Showing posts with label North Dakota. Show all posts
Showing posts with label North Dakota. Show all posts

Monday, October 5, 2020

The Electoral College Map (10/5/20)

Update for October 5.


After all of the poll additions and changes a day ago, the work week began with a fairly steady stream of new survey releases, but with none of the attendant changes that Sunday had. Helpfully, there were several updates in states that do not generally see any real frequency of polling, and those always serve to further clarify the overall swing from 2016 to now. That number has dropped of late. A month ago, the average swing toward the Democrats across all states stood at nearly eight points. Now, just a bit more than four weeks ahead of election day, that average shift has shrunk to just under seven points.

No, that is not representative of some fundamental shift in the race, but the dynamics driving it underneath the surface may be. The Biden side of that change has risen from three to four points, meaning that on average he is running about four points above Hillary Clinton from four years ago. Trump had been running about four points behind his 2016 pace a month ago, but that has decreased to around two points now. Both make sense as the candidates continue to consolidate support (from undecided voters and those heretofore aligned with other candidates). But again, Trump remains more than six points behind Biden, or about the current margin in Wisconsin, a state on the other side of the tipping point from the president's coalition of states. With 29 days to go, that is quite a bit of ground to make up.

On to the day's polls...


Polling Quick Hits:
Alabama
(Trump 57, Biden 37)
[Current FHQ margin: Trump +20.40]
Auburn University-Montgomery was last in the field in the Yellowhammer state in July and found a race that was closer than usual there (Trump +14). But the transition to a likely voter screen in the time since then has only benefited Trump. Still, this poll finds the president running behind his 2016 share of support there while Biden is a handful of points ahead of Clinton's pace. No, that is not enough to come anywhere close to making up the difference, but even this poll in deep red Alabama is indicative of the shift toward the Democrats overall.


Arizona
(Biden 49, Trump 41)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +3.18]
Over in Arizona, Siena/NYT Upshot conducted its third survey in the state dating back to June. For those who came looking for big changes, look elsewhere. Each of those three times, Siena has had Biden in the 48-49 percent range and Trump back around the 40-41 percent range. Yes, that has Biden out to a lead that considerably wider than the current average margin at FHQ, but it has been a consistent finding for the college poll over time in Arizona. And Trump is running further behind his average here than Biden is running ahead of his.


Delaware
(Biden 54, Trump 33)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +27.21]
As with Alabama, it was good to get an update from the First state. And while Biden is ahead in the University of Delaware survey of his home state, the former vice president's 54 percent share of support is the lowest he has been in the state's limited number of surveys this year. And yet, in this poll Biden remains marginally ahead of Clinton's pace from 2016. Trump, on the other hand, lags well behind his support in the state from then. And that is not unexpected given Biden's favorite son status in Delaware (limited though that may be in the context of a polarized electorate).


Michigan
(Biden 48, Trump 39)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +7.07]
Glengariff Group was in the field for the third time this year in Michigan, and the polls shows Biden up by his biggest lead in the series. It is Biden's largest advantage, but the former vice president is not even at his high water mark in the series in this poll. But Trump has reached his nadir, falling below 40 percent for the first time in a poll that was conducted completely after last week's first presidential debate. Trump does not need Michigan to get to 270, but Biden has been approaching 50 percent in the averages in the Great Lakes state as the president has been mired in the low 40s.


North Carolina
(Biden 50, Trump 46)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +1.48]
North Carolina-based Public Policy Polling may be prolific in surveying the state, but this is the firm's first public survey of the Tar Heel state since July. And this poll is in line with the rest. Yes, the samples continue to be among registered and not likely North Carolina voters at this late stage, but the trend line, or lack thereof, has been consistent: Biden in the upper 40s or right at 50 percent and Trump in the mid-40s. That nails Trump's FHQ average share of support there and continues to have Biden out in front of his by a couple of points. But it is another poll that reflects a continued narrow lead for the former vice president in the state.


North Dakota
(Trump 51, Biden 37)
[Current FHQ margin: Trump +26.25]
DFM Research returned to a "registered" voter sample in its latest survey of the Peace Garden state. [There is no voter registration in North Dakota.] It is an odd transition considering the firm's last two polls there were of likely voters. And while the transition from registered to likely meant a contracted margin from February to March, the transition back did not have the opposite effect. In fact, the margin shrunk by about a fifth since the last mid-September survey to its lowest level all year. This does not mean that North Dakota is suddenly competitive, but it does show that even in states about as far out to the right on the Electoral College Spectrum as a state can get, the shift has still generally been toward the Democrats since the last cycle. Biden may still be down over 25 points, but he is running ahead of Clinton's showing there in 2016 by more than seven points.


Ohio
(Trump 48, Biden 44)
[Current FHQ margin: Trump +0.46]
This is the first Trafalgar Group survey of Ohio in calendar 2020. Despite generally being seen by many as a pollster with a fairly noticeable and consistent Republican house effect, this survey is not inconsistent with the recent polling witnessed in the Buckeye state. Trump's share is well within his range of recent results there, but Biden is at his lowest point in the state since a July Zogby survey had him at 43%. And this is below where the former vice president has generally been in August and September polling of Ohio. That is not to say that this survey is an outlier -- it is not exactly -- but it is particularly off on Biden's share of support.


Pennsylvania
(Biden 50, Trump 45)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +5.38]
The first of two Rust Belt surveys from Ipsos comes out of Pennsylvania. And it is the first of two polls from the firm that are right in line with the margins in both states. In the Keystone state, the president trails by five points with both candidates just over their respective FHQ averages shares of support. As in Michigan, the former vice president is approaching the 50 percent mark, leaving little room for the president to catch up and overtake Biden unless Trump can bring him down several notches. That may prove difficult in the coming days as the trajectory -- at least in some cases at the national level -- maybe heading in the opposite direction. Trump may not need Michigan, but if the order of states below holds, then he will need Pennsylvania to get to 270.


Utah
(Trump 50, Biden 40)
[Current FHQ margin: Trump +14.58]
On the whole, the surveys of Utah from Y2 Analytics have shown a much closer than usual race for the Beehive state's six electoral votes. Whereas the previous two polls from back in the spring found a race in the low to mid-single digits, the latest update from the firm has that lead expanding but still falling below the average margin. Still, for the first time in the series, Y2 has Trump at 50 percent. Both candidates are running well ahead of either their or their party's showing in the state last time around and by substantial margins. Third party candidates are not pulling nearly what Evan McMullin received in the state in 2016. Trump is very likely to win in Utah and improve on his support in the process. But it looks like it will fall below the 60 percent Republican candidates have averaged there over the previous three cycles.


Wisconsin
(Biden 50, Trump 44)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +6.12]
Finally, the second of the Ipsos polls comes from out of the Badger state. And like the Pennsylvania poll above, this one, too, is right on target with the margin and candidate shares in Wisconsin as measured in the graduated weighted averages here at FHQ. It may or may not be a bit early for herding to have started in these polls, but FHQ will confess that that is among the thoughts that sprang to mind on seeing these results and comparing them to the averages in the dataset. That said, this one is consistent with other recent polls and marks very little change from the poll the firm conducted in the state a couple of weeks ago.


NOTE: A description of the methodology behind the graduated weighted average of 2020 state-level polling that FHQ uses for these projections can be found here.


The Electoral College Spectrum1
DC-3
VT-3
(6)2
IL-20
(162)
WI-10
(253)
SC-9
(125)
TN-11
(60)
MA-11
(17)
NJ-14
(176)
PA-203
(273 | 285)
AK-3
(116)
KY-8
(49)
MD-10
(27)
OR-7
(183)
NV-6
(279 | 265)
MO-10
(113)
AL-9
(41)
CA-55
(82)
ME-2
(185)
FL-29
(308 | 259)
KS-6
(103)
SD-3
(32)
NY-29
(111)
CO-9
(194)
AZ-11
ME CD2-1
(320 | 230)
NE CD1-1
MT-3
(97)
ID-4
(29)
HI-4
(115)
VA-13
(207)
NC-15
(335 | 218)
NE-2
(93)
AR-6
(25)
DE-3
(118)
NH-4
(211)
GA-16
(203)
IN-11
(91)
OK-7
(19)
WA-12
(130)
NM-5
(216)
OH-18
(187)
UT-6
(80)
ND-3
(12)
CT-7
ME CD1-1
(138)
MN-10
(226)
IA-6
(169)
MS-6
(74)
WV-5
(9)
RI-4
(142)
MI-16
NE CD2-1
(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.

There was a lot to look at to open the work week, but unlike Sunday did not bring nearly as much change. In fact, the additions today did not trigger any change. The map, Spectrum and Watch List all stayed just as they were on Sunday evening. And with 29 days to go, that has to be at least somewhat troubling for the president. There just are not that many states in range of changing categories much less jumping the partisan line into Trump territory. Those states that are even in range of the partisan line are already states the president counts in his column. Any changes in either Georgia or Ohio would hurt rather than help the president. Time is dwindling for the president and so are his chances in this race with just more than four weeks to go until election day.



Where things stood at FHQ on October 5 (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 Trump
to Toss Up Biden
New Hampshire
from Strong Biden
to Lean Biden
New Mexico
from Lean Biden
to Strong 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:
The Electoral College Map (10/4/20)

The Electoral College Map (10/3/20)

The Electoral College Map (10/2/20)


Follow FHQ on TwitterInstagram and Facebook or subscribe by Email.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

The Electoral College Map (9/29/20)

Update for September 29.


Changes (September 29)
StateBeforeAfter
Ohio
Toss Up Biden
Toss Up Trump
Debate day has arrived and with it a slew of new state-level surveys. Many of those were the first time some of these pollsters have conducted surveys in the 12 states polled on the day. Notably, Ohio has jumped back over the partisan line into Toss Up Trump territory after a brief stint shaded in a light blue. Now, those who were happy to see the Buckeye state move into the Toss Up Biden category a few days ago may grumble that it was the June-September waves from Survey Monkey that pushed Ohio back into the president's column. But as FHQ has said, it is not so much that Ohio is a toss up in Biden's or Trump's direction, so much as it is that the Buckeye state is close to tied. It may end up with Biden or Trump on (or after) election day, but if it continues to stay in this area in the order, then it suggests something about the extent to which things have shifted toward the Democrats since 2016. And if Ohio is among the most competitive states on election day, then it suggests that Biden is in good shape to get to and beyond 270.


Polling Quick Hits:
Alaska
(Trump 47, Biden 46)
[Current FHQ margin: Trump +2.69]
There has not been a whole lot of polling of Alaska but what little has been done has pointed toward it being a bit more competitive than is typically the case in the Last Frontier. The Harstad Strategic Research survey has Trump up only one point. But the story is less about how much Trump is lagging behind his 2016 pace (nearly three points) there than it is about how much Biden has improved over Clinton's (almost nine points). That is a shift toward the Democrats that is above average compared to the rest of the country. Regardless, more polling of Alaska would seem warranted at this point.


Arizona
(Biden 47, Trump 47)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +3.457]
The Grand Canyon state, meanwhile, has been consistently tipped in Biden's direction by something north of three points in the FHQ averages. And that is still the case. However, the new Susquehanna survey of Arizona is the third over the last week or so to show the state either marginally favoring the president or tied. And that comes after a stretch 12 polls dating back to mid-August since the last Trump lead in an Arizona poll. That could be noise or it could be the start of a new trend in a state that has been a Biden toss up, but a reliable one thus far with some space (and states) between it and the partisan line.


Florida
(Biden 46, Trump 43)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +3.456]
Like Arizona, Florida, too, has been a reliable albeit close state for Biden, but one that has seen some narrowing in recent days. But as FHQ noted last week, things have tightened but only to a point and that is buttressed by a series of polls that have had Biden up three. The new Susquehanna survey of the Sunshine state falls into that category and adds at least some credence to the idea that things have now plateaued there. And the margin has stabilized in the mid-threes for Biden.


Georgia
(Biden 50, Trump 47 via Civiqs | Biden 50, Trump 47 via Quinnipiac)
[Current FHQ margin: Trump +0.18]
Speaking of three point leads for the former vice president, he got a pair of them from a couple of new polls out of the Peach state. That was enough to push Georgia back up against the Trump side of the partisan line and back to being the most competitive of the states the president claims at this point. Civiqs was last in the field in Georgia in May and found Biden up a point in a registered voter sample. The switch to likely voters in the time since has only bolstered that advantage. Biden gained a couple of points and Trump remained stationary at 47 percent.


Illinois
(Biden 53, Trump 40)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +20.56]
The first poll of calendar 2020 in Illinois from Victory Research is perhaps a bit closer than one would expect given the nature of the swing from 2016 to now elsewhere across the country. Yes, Biden's lead is comfortable and unlikely to collapse in the next five weeks there, but this survey represents a slight decrease in support for Biden (relative to election day 2016) and marginal increase for the president. Still, as this is the lone survey in the Land of Lincoln, it remains tethered to the swings from other states that finished around it four years ago. That keeps the margin a bit above where this poll pegs it.


New Hampshire
(Biden 52, Trump 44)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +6.69]
The polls have been sporadic enough in New Hampshire that FHQ was surprised to find that there had been a survey other than the new UMass-Lowell poll this month. And it is more in line with the pre-September polling than was the earlier Siena poll of the Granite state. This UMass poll has both candidates running a bit ahead of their established levels of support here at FHQ. But Biden does marginally better to push the poll margin just beyond the FHQ average margin. But like Minnesota, New Hampshire does not exactly look like the flip opportunity the Trump campaign may have envisioned.


North Carolina
(Biden 47, Trump 47)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +1.43]
UMass-Lowell was also in the field in North Carolina and found a race knotted at 47. That is not too far off from the former vice president's 47-46 (rounded) lead in the weighted averages of both candidates' shares of support. North Carolina continues to be close, but like Arizona and Florida, also is still tilted consistently toward Biden.



North Dakota
(Trump 56, Biden 37)
[Current FHQ margin: Trump +19.17]
That same consistency was also seen in the latest update from DFM Research in North Dakota. DFM has been the only pollster to test the presidential trial heat in the Peace Garden state all year, and the firm has shown a similar picture each time: Trump in the mid- to upper 50s and Biden in the mid- to upper 30s. Like Illinois, North Dakota is a safe state, but a safe state for the president. But unlike the sole survey in Illinois thus far, the DFM update in North Dakota continues to show Trump running well behind the 62 percent he received there in 2016 and Biden nearly ten points ahead of Clinton's pace. North Dakota will end up a red state in November, but its swing toward the Democrats is notable.


Ohio
(Trump 50, Biden 48)
[Current FHQ margin: Trump +0.24]
The four waves of Survey Monkey polls of the Buckeye state may be new to the FHQ dataset, but the 50-48 advantage for the president there is not. Trump held the same lead a month ago in the August survey. And while that represents no change in Ohio in this series, the addition of those four monthly surveys nudges the Buckeye state back over the partisan line onto Trump's side of the ledger. Yet, as this poll is fairly close to Biden's rounded average share of support (47 percent), it has Trump running a few points ahead of his (also 47 percent, rounded). Again, however, the Buckeye state remains within a quarter of a point of the partisan line.


Pennsylvania
(Biden 49, Trump 40 via Siena/NYT Upshot | Biden 54, Trump 45 via ABC/WaPo)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +5.33]
For the first time in a while a pair of polls came along and inched Pennsylvania deeper into the Lean Biden category and outside of a tenth of a point of the Lean/Toss Up line. But it took a couple of nine point leads in those two polls to do it. The ABC/WaPo survey was its first there of calendar 2020, but Siena has conducted a survey in the commonwealth before. And the picture back in mid-June looked awfully similar. Biden's 50-40 edge in June has shrunk to 49-40 in September. No, that is not much shrinking. In fact, that that lead has held up -- from a time when Biden was surging in the polls across the nation -- says something about the overall steadiness of this race in the Keystone state and elsewhere. The case for narrowing in Pennsylvania is less solid than, say, Florida, and it is mainly due to polls like these.


Texas
(Trump 49, Biden 46)
[Current FHQ margin: Trump +1.20]
September polls in Texas have been dominated by a host of small leads for the president, a group that now includes this UMass-Lowell. It was the first survey of the Lone Star state from the university pollster and is consistent with the average share of support Biden enjoys in the state, but has Trump a bit out in front of his. Still, that 49 precent share of support is not foreign to the president. It just happens to be toward the upper end of his range in recent polling in Texas. Like North Carolina, Texas remains close. Unlike the Tar Heel state, however, it is tipped in Trump's direction.


Wisconsin
(Biden 48, Trump 46 via Susquehanna | Biden 48, Trump 45 via Trafalgar)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +6.21]
Some of the above is good for the president, but the pair of polls out of Wisconsin today represented the brightest ray of hope for Trump. The Badger state had not seen a poll with a Biden lead less than four points all month until these two polls. However, both have Biden slightly under his FHQ average share of support in the state and Trump right at the upper end of his range in group of September polls that have all too often found him in the lower 40s.


Also added:

  • June, July, August and September waves of Rust Belt polling in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin form Survey Monkey. [Be aware that the September wave is still being updated until the end of the month. Those numbers can shift and have shifted and will be updated at FHQ as they do.]
  • Battleground polling from Hart Research Associates out of Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.




NOTE: A description of the methodology behind the graduated weighted average of 2020 state-level polling that FHQ uses for these projections can be found here.


The Electoral College Spectrum1
DC-3
MA-11
(14)2
CT-7
(162)
WI-10
(253)
AK-3
(125)
AL-9
(60)
HI-4
(18)
NJ-14
(176)
PA-203
(273 | 285)
MO-10
(122)
IN-11
(51)
CA-55
(73)
OR-7
(183)
NV-6
(279 | 265)
SC-9
(112)
UT-6
(40)
VT-3
(76)
NM-5
(188)
AZ-11
(290 | 259)
KS-6
(103)
KY-8
(34)
MD-10
(86)
ME-2
(190)
FL-29
ME CD2-1
(320 | 248)
MT-3
NE CD1-1
(97)
SD-3
(26)
NY-29
(115)
CO-9
(199)
NC-15
(335 | 218)
LA-8
(93)
ID-4
(23)
WA-12
ME CD1-1
(128)
VA-13
(212)
GA-16
(203)
MS-6
(85)
ND-3
(19)
RI-4
(132)
MN-10
(222)
OH-18
(187)
AR-6
(79)
OK-7
(16)
DE-3
(135)
MI-16
(238)
IA-6
(169)
NE-2
(73)
WV-5
(9)
IL-20
(155)
NE CD2-1
NH-4
(243)
TX-38
(163)
TN-11
(71)
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.

Not only did Ohio change shades on the map and push over the partisan line into Trump territory, but it was jumped on the other side by Georgia. The Peach state settled in next to the partisan line on the Electoral College Spectrum above as the most competitive of the Trump states. But the difference between the two is negligible. But not as negligible as the one one-thousandth of a point difference in the average margins in Arizona and Florida. The two Sun Belt state remained next to each other in the order on the Spectrum but swapped spots with Florida now the closer of the two.

Further out on the blue side of the Spectrum. New Hampshire and Wisconsin once again switched places with Wisconsin rejoining the states in the competitive, middle column. And the first poll in Illinois pushed it down the bottom cell in the far left column. The same could be said for North Dakota all the way on the right end of the Spectrum. The Peace Garden state moved one cell closer to the far end of Trump's coalition of states.

All that shuffling on the Spectrum was offset by a day of little change on the Watch List. The same nine states that were there a day ago are still there with only Ohio's potential shift being different after its change to Toss Up Trump.

But for all those polls, the story remains much the same around FHQ, give or take those 18 electoral votes that keep shifting as Ohio does.



Where things stood at FHQ on September 29 (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
Arkansas
from Strong Trump
to Lean Trump
Georgia
from Toss Up Trump
to Toss Up Biden
Iowa
from Toss Up Trump
to Toss Up Biden
Louisiana
from Lean Trump
to Strong Trump
Mississippi
from Strong Trump
to Lean Trump
Nevada
from Toss Up Biden
to Lean Biden
Ohio
from Toss Up Trump
to Toss Up Biden
Pennsylvania
from Lean Biden
to Toss Up Biden
Virginia
from Strong Biden
to Lean 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:
The Electoral College Map (9/28/20)

The Electoral College Map (9/27/20)

The Electoral College Map (9/26/20)


Follow FHQ on TwitterInstagram and Facebook or subscribe by Email.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

2020 Democratic Delegate Allocation: NORTH DAKOTA

NORTH DAKOTA

Election type: party-run primary ['firehouse caucus']
Date: March 10
Number of delegates: 18 [3 at-large, 2 PLEOs, 9 congressional district, 4 automatic/superdelegates]
Allocation method: proportional statewide and at the congressional district level
Threshold to qualify for delegates: 15%
2016: proportional caucuses
Delegate selection plan


--
Changes since 2016
If one followed the 2016 series on the Republican process here at FHQ, then you may end up somewhat disappointed. The two national parties manage the presidential nomination process differently. The Republican National Committee is much less hands-on in regulating state and state party activity in the delegate selection process than the Democratic National Committee is. That leads to a lot of variation from state to state and from cycle to cycle on the Republican side. Meanwhile, the DNC is much more top down in its approach. Thresholds stay the same. It is a 15 percent barrier that candidates must cross in order to qualify for delegates. That is standard across all states. The allocation of delegates is roughly proportional. Again, that is applied to every state.

That does not mean there are no changes. The calendar has changed as have other facets of the process such as whether a state has a primary or a caucus.

North Dakota Democrats not only shook up their mode of delegate allocation and selection, but also moves the contest up twelve weeks from early June in 2016 to mid-March for 2020. And while that was among the biggest calendar moves from last cycle to this one, it was a nod to the new encouragements in DNC delegate selection rules that carries perhaps greater weight. In their draft delegate selection plan, North Dakota Democrats shift from a straight caucus format to a "firehouse" caucus format that allows for North Dakota Democrats to participate at caucus locations but to also weigh in via a "robust" vote-by-mail system that is in effect between January 20 and March 5. The intent there was to increase participation in the caucuses in line with the new Rule 2 encouragements the DNC has put in place for the 2020 cycle.

North Dakota Democrats saw their delegation shrink relative to 2016. The 2020 delegation contracted by three district delegates, one at-large delegate and one superdelegate. PLEO delegates stayed at 2016 levels for 2020.


Thresholds
The standard 15 percent qualifying threshold applies both statewide and on the congressional district level.


Delegate allocation (at-large and PLEO delegates)
To win any at-large or PLEO (pledged Party Leader and Elected Officials) delegates a candidate must win 15 percent of the statewide vote. Only the votes of those candidates above the threshold will count for the purposes of the separate allocation of these two pools of delegates.

See New Hampshire synopsis for an example of how the delegate allocation math works for all categories of delegates.


Delegate allocation (congressional district delegates)
North Dakota's 9 congressional district delegates are split across one congressional district. Since North Dakota is a one congressional district state, district level delegates are allocated based on the statewide results. That pool of delegates operates as a third pool of statewide delegates in addition to the PLEO and at-large delegates.

CD-AL - 9 delegates*

*Bear in mind that districts with odd numbers of national convention delegates are potentially important to winners (and those above the qualifying threshold) within those districts. Rounding up for an extra delegate initially requires less in those districts than in districts with even numbers of delegates.


Delegate allocation (automatic delegates/superdelegates)
Superdelegates are free to align with a candidate of their choice at a time of their choosing. While their support may be a signal to voters in their state (if an endorsement is made before voting in that state), superdelegates will only vote on the first ballot at the national convention if half of the total number of delegates -- pledged plus superdelegates -- have been pledged to one candidate. Otherwise, superdelegates are locked out of the voting unless 1) the convention adopts rules that allow them to vote or 2) the voting process extends to a second ballot. But then all delegates, not just superdelegates will be free to vote for any candidate.

[NOTE: All Democratic delegates are pledged and not bound to their candidates. They are to vote in good conscience for the candidate to whom they have been pledged, but technically do not have to. But they tend to because the candidates and their campaigns are involved in vetting and selecting their delegates through the various selection processes on the state level. Well, the good campaigns are anyway.]


Selection
The 9 district delegates in North Dakota are chosen at the state convention on April 4. Campaign-approved slates of delegate candidates will appear on the ballot at the state convention and the number allocated to a particular candidate will be selected from those slates. PLEO delegates and then at-large delegates will be selected at the Democratic state convention on April 4 as well.

Importantly, if a candidate drops out of the race before the selection of statewide delegates, then any statewide delegates allocated to that candidate will be reallocated to the remaining candidates. If Candidate X is in the race in early April when the North Dakota statewide delegate selection takes place but Candidate Y is not, then any statewide delegates allocated to Candidate Y in the March primary would be reallocated to Candidate X. [This same feature is not something that applies to district delegates.] This reallocation only applies if a candidate has fully dropped out. Candidates with suspended campaigns are still candidates and can fill those slots allocated them. This is unlikely to be a factor with just two viable candidates in the race.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

North Dakota Republicans to Hold State Convention and Select Delegates in Late March

It looks like business as usual for North Dakota Republicans in 2020.

The delegate allocation formula that Peace Garden state Republicans will use mirrors what the party did in 2016. District conventions will be held between January 1 and March 1 to select delegates to the state convention. Those delegates to the March 27-29 state convention in Bismarck will then select delegates to represent the state at the 2020 Republican National Convention in Charlotte.

The elected national convention delegation then has the option of binding itself on the first ballot at the national convention in whole in or part to a particular candidate or candidates. Binding to an incumbent president would have a higher likelihood than not in 2020. But even if the delegation opts to bind itself to a candidate or candidates, the binding is completely voluntary and delegates remain able to vote their conscience if another candidate is more appealing (and has made the convention roll call nomination ballot via Rule 40).

So while it is likely that the 2020 delegation from North Dakota will be just as unbound as it was at the Cleveland convention in 2016, there is at least some chance that a group of Trump-aligned delegates are chosen and will vote for the president at the convention in Charlotte.


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The dates of the North Dakota Republican state convention have been added to the 2020 FHQ presidential primary calendar.


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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

North Dakota Democrats Plan to Hold March 10 Firehouse Caucuses

North Dakota Democrats on Wednesday, March 13 released for public comment the party's draft 2020 delegate selection plan.

Traditionally, Democrats in the Peace Garden state have conducted caucuses as the means by which the party has allocated delegates to the national convention. But caucus states on the Democratic side face a burden in the 2020 that they have not faced in the past. The onus is on those state parties to make the case to the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee that they have taken steps to maximize participation in the typically low turnout caucus/convention format. And the evidence thus far indicates that Democratic caucus states are reacting to the new encouragements in Rule 2 in different ways. Iowa Democrats, for example, have proposed new virtual caucuses. Nevada Democrats, too, have laid out plans for early voting in their caucus process.1

Now, with the release of the draft delegate selection plan, North Dakota Democrats have put their own unique spin on a more participatory caucus. Rather than a traditional moving caucus, the North Dakota Democratic-NPL will essentially conduct a party-run primary. Often this is called a firehouse primary because they have been, more often than not, held in firehouses, but North Dakota Democrats are using the term "firehouse caucus" -- verbiage that came out of the Unity Amendment that created the Unity Reform Commission and later appeared in the URC recommendations -- instead.

The terms -- firehouse caucus or firehouse primary -- are interchangeable as both are party-run primaries where typically no state-funded primary option is available. In practice, the difference rests on how many polling locations are set up. State-funded (and run) primaries offer more locations and theoretically greater participation. And while the party-run version has fewer locations, they run all day rather than the smaller and more rigid window used in the caucus format.

And that is the basic structure of the North Dakota plan. There will be 14 firehouse caucus locations set up throughout the state and polls will be open from 11am-7pm on Tuesday, March 10. [That is twelve weeks earlier than the first Tuesday in June caucuses North Dakota Democrats held in 2016.]

In addition to those changes, the party will also use a vote-by-mail process. What is clear about the vote-by-mail proposal is that it is intended to function much like the virtual caucuses in Iowa. Voters with conflicts during the hours in which the caucuses are in session have an alternative option available to them. And it is an option that is available from January 20-March 3. What is not clear is how the vote-by-mail system will operate; whether it will function on top of the state's vote-by-mail system or not. Most unclear is how ballots will be distributed to voters wanting to take advantage of the process. That is something the Rules and Bylaws Committee will train its sights on when this plan is reviewed.

It should likely be the expectation that other caucus states will fall in line with some variation of this plan rather than what Iowa has done and Nevada plans to do. Later caucus states will not have the same restrictions -- working around New Hampshire -- with their delegate selection plans like the other carve-out caucus states do.


The date of the North Dakota Democratic firehouse caucus will be added to the 2020 FHQ presidential primary calendar.

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1 There are a great many things left unsaid about details of how the Nevada Democrats are going to accommodate early voting in the caucuses. FHQ will have more on that in a separate post.


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Monday, January 4, 2016

2016 Republican Delegate Allocation: NORTH DAKOTA

This is part seventeen of a series of posts that will examine the Republican delegate allocation rules by state. The main goal of this exercise is to assess the rules for 2016 -- especially relative to 2012 -- in order to gauge the potential impact the changes to the rules along the winner-take-all/proportionality spectrum may have on the race for the Republican nomination. For this cycle the RNC recalibrated its rules, cutting the proportionality window in half (March 1-14), but tightening its definition of proportionality as well. While those alterations will trigger subtle changes in reaction at the state level, other rules changes -- particularly the new binding requirement placed on state parties -- will be more noticeable. 

NORTH DAKOTA

Election type: caucus/convention
Date: by March 11

Number of delegates: 28 [22 at-large, 3 congressional district, 3 automatic]
Allocation method: determined by state convention
Threshold to qualify for delegates: n/a
2012: non-binding caucuses

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Changes since 2012
Like Colorado and Wyoming, Republicans in North Dakota will skip the caucus-level preference vote that had in the past been part and parcel of the standard delegate selection procedure in those states. But in 2016, such straw polls, under RNC rules, would bind those states' national convention delegates. That was not the case in 2012 or before. So whereas in 2012, Colorado, North Dakota and Wyoming all held a preference vote at some juncture in their respective delegate selection processes, the delegates were not bound to any particular candidate (at least not in a way that corresponded with outcome of the straw poll).

That the ultimate delegate selection and allocation did not line up with the original vote in the precinct/district/county caucuses led to some variation in how those states were treated in the 2012 delegate count. Too often those delegate slots were prematurely allocated to particular candidates before the delegates were actually selected at a congressional district or state convention. That discrepancy and the resultant chase for these fantasy delegates (in part) prompted the Republican National Committee to include in the rules package the 2012 national convention in Tampa voted through a provision that tethered the allocation of delegates to any statewide vote in a primary or caucus.

But there was no requirement in the RNC rules for states to actually hold a preference vote; only an assumption that states would have one.

The biggest change for North Dakota, then, is that Republicans in the Peace Garden state have opted to join Colorado, Wyoming, the American Samoa and Guam in not conducting a preference vote in 2016.


Delegate allocation/Binding 
North Dakota Republicans, though, are a bit different than their counterparts in Colorado and Wyoming. No, none of the three will have a presidential preference vote at any point in the caucus/convention process, but only North Dakota will have a truly unbound delegation. That is a function of how delegate candidates file to run as delegates. Part of the filing paperwork for potential delegates in Colorado and Wyoming is a section asking the delegate candidate the presidential candidate to whom they are or will be pledged. The Republican National Committee is binding those delegates selected in Colorado and Wyoming to the candidates to whom they are pledged. The only way to circumvent that stipulation is for a delegate to either refuse to pledge (or to run as uncommitted) or to have the candidate they were pledged to withdraw from the race (as is the case in other states).

Again, though, North Dakota Republicans operate under a different set of rules.2 There is no delegate filing process in North Dakota similar to the paperwork delegate candidates file in Colorado or Wyoming. Rather, the North Dakota Republican Party Committee on Permanent Organization (NDGOP CPO) will put forth a slate of delegates to be voted on at the April state convention. The governor and any members of Congress from North Dakota -- if Republican -- are automatically presented on the slate.

Otherwise, delegates can apply with the NDGOP CPO prior to the convention to be on the slate or be nominated from the floor. The catch to that latter route -- nomination from the floor of the state convention -- is that a delegate candidate nominated from the floor must have applied with the NDGOP CPO but not included in the slate presented by the committee.

That places a premium on having applied to the committee in the first place. However, that also highlights the fact that applying does not mean inclusion on the slate.

Let's try to lay this out a bit more clearly. There were more than 800 delegates and attendees at the 2014 North Dakota Republican state convention. We'll use that number. If we assume that all 800 state convention delegates apply with the NDGOP CPO to be national convention delegates, then there is a pool of 800 candidates (plus any Republican governor and members of Congress) to be included in that original slate of 25 presented to the convention. 3 Once that 25 delegate slate is presented to the state convention additions can be made from the floor from the remaining 775 potential delegate candidates who originally applied with the NDGOP CPO. If half of those -- or any number for that matter -- are nominated from the floor, those names will be added to the ballot the convention will vote on. Furthermore, those names will be added to the ballot in order of nomination and after the slate of 25 delegate candidates who were presented to the convention by the NDGOP CPO.

If a lot of names are added -- say the 400 mentioned above -- then those first 25 from the original slate and those delegate candidates with better name recognition among the state convention delegates will stand a better chance of making it through the vote. Only the top 25 in the vote count would be elected national convention delegates.

This would be slightly more complicated if there was an organized rival slate put forth to challenge the slate presented by the state party through the NDGOP CPO. That would theoretically limit the number of potential delegate candidates appearing on the ballot, making it easier for sides to marshal their supporters behind certain slates.

FHQ raises this issue -- the importance of the slate and the parameters behind its selection -- because the 2012 North Dakota Republican state convention was rather contentious. The slate that was presented to the state convention did not align with the vote in the precinct caucuses that had taken place a month prior. Instead of a slate that favored Santorum and Paul to Romney, the slate was weighted more toward elected officials, donors and volunteers, delegate candidates more likely to favor the eventual nominee and former Massachusetts governor.

This footnote from the 2012 Republican presidential nomination process is worth raising in 2016. First, though they are not bound, the delegates to ultimately be chosen at the North Dakota Republican state convention are most likely to be pledged to some candidate. That pledge means some measure of loyalty to a candidate, but also some freedom at a national convention.

Under normal circumstances that process tends to function in a similar fashion to how delegates accrued by candidates and subsequently released do: They vote for the presumptive nominee at the national convention. But in a more contested environment, both an unbound but pledged group of North Dakota delegates and an unbound group of released delegates from any number of other states will be free to vote for whichever candidate they choose on the first roll call ballot at the national convention.

In the meantime, district conventions will be occurring across North Dakota between now and March 1 to select delegates to attend the state convention in April. That group of state convention delegates will make the decision on who comprises the national convention delegation. Both the membership of the state convention and the state of the overall race for the Republican nomination in early April will have a bearing on who those delegates are and more importantly with whom they are aligned.



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State allocation rules are archived here.


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1 By state party rules, district conventions to select delegates to attend the state convention are to be held between January 1 and March 1 in the year of a presidential election. The North Dakota Republican (Endorsing) state convention that will choose the national delegate slate will fall on April 1-3, 2016.

2 Here are the relevant sections of Rule 11 of the North Dakota Republican Party Rules (as revised on June 6, 2015):

3 That is 28 total delegates minus the three automatic delegates.



Sunday, April 5, 2015

Looks Like June 7 Caucuses for North Dakota Democrats

On Friday, March 27, the North Dakota Democratic Party made available for comment a draft of its 2016 delegate selection plan.1 The plan calls for the delegate selection process in the Peace Garden state to kick off with June 7 caucuses. The first Tuesday in June date is the same the party used for its 2012 caucuses as well. As was the case during the last cycle, the early June caucuses would align the Democratic process in North Dakota with the primaries in neighboring Montana and South Dakota.

Should all three end up on June 7, that would net each a 15% (regional cluster) boost to their base delegation according to the Democratic Call for the Convention.

NOTE: FHQ will pencil these dates in on the 2016 presidential primary calendar, but please note that the plans are not finalized and are still subject to change. With very few exceptions, though, the dates in the 2012 draft plans for caucuses states did not change.

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1 The above link is to the plan on the North Dakota Democratic Party site. FHQ will also keep a version of the plan here.


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