Sunday, October 2, 2016

Clinton vs Trump.
2 October 2016,
37 days from the election

In last week's post, things improved for Trump, though he was still behind. This week's polls have reversed the trend, giving Clinton her best news in over a month.

Here are the list of states and districts in five categories, listed from Solid Trump to Solid Clinton. As of this week, both Maine and Nebraska's separate districts are on the list.  RED indicates a state moving from one category to another in Trump's direction, while BLUE means the state moved in Clinton's direction.

Solid Trump (more than 95% Confidence of Victory [CoV]): ND NE-3 WY NE-1 ID WV NE AR OK TN MT AL LA TX UT SC AK MO MS KY SD KS NE-2 ME-2 IN 
Total: 165

Leaning Trump (between 50% and 95% CoV for Trump): IA GA AZ OH
Total: 51

Toss-up: NV
Total: 6
Leaning Clinton (between 50% and 95% for Clinton): NC PA CO FL WI ME NM NH MI RI OR
Total: 121

Solid Clinton (more than 95% CoV for Clinton): MN VA NJ CT WA DE IL MD ME-1 NY VT CA HI DC

The current count 



This week's polling made big changes in several true battleground states, Nevada, North Carolina and Florida, and all those changes were in Clinton's favor. The changes that helped Trump were less vital, moving Nebraska from Leaning Trump to Solid Trump, New Mexico and Oregon from Solid Clinton to Leaning Clinton. This brings Clinton's lead in the electoral college to a nice round 100 electors ahead.

If Clinton supporters feel like taking a sigh of relief, I will not stop you. More good news is coming.

 Trump's non-battleground count of electors: 165

The battleground states ranked by pqn
(Clinton%, Trump%, electors)

1. FL: 78%, 22%, 29
2. PA: 68%, 32%, 20
. NC: 59%, 41%, 15

4. OH: 28%, 72%, 18
5. AZ: 26%, 74%, 11
6. CO: 77%, 23%, 9
7. NV: 50%, 50%, 6
8. GA: 10%, 90%, 16

9. MI: 90%, 10%, 16
10. WI: 83%, 17%, 10
11. IA: 18%, 82%, 6
12. NM: 89%, 11%, 4

13. MN: 96%, 4%, 10
14. VA: 97%, 3%, 13
15. NH: 89%, 11%, 4

Current probability of victory if the election were held today:
Clinton 92.6%
Trump    7.4%

I never loved that Texas was considered a battleground by my algorithm and because it's back in Trump's strong category, his baseline is at 165 electoral votes. That means he still has to capture 104 more, and that won't be easy. I have Clinton's chances at 92.6% to 7.4%. As I have said in the past, as a former gambler I hate to celebrate early, but it is nice to see a good week for Clinton with time slowly running out.

Many people ask me about Nate Silver. Let us start with what we have in common. We both think Hillary is in the lead and she had a very good week. Where we disagree is the how comfortable her lead is. Silver's polls only numbers are now at 66.8% to 33.2%.

People ask if I worry about how much Silver and I disagree. The answer is no. If I trusted his work, I wouldn't do this stuff week after week. He's well known but I think his product is weak. I'm an old school programmer from the 1980s. When I think of successful and not very good, I think of Microsoft.

Scratch that, I now think of Microsoft and Nate Silver.

If I have any concerns in this week's numbers, it's that Pennsylvania got closer. Right now, Trump's easiest paths to victory entail holding on to Ohio and winning Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Colorado and one other state of his choice. It these combinations of states to win that make his odds so long.

Of course, these are just the numbers, which are often not well reported. On the campaign trail, Trump is in a quagmire re-litigating the 1990s. From battles with beauty queens to bringing up Bill Clinton's infidelities to Trump's 1995 New Jersey tax return claiming a loss of $900 million, stuff from twenty years ago that should be ancient history politically is being kept daisy fresh and none of it to Trump's advantage.

I also want to apologize for all the negative things I said about the reporting in The New York Times this campaign. The tax stuff amounts to a nuclear sized bombshell. Susanne Craig, the woman at the Times who was sent these documents anonymously, has been asked if she has other stuff. Her answer was "no comment".


By next week, we should see the effect of the tax story on the polls and next Sunday, we get the second debate, a town hall style show.

I'll be back next Saturday with the latest numbers on the Senate.


  1. yeah, Tom over at Balloon Juice figured there were more tax documents, and they would be coming out sporadically to give the story legs. The billion dollar loss year sets the baseline, and other documents build on the story.

    Yikes, indeed.

    1. I don't see how there's anything bigger in the pipeline and the story of finding the original accountant is a compelling sidebar.

      But I also assume the Times know what they are doing.

    2. No, almost certainly nothing bigger. But the writer of the story strongly hinted (and the way the article talked about looking at the documents) that there was more in that envelope. And a story that has more reveals on a repeating basis won't go away.

      More documents that reveal the depth and perfidy of his chicanery.

      Man, this election has been great for vocabulary.

      "But I also assume the Times know what they are doing."

      If this was LGM, someone would certainly say 'assumes facts not in evidence'....

    3. I will wait to see what comes. I'm having a hard enough time predicting the twists and turns of this election when I have heaps of data in front of me, guessing what comes next based on one story is not a winning strategy.

    4. You're a man of rational moderation.

      As a zombie, I find moderation difficult...

  2. FWIW, and in case you haven't seen it, Ed at GinAndTacos has a digression about poll sampling: