Sunday, August 28, 2016

Clinton vs Trump.
28 August 2016,
72 days from the election

The big news in polling this week was from Ipsos. The company released two huge flurries of polls, 43 on Wednesday night and 40 on Friday. Some of those polls disagree with the conventional wisdom and some in the first batch disagree with some in the second batch. Most of the movement of states from one category to another is because of these polls being included. The general trend is in Trump's favor, but not massively so.

Any state that is underlined and italicized has moved from one category to another. If it is red, the change is in Trump's favor and if it is blue, the change is in Clinton's favor.

Solid Trump (more than 95% Confidence of Victory [CoV]): ND WY UT SD TX TN AK ID IN MS LA OK 
Total: 103

Leaning Trump (between 50% and 95% CoV for Trump): AL KS AR WV MO MT AZ SC NE KY GA  
Total: 88

Toss-up: None
Total: 0
Leaning Clinton (between 50% and 95% for Clinton): WI NC NV IA ME OH NM FL
Total: 93

Solid Clinton (more than 95% CoV for Clinton): OR MI MN PA CT CO MA DE NH WA VA NJ MD IL RI NY VT CA HI DC
Total: 254

The current count 


Ten of the twelve moves this week were from Solid to Leaning, both in the states favoring Trump and the states favoring Clinton. This is The Ipsos Effect, brought on by small samples sizes Ipsos uses in low population states. In the Confidence of Victory system, small sample sizes tend to move the Confidence of Victory numbers closer to 50%. The two moves that are not related to The Ipsos Effect  are Georgia flipping from Toss-up to Leaning Trump and Oregon moving from Leaning Clinton to Solid Clinton. Because Georgia has 16 electoral votes and Oregon only 7, these changes improved Trump's overall Probability of Victory number, though it is still less than 1%, making it four weeks in a row Trump's chances have not climbed above that ignominious threshold.

The fifteen states that have the most sway:

Current probability of victory if the election were held today:

Clinton 99.80%
Trump 0.20%

The Ipsos Effect has put some states in the top fifteen battleground positions that really aren't battlegrounds at all. This is a problem caused by an influx that will be solved by an influx of data, sort of a "lime in the coconut" situation. It changes the numbers in small ways but in no way changes the narrative. Trump is getting badly beaten. It is also true because I decided to use an algorithm that allowed fifteen entries and I'm always using all fifteen slots in my calculations. My best guess right now is the real battlegrounds are Georgia, Arizona and South Carolina, states where Trump now holds a lead, and on the Democratic side North Carolina, Ohio, Florida, Nevada and Iowa. The big problem Trump faces is that if that is correct and he runs the table with those listed stated, he still loses the presidency with just 265 electoral votes. If I'm right about this list and the noise is removed from the signal over the next few weeks, his chances will once again be best measured in parts per million.

Some Democrats worry about complacency in the voters, but I think the more likely problem is the Republican base falling into despair. Let me repeat my message from yesterday. If you are interested in donating money on the national level, it is currently a better investment to put your donations into the Senate races, and that is true for Democrats and Republicans alike. The numbers say what they have said for six weeks now. Clinton is delivering a major ass-kicking to Trump and even the media who dearly want a close contest are coming around to understanding this.

Back next Saturday with more numbers on the Senate.


  1. It's about time the numbers showed the truth about Oregon :)

    I actually missed a poll call on my land-line yesterday. I wonder if it was Ipsos or somebody else?

    1. It's still very early and polling is sparse by my standards. My experience in the past three presidential contests is that there will lots of polls from lots of companies in the states that might be competitive and that flood of data will make the median a more reliable measure. Until that time, some of the changes in the numbers will be from undersampling.

    2. my wife was called last night by Marquette, so there should be a new poll from Wisconsin soon....

    3. Always glad to see more polling.

  2. As predicted:

    They seem to be weighting non-voters pretty heavily.

    1. Two WI polls today, Marquette and Monmouth.