Sunday, September 4, 2016

Clinton vs. Trump.
4 September 2016,
65 days from the election

A lot of polls this week, some favoring Trump and some favoring Clinton. The one big switch from last week is Iowa moving from Leaning Clinton to Leaning Trump. Several states that became Leaning Trump with the first flood of polls from Ipsos have moved back to where they belong in the Solid Trump camp, but some others move form Solid Trump to Leaning Trump, and there's a good chance that's where they belong. The states that I think are currently misplaced are Kentucky and Montana, that are only in the Leaning Camp because of single polls with small sample sizes. On the Clinton side of the ledger, Oregon, Michigan and Connecticut move to under 95% Confidence of Victory, but all of them could easily move back up over that threshold in the next few weeks.

Solid Trump (more than 95% Confidence of Victory [CoV]): ND WY MS TN SD ID LA AL AK KS IN WV TX MO OK 
Total: 127

Leaning Trump (between 50% and 95% CoV for Trump): GA AR AZ NE KY UT MT SC IA   
Total: 70

Toss-up: None
Total: 0
Leaning Clinton (between 50% and 95% for Clinton): NC ME NV OH NM WI FL OR MI CT
Total: 117

Solid Clinton (more than 95% CoV for Clinton): PA CO NH MN WA IL DE NJ MA VA MD NY RI VT DC CA HI
Total: 224

The current count 


My system has very specific rules for toss-ups and those rules make them rare. During the week Iowa went from Leaning Clinton to Toss-up to Leaning Trump. I have no idea who will be favored to win that state two months from now, but if I was forced to put up a wager, I'd put a small amount on Clinton.

And now we get to the odds of winning. My system takes the current numbers and chooses the 15 states most likely to sway the outcome, so the list changes from week to week.

The fifteen states that have the most sway:

Current probability of victory if the election were held today:

Clinton 99.95%
Trump 0.05%

I am rounding the probabilities to the nearest hundredth of a percent because if I rounded to the nearest tenth, Trump's chances would have rounded to zero three times in the past five weeks, including today, when he barely rounded up to 0.05%.

How can Trump gain a state and get much worse odds than last week? In the words of The Mighty Monarch "Let him take all the pawns he needs!" Right now, the straightest path for Trump to victory would be to hold on to every state where he has a current lead - which is not a sure thing - and then to win North Carolina, Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida and one of three smaller states, either Maine, Nevada or New Mexico. Iowa has six electoral votes, so as the race stands right now, it's not a vital component. If Wisconsin changes and becomes more difficult to win than Florida is, even the pawns will be important, but that is not the case right now.

Short rant: Nate Silver's website is making this race seem much closer than it is and it seriously pisses me off. The Senate is close, Clinton-Trump isn't. I understand the need for clicks, but I'd rather the political journalists spent more time explaining how vital the Senate is to both parties and focusing on those contests, because that really is an exciting horse race that could go either way two months from now.

Clinton-Trump is exactly what it looks like. A professionally run campaign against a gang of corrupt goofballs who have no idea how to expand their voting pool. In other words, a major ass-kicking. Maybe something will change in the next two months, but it is extremely unlikely to change because Trump becomes a better campaigner. He loves ranting in front of adoring crowds, with not even the slightest clue he's not helping his cause. Sanders loved the crowds as well and he had actual professionals working for him. He didn't beat Clinton and Trump doesn't look likely to beat her, either.

Back next Saturday with another look at the very tight race for control of the Senate.


  1. I hope and pray your right Prof.Hubard, I been talking a lot of smack to my friends about Hair Furer Donald Trump, and i hope i don't have egg all over my face after the election.

    1. Hi, Luis! My system takes snapshots of how things should go if the election were held tomorrow, so we still have two months for things to change. But as of right now, Trump is the Walking Dead and his team is not going to fix this.

      Thanks for checking in.

  2. Love your blog. I'm 71 and have been following [lib] politics forever. I have a couple of questions about Senate & down-ticket. All the poll analysis people seem to have a HRC well ahead yet Senate within a seat or two. Wang, who I don't understand. NS who is horserace, bothsider :( RealClearPolitics & you. 1] HRC has vastly more state offices-ground game than DT, should help down-ticket. 2] There's a big factor of ticket splitting. I'm old but I haven't ticket-split since Gingrich-94. Who's voting for Hillary then pulling the lever for a Repub Sen or Congr even. Please enlight.

    1. Hi, David, thanks for stopping by. My methods are most like Wang's, so I'm a little surprised there's much room between our counts.

      So much of of politics is personalities. Right now, down ticket we have Portman in Ohio far outperforming Trump. In Nevada, the better performance of Heck is much closer. Dems no longer have the added advantage of re-electing a powerful person and will instead send a rookie to the Senate if Cortez Masto can turn things around.

      As I am sure you are aware, only a third of the country chooses a senator this year and while the GOP is playing defense in 24 of 34 contests, many of these races are in dark red states with next to no hope for the Democratic challengers. Now that the primaries are finally over, McCain may be in more trouble than previously thought and a seat I now count as safe may become a battleground.

      Hope to hear from you as we get closer to election day, or as I call it, Taco Tuesday.

  3. Do you have an opinion on the merit of these other election prognosticators: PCE, Daily Kos, Real Clear, 538, Cook, Votamatic, HuffPost Polls, Upshot? Am I missing any others I might follow? Are Predict Wise or Betfair ever valid as indicators? Should be an interesting ride from here on in.

    1. Of all the ones you mention, I agree most closely with Princeton Election Consortium, PEC. Another good choice is Larry Sabato out of University of Virginia. I read an interesting piece on 538, tied to the problems of their parent company ESPN. I feel even better about not trusting Silver and his gang this year.

      As for the gambling sites, I am very leery of them. In 2008, there was a site - I think it was Betfair, not exactly sure - that still had Obama-McCain a close contest when there was just one guy betting heavily on McCain that kept the odds close. I have no idea if that has repeated itself in the more recent elections, but I know it's possible it could happen again.

      Thanks for stopping by.

    2. I did read that piece at electoral-vote. Very enlightening about silver's motivations, and thusly his weaknesses for corporatizing his work.