06 November 2016

Battleground/National Report, 04 November, 2016 - T-minus 4 days (Clinton 317 / Trump 197 / Tossup 24)

Friday, November 4th, 2016, was exactly 4 days before the General Election on November 8, 2016. 

Complete polling results for all states for 2016 to-date are here as an EXCEL table for 11/04/2016 in GOOGLE DOCS. All polls are hyperlinked.

So, my methodology for doing averages in this wild-and-wooly-sometimes-3-way election was explained in the first Battleground Report, from 11 October, 2016.

The Battleground table is pretty darned detailed. The LEGEND for said table is HERE. In fact, you need to read it in order to develop an "eye" for the Battleground tab. However, I have changed the format a little bit - I think you will see how and why.

There were 9 national polls and 21 states received polls: AZ (1),  CA (1), CO (3), GA (2), IN (1), IA (2), KS (2), MA (1), MI (2), MO (1), NH (2), NV (1), NM (1), NJ (1) NC (2), PA (2), TX (3), UT (3), VA (2), WA (1) and WI (2).

Here is the battleground table as of 11/04:

Subtle, but important shifts: IA has moved out of the tossups on to the Trump side in the battlegrounds. NV is an almost mathematical perfect tie. PA has moved into the battlegrounds, but right at the edge.

This means that that the EV map without tossups is unchanged, but the map with tossups is:

and the map with tossups:

Clinton's topline remains at 317. Trump's topline moves up to 197.

Here the PENUMBRA tab for both candidates:

There is a lot to say, and yet, not that much. LOL....  

It is quite clear that the Comey announcement from last Friday, one week before, hurt Clinton, especially in national polling and indeed the battleground chart is showing that most states that were favoring Trump now favor him more. UTAH, for example, in spite of a four way race, may end up not being competitive as it was once thought to be. Wait and see. But Utah was never a state considered to be a lynchpin in the race.

In some of the states that will decide this election, it really is tight, but with certain signs for one side or the other. The most EV rich of them, the all-coveted state of Florida, which was not polled on 11/04, is still showing an aggregate of Clinton +1.32. And this includes in the mix a Gravis (R) poll published specifically for Breitbart, an extreme right-wing, alt-right oriented platform, where the owner, Steve Bannon, is Trump's campaign manager. I see a huge conflict of interest here, but as promised, I publish all polls from accredited pollsters and Gravis is accredited. The bad news for Trump is that even Gravis shows Clinton ahead.
On this corresponding day four years ago, the aggregate was: Romney +0.18, so Clinton is still running 1.5 points better here than Obama did four years ago, and Obama ended up winning the state.

In North Carolina, worth 15 EV, the aggregate shows Clinton +1.92On this corresponding day four years ago, the aggregate was: Romney +2.25, so Clinton is running 4.17 points better right now than Obama did four years ago.

In Virginia, worth 13 EV and which is not within the battlegrounds, but where the aggregate has narrowed, it now stands at: Clinton +5.74 On this corresponding day four years ago, the aggregate was: Obama +0.98, so Clinton is doing 4.76 points better right now than Obama did four years ago. The main reason why the VA aggregate has fallen is one single contrarian poll from Hampton University, showing Trump +3, 44 to 41 in a two-way only matchup. Those numbers are way too low for 4 days out of a presidential election and nowhere close to the other poll. But as promised, I log everything and once the final canvasses are in, I will make a comparison.

Now, Virginia and North Carolina combined have 28 EV. Florida has 29, so essentially, the battlegrounds in the mid-atlantic, which were not even competitive just 12 years ago, equal the firepower of Florida.

From the movement of both campaign teams, you can tell that neither consider Virginia competitive anymore. However, although early voting signs in both Florida and North Carolina are positive for Clinton, it is now an issue of GOTV on both sides. Wait and see. The polls HAVE tightened in NC, but they should have been a romp for Trump to begin with were he really ahead.

I am not predicting yet, but my gut tells me that Clinton will win all three of these states and the presidency. 

In Ohio and Nevada, the two best bellwethers of the nation, it really is all tied up, but each state is showing different signs worth noting. The OH and NV aggregates are Trump +0.42 and Trump +0.06, respectively. Nevada is about as close to a perfect mathematical tie as it comes.  On this corresponding day four years ago, the aggregate was: Obama +2.89 (Ohio) and Obama +3.75, respectively, so Trump is running 3.41 points better in Ohio and 3.81 points better in Nevada than Romney did at this juncture in 2012. 

Only, the polling aggregate in Ohio landed at +3.16 (composite) for Obama on election day and he won with +2.97 (+3), so the aggregate was one of the best in 2012. In fact, it was pretty much a bullseye. This means that Ohio really IS too close to call, but my gut says "advantage Trump" to me. 

On the other hand, in NV, Obama did 2.01 points better than his end-polling on election day, 2012 and the polling aggregates in NV were also off to the right in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and to a lesser degree, in 2014. This coupled with the fact that the early vote totals from Nevada now show a larger registered D-voter lead over registered R-voters than in 2012 leads me to believe that Clinton is very likely to retain Nevada and all of the western states that Obama won in both 2008 and 2012. Now, this is not me trying to read tea-leaves, but rather, relying on current numbers and past precedent.

Although it looks close in Iowa, I do not believe that it is as close as the numbers relate. The current aggregate there is: Trump +1.73, but more importantly, in the three-way calculations, he is at +2.53.  On this corresponding day four years ago, the aggregate was: Obama +2.53, so Trump is currently doing 4.26 points better here than Romney did four years ago. Now, the demographics of Iowa and New Hampshire in terms of race, are very similar to each other, and no state in the Union has come crashing down for Clinton in polling as has New Hampshire, so it is worth a look. The aggregate is now at: Clinton +1.73 (up +0.30 from 11/03, statistically insignificant, but an uptick).  On this corresponding day four years ago, the aggregate was: Obama +3.02, so Clinton is doing 1.25 points worse right now than Obama was doing four years ago. And there is one large Clinton margin (Google Survey Monkey 50) for Clinton that is going to fall out of the statistic soon, so this state could very well flip toward Trump. The other downside for Clinton right now is that New Hampshire does not do early voting, so she did not have the opportunity to "bank" votes as she has had in other states. But polling in other states, like Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, are not showing this kind of erosion for her. Right now, the numbers are only showing her crashing in New Hampshire. Now, the news media has picked up on this as Trump breaking through the "blue wall", but this is also not true. The "blue wall" consists of all the states that went D for 6 cycles in a row. New Hampshire did not. It went for Bush in 2000. So although many consider New Hampshire and New Mexico to be part of the "blue wall", they are not calculated in the 242 EV that make up the way. However, they are right next to the wall and New Mexico is certainly expected to be part of it.

Speaking of New Mexico, an wild outlier poll came in, worth noting so that I can later lambast it fully: a Zia (R) poll came in showing Clinton up only +3 in this Latino minority-majority state. Now, we have seen other single digit margins, but what makes this poll ridiculous is that it shows only 3% for former NM Governor and Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson, who has been polling in the 20s in his home state. But as promised, I log all polls. However, once the election has come and gone and the final canvasses are in, guaranteed I will be mentioning this poll again. New Mexico is SAFE DEM.

In Pennsylvania, as Jon King as said on CNN many times, the Democratic "DNA" there is incredibly rich and hard to break through. Many characterize the Keystone State as NYC on the extreme eastern and western edges and Alabama in the middle. I am not sure if this is a fair assessment, but there is an extreme geographical difference in political views in PA.

I think it would be worth it to see the PA polling up close:

That is a veritable sea of "blue" in bold. In fact, of all 89 polls logged for Pennsylvania, making for 187 matchups, Clinton has won 166 of them, the GOP has won 20 and there was one tie. And of those 20 GOP wins, only one of them, released 9/16, was for Trump. Statistically, it is historically so that George W. Bush, a sitting Republican president, was unable to pick up PA while receiving high marks and the nation was in the middle of a war. He made an unbelievable play for PA, but even with the power of the incumbency, he was unable to flip the state, making him the first Republican in our history to have won the presidency twice, but both times without Pennsylvania.  So, yes, Clinton is ending her campaign in Philadelphia and yes, Trump is campaigning heavily in the state, but the current aggregate is: Clinton +4.98. The state has just now slipping into the outer edge of the battlegrounds.  On this corresponding day four years ago, the PA aggregate was: Obama +5.00, so Clinton's current statistic tracks exactly with the President's from four years ago. Yes, a public transit strike in Philly could cause problems, but then again, maybe not. And yes, in Pennsylvania, voters can actually undo their early votes, but it's a rigorous process and most don't even know about it and even fewer care. Plus the ones who vote early tend to be the diehards, anyway. So, no matter how you slice it, Clinton is on track to win Pennsylvania for the Democrats for a 7th time in a row.

I am deliberately not going to write about Arizona or Georgia, but rather, save an analysis of both for the 11/05 report.


The tracking list:

12 October 2016, Clinton +5.52, -0.21
13 October 2016, Clinton +6.61, +1.08*
14 October 2016, Clinton +6.75, +0.14
15 October 2016 - no battleground report posted
16 October 2016, Clinton +6,44, -0.31
17 October, 2016Clinton +7.35, +0.92*
18 October, 2016, Clinton +6.91, -0.45
19 October 2016, Clinton +6.64, -0.27
20 October 2016 - no battleground report posted
21 October 2016, Clinton +6.74, +0.10
23 October 2016, Clinton +6.02, -0.72
24 October 2016, Clinton +6.25, +0.23
25 October 2016, Clinton +6.37, +0.23
26 October 2016, Clinton +6.73, +0.36
27 October 2016, Clinton +6.55, -0.18
28 October 2016 - no battleground report posted
29 October 2016, Clinton +5.91, -0.64
30 October 2016, Clinton +5.81, -0.10

31 October 2016, Clinton +5.93, +0,12
01 November 2016 - no battleground report posted
02 November 2016, Clinton +5.02, -0.91
03 November 2016,  Clinton +3.86, -1.16
04 November 2016, Clinton +2.52, -1.34
*Due to rounding, the difference is off by 0.01

On this corresponding day in 2012the national aggregate was Obama +0.22, so Clinton is currently +2.32 points ahead of where Obama was four years ago. On 11/03, she was +3.64 ahead, so she has dropped - once again - one entire point on this statistic over 2 days time. That is a statistically significant drop, for the third day in a row

If you look at the margins, you see a gentle rising and falling - often called the sinus-curve effect. I fully expected to see this.

And some end-statistics: I first started collecting 2016 presidential polls at the beginning of October 2013 and since then I have logged 4,775 matchups from 2,615 individual polls. You can find the breakdown to this stuff at the EXCEL table, in the tab that says "poll totals".

For past reference, here is the BATTLEGROUND REPORT from 11/02/2012, t-minus 5 days. And here is also the corresponding report from 10/31/2008.

One more thing: early voting has begun and there are lots of stats coming out of many states. The early vote report will be published on Sunday.


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