October 20: Clinton 322 Trump 216


With No Toss-up States: Clinton 322 Trump 216

Updated: October 20, 2016

Where does the presidential race stand today?

In terms of the battleground states, Clinton is ahead in: FL, PA, MI, NC, VA, WI, MN, CO, NV, and NH. Trump leads in OH, IA and AZ. In other competitive states, blue remains blue and red remains red. Clinton is ahead in WA, OR, NM, MN, CT and ME (not including the Bangor congressional district); whereas Trump is ahead in GA, SC, MS, MO, TX, AZ and the Bangor ME district. The states not listed are clearly predicted to vote as expected blue or red. So after all is said and done, the tally today is Clinton 322 and Trump 216.

What is the most likely path for Trump to get to 270 based on existing polling, if the dominoes fall for the trailing candidate (Trump) and against the leading candidate (Clinton)? This domino approach assumes that Trump has already won OH, IA and AZ.

  1. NC (15 electoral votes) → Clinton 307 Trump 231
  2. FL (29 electoral votes) → Clinton 278 Trump 260
  3. NV (6 electoral votes) → Clinton 272 Trump 266
  4. CO (9 electoral votes) → Trump 275 Clinton 263

After CO, PA, MN and WI would be the next three possible dominoes if the order switches. The situation is quite fluid and readers are encouraged to check back often for updates.

Technical notes: For purposes of this analysis, I use the average of weighted polls (sample size, recency and pollster historical accuracy are factored into the equation). I use a minimum of seven polls, but only polls from 2016. I use all polls from the last 30 days regardless of how many polls that is, assuming the number is equal to greater than seven. Every state, the Bangor Maine district (1 EV) and the Omaha Nebraska district (1 EV) have been polled.

With Toss-up States Included: Clinton 272, Trump 179, Toss-ups 87

Updated: October 20, 2016

Rule: I only declare a state safe if the statistical probability a candidate would win that state, based on both unweighted and weighting polling data, is at least 99%. All other states are considered toss-ups. Based on that rule, we stand today at Clinton 272, Trump 179, Toss-ups 87 [FL, AZ, IA, NV, OH, NC, Omaha NE (1) and Bangor ME (1)].

How recent polls have affected the top line:

Ohio has been a toss up state through the entire campaign. Ohio leaned to Clinton, then Trump, then Clinton and now Trump again. Using 30 polls completed in Ohio over the last 30 days prior to and including October 19, Clinton leads by 0.60% (unweighted) and Trump leads by 0.03% (weighted). These values are within the margin of error. OH is the most important state based on power ratings and has the smallest polling differential of any state in the country. One poll can sway OH from Trump to Clinton. With 18 electoral votes, this is THE state to watch.

In North Carolina, over the 32 NC polls conducted in the last 30 days, on and prior to October 19, 2016, Clinton leads by 0.44% (unweighted) and by 1.60% (weighted). I use weighted averages in the capsule above to determine which candidate is ahead. Currently, North Carolina is the state with the 3rd highest power rating (behind FL and OH). Simply put, based on current polling weighted margins and number of electoral votes, NC is the 3rd most important state which either candidate is in reach of winning. NC is over 80% as important as OH currently, and is the 1st must win state for Trump, assuming Trump has already won OH, IA and AZ.

Iowa is the state with the 3rd smallest polling differential and is now rated the 4th most important state. Iowa is currently in the Trump column but has been moving slowly toward Clinton. using 17 polls conducted over the last 30 days, prior to and including October 19, Trump now leads Clinton by 0.12% (unweighted) and 1.67% (weighted). These values remain within the margin of error, and therefore IA remains a toss-up state, but IA is also a must win for Trump.

In Florida, using the 32 polls from the most recent 30 day period, prior to and including October 19, 2016, Clinton leads Trump by 1.16% (unweighted) and by 2.51% (weighted). The unweighted result is within the margin of error. However, the weighted difference in favor of Clinton is outside the margin of error. As I require both averages to be outside the margin of error, Florida remains a toss-up state. FL is rated 2nd behind Ohio currently as the most important state in this election. Overall, FL has the 4th smallest differential in polling. Among the current Clinton states, only NC is closer. FL is a must win state for Trump.

Recent Arizona polls have moved that race back into the toss-up column. Originally, I had AZ as a toss-up, then moved it to the Trump column, and now with the new polls, I have moved the race back into the toss-up column. Trump leads on average, over the last 30 days prior to and including October 19, 2016 (20 polls), by 1.15% (unweighted) and by 2.53% (weighted), both of which are within the margin of error. AZ has the 5th smallest difference in polls between the two major candidates and the 5th highest power rating, making this state important to watch. With its 11 electoral votes, AZ is a must win for Trump.

Nevada now shows the 6th tightest race in the country and is the 2nd state in order (see dominoes above) which Trump must win to secure election. Over 27 polls in the last 30 day period, prior to and including October 19, 2016, Clinton leads Trump by 2.04% using the unweighted approach. On a weighted basis, Clinton's lead stands at 2.65%. Both poll differentials are within the margin of error.

Based on the most recent 24 polls in Colorado, prior to and including October 18, 2016, Clinton's lead on an unweighted basis is 5.67%, and on a weighted basis is 5.12%. Based on poll variability and the algorithm used to develop the proprietary weighted analysis, the unweighted lead as well as the weighted average lead is outside the margin of error. This means that Colorado has moved into the Clinton column from being declared a toss-up state. The position of Colorado is quite important. Colorado holds the 7th smallest differential overall and the 5th smallest difference for states in the Clinton column in state polling. Above you will note that Trump must win Colorado to secure victory. This now means that Trump must take this state from the Clinton column and move it to his column. Colorado is currently rated as 8th in the list of most important states, based on number of electoral votes and the distance a candidate must go to win the state.

Pennsylvania has moved from the Clinton column to a toss-up and back to the Clinton column. Using 29 polls completed for PA over the 30 days prior to and including October 18, Clinton's margin is 3.66% (unweighted) and 5.23% (weighted). The Clinton unweighted and weighted leads are now both outside the margin of error. The reader can check out the capsule above to see the logical progression of states Trump would need to win if the dominoes start falling against Clinton. PA currently has the 8th smallest differential in polling and is rated the 7th most important state. PA is the 1st state alternative for Trump if he does not win Colorado.

Wisconsin polls remain relatively friendly to Clinton. Using all 18 polls in the last 30 days prior to an including October 18, 2016, Clinton leads by 7.39% (unweighted) and 6.11% (weighted). Both numbers are outside the margin of error which is why Wisconsin is not declared a toss-up state. Currently, WI has the 9th smallest polling differential, is the 10th most important state, and is the 2nd Trump alternative of he does not win CO, using the domino approach above.

Minnesota receives relatively little attention from major polling firms. However, I was able to locate 15 polls over the last 30 days, prior to and including October 18. Clinton leads on an unweighted basis by 6.60% and on a weighted basis by 6.22%. These margins are well outside of the margin of error and continues to place Minnesota safely in the Clinton column.

New Hampshire remains in the Clinton column. Based on the most recent 21 polls, prior to and including October 18, 2016, Clinton leads by 8.24% (unweighted) and 6.62% (weighted). Both averages are outside the margin of error. NH has the 11th smallest polling difference and is assessed as the 12th most important state in this election.

Michigan is regarded as a competitive state, although clearly in the Clinton column. Based on the most recent 19 polls over the 30 day period, prior to an including October 18,2016, Clinton leads by 6.00% (unweighted) and 6.73% (weighted). MI has the 12th smallest polling differential and is judged to be the 11th most important state.

Technical notes:

Different organizations use different polls for their analyses. I attempt the best I can to aggregate the most recent polls for any state, regardless of the pollster. I do not use a single polling feed and this site is not automated. I look at every poll manually, time consuming yes, but I stop and think each time I analyze any piece of new information.

I have initiated a second process which I have incirporated into these polling hubs, that being weighting polls by sample size, recency of the poll and historical accuracy of the polling firm. I will cite both results of every analysis and make a special point if the results are different for any given state (unweighted and weighted). I am also changing the protocol for determining the number of polls I am using. if available, I will continue to use a minimum of seven polls. However, I will use as many polls as are available in the 30 days.

Please check back for updates as new polling data is released.

Clinton Leads in Battleground States by 4.71%

Updated: October 16, 2016

Only polls with ending dates on and after October 9, 2016 [63 polls] are included in this analysis. The polls from twelve battleground states (OH, FL, NC, NV, AZ, PA, CO, IA, MI, WI, MN and NH) are aggregated and the bottom line is featured in this analysis. The bottom line number will be updated every day until the November 8, 2016 election.

Clinton's weighted average lead across all twelve battle ground states is 4.06%. Please see below for updated poll weighted average differentials in every battleground state.

Poll Differentials in Competitive States

Updated: October 18, 2016

  1. Ohio: Clinton leads by 0.03%
  2. North Carolina: Clinton leads by 1.41%
  3. Iowa: Trump leads by 1.67%
  4. Nevada: Clinton leads by 2.48%
  5. Arizona: Trump leads by 2.62%
  6. Florida: Clinton leads by 2.70%
  7. Colorado: Clinton leads by 5.12%
  8. Pennsylvania: Clinton leads by 5.23%
  9. Wisconsin: Clinton leads by 6.11%
  10. Minnesota: Clinton leads by 6.22%
  11. New Hampshire: Clinton leads by 6.62%
  12. Michigan: Clinton leads by 6.73%

The data reflects weighted averages of polls conducted over the last 30 days. States are listed with the smallest poll differential at the top. Only competitive states are listed.


State Power Ratings

Updated: October 18, 2016

  1. OH 100.00%
  2. FL 84.47%
  3. NC 82.21%
  4. IA 65.08%
  5. AZ 64.24%
  6. NV 56.85%
  7. PA 49.45%
  8. CO 35.60%
  9. MI 29.39%
  10. WI 27.18%
  11. MN 26.06%
  12. NH 10.17%

Note: The computation of state power ratings combines how close the race is with the number of electoral votes associated with the state. The states at the top of the list are more winnable by either candidate and more important overall. Each state below the most important state (currently OH) is rated as to significance as a proportion of the top state. Example - PA is 48.77% as important as OH.

Cross State Comparisons

Updated: October 5, 2016

The question I am investigating is whether polling data in one state is related to polling data in another state. If Candidate A performs relatively well in one state, can you then make a prediction as to how well that candidate will perform in another state? There are three categories of outcomes with correlations: Candidate A could poll relatively high or low in both states A and B (that is a positive correlation - the closer the correlation is to 1.00, then we have stronger confidence in making a prediction; or Candidate A can poll relatively highly in state A and relatively poorly in state B - that is referred to as an inverse correlation and the closer that inverse correlation is to -1.00, the greater the confidence we will have in making a prediction; or there appears to be little or no relationship in polling date across states for candidate A - in this case the correlation will approach 0.00. That is a brief explanation of how correlations work. One important caveat - you can never assume causality -we are looking at relationships only.

Florida vs. Pennsylvania

As of October 5, 2016, over the last 30 days, there are 16 polls in common between these two states, which means there are 32 data points (16 polling numbers for Clinton and 16 polling numbers for Trump). The value of the correlation is very high at 0.85. Taking the statistics one step further, this means that FL poll numbers account for 73% of the variation in polling data for PA and visa-versa. How a candidate does in FL is related to how that same candidate will do in PA and visa-versa.


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