Friday, October 21, 2016

Pols and Polls: The good, the bad, and the ugly

Summary for Oct 21. The good (HuffPollster): Clinton continues to rise, Trump to fall. Latest estimates give Clinton 302 to 341 electoral votes. The bad (538): Bad for the Republican candidate, that is, who is not helped by likely voter models. The ugly: many Americans, more so than in years past, are distrustful of the validity of the election, believing in the Republican mantra about voter fraud. (As Trump would shout: WRONG!)

THE ELECTORAL MAP HEAVILY FAVORS HILLARY CLINTON - Amy Walter: “With less than three weeks to go in election 2016 it is clear that Trump has abandoned any precept of fighting for persuadable voters…. Polling since the first debate has shown an unmistakable pattern - Clinton has been climbing and Trump has been falling - even in states once considered safely red like Arizona and Georgia. Given these factors, we are moving a number of states in our Electoral College ratings - all in favor of Clinton. Three states that had been in the Lean Republican column, Arizona, Iowa and Maine’s Second Congressional District, all move to Toss Up…. Joining the Lean Republican column is Utah. Despite the state’s deep red hue, Trump is struggling here…. Nevada, a state that has been one of Trump’s best opportunities to flip from blue to red, now is trending away from him in recent weeks…. We have moved Nevada from Toss-Up to Lean Democrat…. Finally, Colorado and Michigan, two blue-leaning states that had been tightening in September, have broken away from Trump rather decisively…. Both of these states move to Likely Democrat.” [Cook Political Report]

The HuffPost forecast concurs - The HuffPost presidential forecast gives Clinton a 95.7 percent chance of winning the election. Tallying up only the states where has at least a 90 percent probability of winning gives her 302 electoral votes.. The Democratic candidate has 341 electoral votes when the states swinging in her direction are included. That means she would win even if she loses all of the current battleground states, which include North Carolina, Ohio and Nevada. She could even lose Florida ― where she’s given a 93 percent chance of winning ― and still take the presidency. Donald Trump has essentially no viable Electoral College pathway to the presidency. His 4.2 percent chance of winning rests basically on the possibility that polls could be systematically wrong or that something major could reverse the outcome in the next 18 days. [Presidential forecast]

LIKELY VOTER MODELS AREN’T HELPING DONALD TRUMP - Nate Silver: “... Trump gains a net of 2.5 percentage points in likely-voter polls, as compared with registered-voter polls. But Clinton gains 1.7 points. So the net gain for Trump is only 0.8 points…. Trump’s reliance on voters without college degrees — especially men without college degrees — could disadvantage him because they turn out at lesser rates. Then there’s Trump’s lack of a turnout operation, which may or may not be reflected in polls.” [538]

CONCERNS ABOUT VOTER FRAUD AREN’T NEW - ... Despite the consensus of most researchers that voter fraud is rare, a CBS News poll in February 2015 found that a majority of Americans considered voter fraud to be fairly widespread…. A September ABC News/Washington Post poll found similar results, with 20 percent of the public saying voter fraud happens very often and 26 percent somewhat often. These polls, however, were conducted before Trump’s insistence that the election was rigged became a central tenet in his campaign. Whether the American public believes, or will come to believe, that voter fraud is widespread enough to sway a presidential election remains to be seen.” [HuffPost]

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