +8.32, New Mexico +8.75, Oregon +9.50, Minnesota +9.58, Maine +9.87 (although ME-02 may still be very competitive, wait and see), Virginia +10.58 and Michigan +12.25.  These are all aggregate margins that in no way indicate true battleground status and frankly, every state from New Mexico on up doesn't really need to be on the list, but I am going to probably keep them there until election day, anyway.

So, we are seeing some Trump states being pulled down into the battleground (and possibly, tossup) zone, while the majority of the Clinton states are moving outside of the battleground zone and into safe territory.

Technically, this does not yet alter the projected electoral map from 10/18 , but I can see the colors for Utah and Arizona changing the next days - perhaps:


That makes for 10 new national polls on 10/19 alone. The debate of course is as to whether one should even have the LAT poll in the statistics, since it is so different in it's methodology. In 2012, I didn't include the RAND poll (same methodology) in the calculations but noted it above the rest. Either way, Clinton is maintaining a large national lead over Trump, by +6.64 points, a slight downtick from 10/18. However, there are some eye-popping margins on that list to read, all the way up to Clinton +15 in a three-way matchup, a margin we have not see for a Democrat on the national level since: 1964. And the statewide increases for her confirm that the national margin really is this large and may continue to grow after Debate no. 3.

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, 2016Clinton +7.35, +0.92*
18 October, 2016, Clinton +6.91, -0.45
19 October 2016, Clinton +6.64, -0.27
*Due to rounding, the difference is off by 0.01

On this corresponding date in 2012, the national aggregate was: Romney +0.27, so Clinton is currently doing 6.91 points better right now than Obama fared 20 days before the election in that year.

And some end-statistics: I first started collecting 2016 presidential polls at the beginning of October 2013 and since then I have logged 4,144 matchups from 2,028 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 10/17/2012.  There was no corresponding report for 10/15/2008: I was preparing my form of electoral landscape, which I called "poll divergence" at that time.


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