Monday, November 7, 2016

My Final Electoral Map

A few days ago, I posted to Facebook the following electoral map in the Presidential race against Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton:

I based this on RealClearPolitics polling averages posted at the time. As the polls in competitive battleground states have tightened, the margins are really slim in some areas. Pennsylvania, for example, Clinton has an average of 2.4% lead, and the most recent poll shows Pennsylvania as tied. I've long said that states like Pennsylvania and Michigan are fools' gold for Republicans, President Obama easily won the state in 2012 by more than 5%. And even though the polls are tighter, Hillary Clinton has had a very stubborn lead, so I feel safe in calling Pennsylvania for her.

Some are forecasting that Utah could be in play, but like Pennsylvania, Trump's lead in the polls there have been stubborn. With both Libertian nominee Gary Johnson and independent candidate Evan McMullin making a serious play there, the Never Trump vote is divided three ways. Both Clinton and McMullin have largely failed to go past 30% in many polls, and support for Johnson seems to be bleeding into either McMullin or Clinton's camp. Trump also has seen a slight rise in the polls there. He may very well not break 50% in Republican heavy Utah, but I still believe he is the likely winner.

The other two traditionally Republican states that Trump has to make a play for, Arizona and Georgia, seem to be safely in Trump's column, though that he's had to spend resources there is a testament to the type of candidate he is.

Trump also appears to have stubborn leads in Ohio and North Carolina, while Clinton has an admittedly slim stubborn lead in Florida.

One of the smaller swing states, New Hampshire, has gone from a likely Democratic sweep in both the Presidential and Senate race to a toss up. Like Florida, the margins are slim for either candidate. This is the only real time where I'm differing from RCP's polling average because one poll shows Clinton with an 11 point lead. I believe that poll is an outlier and that Trump overall has a slight edge in polling.

One interesting note to my map. If Florida flips to Trump, this map ends up 269-269.

Which may mean each candidate could rely on Maine to bring them over the top. Maine is one of two states that awards one electoral vote to the winner of each Congressional District and the remaining two votes to the state wide winner. Clinton is the almost certain winner of the state wide vote and Maine's second Congressional district. Trump has a slight lead in Congressional district 1, but I'm willing to give it to Clinton because it is a very slim lead.

The other state that divides up its electoral votes, Nebraska, seems to have a solid Trump lead and I don't believe that will change.

For the remaining Indiana elections, which is a combination of polls and instincts:

Superintendent of Public Instruction: Glenda Ritz (D, Incumbent) over challenger Jennifer McCormick (R), which is in line with a recent WTHR/Howey poll

Indiana Governor: Calling it for John Gregg (D) against Lieutenant Governor Eric Holcomb. The recent WTHR poll has it tied, but Gregg has led in some previous polls. With 11% undecided and Eric Holcomb essentially running as an incumbent, I'm giving the lion's share of the undecided to the challenger. You can expect a post-mortem post on this race depending on which way the election goes.

Indiana's US Senate election: The Cook Political Report has said that Congressman Todd Young (R) is the expected winner against former US Senator Evan Bayh (D) per NBC's Meet The Press. I have to agree with that assessment. Even though Bayh gave an excellent debate performance and has done a lot of things right in the late stages of this campaign, Young and his Washington D.C. based super PACs and special interests have successfully re-defined the Bayh name for some Hoosier voters.

Democrats can take some solace in that the Cook Political Report is predicting Democrats with 50 US Senate seats, which means the Democrats will control the chamber if Hillary Clinton wins the Presidential election.

Indiana's Attorney General: Even though Curtis Hill (R) has dodged media inquiries as to why he's refusing post-conviction relief of an innocent man, this is still a Republican state and I don't believe Lorenzo Arredondo (D) can overcome that at this point.

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