Friday, October 30, 2020

The Electoral College Map (10/30/20)

Update for October 30.


Analysis to come...


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


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


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


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


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


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)]


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


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


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


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)]


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)]


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 +5.43] [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] 




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)
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 those surveys -- 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. 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 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:




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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 49, Trump 43 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. Trump lost ground in the Ipsos poll since the last one a week ago, but that, too, was an instance where he was toward the extreme (low) end of his range of support in Arizona polling.


Florida
(Biden 50, Trump 46 via Monmouth | Biden 51, Trump 47 via Marist | Biden 45, Trump 42 via Quinnipiac | Biden 51, Trump 44 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


--
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.

--
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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Wednesday, October 28, 2020

The Electoral College Map (10/28/20)

Update for October 28.


Wednesday was another one of those days full of poll releases from across the board. In total, there were data from 22 new surveys in 12 different states added to the FHQ polling dataset for 2020. And while all six categories were represented, it was the middle column in the Electoral College Spectrum below -- the one with the most competitive states -- that was most heavily polled in this batch. Nevada was the only blue state toss up with no new survey data on the day and Iowa and Ohio were the only ones on the Trump side of the partisan line without any new polls. That means that the most frequently surveyed states got another infusion of data, but the end result was only minor movement. Six of the states shifted in Trump's direction and another five saw their margins move toward Biden. North Carolina held steady from a day ago. 

But again, the bottom line is that with six days left in the presidential campaign before voting concludes, Biden maintained the lead in the electoral vote tally that he has held for the last week.

On to the polls... 


Polling Quick Hits:
Arizona
(Biden 48, Trump 44 via Gravis Marketing | Biden 49, Trump 43 via Justice Collaborative Institute | Biden 50, Trump 45 via Univision | Biden 52, Trump 45 via Patinkin Research Strategies)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +3.04] 
Arizona added the most new polls on the day, and importantly, the six new polls, including two backlogged surveys from Patinkin Research, nudged the average margin there back above Biden +3. On the whole, however, this group of surveys was fairly consistent with the established 48-45 lead the former vice president currently holds in the Grand Canyon state. The first Gravis poll of Arizona since September had both candidates losing support. The 50-48 Biden advantage then doubled but brought the series in line with the current average in the state. Both the Univision and JCI surveys hit the target on one candidate's average share of support, but missed the mark on the other. In the JCI poll, Biden's share was on par with his average while Trump lagged behind his. The opposite was true of the Univision survey. There, the Trump share in the survey matched his average share at FHQ while it ended up having Biden out in front of his average share. Finally, the Patinkin update to an early October survey that found the Democratic nominee up 50-46 saw that margin increase even further, pushing Biden beyond 50 percent. The former vice president has hit that mark less frequently in Arizona than in, say, the blue wall states, but he has hit or exceeded the majority mark 19 times in the 98 polls conduced in Arizona in 2020. And roughly a third of those have come in October. 


Arkansas
(Trump 65, Biden 32)
[Current FHQ margin: Trump +26.14] 
A rare new poll of the Natural state was conducted by the University of Arkansas and had the president doubling up Biden. This wide gap in this survey is mostly consistent with the 61-35 average margin Trump currently maintains at FHQ. But that average makes Arkansas one of those states that hardly looks different from the 2016 presidential results. Biden's average share is a little more than a point ahead of Clinton finish there and Trump is actually slightly ahead of where he ended up in Arkansas four years ago.


Florida
(Biden 49, Trump 46)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +3.12] 
Univision's first poll of the Sunshine state in calendar 2020 does not stray far from the established 49-45 (rounded) average at FHQ. And Florida is one of those states with a below average swing relative to 2016. Biden has only tacked on a point and a half on to Clinton's showing there, and Trump is running only about three and a half points behind his pace. In total that is still a shift in the Democrats' direction the 2016 election to 2020 polling, but it is one that falls short of the nearly seven point average swing across the country. 


Georgia
(Biden 50, Trump 48)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +0.28] 
North of the Sunshine state in Georgia, Monmouth was back in the field with another survey gauging opinions on preferences in the presidential race. And there has been a fairly substantial swing in the low turnout model that FHQ has been imputing into the dataset since the university pollster found Trump ahead 50-45 last month. But that was a bit of an outlier. Trump has not been back up as high as 50 percent in any Peach state poll since the September Monmouth survey. Moreover, he had not hit the majority mark in a poll until that September survey since July.  But this month, it is Biden and not the president who is at 50 percent. For comparison, since that September Monmouth survey, the former vice president has surpassed the majority barrier seven times. [NOTE: Using the high turnout model data -- a 50-46 Biden advantage -- would have increased the average FHQ margin to Biden +0.32.]


Maine
(Biden 51, Trump 38)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +13.57] 

Maine CD1
(Biden 56, Trump 34)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +23.27] 

Maine CD2
(Biden 46, Trump 42)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +1.75] 
There is far less suspense statewide in Maine or in ME CD1 and the update from Colby College confirms that. The numbers both statewide and in the southern, more urban district moved toward Biden since the last poll in September. But the margins shifted a sliver toward Trump because they both came in under the established average margins in both jurisdictions. And while the more competitive ME CD2 was largely unchanged in the time since the last Colby survey -- Trump dropped a point -- the average margin inched upward and toward Biden nearly syncing it with the average margin in North Carolina.


Michigan
(Biden 49, Trump 41 via Siena/NYT Upshot | Biden 49, Trump 42 via Glengariff Group | Biden 51, Trump 44 via ABC/WaPo)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +7.17] 
It was another day with not only multiple polls of Michigan but with all them finding the former vice president hovering around 50 percent as he has for weeks here at FHQ and the president stuck in the low to mid-40s. The Siena survey was an update to a poll of the Great Lakes state earlier this month and represented no real change. A 48-40 Biden lead then morphed into a 49-41 advantage now. The margin may have closed some in the update the last Glengariff poll earlier in October, but it also had Biden's support pushing closer to 50 percent, a mark the Democratic nominee has been closing in on in the FHQ averages for a while now. The first-time ABC/WaPo survey basically fell in line with the current 50-43 (rounded) margin Biden leads the president by at FHQ. None of the trio find Trump significantly closing the gap in a state he flipped in 2016 but does not absolutely have to defend in 2020. 


North Carolina
(Biden 49, Trump 46 via Gravis Marketing | Biden 47, Trump 46 via Harper Polling)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +1.80] 
In the Tar Heel state, a pair of new surveys continued giving fodder to the FHQ mantra for the race there: It is close but consistently tipped in Biden's favor. The Gravis poll is the firm's first in the state since June and although both candidates have increased their support from Biden's 46-43 lead at the time, the margin has remained exactly the same. Harper Polling's surveys for Civitas in North Carolina have been the model of consistency since summer. It has been a one point race in one direction or another since the firm's August poll. And it was Biden's turn to lead in October after Trump had his turn last month. Neither poll is far off of the 48-46 (rounded) FHQ average in the Old North state.


Pennsylvania
(Biden 50, Trump 45)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +5.38] 
Like the Arizona and Florida polls, this was the first Univision survey of Pennsylvania as well. And even as the margin falls short of the five plus point FHQ advantage the former vice president has in the Keystone state, it is consistent with the 50-44 (rounded) lead there. And this was another poll with Biden at or above 50 percent in the commonwealth. Looking at the swing in Pennsylvania from 2016 to now, it appears to be a lot like Florida. Biden here is ahead of Clinton by a little more than a point and a half and Trump is lagging behind his 2016 performance by more than three and a half points. Together, that shift is slightly below the nearly seven point average swing across all states. 


South Carolina
(Trump 50, Biden 44 via Data for Progress | Trump 52, Biden 44 via East Carolina University)
[Current FHQ margin: Trump +6.76] -
If it is a South Carolina poll this week, then it must have Trump in the low 50s and Biden trailing in the mid-40s. That has been the trend so far this week anyway and both the Data for Progress and ECU polls fit that bill. And neither survey has changed that much since either was last in the field in the Palmetto state. In the two weeks since Data for Progress conducted a South Carolina poll Trump's 52-43 lead has shrunk by a couple of points. ECU's last survey was the first in the state way back at the beginning of February, and that registered voters sample then also had Trump at 52 percent. Biden saw more growth since then in the transition from registered to likely voters, but only enough to pull him in line with his average level of support as measured by FHQ. 


Texas
(Trump 49, Biden 46)
[Current FHQ margin: Trump +1.53] 
The update to the last Univision poll in Texas resembles the timeline in the Gravis surveys of North Carolina discussed above. A February poll of registered Lone Star state voters had Trump out to a 46-43 lead. But time and the switch to likely voters for the latest poll are more consistent with the current 48-46 (rounded) advantage the president holds in Texas. As FHQ has mentioned before, Texas continues to be the North Carolina of the Trump side of the partisan line. The two states are mirror images of each other with Trump holding the same 48-46 lead that Biden has in North Carolina. That consistency in both should be noted heading down the stretch of this race. 


Virginia
(Biden 53, Trump 41)
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +11.83] 
No other poll has found the race for the 13 electoral votes in the Old Dominion as close as the September Christopher Newport survey did. So, that the university pollster's latest Virginia poll has replaced that 48-43 Biden lead from then with a margin (not to mention candidate shares) to match those at FHQ is noteworthy. Virginia just is not in 2020 the swing state that it was in 2008 or 2012 (or even 2016 for that matter).


Wisconsin
(Biden 48, Trump 43 via Marquette Law School | Biden 57, Trump 40 via ABC/WaPo )
[Current FHQ margin: Biden +6.46] 
Finally, the two new polls in the Badger state tell differing tales. Neither is wholly inconsistent with the recent data on the Trump side of the equation although the ABC/WaPo finding is on the low end of the president's range. But the real difference is on the Biden side. The former vice president was already above 50 percent in the last ABC/WaPo survey of Wisconsin last month, but for Biden to hit 57 percent this month is for him to hit his peak in polling of the state this year. It also nudges him a little closer to a 50 percent average share at FHQ. In fact, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have all been huddled up against but under that average threshold for a while with Michigan closest to crossing first. But on the weight of this new ABC/WaPo poll, Biden's average share in Wisconsin is now closer to 50 percent than in Michigan. The Marquette poll continues to find the margin in the Badger state on the low side compared to other polling. But it also may have been more consistent across the series. This latest poll is barely different from the 47-42 lead Biden held in the last Marquette poll earlier this month. 



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.

Things really have settled in at FHQ and time is running out for anything to significantly change between now and election day next Tuesday. That is not to say that nothing can or will happen to disrupt this race but that time and folks who have not voted are both dwindling. FHQ mentions that as preface to saying on another day that little has changed around here. The map and underlying electoral vote tally are where they have been for a week, the order of states depicted in the Electoral College Spectrum is unchanged from a day ago and the same seven states that populated the Watch List yesterday are there again today. That is just the way it is, but tomorrow may bring some new data that will alter that. 

6 days to go.


Where things stood at FHQ on October 28 (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.