Showing posts with label Montana. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Montana. Show all posts

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Montana Bill Would Shift Presidential Primary to March

With rare exception, Montana has conducted a consolidated primary -- including the presidential primary -- on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in June throughout the post-reform era. 

The only times when that was not the case was in 1984, when state Democrats opted to hold March caucuses instead, and in 2008 when Treasure state Republicans had a February state convention. Other than those two instances, Montana delegate allocation in both parties has tended to stem from the June presidential primary.1

And it is additionally true that the Montana legislature has done little to alter the scheduling. It has not been common for legislators to introduce legislation shifting the primary date -- presidential or otherwise -- because 1) that entails a budgetary decision on creating a separate and earlier presidential primary or 2) moving the consolidated primary would mean moving the legislators own primaries (and increase the length of their campaigns if the date is earlier than June). [Unlike many other states, Montana's legislature only meets in odd numbered years, so a change in the primary date would not mean that legislator would be campaigning for the hypothetically earlier primary during the legislative session; something that has been a roadblock in other states.]

While other states surrounding the Treasure state have shifted their presidential primaries over the years, Montana just has not seen much activity to affect the same change there. Within the last decade there have been just two bills that would have made any change to the scheduling of the Montana presidential primary: 
1) a 2015 effort to move the primary to August (which would have made the presidential primary non-compliant), and...
2) 2013 legislation to consolidated the presidential (and other) primaries with school elections in May.

In the face of a bevy of post-reform efforts across the nation to frontload presidential primaries, then, Montana has resisted the urge to follow suit.

But as the process eases into the 2024 cycle, that may be changing. New legislation -- HB 248 -- introduced by Rep. Kelly Kortum (D-65th, Bozeman) would move the consolidated primary in the Treasure state up three months from June to the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March. That likely Super Tuesday date would align the Montana presidential primary with primaries from a host of states across the country with Utah as its likely closest neighbor. That would not be the earliest presidential nominating contest in Montana (That's the 2008 Republican convention.), but it would be the earliest primary election the Treasure has conducted. 

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In the initial committee hearing for HB 248 on Tuesday, February 2, the State Administration heard arguments for and against the shift. Bill sponsor, Kelly Kortum made the case for the added economic benefit of an earlier primary, but failed when pressed to come up with anything more than abstract notions of candidate visits and spending in the state. Montana would be among the least delegate-rich states on Super Tuesday and would be hard-pressed to draw anything more than campaign spending on advertisements. Keaton Sunchild, director of Montana Native Vote, backed the bill citing the increased emphasis on rural, native and western voices in the process. But he was the only proponent of the legislation. 

Everything else during the hearing was a push back against the change from election administrators at all levels across the state. Dana Corson, the director of elections and voting services in the Montana secretary of state's office, balked at the date change and when it would be implemented. To do so for the 2022 cycle would put stress on a new voting system being put in place, but even had issues with the filing deadlines changes if implementation was pushed back to 2024. The latter was a refrain that was repeated by both Regina Plettenberg (county clerks of Montana) and Shantil Siaperas (Montana Association of Counties). Neither thought that moving filing deadlines and elections training into the holiday season to accommodate a March primary would be workable. But this is a common point of dissension among clerks and counties when similar primary bills are raised in other areas across the country. 

The committee will later consider a recommendation to pass (or not) to the House floor. Early indications are that there was neither a solid and persuasive argument for the change, nor enthusiasm on the committee for the change. But that is not atypical this early in a presidential election cycle. That urgency may be there in two years time. 


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A link to this legislation has been added to the 2024 FHQ presidential primary calendar.


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1 For a number of post-reform cycles, the Republican presidential primary in Montana was a beauty contest and treated as merely advisory to the delegate selection/allocation that would take place at a subsequent state convention.


Thursday, October 29, 2020

The Electoral College Map (10/29/20)

Update for October 29.


Well, it is too bad there were not any new polls on the Thursday before the election concludes next week. Oh wait.

With five days left in the general election campaign there was actually a flood of new state-level polling data. Here at FHQ 34 surveys from 18 states spanning all six categories were released since the last update to the projection yesterday. In two-thirds of those states, the additional polls moved the FHQ average margins in Joe Biden's direction. And that, too, encompassed states in all six categories. But President Trump was not without a silver lining in the face of all that. Margins in both Arizona and Minnesota pushed toward him on the day. However, despite another day of subtle movements, little changed in the meta-analysis. It was another date marked off the calendar in which Trump failed to meaningfully cut into Biden's advantage across the country.

On to the polls...


Polling Quick Hits:
Alabama
(Trump 58, Biden 39 via AU-Montgomery )
[Current FHQ margin: Trump +19.88] 
Trump 57, Biden 37 in September poll
If this was a day that mostly maintained the status quo in the race for the White House, then the latest update from Auburn University in Montgomery is a solid lead off example. There not only was not much movement from September to now in the series, but the new poll closely tracks with the 58-38 (rounded) edge Trump has in the Yellowhammer state. Overall, that is enough to make Alabama safe for the president next week, but it is in line to shift toward the Democrats by about eight points since 2016.


Alaska
(Trump 52, Biden 43 via Gravis Marketing)
[Current FHQ margin: Trump +6.34] 
No previous Gravis poll [Current FHQ averages in Alaska: Trump 50, Biden 44 (rounded)]
Recall that Alaska was a state where Trump barely topped 50 percent in 2016. That has been true in most polls in 2020, including this new Gravis survey of the Last Frontier. All that means that Trump has not exactly built on his win there four years ago, but he also has not lost much. Biden, on the other hand, more than seven points ahead of Clinton's 2016 share of support on election day in 2020 polling. That is enough to make Alaska more competitive, but not enough to get in the likely range of what the former vice president should expect on a really good night next Tuesday.


Arizona
(Trump 49, Biden 45 via Pulse Opinion Research | Biden 47, Trump 47 via Ipsos)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +2.90] 
Pulse Opinion Research: Biden 48, Trump 46 in last poll
Ipsos: Biden 50, Trump 46 in last poll
If there was one state today where that broke with the status quo, it was Arizona. There was movement in the Grand Canyon state in Trump's direction in both updates released in the state today. The Pulse update to a recent poll was reminiscent of the InsiderAdvantage survey released out of Pennsylvania earlier this week. Both saw a fairly dramatic shift, poll-to-poll, from Biden to the president. And neither really matches the movement -- or lack thereof -- in October polling. Although the Pulse survey is astray of the 48-45 (rounded) advantage Biden has in Arizona at FHQ, it has Trump at the top of his range and Biden at the bottom of his. 


Florida
(Biden 50, Trump 46 via Monmouth | Biden 51, Trump 47 via Marist | Biden 45, Trump 42 via Quinnipiac | Biden 48, Trump 47 via Ipsos)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +3.14] 
Monmouth: Biden 49, Trump 46 in September poll
Marist: Biden 48, Trump 48 in September poll
Quinnipiac: Biden 51, Trump 40 in early October poll
Ipsos: Biden 51, Trump 46 in poll last week
[NOTE: Using data from the high turnout Monmouth model -- a 51-45 Biden advantage -- would have increased the average FHQ margin to Biden +3.16 in Florida.]
With the exception of the Quinnipiac survey, which updated an outlier from a couple of weeks ago, Biden benefited from the updates in the other three polls that were released in Florida today. There was not movement toward Biden in all of them, but his advantages stretched in all three. More importantly, the Democratic nominee hit 50 percent in that trio of Sunshine state surveys as well. Like the discussion about Arizona polling a day ago, there may be evidence of some narrowing in Florida as well. But it is offset by how frequently Biden has been at or above 50 percent in recent Florida polling. The former vice president has been at or beyond the majority mark in 41 of 108 surveys in the Sunshine state this year. And nearly half of that 41 -- 19 surveys -- have found Biden hitting or exceeding 50 percent in just October alone. 


Georgia
(Biden 48, Trump 46 via Public Policy Polling)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +0.40] 
Biden 47, Trump 46 in early October poll
At first glance, little change from the early October Georgia poll from PPP, but then, that is par for the course in this series in 2020. Other than the June poll in which Biden led by four, the remaining surveys have all 1) had him ahead and 2) by margins in the one to two point range. This poll not only fits that trend, but is consistent with where most of the recent polling has been in the Peach state. 


Iowa
(Trump 47, Biden 46 via Quinnipiac)
[Current FHQ margin: Trump +0.64] 
Biden, 50, Trump 45 in early October poll 
FHQ does not know if Quinnipiac was spooked by that Florida outlier cited above, but today's batch from the university pollster seems to be a correction of some form. That may or may not be the case, but the percentage of undecideds grew from the last poll to now in three of the four polls including this Iowa survey. Only in Pennsylvania did the share of undecideds decrease. Regardless, that dynamic, whether a correction of some sort or natural movement (not really seen in other state-level polling) has closed the gap in Iowa from a poll just a couple of week ago. And it is also true that the last round of Q-polls were simple outliers and this is a regression to the mean. This Iowa poll is consistent with the 47-46 lead Trump currently holds in the FHQ averages. But that undecided shift is a curious footnote.


Maine
(Biden 53, Trump 39 via Survey USA)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +13.54] 

Maine CD1
(Biden 59, Trump 40 via Survey USA)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +23.36] 

Maine CD2
(Biden 51, Trump 49 via Survey USA)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +1.77] 
No previous Survey USA poll [Current FHQ averages in ME CD2: Biden 46, Trump 45 (rounded)]
FHQ will not dwell on this new Survey USA survey that encompassed all three jurisdictions with electoral votes at stake in the Pine Tree state. The second congressional district will be the most competitive of the bunch and the ranked choice voting-simulated version of that poll -- one that took second, third and fourth preferences -- gave the former vice president a two point edge that closely resembles the projected advantage he currently holds for that one electoral vote. There has not been a ton of polling in these two Maine districts, but what has been in the field has tended to favor Biden more often than not. 


Michigan
(Biden 52, Trump 42 via Mitchell Research)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +7.21] 
Biden 51, Trump 41 in mid-October poll
The Mitchell poll a week ago was on the upper end of the margins Biden has enjoyed in recent polling of the Great Lakes state, and the update this week ahead of the election does not look that much different. It still has Biden on the upper end of his range in the state and Trump near the bottom of his. This poll does expand the Democratic nominee's advantage in Michigan, but not by much. 


Minnesota
(Biden 47, Trump 42 via Survey USA)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +8.39] 
Biden 48, Trump 42 in last week's poll
The new Survey USA poll of Minnesota is not that different from the Michigan update above. But it is, perhaps, on the opposite end of the spectrum. There was not much change from one week to the next through a Survey USA lens that has Biden at the bottom of his October range and Trump consistent with his FHQ average share of support in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Survey USA has also conducted three of the nine October surveys in Minnesota and has provided three of the four instances in which Biden has failed to reach 50 percent in the state. 


Montana
(Trump 52, Biden 45 via MSU-Billings)
[Current FHQ margin: Trump +7.76] 
No previous MSU-Billings poll [Current FHQ averages in Montana: Trump 51, Biden 44 (rounded)]
First of all, this MSU-Billings survey of the Treasure state is consistent with the established FHQ average. But it also adds even more evidence to the massive potential shift there from 2016 to now. The existing Montana polling points to a more than 13 point swing toward the Democrats. That is enough to pull Montana into the Lean Trump category, but that is probably it. Still, that potential shift highlight just how uncompetitive Montana ended up being four years ago. 


New Hampshire
(Biden 58, Trump 39 via American Research Group | Biden 53, Trump 43 via UMass-Lowell)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +11.13] 
American Research Group: Biden 53, Trump 44 in September poll
UMass-Lowell: Biden 52, Trump 44 in September poll
There was little movement in the UMass-Lowell series in the Granite state from September to now, but that was not the case in the ARG series. As surprising as it may seem, the Alabama poll above and this ARG survey of New Hampshire mirror each other. And yes, Alabama is closer than is typical of the Yellowhammer state in presidential elections, but an equivalent 19 point gap in New Hampshire grabs the attention. That is doubly true for a state that was tight in 2016 and that the president's reelection effort was targeting earlier in this cycle. [The president was just there over the weekend too.] Given a uniform swing from four years ago, New Hampshire would not be competitive necessarily, but it also would not likely by tipped nearly 20 points in Biden's direction either.


New Jersey
(Biden 61, Trump 37 via Rutgers/Eagleton)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +19.74] 
Biden 56, Trump 33 (among registered voters) in May poll
That Biden has hit 60 percent in the update to May's Rutgers/Eagleton poll of New Jersey is noteworthy in and of itself. He has only reached those heights in a couple of the Survey Monkey polls of the Garden state this year. But it also serves to highlight just how little the former vice president has improved on Clinton's showing in New Jersey four years ago. It stands out as the exception rather than the rule. The president, on the other hand, has been consistently in the upper 30s there, a little more than four points off his 2016 pace there.


North Carolina
(Biden 48, Trump 45 via Siena/NYT Upshot | Biden 48, Trump 48 via UMass-Lowell)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +1.85] 
Siena: Biden 46, Trump 42 in earlier October poll
UMass-Lowell: Biden 47, Trump 47 in September poll
The Citizen Data survey (described as part of the collective wave below) did all the heavy lifting in pushing the FHQ average margin in North Carolina closer to Biden +2, but the other two polls of the Tar Heel state released today maintained the status quo. Neither the Siena nor the UMass-Lowell surveys saw any substantial shifts from the last polls in those respective series and neither update differs much from the range of polls out of North Carolina in October (or the rest of the year for that matter). Biden continues to maintain a 48-46 (rounded) advantage at FHQ.


Ohio
(Trump 49, Biden 47 via Gravis Marketing | Biden 48, Trump 43 via Quinnipiac)
[Current FHQ margin: Trump +0.67] 
No previous Gravis poll
Quinnipiac: Biden 48, Trump 47 in mid-October poll
While the first Gravis poll in the Buckeye state is in line with the small lead that Trump has had there throughout much of 2020, the Quinnipiac survey is not. But unlike the Florida and Iowa Q-polls, the one in Ohio swung toward Biden and not the president. It did, however, see the share of undecideds grow from the previous poll in the series. That drew in the margin, pushing Ohio closer to the partisan line, but the Buckeye state remains a state that is close but slightly tilted toward the president. The wiggle room in Ohio polling is that neither candidate has really been north of 50 percent much all year. Of the 42 polls that have been in the field there in 2020, Trump has hit or surpassed the majority mark only eight times and Biden has only done so in three surveys. Trump is the only one to get there in October, but even then, only once.


Pennsylvania
(Biden 51, Trump 45 via RMG Research | Biden 51, Trump 44 via Quinnipiac | Biden 50, Trump 44 via Franklin and Marshall)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +5.41] 
RMG Research: Biden 49, Trump 43 in earlier October poll
Quinnipiac: Biden 51, Trump 43 in earlier October poll
Franklin and Marshall: Biden 48, Trump 42 in September poll
If there is any new Pennsylvania poll out, then odds are it will have Biden around 50 percent and Trump somewhere in the mid-40s. All three polls fit that mold today, and while both the RMG and the Franklin and Marshall polls showed positive movement for both candidates, both new surveys maintained the margins from the previous polls in each series. This string of polls nudged Biden that much closer to 50 percent in the averages at FHQ as well.


Texas
(Trump 48, Biden 47 via UMass-Lowell)
[Current FHQ margin: Trump +1.40] 
UMass-Lowell: Trump 49, Biden 46 in September poll 
Minimal movement from one UMass-Lowell survey of Texas to the next did little to change the outlook in the Lone Star state. Trump still has the advantage in a state that continues to look like the North Carolina of the Trump side of the partisan line: close, but consistently tipped toward the president. And like North Carolina, it was the Citizen Data survey that triggered the changes in the Texas average margin.


Vermont
(Biden 62, Trump 32 via co/efficient)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +36.71] 
No previous co/efficient poll [Current FHQ averages in Vermont: Biden 66, Trump 30 (rounded)]
A rare Vermont poll failed to offer any real suspense. The Green Mountain state is a heavy Biden lean off on the far left end of the order on the Electoral College Spectrum, and other than Biden ending up closer to 60 percent rather than 70 percent, this poll -- an internal Republican survey for the lieutenant governor's race in Vermont -- did not stray too far from what one might expect. Still, Vermont is one of those states where the 2020 polling relative to where the candidates ended up in 2016 is a tad askew. While Trump hovers near where he was in Vermont -- lagging less than a point behind his 2016 pace -- Biden is more than nine points out in front of Clinton from four years ago. 


Virginia
(Biden 51, Trump 39 via Virginia Commonwealth)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +11.84] 
Biden 53, Trump 39 in September poll 
In the Old Dominion, Biden lost a couple of points in the VCU poll since its last survey in September. Both candidates fall a couple of points shy of their FHQ average shares of support in this latest update, but the margin is right on target. That further cements Virginia as something other than  the battleground it has been in recent cycles. 


Citizen Data (October battleground polls -- initial wave of releases):
Ohio: Trump 44, Biden 43
Texas: Biden 49, Trump 45
Georgia: Biden 48, Trump 44
Florida: Biden 50, Trump 45
Pennsylvania: Biden 44, Trump 39
North Carolina: Biden 50, Trump 44
Michigan: Biden 50, Trump 41

This strange set of polls from Citizen Data was made all the more strange by the correction it had to make to a Texas poll that initially (and mistakenly) indicated that Biden was ahead by ten points. A four point lead for the vice president in the Lone Star state is already off to the extreme Biden end of of the range in Texas polling. If that was not enough, the order of states in this wave is not at all consistent with the established order at FHQ. North Carolina being to the Biden side of both Florida and Pennsylvania stands out, but then again the undecideds/others-inflated totals in that survey of the Keystone state do as well. 



NOTE: 


The Electoral College Spectrum1
DC-3
VT-3
(6)2
IL-20
(162)
WI-10
(253)
AK-3
(125)
TN-11
(60)
MA-11
(17)
NJ-14
(176)
PA-203
(273 | 285)
MO-10
(122)
KY-8
(49)
MD-10
(27)
OR-7
(183)
NV-6
(279 | 265)
SC -9
(112)
SD-3
(41)
HI-4
(31)
ME-2
(185)
FL-29
(308 | 259)
MT-3
NE CD1-1
(103)
AL-9
(38)
NY-29
(60)
CO-9
(194)
AZ-11
(319 | 230)
KS-6
(99)
ID-4
(29)
CA-55
(115)
VA-13
(207)
NC-15
ME CD2-1
(335 | 219)
NE-2
(93)
AR-6
(25)
DE-3
(118)
NH-4
(211)
GA-16
(351 | 203)
IN-11
(91)
OK-7
(19)
WA-12
(130)
NM-5
(216)
IA-6
(187)
UT-6
(80)
ND-3
(12)
ME CD1-1
CT-7
(138)
MN-10
(226)
OH-18
(181)
MS-6
(74)
WV-5
(9)
RI-4
(142)
NE CD2-1
MI-16
(243)
TX-38
(163)
LA-8
(68)
WY-3
NE CD3-1
(4)
1 Follow the link for a detailed explanation on how to read the Electoral College Spectrum.

2 The numbers in the parentheses refer to the number of electoral votes a candidate would have if he or she won all the states ranked prior to that state. If, for example, Trump won all the states up to and including Pennsylvania (Biden's toss up states plus the Pennsylvania), he would have 285 electoral votes. Trump's numbers are only totaled through the states he would need in order to get to 270. In those cases, Biden's number is on the left and Trump's is on the right in bold italics.

3 Pennsylvania
 is the state where Biden crosses the 270 electoral vote threshold to win the presidential election, the tipping point state. The tipping point cell is shaded in yellow to denote that and the font color is adjusted to attempt to reflect the category in which the state is.

On the weight of two new polls -- especially that ARG poll -- New Hampshire shifts off the Watch List. It is now outside of a point of moving into the Lean Biden category and is a more comfortable Strong Biden state. 

Similarly, a wide margin in the latest New Jersey poll pushed the Garden state past Oregon in the order and one cell away from the partisan line. New Jersey is a safe Strong Biden state as well.

But again, this was another day of subtle changes here at FHQ and not the sort of big changes that the president needs at this late date. The electoral vote tally remains at Biden, 351-187 despite the changes further out in the order on the Spectrum and on the Watch List. 

5 days to go.


Where things stood at FHQ on October 29 (or close to it) in...
2016
2012
2008


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NOTE: Distinctions are made between states based on how much they favor one candidate or another. States with a margin greater than 10 percent between Biden and Trump are "Strong" states. Those with a margin of 5 to 10 percent "Lean" toward one of the two (presumptive) nominees. Finally, states with a spread in the graduated weighted averages of both the candidates' shares of polling support less than 5 percent are "Toss Up" states. The darker a state is shaded in any of the figures here, the more strongly it is aligned with one of the candidates. Not all states along or near the boundaries between categories are close to pushing over into a neighboring group. Those most likely to switch -- those within a percentage point of the various lines of demarcation -- are included on the Watch List below.

The Watch List1
State
Potential Switch
Georgia
from Toss Up Biden
to Toss Up Trump
Iowa
from Toss Up Trump
to Toss Up Biden
Kansas
from Lean Trump
to Strong Trump
Nevada
from Toss Up Biden
to Lean Biden
New Mexico
from Strong Biden
to Lean Biden
Ohio
from Toss Up Trump
to Toss Up Biden
Pennsylvania
from Lean Biden
to Toss Up Biden
1 Graduated weighted average margin within a fraction of a point of changing categories.

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Methodological Note: In past years, FHQ has tried some different ways of dealing with states with no polls or just one poll in the early rounds of these projections. It does help that the least polled states are often the least competitive. The only shortcoming is that those states may be a little off in the order in the Spectrum. In earlier cycles, a simple average of the state's three previous cycles has been used. But in 2016, FHQ strayed from that and constructed an average swing from 2012 to 2016 that was applied to states. That method, however, did little to prevent anomalies like the Kansas poll that had Clinton ahead from biasing the averages. In 2016, the early average swing in the aggregate was  too small to make much difference anyway. For 2020, FHQ has utilized an average swing among states that were around a little polled state in the rank ordering on election day in 2016. If there is just one poll in Delaware in 2020, for example, then maybe it is reasonable to account for what the comparatively greater amount of polling tells us about the changes in Connecticut, New Jersey and New Mexico. Or perhaps the polling in Iowa, Mississippi and South Carolina so far tells us a bit about what may be happening in Alaska where no public polling has been released. That will hopefully work a bit better than the overall average that may end up a bit more muted.


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Tuesday, October 27, 2020

The Electoral College Map (10/27/20)

Update for October 27.


Once the week hits Tuesday, the flow of new survey data gets turned up. Or it least it has the last several weeks as election day has approached. This Tuesday -- a Tuesday just one week removed from election day on November 3 -- was no different. There were 22 polls released since the last FHQ update from 17 different states representing all six categories. The balance continued to tilt in the former vice president's direction overall but also in this batch of surveys. Obviously the map still depicts a tally that favors Biden, but the Democratic nominee saw the margins in 11 of those 17 states. Six of the eight toss up states at FHQ had new polls released today -- only Ohio and Texas were not represented -- and Biden's margin ticked up in four of them. But the two where Trump closed the gap were notable. Unfortunately, for the president, both Florida and North Carolina continue to be consistently tipped toward Biden. 

Anyway, there is a lot to look at today, so on to the polls... 


Polling Quick Hits:
Arizona
(Biden 49, Trump 46)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +2.88] 
The update from OH Predictive in Arizona maintains the status quo in the series. Earlier this month, the firm pegged the presidential race in the Grand Canyon state at Biden, 49-45. Trump gained a point, then, but this latest survey is consistent with all of the polls in the series since July with the exception of the outlier OH Predictive survey that had Biden ahead by ten points. 


California
(Biden 65, Trump 29)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +29.56] 
Further west in California, the race for the biggest electoral vote prize looks as predictable as it has in most recent cycles. Biden has the edge in the latest UC-Berkeley poll, but this one dies represent a slight contraction from the 67-28 lead the former vice president held in the mid-September survey of the Golden state. What is perhaps most interesting is that after the addition of this poll, the FHQ average in the state stood at Biden 61-32. That represent almost no swing from election day 2016 (Clinton won 62-32 in California.) to 2020 polling


Florida
(Biden 50, Trump 48 via Florida Atlantic | Trump 49, Biden 44 via Susquehanna)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +3.12] 
The pair of polls out of the Sunshine state today both shifted in Trump's direction since the last surveys in their respective series. Biden retained the lead in FAU poll, but saw his advantage cut in half since the last poll earlier this month. However, the new poll pushes back toward the tie the university pollsters found in early September. The former vice president led in the last Susquehanna poll as well, but that three point advantage in late September disappeared in the interim period and was replaced by this latest Trump +5 survey. And while 49 percent is toward the top of the president's range in his adopted home state, Biden's 44 percent share is unusual. The former vice president has dipped below 45 percent in Florida polls in 2020, but in 102 surveys of the Sunshine state this year, it has only happened four times. That makes this one an outlier.


Georgia
(Biden 51, Trump 46)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +0.25] 
Florida was hardly the only place where Biden ended up a bit far afield of his normal range. But in the new Civiqs update, the Democratic nominee's share ran ahead of his established average here at FHQ rather than behind it as in the Susquehanna survey of Florida. Currently, the FHQ average in the Peach state sits at a 47-47 tie, and the last two iterations of the Civiqs polls have tended to have Biden not only ahead, but topping 50 percent. In the 32 polls conducted in Georgia since the beginning of September, Biden has been at or over 50 percent just six times. It happens, and far more frequently as compared to Georgia polling before September, but it is still not necessarily a common landing point for Biden. Still, this poll represents a two point swing toward Biden since the last poll -- Biden, 50-47 -- from Civiqs last month.


Indiana
(Trump 48, Biden 40)
[Current FHQ margin: Trump +11.45] 
The first publicly available Ragnar Research survey of Indiana in calendar 2020 finds Trump's support ebbing to its lowest level in the state all year. It is the Trump number, then, in this survey that is more off target, lagging about five points off the president's established average share at FHQ. As of now, the average in the Hoosier state has Trump out to a comfortable 53-41 advantage, which leaves Indiana about where the average swing from 2016 to the polling now. Biden has gained a couple of points on Clinton's showing there four years ago, and the president has trailed off by more than four points. 


Iowa
(Biden 50, Trump 46)
[Current FHQ margin: Trump +0.63] 
There is perhaps a reason Joe Biden is heading to Iowa on Friday. Polls like the update from RABA Research in the state point toward a race that has not only narrowed during October, but has begun to favor the former vice president. Biden did lead 48-46 in the last RABA poll at the end of September and that edge has doubled since then with the Democratic nominee now topping 50 percent. That is a level that Biden has hit or surpassed in a quarter of the 12 surveys released this month in the Hawkeye state. Furthermore, he has been tied or ahead in ten of those 12 polls. As Biden has risen, Trump has stayed around a 47 percent average share of support in Iowa.


Kansas
(Trump 52, Biden 38)
[Current FHQ margin: Trump +9.37] 
Although it offered a very small sample -- just over 300 registered voters -- the Fort Hays State survey was on par with where the president has been both in other recent polls in the Sunflower state and in the FHQ average. But this is another poll where the Biden number was off the mark. Generally, the former vice president has outperformed the Clinton baseline from 2016 by six points, but this survey has him much closer to where Clinton ended up in Kansas four years ago. Kansas is still very much a red state at the high end of the Lean Trump category, but it is also a state with an above average swing toward the Democrats during this cycle. It is a ten point shift from election day 2016 to the polling in 2020 with Trump losing four points off his pace in that time. 


Louisiana
(Trump 59, Biden 36)
[Current FHQ margin: Trump +17.59] 
Interestingly, the shift in Louisiana has been far less pronounced. Biden has run almost even with Clinton in the Pelican state while Trump lags just a couple of points behind his showing there. Of course, polling has not exactly been prevalent in Louisiana in calendar 2020, but the new University of New Orleans survey finds Trump toward his apex in Louisiana polling this year. Biden, meanwhile ends up at the bottom of his range. The end result is a poll that pushes the FHQ averages toward the 2016 finish in the state. 


Maryland
(Biden 58, Trump 33)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +30.73] 
Today's update is the first Gonzales Research survey of the Old Line state since May. And the underlying story the polls have collectively told is one of Biden falling short of 60 percent in Maryland. But the two polls in this series are the only ones to show that all year. And at Biden, 58-33, this poll is further off the 63-32 advantage the former vice president currently holds in the FHQ averages. That would represent a below average five point swing toward the Democrats since 2016 with Biden gaining nearly three points on Clinton and Trump losing two. 


Michigan
(Biden 53, Trump 43)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +7.16] 
Yet another update to the Ipsos series in the Great Lakes state finds Biden incrementally adding to his 52-44 lead from a week ago. But that is both a small change and one that is in line with where Ipsos has had the race in Michigan over the last two months. However, while the margin in this survey falls outside of the Biden +6-9 point range into which the bulk of Michigan surveys have recently fallen, it is yet another poll with the former vice president at or over 50 percent. And his FHQ average share of support continues to track toward 50 percent as well. 


Minnesota
(Biden 53, Trump 39)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +8.51] 
Gravis Marketing was last in the field in Minnesota in June and had Biden out to a commanding 58-42 lead among a sample of registered voters. The switch to likely voters appears to have come with a less aggressive prompt of undecided voters and saw both candidates lose support as compared to the summer poll. But this was another poll in the Land of 10,000 Lakes with Biden north of 50 percent and President Trump continuing to hover in the low 40s. And ultimately the survey is not that far from the current FHQ average in Minnesota. The Democratic nominee now leads the president here 51-42. With a week to go, Minnesota does not appear to be the flip opportunity the president's reelection campaign came into the cycle envisioning. 


Mississippi
(Trump 55, Biden 41)
[Current FHQ margin: Trump +15.41] 
Mississippi, like Louisiana above, is another Deep South state where the 2020 picture through the lens of the state-level polls looks quite similar to where the race ended in the Magnolia state in 2016. And the new Civiqs poll -- its first in Mississippi this calendar year -- is consistent with the current 55-40 Trump advantage in the FHQ averages. Both the poll and the averages find Biden in line with Clinton's showing in the state in 2016 as Trump is just more than two points off his mark from four years ago.


Montana
(Trump 49, Biden 47)
[Current FHQ margin: Trump +7.80] 
Not surprisingly, a Public Policy Polling survey that has Montana closer than it has been in any presidential poll of the state all year also has Biden at his peak level there. But the Trump side of the equation also contributes to that tight margin. The president has only been below 49 percent once all year, so this one is also at the bottom of his range in the Treasure state. Two weeks ago, PPP did not find the race as close. Then, Trump maintained a 52-46 advantage that is more in line with the 51-44 edge the president has in the FHQ averages. 


Nevada
(Biden 50, Trump 41 via UNLV Lee Business School | Biden 49, Trump 43 via Siena/NYT Upshot)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +4.55] 
The two new polls out of the Silver state today tell a similar story but took different routes in getting there. In the UNLV survey, Biden rose four points to 50 percent since the university pollsters September poll, and Trump held steady at 41 percent. That Biden around 50 percent and Trump in the low 40s outcome was also what Siena showed in Nevada, but that polls change since earlier this month was minimal. Biden tacked on an additional point, but here, too, Trump held pat. Both surveys depict a widening Biden lead that is a bit out in front of the FHQ averages in the Silver state. Here Biden is ahead 49-44.


North Carolina
(Biden 51, Trump 47 via Public Policy Polling | Biden 49, Trump 48 via Ipsos | Biden 48, Trump 47 via RMG Research | Biden 48, Trump 48 via Survey USA)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +1.80] 
Tuesday was another day that witnessed a rash of poll releases in the Tar Heel state. And all operated within a pretty tight range. Biden led in three of the four surveys, and they all overstate both candidates' support relative the 48-46 edge the former vice president continues to hold in North Carolina. But all four poll have margins that are on par with that Biden +2 lead at FHQ. Both the PPP and Ipsos updates were in line with their surveys out earlier this month. Nether candidate shifted more than a point in either. The RMG Research poll was barely any different, but found Trump moving up two points and drawing the Biden advantage in the last poll down to just a point. The largest change was in the Survey USA poll. But even that was indicative of a regression to the mean from an outlier than anything else. The Democratic nominee's 50-45 lead from early October disappeared and was replaced with a tie that was a return to what the race in North Carolina looked like in the firm's September poll. There may have been a lot of new surveys out of North Carolina today, but they all pointed toward a pretty steady race there. As FHQ has said, North Carolina is close (and has been), but is still consistently tipped the former vice president's way.


Pennsylvania
(Biden 52, Trump 45)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +5.39] 
The steadiness of the North Carolina polls is mirrored in the Civiqs series in the Keystone state. All three October surveys from the firm have had Biden stable at 52 percent and Trump firmly entrenched in the mid-40s. While that overstates the former vice president's support compared to the FHQ averages (Biden, 50-44), Trump's position in the October Civiqs polls has been proximate to his average. But again, one would expect polls to increasingly overstate the averages here at FHQ as more and more undecideds come off the board. The bottom line is that this is another Pennsylvania survey with Biden above 50 percent in Lean Biden state where he is closing in on 50 percent in the averages. 


South Carolina
(Trump 51, Biden 44)
[Current FHQ margin: Trump +6.74] 
Last but not least, Starboard Communications conducted its first survey of the Palmetto state in calendar 2020. And while it shifted things ever so slightly in the president's direction, it fell right on the 51-44 advantage that Trump currently holds in the FHQ averages. If that is what South Carolina looks like on election next week, then it would represent about a seven point swing toward the Democrats since 2016. That is consistent with the average shift calculated across all states. 



NOTE: 


The Electoral College Spectrum1
DC-3
VT-3
(6)2
IL-20
(162)
WI-10
(253)
AK-3
(125)
TN-11
(60)
MA-11
(17)
OR-7
(169)
PA-203
(273 | 285)
MO-10
(122)
KY-8
(49)
MD-10
(27)
NJ-14
(183)
NV-6
(279 | 265)
SC -9
(112)
SD-3
(41)
HI-4
(31)
ME-2
(185)
FL-29
(308 | 259)
MT-3
NE CD1-1
(103)
AL-9
(38)
NY-29
(60)
CO-9
(194)
AZ-11
(319 | 230)
KS-6
(99)
ID-4
(29)
CA-55
(115)
VA-13
(207)
NC-15
ME CD2-1
(335 | 219)
NE-2
(93)
AR-6
(25)
DE-3
(118)
NH-4
(211)
GA-16
(351 | 203)
IN-11
(91)
OK-7
(19)
WA-12
(130)
NM-5
(216)
IA-6
(187)
UT-6
(80)
ND-3
(12)
ME CD1-1
CT-7
(138)
MN-10
(226)
OH-18
(181)
MS-6
(74)
WV-5
(9)
RI-4
(142)
NE CD2-1
MI-16
(243)
TX-38
(163)
LA-8
(68)
WY-3
NE CD3-1
(4)
1 Follow the link for a detailed explanation on how to read the Electoral College Spectrum.

2 The numbers in the parentheses refer to the number of electoral votes a candidate would have if he or she won all the states ranked prior to that state. If, for example, Trump won all the states up to and including Pennsylvania (Biden's toss up states plus the Pennsylvania), he would have 285 electoral votes. Trump's numbers are only totaled through the states he would need in order to get to 270. In those cases, Biden's number is on the left and Trump's is on the right in bold italics.

3 Pennsylvania
 is the state where Biden crosses the 270 electoral vote threshold to win the presidential election, the tipping point state. The tipping point cell is shaded in yellow to denote that and the font color is adjusted to attempt to reflect the category in which the state is.

All that polling data and nary a big change to speak of. Instead, it was all subtle changes -- minimal movement in the margins -- that marked Tuesday. With a week left in the voting phase of the campaign, the map remained Biden 351-187 in the electoral vote tally, and the order stayed exactly the same as it was a day ago. However, the Watch List welcomed Kansas back after it recently left. The Sunflower state is now within a point of shifting into the Strong Trump category from the Lean Trump group of states. This race is steady as she goes in the polls as filtered through the FHQ graduated weighted average. 

7 days to go.


Where things stood at FHQ on October 27 (or close to it) in...
2016
2012
2008


--
NOTE: Distinctions are made between states based on how much they favor one candidate or another. States with a margin greater than 10 percent between Biden and Trump are "Strong" states. Those with a margin of 5 to 10 percent "Lean" toward one of the two (presumptive) nominees. Finally, states with a spread in the graduated weighted averages of both the candidates' shares of polling support less than 5 percent are "Toss Up" states. The darker a state is shaded in any of the figures here, the more strongly it is aligned with one of the candidates. Not all states along or near the boundaries between categories are close to pushing over into a neighboring group. Those most likely to switch -- those within a percentage point of the various lines of demarcation -- are included on the Watch List below.

The Watch List1
State
Potential Switch
Georgia
from Toss Up Biden
to Toss Up Trump
Iowa
from Toss Up Trump
to Toss Up Biden
Kansas
from Lean Trump
to Strong Trump
Nevada
from Toss Up Biden
to Lean Biden
New Hampshire
from Strong Biden
to Lean Biden
New Mexico
from Strong Biden
to Lean Biden
Ohio
from Toss Up Trump
to Toss Up Biden
Pennsylvania
from Lean Biden
to Toss Up Biden
1 Graduated weighted average margin within a fraction of a point of changing categories.

--
Methodological Note: In past years, FHQ has tried some different ways of dealing with states with no polls or just one poll in the early rounds of these projections. It does help that the least polled states are often the least competitive. The only shortcoming is that those states may be a little off in the order in the Spectrum. In earlier cycles, a simple average of the state's three previous cycles has been used. But in 2016, FHQ strayed from that and constructed an average swing from 2012 to 2016 that was applied to states. That method, however, did little to prevent anomalies like the Kansas poll that had Clinton ahead from biasing the averages. In 2016, the early average swing in the aggregate was  too small to make much difference anyway. For 2020, FHQ has utilized an average swing among states that were around a little polled state in the rank ordering on election day in 2016. If there is just one poll in Delaware in 2020, for example, then maybe it is reasonable to account for what the comparatively greater amount of polling tells us about the changes in Connecticut, New Jersey and New Mexico. Or perhaps the polling in Iowa, Mississippi and South Carolina so far tells us a bit about what may be happening in Alaska where no public polling has been released. That will hopefully work a bit better than the overall average that may end up a bit more muted.


--
Related posts:




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Saturday, October 24, 2020

The Electoral College Map (10/24/20)

Update for October 24.


On the last day before the countdown to November 3 ticks down below ten days there were more leftover polls from Friday than new weekend poll releases. But those leftovers from Friday were conducted by a variety of pollsters on behalf of the center-right American Action Forum in Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan and Ohio and collectively were a good set of polls for the president. Across those five states, the margins moved in Trump's direction in all of them but Michigan. [The margin in Georgia would have shifted in Biden's direction too if not for the Landmark Communications poll that was also added today.] However, in the two states -- Montana and Pennsylvania -- where there were Saturday poll releases, the margins moved in the former vice president's direction.

On to the polls... 


Polling Quick Hits:
Arizona
(Biden 48, Trump 48)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +2.88]
In Arizona, the margin dipped below Biden +3 for the first time since Arizona and North Carolina were on a trajectory to converge earlier in the summer. That same sort of trend seems more likely to replicate itself now given the recent polling conducted in the Grand Canyon state. Basswood Research in an early October poll found the race knotted at 48 and was virtually unchanged from the firm's August poll that had Trump ahead 48-47. Both polls are a bit more Trump-favorable than other recent surveys, and that is almost all a function of the Trump side of the equation. Biden's position in both polls is consistent with the 48 percent average share of support the former vice president has established there. That consistency contrasts with a Trump share in these surveys that has him running about three points ahead of his average share.


Georgia
(Trump 49, Biden 45 via Landmark Communications | Biden 49, Trump 45 via Opinion Insight)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +0.14]
The two polls out of the Peach state tell different stories. The update in the Landmark Communications series of polls saw Trump's lead expand since the firm's early October poll, but this series has consistently shown the president ahead with one exception in late September. And both candidates have tended to be in the mid-40s with the president pushing close to the upper 40s in most. And given that Georgia is a 47-47 (rounded) tie at FHQ, this poll has Trump toward the top of his range in recent polls while Biden is at the bottom end of his. The Opinion Insight survey is an update to an early September poll that found the race tied at 46. The take away from both of these polls is that both are in line with a predictable range of variation from poll to poll, all operating around a race tied in the mid- to upper 40s. 


Iowa
(Biden 47, Trump 45)
[Current FHQ margin: Trump +0.80]
Opinion Insight was also in the field in the Hawkeye state in both early September and again in early October. Between them, the two Iowa polls represent the largest shift on the day, moving from Trump +7 in September to Biden +2 within the last few weeks. And of the two, the more recent one is more in line with the overall FHQ average in the state. Trump leads 47-46 (rounded) at FHQ and although he trails in the most recent Opinion Insight survey, both candidates ended up well within their ranges of support in recent Iowa polling. Of the 11 polls conducted there in October, Biden has led or been tied in nine of them. Trump still holds the advantage in the Hawkeye state in FHQ's graduated weighted average, but this month the trajectory of change has been in the former vice president's direction.


Michigan
(Biden 51, Trump 42)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +7.01]
The final pair of Opinion Insight polls for American Action Forum was conducted in Michigan, and again, these were the most favorable of the bunch toward the Democratic nominee. But as in Georgia and Iowa, the movement is toward Biden from September to October. Biden's 50-44 advantage in September grew, but the earlier poll was more consistent with where FHQ currently has the race for the Great Lakes state's 16 electoral votes (Biden 50-43) but not not by much. Michigan continues to be a state where polling of late has most often found the race in the Biden +6-9 range.


Montana
(Trump 50, Biden 46)
[Current FHQ margin: Trump +8.15]
This is the first RMG Research survey of Montana in calendar 2020 and it matches the most narrow margin in Treasure state polling all year. But as is typical in those types of polls, the president lags about five points behind his 2016 showing in the state around 50 percent while Biden tends to rise into the mid-40s, above his average share of support (43 percent) at FHQ. 


Ohio
(Trump 48, Biden 47) 
[Current FHQ margin: Trump +0.80]
Over in the Buckeye state, OnMessage Inc. in another pair of polls conducted for American Action Forum also found movement toward Biden from its September poll to the early October survey. The 51-45 lead the president had then has shrunk to a one point advantage for Trump now and is more in line with the 47-46 edge Trump has in the FHQ averages. This is another series where the latest survey has drawn closer to the established average shares of support the candidates hold in Ohio.


Pennsylvania
(Biden 51, Trump 44)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +5.42]
Finally, in Pennsylvania, Gravis Marketing condutcted a survey that ended up looking exactly like the Muhlenberg poll from yesterday. But that was representative of a shift in Biden's direction since the firm was last in the field in the Keystone state back in July. Then, the race was 48-45, Biden, but that advantage has stretched in the months since then but the president has mainly remained stationary in the mid-40s as the former vice president has pushed up into the low-50s. And that would likely kill the president's chances at reelection. Pennsylvania more than five points away from Trump is and has been a red flag for a while now at FHQ. 



NOTE: 


The Electoral College Spectrum1
DC-3
VT-3
(6)2
IL-20
(162)
WI-10
(253)
AK-3
(125)
TN-11
(60)
MA-11
(17)
OR-7
(169)
PA-203
(273 | 285)
MO-10
(122)
KY-8
(49)
MD-10
(27)
NJ-14
(183)
NV-6
(279 | 265)
SC -9
(112)
AL-9
(41)
HI-4
(31)
ME-2
(185)
FL-29
(308 | 259)
MT-3
NE CD1-1
(103)
SD-3
(32)
NY-29
(60)
CO-9
(194)
AZ-11
(319 | 230)
KS-6
(99)
ID-4
(29)
CA-55
(115)
VA-13
(207)
NC-15
ME CD2-1
(335 | 219)
NE-2
(93)
AR-6
(25)
DE-3
(118)
NH-4
(211)
GA-16
(351 | 203)
IN-11
(91)
OK-7
(19)
WA-12
(130)
NM-5
(216)
IA-6
(187)
UT-6
(80)
ND-3
(12)
ME CD1-1
CT-7
(138)
MN-10
(226)
OH-18
(181)
MS-6
(74)
WV-5
(9)
RI-4
(142)
NE CD2-1
MI-16
(243)
TX-38
(163)
LA-8
(68)
WY-3
NE CD3-1
(4)
1 Follow the link for a detailed explanation on how to read the Electoral College Spectrum.

2 The numbers in the parentheses refer to the number of electoral votes a candidate would have if he or she won all the states ranked prior to that state. If, for example, Trump won all the states up to and including Pennsylvania (Biden's toss up states plus the Pennsylvania), he would have 285 electoral votes. Trump's numbers are only totaled through the states he would need in order to get to 270. In those cases, Biden's number is on the left and Trump's is on the right in bold italics.

3 Pennsylvania
 is the state where Biden crosses the 270 electoral vote threshold to win the presidential election, the tipping point state. The tipping point cell is shaded in yellow to denote that and the font color is adjusted to attempt to reflect the category in which the state is.

Today brought a smaller number of polls but few changes as well. Importantly, Iowa and Ohio swapped spots on the Electoral College Spectrum with Iowa shifting closer to the partisan line. The same was true for Montana and Nebraska's first congressional district. Montana pushed past the district in uncompetitive Nebraska and closer to the partisan line. However, neither is in any danger of changing sides. But should a landslide happen FHQ is there to provide context. 

The map and Watch List remained the same as they were a day ago.

10 days to go.


Where things stood at FHQ on October 24 (or close to it) in...
2016
2012
2008


--
NOTE: Distinctions are made between states based on how much they favor one candidate or another. States with a margin greater than 10 percent between Biden and Trump are "Strong" states. Those with a margin of 5 to 10 percent "Lean" toward one of the two (presumptive) nominees. Finally, states with a spread in the graduated weighted averages of both the candidates' shares of polling support less than 5 percent are "Toss Up" states. The darker a state is shaded in any of the figures here, the more strongly it is aligned with one of the candidates. Not all states along or near the boundaries between categories are close to pushing over into a neighboring group. Those most likely to switch -- those within a percentage point of the various lines of demarcation -- are included on the Watch List below.

The Watch List1
State
Potential Switch
Georgia
from Toss Up Biden
to Toss Up Trump
Iowa
from Toss Up Trump
to Toss Up Biden
Nevada
from Toss Up Biden
to Lean Biden
New Hampshire
from Strong Biden
to Lean Biden
New Mexico
from Strong Biden
to Lean Biden
Ohio
from Toss Up Trump
to Toss Up Biden
Pennsylvania
from Lean Biden
to Toss Up Biden
1 Graduated weighted average margin within a fraction of a point of changing categories.

--
Methodological Note: In past years, FHQ has tried some different ways of dealing with states with no polls or just one poll in the early rounds of these projections. It does help that the least polled states are often the least competitive. The only shortcoming is that those states may be a little off in the order in the Spectrum. In earlier cycles, a simple average of the state's three previous cycles has been used. But in 2016, FHQ strayed from that and constructed an average swing from 2012 to 2016 that was applied to states. That method, however, did little to prevent anomalies like the Kansas poll that had Clinton ahead from biasing the averages. In 2016, the early average swing in the aggregate was  too small to make much difference anyway. For 2020, FHQ has utilized an average swing among states that were around a little polled state in the rank ordering on election day in 2016. If there is just one poll in Delaware in 2020, for example, then maybe it is reasonable to account for what the comparatively greater amount of polling tells us about the changes in Connecticut, New Jersey and New Mexico. Or perhaps the polling in Iowa, Mississippi and South Carolina so far tells us a bit about what may be happening in Alaska where no public polling has been released. That will hopefully work a bit better than the overall average that may end up a bit more muted.


--
Related posts:




Follow FHQ on TwitterInstagram and Facebook or subscribe by Email.