Showing posts with label Wyoming. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wyoming. Show all posts

Friday, October 30, 2020

The Electoral College Map (10/30/20)

Update for October 30.


The final full work week prior to election day next Tuesday came to a close Friday laden with another [totally expected] round poll releases. In all, there were 37 new surveys added from 21 states, fueled by a 16 state wave from Swayable that offered some interesting results that were not necessarily in sync with what has been established in state-level polls across the country in 2020. Across the full set of the day's surveys five of the FHQ categories were represented with only the small group of Lean Trump states left out. 

But as this race eases into the weekend before voting concludes next week, things are probably pretty close to locked in at FHQ. As the days dwindle, movement in the order will likely be confined to the states on the Watch List below. And even among that group of eight states -- now that New Hampshire has rejoined the List -- only three are within a fraction of a point of shifting over the partisan line and altering the overall electoral vote tally. The trajectory of recent polling suggests that Georgia is likely to stay on the Biden side of the line and that Iowa is closing, pushing toward the former vice president as well. Ohio, on the other hand, has moved in the opposite direction toward the periphery of even being included on the Watch List. 

Aside from those three and barring an absolute flood of polling from North Carolina and/or Texas (and Maine's second congressional district for that matter), those states are also likely to stay just where they are at FHQ. Both have proven to be have been consistently close but persistently on their respective sides of the partisan line. That does not mean, however, that either is destined to fall in their projected categories come Tuesday (or in the following few days), but rather that each is within a range where a polling error of two or three points could easily place either in the other candidate's coalition of states once the dust has settled.

On to the polls...


Polling Quick Hits:
Connecticut
(Biden 51, Trump 26 via Sacred Heart University)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +23.99] 
Biden 47, Trump 34 in April poll

Clearly Sacred Heart does not aggressively push their undecideds. There is still a 20 percent chunk of respondents in this latest survey that fall in that category. But even with such a high share of undecideds, Biden still has a 25 point advantage over Trump in a state that will be blue when the votes come in. 


Florida
(Biden 52, Trump 45 via Public Policy Polling | Biden 50, Trump 47 via Harris Poll)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +3.08] 
Public Policy Polling: Biden 48, Trump 44 in August poll
Harris: Biden 48, Trump 48 in mid-October poll

FHQ mentioned this yesterday and will repeat it today given these two new surveys out of the Sunshine state: The race in Florida may in fact be narrowing, but Biden continues to hit 50 percent in polls at a higher clip as election day approaches than he did in earlier times. Both updates also shifted in the Democratic nominee's favor as well. 


Georgia
(Trump 48, Biden 47 via Landmark Communications)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +0.41] 
Trump 49, Biden 45 in poll last week

The Landmark Communications series of polls in the Peach state this year has tended to favor the president with only one exception: the poll in the field the day after the first presidential debate at the end of September. Biden led that survey by a couple of points, but has consistently trailed Trump in the series. Yet, the president's edge shrunk in the last week since the previous Landmark survey. Although the poll shows Trump in the lead, the movement toward Biden is consistent with other recent polling of Georgia.


Kentucky
[Current FHQ margin: Trump +18.09] 
No previous Bluegrass poll

That the president had but 52 percent of respondents backing him in this Bluegrass C&T  poll is largely attributable to the nearly 10 percent of the sample that remained undecided. Like Connecticut, however, Kentucky is a safe state, but one that tips in Trump's direction. But it should be noted that this matches the lowest share of support the president has had in any Kentucky poll all year. But Biden has been fairly stable in the upper 30s in recent polls and the Bluegrass state will be red on Tuesday or soon thereafter.


Michigan
(Biden 54, Trump 44 via Public Policy Polling | Biden 51, Trump 44 via RMG Research | Biden 54, Trump 41 via Kiaer Research)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +7.43] 
Public Policy Polling: Biden 50, Trump 43 in poll last week
RMG Research: Biden 48, Trump 42 in mid-October poll
Kiaer Research: Biden 50, Trump 35 in June poll

The big thing in Michigan at this late date is that after weeks of being on the cusp of cresting above 50 percent in the FHQ averages, Biden has finally done so after another batch surveys on Friday showing the former vice president over that threshold across the board. And with the exception of the Kiaer survey, the Democratic nominee's edge has increased from poll-to-poll as well. Even in that survey, Biden maintains a double digit lead.


Nevada
(Biden 50, Trump 44 via Gravis Marketing)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +4.65] 
No previous Gravis poll [Current FHQ averages in Nevada: Biden 49, Trump 44 (rounded)]

While this Gravis poll of the Silver state basically falls right on the established FHQ average margin in Nevada, it did bump the margin up toward the five point line that separates the Toss Up and Lean categories. Nevada remains a toss up under the FHQ averages, but that may be partially explained by the general lack of polling overall in the state. There have been just 21 surveys of Silver state voters, but Biden has been hovering around 50 percent much of the time. The former vice president has hit or surpassed that threshold eight time with half coming during the month of October alone. 


New Hampshire
(Biden 53, Trump 45 via University of New Hampshire | Biden 52, Trump 44 via Saint Anselm)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +10.81] 
UNH: Biden 55, Trump 43 in mid-October poll
Saint Anselm: Biden 53, Trump 41 in early October poll

While much of the new polling today shifted in Biden's direction, the latest updates from Granite state university polls saw some contraction in the margins in both over the last surveys in the series. Despite that decrease, however, the president continues to lag overall by more than ten points in a state that was decided by less than a point four years ago. Trump did make up some ground, pulling out of the low 40s in both polls. He currently sits at 42 percent in the FHQ averages.


North Carolina
(Trump 48, Biden 47 via Pulse Opinion Research | Biden 51, Trump 46 via Harris Poll | Trump 48, Biden 46 via Cardinal Point Analytics | Biden 50, Trump 48 via East Carolina | Biden 52, Trump 46 via Marist)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +1.85] 
Pulse Opinion Research: Trump 49, Biden 48 in mid-October poll
No previous Harris poll
Cardinal Point: Trump 48, Biden 47 in July poll
ECU: Biden 51, Trump 47 in mid-October poll
Marist: Biden 51, Trump 44 in July poll

The one take home message from another slew of polling out of the Tar Heel state is that North Carolina is close. That is not news. But on top of that, there is little change across any of these polls from their prior times in the field in the state. It was movement of a point for either candidate and no more than a two point swing in any of them. Of course, a two point swing can matter in a tightly contested state. But there was a two point swing in each candidate's favor.


Pennsylvania
(Biden 52, Trump 45 via Public Policy Polling | Biden 51, Trump 46 via Harris Poll)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +5.43] 
Public Policy Polling: Biden 51, Trump 46 in poll last week
Harris: Biden 51, Trump 46 in mid-October poll

As tiring as it might get saying this, there were another two polls in the Keystone state today and both, again, had Biden around 50 percent and Trump in the mid-40s. The consistency across pollsters in Pennsylvania is what continues to be most noteworthy. The uncertainty in the commonwealth is less in the polls and more about turnout and any court challenges about the vote counting process there. 


Texas
(Trump 50, Biden 46 via RMG Research)
[Current FHQ margin: Trump +1.45] 
No previous RMG poll [Current FHQ averages in Texas: Trump 48, Biden 46 (rounded)]

FHQ often talks about how often Biden tops 50 percent in the blue wall states that are in the Lean Biden category, but it is an indicator of sorts for the president in red state polling as well. Of the 67 surveys conducted thus far in the Lone Star state, Trump has hit or surpassed the majority mark in roughly a fifth of them. A little less than a quarter of those have fallen in the month of October, a pace similar to the rest of the year. Biden, on the other, hand has been there just once. It is that difference that helps to explain the narrow lead the president has maintained in Texas throughout 2020. The Lone Star state has been close all along, but like North Carolina on the other side of the partisan line for Biden, has been tipped in the president's favor.


Wyoming
(Trump 59, Biden 31 via University of Wyoming)
[Current FHQ margin: Trump +39.52] 
No previous University of Wyoming poll [Current FHQ averages in Wyoming: Trump 68, Biden 29 (rounded)]

A rare update in Wyoming shows Trump coming in well under what one might expect in the Equality state for a Republican presidential nominee. However, even with a share of support under 60 percent and nearly ten points off his average at FHQ, the president is far out in front in the state occupying the last cell on the far right end of the Electoral College Spectrum below. The polling has been scant in the Cowboy state in 2020, but it collectively has both candidates within a point of their parties' presidential performance in the state in 2016.


Swayable (October battleground and assorted polls -- initial public wave of releases):
Alabama: Trump 56, Biden 37 [Current FHQ margin: Trump +19.75] 
Ohio: Trump 55, Biden 44 [Current FHQ margin: Trump +1.00] 
Indiana: Trump 53, Biden 42 [Current FHQ margin: Trump +11.36] 
Florida: Trump 51, Biden 46
Texas: Trump 49, Biden 48
Georgia: Biden 51, Trump 48
North Carolina: Biden 50, Trump 48
Pennsylvania: Biden 52, Trump 46
Arizona: Biden 52, Trump 44 [Current FHQ margin: Biden +2.98] 
Wisconsin: Biden 54, Trump 45 [Current FHQ margin: Biden +6.49] 
Virginia: Biden 55, Trump 44 [Current FHQ margin: Biden +11.79] 
Illinois: Biden 54, Trump 43 [Current FHQ margin: Biden +18.32] 
Michigan: Biden 59, Trump 40
New Jersey: Biden 62, Trump 38 [Current FHQ margin: Biden +20.09] 
California: Biden 62, Trump 35 [Current FHQ margin: Biden +29.36] 
New York: Biden 65, Trump 33 [Current FHQ margin: Biden +29.56] 

This is an interesting wave of polls from Swayable made all the more so by a couple of glaring standouts. Not only is the order not particularly in line with the established order of states at FHQ, but the world where Trump is ahead by 12 in Ohio and Biden is up 19 in neighboring Michigan is a strange world indeed. But a 31 point gap between the two in these surveys is a significant departure from the eight points that separated the two Rust Belt states in 2016 and the roughly equivalent space between them in the averages at FHQ. The picture here at FHQ is one of a uniform swing for Michigan and Ohio relative to each other from four years ago. Yet, the snapshot in the small sample Swayable polls is one big shifts but in opposite directions. Take these with a grain of salt. 

One other footnote here with respect to Ohio is that the average margin in the Buckeye state rounds up to Trump +1 right on the nose. But since the margin there is technically Trump +0.9985, the Buckeye state remains on the Watch List below, but only just barely. 




NOTE: 


The Electoral College Spectrum1
DC-3
VT-3
(6)2
NJ-14
(156)
WI-10
(253)
AK-3
(125)
TN-11
(60)
MA-11
(17)
OR-7
(163)
PA-203
(273 | 285)
MO-10
(122)
KY-8
(49)
MD-10
(27)
IL-20
(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)
IN-11
(93)
AR-6
(25)
DE-3
(118)
NH-4
(211)
GA-16
(351 | 203)
NE-2
(82)
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 those surveys -- again, 37 polls in 21 states -- and there was little in the way of change that materialized at FHQ. The new Swayable poll out of the Land of Lincoln decreased the margin there enough to shift Illinois past both New Jersey and Oregon in the order, moving it closer to the partisan line. The same was true in neighboring Indiana, where the margin contract to the point that the Hoosier state traded spots in the order with Nebraska. Indiana is now the most competitive of the Strong Trump states. And the two university surveys out of the Granite state nudged New Hampshire back onto the Watch List a day after at least one outlier from ARG moved it off the list.

But that was it.  Friday came and went with a raft of new polling data that mostly confirmed the status quo in this race for the White House. 

4 days to go.


Where things stood at FHQ on October 30 (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:




Follow FHQ on TwitterInstagram and Facebook or subscribe by Email.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Wyoming Democrats Shift Back Deadline to Have Mail-In Caucus Ballots in

A little more than a week after Wyoming Democrats eliminated in-person voting at its April 4 caucuses, the state party has again adjusted the voting in its 2020 delegate selection process. And again, the subtle change is aimed at easing participation in the process in the face of complications from the spread of the coronavirus. It buys Wyoming Democrats wanting to vote their presidential preferences a bit more time.

On Saturday, March 22, the Wyoming Democratic Party announced that it would mail ballots to any voters who had registered as Democrats from March 11-20 -- a ten day extension of that deadline -- and would additionally allow any Democratic voters a chance to request a ballot (replacement or otherwise) up until March 31. But beyond that, the state party also extended the deadline by which ballots must be received to Friday, April 17.

That gives voters who intend to participate a little less than two weeks to adjust to the changes the state party has made to the process and submit their ballots with their presidential preferences.

--
Again, this does have some impact on the delegate selection process. Those county caucuses initially slated for April 4 have been eliminated (and were when the in-person voting was discontinued). Those events will now happen electronically between the end of the caucus/party-run primary voting and May 24 to elected delegates to the state convention.

Although it is not listed as an "important date" on the state party caucus webpage, the June 6 state convention remains a go for now. State convention delegates elected at county caucuses will be the ones who ultimately make the decisions on who fills any delegate slots allocated to candidates after the caucus results are finalized after April 17.



--
Related Posts:
Wyoming Democrats Tweak Caucus Plan in the Face of Coronavirus Threat

Friday, March 13, 2020

Wyoming Democrats Tweak Caucus Plan in the Face of Coronavirus Threat

The Wyoming Democratic Party on Friday, March 13 opted to alter the course of its delegate selection process for the 2020 Democratic presidential race, dropping the in-person portion of the party's April 4 caucuses.

In a statement, the party said...
Wyoming Democratic Party (WDP) Chair Joe M Barbuto has announced that the in-person portion of the 2020 Presidential Preference Caucus, as well as county conventions, are suspended due to growing concern over COVID-19. Our priority is ensuring that people are healthy and safe. Holding public events right now would put that in jeopardy, so this is the responsible course of action. ‍  
Voters are highly encouraged to vote by mail; as of now, voters may still vote via ballot pickup and drop off on March 28 and April 4. We will continue to work with public health officials, and assess local conditions, to ensure voters’ health and safety.  
The WDP is working with our partners around the state and nation to develop a plan that ensures necessary tasks and duties are achieved. Details will be released as they become available.
This change will shift the process to a mail-in option that was already built into the Wyoming Democratic Party delegate selection plan. And though the last day to register to vote in the caucuses (and receive a mail-in ballot) has passed (March 10), every registered Democrat in the state by that time was mailed a ballot. The last day to postmark those ballot for mail in is on March 20. Democrats in the Cowboy state will also have the option after that of dropping off those ballots mailed to them on either Saturday, March 28 or Saturday, April 4, the original date of the caucuses. There are at least two drop off locations in each county in Wyoming.

None of this will necessarily materially affect the delegate allocation process. Voters will still have options in terms of getting their votes submitted. But the change will impact the delegate selection process. The in-person caucuses would not only have served the purpose of being a part of the delegate allocation, but on choosing delegates to attend the state convention. It is those state convention delegates that were initially ultimately charged with selecting the national convention delegates. The state convention is still scheduled to occur on June 6.

But how state convention delegates will be selected remains a blank that will need to be filled in the coming days and weeks by the Wyoming Democratic Party likely working in concert with the DNC and the Rules and Bylaws Committee.


--
Related Posts:
Wyoming Democrats Shift Back Deadline to Have Mail-In Caucus Ballots in

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Wyoming Republicans Flirt with Changes to Delegate Selection Process But Hold Pat

Over the summer Wyoming Republicans have been mired in something of an ideological struggle within the state party. A more conservative faction within the party is pushing a more aggressive use of the state party's Governance Review and Feedback Committee, created to eye how well Equality state legislators and legislation align with the party platform.

In other words, it is potentially being used as a litmus test on more moderate Republicans in the Wyoming legislature.

But that has drawn the ire of the two most populous counties in the state where more moderates find their home, but also stretches into the national convention delegate selection process the state party uses. Natrona County Republicans, for example, in August passed three informal resolutions including one against the litmus tests, but also against possible changes to the delegate selection process that would shift the balance of power away from those population centers and empower the more rural counties in the state. Yes, that is an urban versus rural divide but is also one that features the ideological divide within the party. It is also something that is being sold as advantageous to President Trump, shifting the balance of power toward more Trump-friendly rural areas.

Under the traditional delegate selection system Wyoming Republicans have used, like the one in 2016, only one county is guaranteed to have a delegate every presidential election cycle: Laramie County, the most populous county in the state. All other counties are paired off and trade off which one gets national convention representation every cycle. Those counties only get national convention representation every other cycle.

This back and forth between the state party and the county parties occurred over the summer in the lead up to the Wyoming Republican Party state central committee meeting on August 23-24. Instead of a showdown at that meeting, however, there was an open dialog about the ideological rift and the proposed state party resolutions. In particular, the delegate selection changes were shelved and will be dealt with at state convention next May. Any changes made then would fall after the 2020 caucus/convention process and thus be implemented in 2024.

Despite the rise in ideological tensions over the summer over these proposed delegate selection plan changes (among other things), the party held steady with the system it has utilized with the caucuses in recent cycles.

The question moving forward out of Wyoming is whether the state party will opt to hold a presidential preference vote in the first stage of the caucuses next year or whether they will follow the lead of other states in endorsing the president and skipping the preference vote.


--
Follow FHQ on Twitter and Facebook or subscribe by Email.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Wyoming Democrats Will Caucus on April 4

In a break from the plan released for public comment earlier in the year, the Wyoming Democratic Party will not caucus in March. Rather, according to the modestly revised draft of the state party's delegate selection plan, Democrats in the Equality state will caucus on April 4.

The specific date was set during the late April meeting of the Wyoming Democratic Party state central committee meeting. Not only does this timing make the delegation eligible for a 10 percent increase to the base number of delegates (one additional delegate), but it also aligns the Wyoming Democratic caucuses with contests in Alaska, Hawaii and Louisiana. Together, those contests alongside the Wisconsin primary the following Tuesday provide a smattering of delegate selection events in an otherwise quiet area on the calendar after the Georgia primary on March 24 and before the Acela primary (Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, likely New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island primaries) on April 28. Those contests sit squarely in the section of the calendar where presumptive nominees typically emerge (not necessarily in terms of the timing, but instead based on the number of delegates allocated by that point).

Unlike a few one congressional district states, Wyoming does not split up its delegation for the purposes of allocation. All 13 pledged delegates will be allocated as one pool of delegates. Candidates receiving 15 percent or more of the caucus vote statewide will be eligible for delegates.



The Wyoming Democratic caucuses date has been added to the 2020 FHQ presidential primary calendar.


Follow FHQ on Twitter and Facebook or subscribe by Email.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Wyoming Democrats Will Caucus in March

...but the specific date remains TBD.

At the tail end of March, the Wyoming Democratic Party quietly released the proposed details of its 2020 delegate selection process. The draft delegate selection plan is more modest compared to some of the changes offered up in other caucus states. Whereas the majority of the remaining caucus states are exploring some variation of party-run primaries (Alaska, Hawaii, North Dakota) and/or ranked choice voting (Iowa, Nevada), Democrats in Wyoming are keeping the caucus/convention process in the Equality state in line in most respects with the process the party has utilized in past cycles.

Much of it, however, remains an unknown until after the Wyoming Democratic Party state central committee meeting on April 27. For instance, much is unsaid -- in fact it is literally left out -- about efforts at increasing participation as called for in Rule 2 on the DNC delegate selection rules for 2020. Those blanks will (likely) be filled in after the SCC meeting.

What is known about the process is that Wyoming Democrats will once again conduct caucuses for the 2020 cycle and those will fall some time in March; up to a month earlier than the April 9 caucuses the party held in 2016.

Additionally, the party will pool all of their 13 delegates in the selection process. Instead of applying the 15 percent threshold to district, at-large and party leaders/elected official delegates -- three separate, individual applications -- as is customary, Wyoming Democrats will apply it only once to the 13 delegate pool. It is a small change in a small delegate state, but one that could have an effect on allocation on the margins. At most it affect the rounding for who would get delegates and who does not (and how many). This one will be worth monitoring as it works its way through the review process. How receptive the Rules and Bylaws Committee is to that transition in the rules remains an open question. But again, the shift breaks with how allocation is typically done in the Democratic process. There is far more pooling of delegates in the Republican process.


--
The Wyoming caucuses change is now reflected on the 2020 FHQ Presidential Primary Calendar.


--
Follow FHQ on Twitter and Facebook or subscribe by Email.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Electoral College Map (9/21/16)


FHQ has been on a bit of a hiatus over the course of the last two weeks. In terms of movement in the polls, it was probably the worst time other than the post-convention period to be away from these electoral college updates. Still, that space -- the chance to take a step back -- can help to provide a bit of perspective about what is going on. There can be a tendency to miss the forest for the trees. 

Before getting to today's newly released state polls, a few observations. 

1. Yes, this period has been particularly bad for Clinton in the polls following the "deplorables" and pneumonia combination. And while there has been an erosion of support for the former Secretary of State, she maintains a tenuous grasp on a lead in the electoral college count. The margins have shrunk  in the FHQ averages across the board, but only Iowa and Nevada have jumped the partisan line from Clinton to Trump. North Carolina and Ohio remain on the Clinton side of the ledger, but only barely so. All four states are within a point of being tied. 

2. The list of toss ups holds those four states in addition to Florida, Arizona and Georgia. That is all. Those seven states are all within the three points of shifting sides. And it is worth noting that that specific battleground is superfluous to Clinton's path to 270. Though the terrain may change in the next six weeks, all seven states are wants rather than needs for Clinton. However, that cushion she had weeks ago is shrinking as Trump has pushed the partisan line up the middle column of the Electoral College Spectrum below toward the victory line (or tipping point as is more common).

3. Meanwhile, the other 44 states (including Washington, DC) lean five or more points in favor of one candidate or the other. That fact is more important to Clinton at this point since the combination of her lean and strong states continue to put her over the 270 electoral vote mark. Clinton's slide has narrowed the gap specifically in those lean states. But Colorado, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Virginia all seem sticky; tightening but less than some of the other states and not looking likely to shift far enough toward Trump. Others in that Lean Clinton category like Maine, Michigan and Wisconsin -- and maybe criminally underpolled Minnesota -- are closing more quickly and may bear closer scrutiny in the home stretch rather than the "sticky" lean group. 

4. For all the noise in this race for the White House, it has been pretty stable through the lens of the electoral college. This thing still looks an awful lot like 2012 (both on the map and on the Spectrum). All the Obama states save Iowa and Nevada are still with Clinton and all the Romney states except North Carolina are currently in Trump's corner. Yes, some other states are teetering on the brink of shifting sides, but overall, it is evidence of a remarkable stability that does not often get talked about. 

At least some of that stability has something to do with the method FHQ uses. The graduated weighted average reduces the crests and troughs of the roller coaster and is also slower than some other forecasting models to react. FHQ has defended this slow reaction time in the past. When a change happens here -- particularly one that is part of a longer-term trend -- that has tended to be a lasting change. There is more certainty behind it.

If the slowness has been noticeable anywhere, it has been in those Lean Clinton states cited above: Maine, Michigan and Wisconsin. Those bear watching in the coming weeks.

On to the polls...


New State Polls (9/21/16)
State
Poll
Date
Margin of Error
Sample
Clinton
Trump
Undecided
Poll Margin
FHQ Margin
Florida
9/10-9/16
+/- 4.5%
475 likely voters
49
43
--
+6
+2.26
Nevada
9/18-9/20
+/- 3.5%
805 likely voters
40
43
3
+3
+0.14
New Hampshire
9/17-9/20
+/- 4.9%
400 likely voters
47
38
3
+9
+5.50
North Carolina
9/18-9/20
+/- 3.1%
1024 likely voters
43
45
7
+2
--
North Carolina
9/18-9/20
+/- 3.5%
800 likely voters
40
45
7
+5
+0.93
Ohio
9/18-9/20
+/- 3.5%
806 likely voters
37
42
10
+5
+0.82
Wisconsin
9/15-9/18
+/- 4.8%
677 likely voters
41
38
7
+3
+7.12
Wyoming
9/6-9/11
+/- 4.9%
402 likely voters
19
54
15
+35
+35.48


Polling Quick Hits:

Florida:
Florida keeps being Florida. The polling has been volatile in the Sunshine state, but that two to three point Clinton lead here at FHQ has been quite consistent. Granted, polls like this St. Leo survey and the Monmouth poll from a day ago were good ones for Clinton. Her average rebounded somewhat on the addition of those surveys, but they only bumped the margin up by a fraction.


Nevada:
Changes (September 21)
StateBeforeAfter
NevadaToss Up ClintonToss Up Trump
The Silver state has been volatile too, but in waves. The tide has seemingly turned there. Trump has led every poll since 9-11 and by a range of one to three points. That has been enough to chip away at Clinton's lead and push the state to Trump for the moment.


New Hampshire:
The post-convention double digit leads are gone in the Granite state for Clinton, but they have been replaced by a steady stream of surveys that have further entrenched New Hampshire in the Lean Clinton area. What's more, New Hampshire is a state where Trump has had difficulty pushing above 40 percent. That is workable in some state, but not in one where Clinton finds herself on the high side of the mid-40s.


North Carolina:
It was a good day for Trump in the North Carolina polls. The PPP survey -- Trump +2 -- is in line with other recent polling. And the five point advantage in the Fox poll may be a sign of some further changes in the Tar Heel state. However, Trump has not led a poll by more than four points there since March. This one could also be an outlier. North Carolina has been on Clinton's side of the partisan all along here at FHQ, but that could change.


Ohio:
Like Nevada, every post-9-11 poll in the Buckeye state (but with one exception) has favored Trump. And like North Carolina, that trend has brought Ohio to the cusp of shifting over to Trump. What had mostly been two to four point leads for Clinton after the conventions are now mostly two to four point advantages for Trump.


Wisconsin:
While there probably need to be more polls conducted in Wisconsin, the Badger state has consistently fallen in the Clinton +3 area over the last month or so to seemingly confirm where it stands. The addition of the Marquette poll did little to break from that trend -- replicating the Clinton/Trump numbers from August -- but it did nudge the average there down just a little bit more. Clinton may be hovering just above 40 percent in Wisconsin, but it is another state, like New Hampshire, where Trump has has some trouble breaking that barrier or getting very far past it.


Wyoming:
Sure, both candidates are lagging behind their 2012 counterparts in the Equality state, but Wyoming remains the reddest of red states. The new DFM poll only confirms that.


--
Obviously, Nevada's six electoral votes shift toward Trump. That is reflected on the map, Spectrum and Watch List. Additionally, on the weight of the new polls in North Carolina and Ohio, both are now included on the Watch List.





The Electoral College Spectrum1
HI-42
(7)
NJ-14
(175)
NH-43
(269 | 273)
TX-38
(155)
KY-8
(58)
MD-10
(17)
DE-3
(178)
RI-43
(273 | 269)
MS-6
(116)
TN-11
(50)
MA-11
(28)
NM-5
(183)
FL-29
(302 | 265)
SC-9
(110)
SD-3
(39)
VT-3
(31)
MN-10
(193)
NC-15
(317 | 236)
AK-3
(101)
ND-3
(36)
CA-55
(86)
WI-10
(203)
OH-18
(335 | 221)
UT-6
(98)
ID-4
(33)
NY-29
(115)
MI-16
(219)
IA-6
(203)
KS-6
(92)
NE-5
(29)
IL-20
(135)
CO-9
(228)
NV-6
(197)
AR-6
(86)
OK-7
(24)
WA-12
(147)
ME-4
(232)
GA-16
(191)
IN-11
(80)
WV-5
(17)
CT-17
(154)
VA-13
(245)
AZ-11
(175)
LA-8
(69)
AL-9
(12)
OR-7
(161)
PA-20
(265)
MO-10
(164)
MT-3
(61)
WY-3
(3)
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 New Hampshire (all Clinton's toss up states plus New Hampshire), he would have 273 electoral votes. Trump's numbers are only totaled through the states he would need in order to get to 270. In those cases, Clinton's number is on the left and Trumps's is on the right in bold italics.


To keep the figure to 50 cells, Washington, DC and its three electoral votes are included in the beginning total on the Democratic side of the spectrum. The District has historically been the most Democratic state in the Electoral College.

3 New Hampshire and Rhode Island are collectively the states where Clinton crosses the 270 electoral vote threshold to win the presidential election. That line is referred to as the victory line. If those two states are separated with Clinton winning New Hampshire and Trump, Rhode Island, then there would be a tie in the Electoral College.



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 Clinton 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
Switch
Arkansas
from Lean Trump
to Strong Trump
Delaware
from Strong Clinton
to Lean Clinton
Indiana
from Strong Trump
to Lean Trump
Iowa
from Toss Up Trump
to Toss Up Clinton
Maine
from Lean Clinton
to Toss Up Clinton
Missouri
from Lean Trump
to Toss Up Trump
Nevada
from Toss Up Trump
to Toss Up Clinton
New Hampshire
from Lean Clinton
to Toss Up Clinton
New Jersey
from Strong Clinton
to Lean Clinton
North Carolina
from Toss Up Clinton
to Toss Up Trump
Ohio
from Toss Up Clinton
to Toss Up Trump
Oregon
from Strong Clinton
to Lean Clinton
Pennsylvania
from Lean Clinton
to Toss Up Clinton
Rhode Island
from Lean Clinton
to Toss Up Clinton
Virginia
from Lean Clinton
to Toss Up Clinton
1 Graduated weighted average margin within a fraction of a point of changing categories.