Swing State Pres

Monday, October 17, 2016

BTRTN Presidential Snapshot #7: Clinton Strengthens Overwhelming Lead In a Wild, Sordid Week

It was been yet another horrific week in the campaign, and for Donald Trump, featuring an eye-popping display of sordid revelations and “scorched earth” campaign tactics.  These tactics seem to have only one goal…to so disgust and demoralize the American public on our political processes that voter turnout is suppressed.  If that is the strategy – and it is the only one that seems to fit what we are witnessing -- then we have hit a new nadir of cynicism in our political history.

To recap the dizzying pace of the last nine days – has it been only nine days since the Tape was released? – Trump issued a non-apology apology for the Tape; delivered a stalking, dark, bombastic and losing performance in Debate #2; declared war on the GOP establishment when Paul Ryan said “no mas” about the GOP presidential prospects; unwittingly unleashed a parade of woman who revealed that they had been sexually assaulted by him; and turned his campaign into a two-issue rant, first, a defense of himself at the expense of the women who charged him, and second, an unprecedented tear-down of the legitimacy of our electoral process (“the media is rigging the election”). 

What to do in the face of such a venomous display, other than get depressed?

Well, I fall back to the cold, hard numbers, which clearly reveal that we only have 21 days until we no longer have Donald Trump in our faces any more.  The man who has dominated the airwaves like no other for 18 months will indeed be silenced by the polls, whether he accepts that outcome or not.

However unseemly the past week has been, there was little change in the complexion of the race, apart from increasing the likelihood of a Clinton presidency from “very high” to “very, very high.”  The national polls do a good job of documenting Clinton’s soaring trajectory, from a shockingly close race – less than two points separating Clinton and Trump – just a month ago, to a Clinton lead approaching 9 points.  This is stunning.  Trump is barely above the 40% mark, which is remarkable for a major party candidate.  And Clinton is very close to 50%.

PRESIDENT SNAPSHOT: NATIONAL POLLS
Week Ending
Sep 17
Sep 24
Oct 1
Oct 8
Oct 15
Clinton
45.0
46.5
47.0
48.3
49.1
Trump
43.2
43.3
42.5
42.7
40.5
Other/NA
11.8
10.2
10.5
9.0
10.4
Margin
1.8
3.2
4.5
5.6
8.6

At the state level, there has not been quite as much pickup.  In states where there was polling each week, we see a lift on average of about 1.6 points rather than the 3 points at the national level you see above.  But even with that modest uptick in the face of the sordid mess, Clinton’s lock on the presidency is now vice-like.  It’s no wonder Paul Ryan threw in the towel on a GOP presidency, from an odds perspective (although I still question the political wisdom of that surprising cave, given the potentially adverse effect on Ryan’s own position of Speaker of the House, and also his presumed presidential aspirations – the GOP rank and file do not like disloyalty, see: Cruz, Ted).

Our BTRTN Electoral College Snapshot #7 has Clinton up 351-187, with no further state flipping that can be discerned by the last week’s polling.  But we have changed the rating of many of last week’s Dem Toss-Up states to the Leans, as polls show Clinton strengthening in Florida, Nevada and North Carolina.  And former Solid Trump states Texas and Missouri are now Leans.  Even Maine’s second congressional district is a Toss-up R now.  Trump has less than 100 Electoral College votes in the Solid camp, evidence of a shrinking base; just a few weeks ago he had 155 Solids.  And it could be even worse, because there has been very little polling across many traditional red states, thus no way of knowing if he is losing support where it matters most to him.

PRESIDENT SNAPSHOT: ELECTORAL COLLEGE
Electoral College
Oct 9
Oct 16
CLINTON - TOTAL
351
351
Clinton - Solid
263
263
Clinton - Lean
9
59
Clinton - Tossup
79
29
Trump - Tossup
0
1
Trump - Lean
46
93
Trump - Solid
141
93
TRUMP - TOTAL
187
187



Swing States (EC)
Latest Polls                   as of Oct 9
BTRTN Rating
Colorado (9)
Clinton +6
Lean D
Florida (29)
Clinton +4
Lean D
Nevada (6)
Clinton +4
Lean D
N. Carolina (15)
Clinton +4
Lean D
Arizona (11)
Clinton +2
Toss-up D
Ohio (18)
Clinton +1
Toss-up D
Maine CD2 (1)
Trump +1
Toss-up R
Alaska (3)
Trump +3
Lean R
S. Carolina (9)
Trump +4
Lean R
Iowa (6)
Trump +4
Lean R
Indiana (11)
Trump +4
Lean R
Texas (38)
Trump +4
Lean R
Missouri (10)
Trump +5
Lean R
Georgia (16)
Trump +6
Lean R

Clinton continues to have 263 Solids, meaning she needs only 7 more out of the pool of Lean D and Toss-up D’s to hit the magic 270.  All she needs is any one of Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Arizona or Ohio to hit the mark.

The only presidential drama on Election Night may be how early the race is called, and, of course, if The Donald deigns to legitimize the outcome as he slinks out the door.  Once all that is over, early on, we can turn our attention to the real drama of the evening…whether the GOP can hold onto the Senate and the House.

‘***************************

Here is the full 50-state Snapshot.  Note that Maine is split (hence the asterisk), with 3 Solid electoral votes for Clinton and one Toss-up R for Trump (Maine CD 2).  Changed ratings are in CAPS.

ELECTORAL COLLEGE SNAPSHOT

2016 Electoral Votes
2012 Margin    (D-R)
Latest 2016 Polls as              of 10/16/16
BTRTN Current Rating as of 10/9/16
BTRTN Current Rating as of 10/16/16
DC
3
84

Solid
Solid
Hawaii
4
43

Solid
Solid
Maryland
10
25

Solid
Solid
Massachusetts
11
23

Solid
Solid
Vermont
3
36

Solid
Solid
California
55
21

Solid
Solid
New York
29
27

Solid
Solid
Washington
12
14

Solid
Solid
Illinois
20
16

Solid
Solid
New Jersey
14
17

Solid
Solid
Delaware
3
19

Solid
Solid
New Mexico
5
10

Solid
Solid
Oregon
7
12

Solid
Solid
Connecticut
7
18

Solid
Solid
Rhode Island
4
27

Solid
Solid
Maine
4
15

Solid*
Solid*
Minnesota
10
8

Solid
Solid
Virginia
13
3

Solid
Solid
Michigan
16
10

Solid
Solid
New Hampshire
4
6

Solid
Solid
Pennsylvania
20
5

Solid
Solid
Wisconsin
10
7

Solid
Solid
Colorado
9
5
Clinton +6
Lean
Lean
Florida
29
1
Clinton +4
Toss-up
LEAN
Nevada
6
7
Clinton +4
Toss-up
LEAN
N. Carolina
15
-2
Clinton +4
Toss-up
LEAN
Arizona
11
-11
Clinton +2
Toss-up
Toss-up
Ohio
18
2
Clinton +1
Toss-up
Toss-up
Alaska
3
-13
Trump +3
Lean
Lean
S. Carolina
9
-11
Trump +4
Lean
Lean
Iowa
6
6
Trump +4
Lean
Lean
Indiana
11
-11
Trump +4
Lean
Lean
Texas
38
-16
Trump +4
Solid
LEAN
Missouri
10
-10
Trump +5
Solid
LEAN
Georgia
16
-8
Trump +6
Lean
Lean
Mississippi
6
-12

Solid
Solid
Montana
3
-14

Solid
Solid
Utah
6
-48

Solid
Solid
Louisiana
8
-17

Solid
Solid
S. Dakota
3
-18

Solid
Solid
N. Dakota
3
-20

Solid
Solid
Tennessee
11
-21

Solid
Solid
Kansas
6
-22

Solid
Solid
Alabama
9
-22

Solid
Solid
Nebraska
5
-23

Solid
Solid
Kentucky
8
-23

Solid
Solid
Arkansas
6
-24

Solid
Solid
W. Virginia
5
-27

Solid
Solid
Idaho
4
-32

Solid
Solid
Oklahoma
7
-34

Solid
Solid
Wyoming
3
-41

Solid
Solid


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