The long and short of it was that Hillary Clinton fell down, both literally and figuratively. Trump had his best week ever and is now in striking distance. The big question for the last seven weeks is if this is a trend or if Hillary can get back on track. Here are the numbers.
Solid Trump (more than 95% Confidence of Victory [CoV]): ND WY AL ID TN UT MT SD OK KY WV MS LA MO AR AK SC KS IN TX
Leaning Trump (between 50% and 95% CoV for Trump): ME-2 IA NE GA OH AZ FL
Leaning Clinton (between 50% and 95% for Clinton): NV CO MI WI RI NJ NH
Solid Clinton (more than 95% CoV for Clinton): ME PA VA MN DE NM OR WA IL ME-1 CT DC MD MA NY VT HI CA
The current count
Almost all the movement this week was in Trump's favor, gaining the median lead in both Ohio and Florida and bringing North Carolina into a 50-50 tie. Unlike 2004, where winning Ohio and Florida was just enough for George W. Bush to beat Kerry, the demographics have changed and Trump will need to get other wins in state that currently do not favor him.
Here are the odds of victory using the 15 battleground states according to my algorithm.
Trump's non-battleground count of electors: 122
The battleground states ranked by pqn:
(Clinton%, Trump%, electors)
1. FL: 39%, 61%, 29
2. NC: 50%, 50%, 15
3. OH: 23%, 77%, 18
4. AZ: 36%, 64%, 11
5. MI: 85%, 15%, 16
6. CO: 71%, 29%, 9
7. GA: 10%, 90%, 16
8. NV: 66%, 34%, 6
9. TX: 3%, 97%, 38
10. WI: 87%, 13%, 10
11. PA: 96%, 4%, 20
12. NJ: 94%, 6%, 14
13. VA: 96%, 4%, 13
14. IA: 9%, 91%, 6
15. NE: 10%, 90%, 5
Current probability of victory if the election were held today:
Instead of using the algorithm and looking at paths to 269 electoral votes, my choice of 11 states for battlegrounds going from most likely Trump to least likely would OH, AZ, FL, NC, NV, CO, MI, WI, NJ, PA and MN. This only brings his numbers up to 12.1%, not much of a difference and this is as generous a list as I can create in good conscience.
How can his odds be so bad when he only needs to get North Carolina in his leaning category and pull away one of several states from Clinton? The reason for this seeming contradiction is that he could lose his new won advantages and he has so many states in the leaning column he still has to defend.
Why would I think his gains of this week aren't certain? I looked at the numbers I compiled in 2012. After a disastrously low energy first debate, Obama's numbers against Romney sank in a similar way. After about a week and a half, they returned to their previous levels. A bad debate difference is not the same as a health scare, but if they are both temporary, I expect the effects will be temporary as well.
Earlier in the campaign, I wrote the race looks like an anaconda swallowing a pig: long, slow, ugly and inevitable. Right now it's doesn't look as inevitable, but I will wait a week to see if his current trend continues. With Hillary back on the trail, Trump defending his retreat from birtherism and his return to Twitter attacks, I have am not willing to call this race close yet.
Back next Saturday with information on the Senate.