07 November 2016

FINAL Battleground/National Report, 06 November, 2016 - T-minus 2 days (Clinton 317 / Trump 197 / Tossup 24)

Sunday, November 6th, 2016, was exactly 2 days before the General Election on November 8, 2016. This is the FINAL battleground report, to be rounded off with the FINAL ELECTORAL ANALYSIS, which will be released on election day and will include data up to about 10 AM EDT on that day.

Complete polling results for all states for 2016 to-date are here as an EXCEL table for 11/06/2016 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.

The final IPSOS/Reuters 50 state polls came out, but that is a bit of a misnomer: 4 states (AK, HI, ND and VT) plus DC did not receive polling data. Apparently, the polling groups are too small to justify publishing results. On top of that, a number of key states received polls on 11/06 (there were very few special state polls on 11/5 other than the Ipsos/Reuters), leading to some statistically interesting changes. Overall, there were 86 new matchups from a total of 74 new polls logged on 11/05-11/06 

First the battleground table:

OH and NV are still in the tossups, but NV has switched to Clinton's side. OH still shows a razor-thin edge for Trump. WI has left the battlegrounds, but VA is sitting at the outer edge of the battlegrounds. I have removed UT (as a state overall) and SD from the battleground table. The states that will likely disappear from the table for the final ELECTORAL LANDSCAPE, due on election day, with data up to about 10 AM on election day, are states highlighted in either Red (GOP) or blue (DEM). But the most important statistical detail is that IA has moved farther away from the tossups, deepers into reliable battleground statistic territory.

As a result, the current EV map with tossups does not change, but the EV map with tossups does:

With tossups, Clinton's topline remains unchanged at 317 EV. However, without tossups, it moved up to 323 to Trump's 215.

Here the penumbra tables, for both parties:

I am going to keep the analysis part very short this time, because as you can see, nothing has really changed over the weekend. Whether on the Clinton side or the Trump side of the tossups, a tossup is a tossup is a tossup, anything can happen. So, I am reserving judgement.

However, in five cases, there are individual polls worth mentioning:

In IOWA, twice an Obama state and a 6-for-7 DEM state, going all the way back to 1988 (yes, the state went for Michael Dukakis that year), Selzer, a pollster considered one of the best, high-quality pollsters in the land and also THE gold-standard for Iowa, has Trump up by +7 in the Hawkeye State, so in spite of the battleground statistic, I would say that the chances are very high that this will be the first "blue" state to flip "red" on election night.

Conversely, in NEW HAMPSHIRE, a state where Clinton's statistic literally crashed this last week in light of the Comey letter (that has now been essentially rescinded, a topic for later), a WMUR / UNH poll was released on Sunday, a poll taken entirely after the Comey incident, an it shows Clinton at a landslide +11 in the state. WMUR is to New Hampshire as Selzer is to Iowa: a gold-standard pollster, one who really knows the state well. So, Clinton's chances of holding the entire blue wall plus the two states next to it (NH, NM) seem pretty decent right now.

In the quintessential battleground state of OHIO, the Columbus Dispatch released it's mail-in poll, showing Clinton 48 / Trump 47, Clinton +1. The Dispatch has been right every year except 2004, where it called an absolute tie, but of course, President Bush won the state by +2.11%. However, with an aggregate like this, I would say we will be waiting a long time to hear a call on the Buckeye State. The problem for Trump is that Clinton does not need the state in order to go over 270, but he absolutely must win the state. Wait and see. I expect to see a flurry of last-minute polling from Ohio, so fasten your seat-belts.

Now, some of the D stats look barely changed and part of that is because Remington Research (R) a hard-right leaning polling firm with some very questionable polling internal statistics, is showing Trump up in Florida and North Carolina and Clinton just barely ahead in Pennsylvania. People in the field are saying that Remington is deliberately trying to hold Clinton's statistic down so that Trump can move ahead in RCP's aggregate statistic. And indeed, Remington shows also a much leaner Clinton margin in Virginia. Well, ok... Remington is an accredited polling firm and I log their stuff just as I log all the other data and there will be enough time long after the election is in the record books to see who was really good and who was really terrible, but one Remington poll really stuck out namely, it's poll from WISCONSIN, showing Clinton +8 over Trump in a state that the Republicans would really like to make competitive. By extension, if Wisconsin is this safe, then so is Minnesota, which has an even deeper DEM "dna" than Wisconsin itself.  

And though it appears to be lean, the polling in PENNSYLVANIA is very consistent and the latest Muhlenberg poll (gold-standard for PA) has Clinton +6 in a two-way and +4 in a more-way, so about a +5 composite, right on par with Obama's 2012 win, and also in line with Clinton's current national average, with raised to +3.05 over the weekend.

I wanted to delve in to Georgia and Arizona, but will save it for the ELECTORAL LANDSCAPE, due out tomorrow....


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
05 November 2016 - no battleground report posted
06 November 2016, Clinton +3.05, +0.53

*Due to rounding, the difference is off by 0.01

On this corresponding day in 2012the national aggregate was Obama +1,04, so Clinton is currently +2.01 points ahead of where Obama was four years ago. Her national aggregate jumped from 11/04 to 11/06, by +0.53.

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 4,861 matchups from 2,689 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 11/04/2012, t-minus 2 days. And here is also the corresponding report from 11/02/2008.


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