31 October 2016

Battleground/National Report, 30 October, 2016 - T-minus 9 days (Clinton 323 / Trump 209 / Tossup 6)

Sunday, October 30th, 2016, was exactly 9 days before the General Election on November 8, 2016. T-minus just more than one week.... final sprint....

Complete polling results for all states for 2016 to-date are here as an EXCEL table for 10/30/2016 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. However, I have changed the format a little bit - I think you will see how and why.

A small amount of national polls came in, plus polls for 13 states: AK (1), AZ (2), CO (1), FL (4), ME (1), MI (1), NH (1), NV (1), NC (3), OH (1), PA (2), UT (1) and WI (1).

The newest polling aggregates have caused some changes, which you will see on battleground table and on the maps:

There have been some meaningful statistical shifts to report: AZ and OH have moved out of the tossups, leaving only IA as a true +1 or less margin tossup. CO And WI have re-entered the battlegrounds. Now, look closely: CO and WI only received one poll, but their stats both reflect a drop of 1.5 points in aggregate margin. Reason: older polls fell out of the statistic.

In the case of FL, it's different. FL received 4 polls on Sunday and all signs are that the race is tightening in the Sunshine State. More on this after the EV maps.

So, with the change in tossup status, 2 maps, the first, without tossups at all:

And the second, with IA as the lone tossup:

Assuming the values of the tossup map, then Hillary Clinton is still at 323 EV and has been there for more than one week now. However, four of the five battlegrounds current on her side of the line all show a weakening, the notable exception being NC.

 New in the EXCEL TABLE is a tab called "PENUMBRA" (latin: darkening), where I take the EVERYTHING TABLE and resort according to the current 2016 partisan rankings, based on the current aggregates.  It's slowly time to stop thinking about how the partisan rankings ended up in 2012 and time to consider how they very well may look in 2016. The EVERYTHING TABLE is in hourglass form, based on 1 to 51 Obama states to Romney states. But the PENUMBRA tab is in descending order of current polling aggregate margin for both sides. 

Here for Clinton:

Here for Trump:

In the next ELECTORAL LANDSCAPE, due either tomorrow or Wednesday, depending on polling, I will go into great detail about the PENUMBRA report. It's important.

So, what happened on Sunday? Well, 8 Emerson polls were logged for critical states (FL, NC, NV, OH, PA, MI, WI and NH). Remember, Emerson does landline only polls, so the results tend to skew slightly conservative, an observation that the pollster itself has admitted.

There were also results from NBC/WSJ/Marist - which puts out premium polls of high quality and large survey groups.

The mix of these polls show differing results but part of the reason why some aggregate stats jumped is because polls released earlier than 10/23 dropped out of the stats.

But not in spite of that, and considering that early voting is well underway, the North Carolina statistics keep popping up as considerably stronger for Clinton that they ever were for either Obama or Romney. This state really is not as competitive as it looks and I am about to place good money on saying that this will be the first Romney state that Clinton flips.

Conversely, Ohio is looking more and more like it really wants Donald Trump to win and at least as far as the numbers are concerned, his aggregate lead there is looking stubbornly like Pres. Bush's lead from 2004 and Obama's lean but stubborn lead in both 2008 and 2012. So, I am also just about to place good money on saying that this will be the first Obama state that Trump flips.

What is really making the math exceedingly hard for Trump is, quite obviously, Virginia, with 13 EV. Pretty much tucked away in the D-column, add Virginia and New Mexico to the 242 EV " blue wall" and a Democrat is already at 260 EV and only needs 9 more EV to get there. Add Colorado and then we have the horror-scenario of a possible 269-269 split.

There was one surprise poll, but caveat: the pollster is self-identified as Democratic and I have not seen the firm before. In ALASKA, Craniun (D) research put out of poll claiming that Clinton is leading Trump in the last Frontier by +3, 47/44. Though it is not entirely unfeasable, and indeed, the polling margins have been slim this year, it is a state that has been very reliably Republican since 1968, so I am not holding my breath on this one. This moved the AK aggregate down to Trump +5.00, just outside the battleground zone.  Now, there is definitely activity up North getting the native tribes to vote. Wait and see if that makes a difference.  Were to Clinton surprisingly carry Alaska, that would be perhaps the coup of the year, but I personally do not see it happening.

However, in UTAH (I just cannot believe how the erstwhile no. 1 Conservative state in the Union keeps showing up in battleground reports...), statisticians all over are having to consider a real 4 to 5 way race in the Beehive State, because Independent candidate Evan McMullin is simply not going away:

That is all of the UTAH polling including McMullin in the matchups. Dan Jones & Associates is considered the gold standard for this state, so it really truly is Trump +2, but over McMulling, not Clinton. And notice that Clinton's numbers have fallen, while McMullin's either rise or stay steady. I bet good money that the news networks are programming their magic election screens and such to allow for numbers for McMulling in at least Utah, if not also in Idaho, Colorado and Florida.  There is a real chance, not just a pie in the sky chance, but rather, a REAL chance that Evan McMullin can win UTAH and it's six electo0ral votes. Wait and see. I am watching this one very closely.

And finally, just one more reminder. GEORGIA has the 50 + 1 vote rule in presidential politics. There is a strong chance that GEORGIA will go into a December runoff election. And in 3-way polling, Trump is not close to 50, neither is Clinton. So, let's create a horror scenario and give Florida to Trump, although Clinton is leading. Let's give him both Ohio and Iowa, which very well may happen. And let's give Clinton North Carolina and Virginia, both very likely to happen. And let's give Utah to Evan McMullin. Now, let's say that Trump wins Georgia by 0.5%, but is under 50%. Guess what? The electors are still not decided and Georgia goes into an automatic 2-way runoff in the first week of December, 2016:

The stats are not necessarily pointing at this happening but the point is that this is a real possibility.  Wait and see.....


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*
18 October, 2016, Clinton +6.91, -0.45
19 October 2016, Clinton +6.64, -0.27
20 October 2016 - no battleground report posted
21 October 2016, Clinton +6.74, +0.10
23 October 2016, Clinton +6.02, -0.72
24 October 2016, Clinton +6.25, +0.23
25 October 2016, Clinton +6.37, +0.23
26 October 2016, Clinton +6.73, +0.36
27 October 2016, Clinton +6.55, -0.18
29 October 2016, Clinton +5.91, -0.64
30 October 2016, Clinton +5.81, -0.10

*Due to rounding, the difference is off by 0.01

On this corresponding day in 2012the national aggregate was Romney +0.08%, so Clinton is currently 5.89 points ahead of where Obama was four years ago. On 10/29, she was 6.00 ahead, so there has been a measurable drop in the national average since 10/13, but Clinton is still at about +6.

If you look at the margins, you see a gentle rising and falling - often called the sinus-curve effect. I fully expected to see this.

And some end-statistics: I first started collecting 2016 presidential polls at the beginning of October 2013 and since then I have logged 4,437 matchups from 2,324 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 ELECTORAL LANDSCAPE from 9 days before the GE 2012, from 10/28/2012.  And here is also the corresponding report from 10/26/2008.

One more thing: early voting has begun and there are lots of stats coming out of many states. Soon, I will be collating that data as well.


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