Sunday, August 21, 2016

Clinton vs. Trump
21 August 2016
79 days from the election

Numbers first, me yapping about the numbers second. A state that has moved from one category to another will be underlined, italicized and written in blue if the change was towards Clinton and in Red if the move favored Trump.

Solid Trump (more than 95% Confidence of Victory [CoV]): ND WY ID WV OK KY AL NE MS KS UT LA TN SD AR AK MT IN TX
Total: 145

Leaning Trump (between 50% and 95% CoV for Trump): MO SC AZ  
Total: 30

Toss-up: GA
Total: 16
Leaning Clinton (between 50% and 95% for Clinton): NV NC IA OH OR FL
Total: 81

Solid Clinton (more than 95% CoV for Clinton): MN ME CT NM PA MI CO DE NH NJ VA WI WA MD CA IL RI NY VT HI DC MA
Total: 266

The current count 


The big change from last week was a poll that moved Georgia from Leaning Trump to Toss-up. In this election, Georgia is actually a battleground state and Pennsylvania is not.

Let that sink in for a bit.

And then we have the 15 states this week that have the most influence on the race, which is calculated by the number of electoral votes times the chance of victory for the underdog. They are listed in order from most vital to least.

The fifteen states that have the most sway:

Current probability of victory if the election were held today:

Clinton 99.99%
Trump 0.01%

Yes, that's right, Donald Trump's chances of victory in an election held today are 1 in 10,000. They are so low, I will start measuring his chances in parts per million. Currently, he's at 108.5 parts per million away from being a 100% pure loser. 

I just wrote that Pennsylvania is not a battleground state, but it's on the list of states used in the calculation. Notice that Texas is on the list now, too. I don't think either of those states are really in doubt, but further evidence could change my mind. I also have a hard time believing just yet that Missouri and South Carolina are in play, but Trump really is that bad a candidate.

More than that, there are two states I expect to move when more polling comes in. Oregon is in the battleground group because of a single poll produced by a Republican pollster. Utah is in the Solid Trump camp because of a similar polling anomaly. My assumption is that by this time next month, Utah will be a battleground and Oregon will be Solid Clinton.

And now instead of yapping about numbers, let me finish by yapping about other people yapping.

People want to compare this election to others in the past, but no major party have ever had a presidential campaign run by talentless amateurs before. Trump is already talking about rigged polls, which is a great way to make your base feel hopeless and decrease voter turnout among your supporters. 

People in the pundit class on the right are expecting to lose in a landslide and aren't holding their tongues. Dana Perino, who worked as a spokesperson for G.W. Bush, just wrote an article telling conservatives that the polls are very likely correct. She believed the hype in 2012 that Romney would win. Bob Beckel, one of Fox News' lapdog liberals, convinced her that the unskewing of polls was a lie and of course, he was right. She learned a lesson, we will see how many follow her.

I didn't do the Senate numbers today, waiting for next Saturday to make that a weekly event. Right now, it looks like the GOP could keep 50 senators, which will make progress very difficult. This assumes Trump can keep on course to lose by about 200 electoral votes. The thing is, he's a bad spot and has ways it could get worse.

A report on the Senate next Saturday.


  1. I have a conservative FOAF on Facebook who responded to the 1 in 10,000 with a link to an article saying, yet again, that the polls are oversampling Democrats because more people are self-identifying as Democrats; then going on to say that Trump is doing better with Independents and kind of ignoring that it doesn't matter, since the Electoral College results aren't based on arithmetically balanced numbers of voters. I linked to this joint, but frankly, if the Republicans want to spend THIS election as well, consoling themselves by 'unskewing' the polls, I am good with that....

    1. Trump talking about rigged polls AND putting it in an ad shows an incompetent campaign. All that does is dishearten his base. You might want to tell your FOAF that as gently as possible.

  2. Pursuant to my Facebook comment, It seems that the Toss-Up category is pretty consistent. But then, your definition is pretty narrow....

    1. 15 was NC, 18 was OH and 16 is GA. The two earlier toss-ups are now Leaning Clinton.

  3. I seriously doubt that TX is or will be in play. But it's amusing to note that while McCain bested Obama by 12 points and Romney topped Obama by 17, Hair Fuhrer's lead in TX last I saw was in the single digits, with some from June putting it at 6. In Texas! Oh my.

    1. I agree, Trump is at 98.8% chance to win there according to the last poll. It's in the mix because of 38 electoral votes, which gives it a big expected value.

      New data could change my mind, but right now I would say there are seven battleground states - GA NC OH FL GA IA NV - and the others are added in because the algorithm says I can have fifteen states in my calculation. I think SC will swing back to solid Trump and OR will be solid Clinton soon. Moving Oregon out of the mix will make Trump's numbers MUCH worse, if and when that happens.