November 7, 2016 My election predictions
The polls are all over the lot, ranging from Trump by 5 to Clinton by 5. The RCP (Real Clear Politics) average is Clinton by 2. I am inclined to go with this; it seems to me that the Trump bubble of last week has run its course. Even though the FBI news of yesterday (kinda sorta clearing Clinton) comes too late to do her much good, it does deprive Trump of one last chance for momentum. On the other hand, at least some polls I have seen suggest that Republicans are basically more enthused about this election than Democrats, so I don’t think Clinton will rise to her pre-Halloween heights. Since third party candidates usually lose steam over time, I am guessing that both Johnson and Stein do a bit worse than the polls. So I am guessing something like: Clinton 49 Trump 47 Johnson 4 Stein 1
This is close enough for a long night, and it is possible (though unlikely) that Trump could win in the Electoral College with this margin. (I think Trump clearly has an electoral college advantage;
Realclearpolitics.com says that there are 203 votes solid/leaning Clinton and 164 solid/leaning Trump (which sounds about right). So I’m just going to focus on the tossups.
Maine- Maine votes partially by congressional district, instead of giving all four votes to the winner. RCP says the 2nd District of Maine is a tossup. The only recent poll shows Clinton very slightly ahead so I’ll give it to her, as well as the state as a whole.
New Hampshire- Friday I would have said Trump wins but most recent polls say Clinton. My guess is that this may be a state where the FBI’s news puts her over the top .
Pennsylvania- Not one poll taken after Nov. 1 shows Trump leading. Clinton
Virginia- Ditto – Clinton.
North Carolina- I think the decline of Trumpmentum gives Clinton a shot. But I find it hard to imagine Dems winning if the national popular vote is as close as I think it will be, so reluctantly I call it for Trump (179 Trump)
Georgia- Closer than I expected but even so Trump is in the lead here. I think Trump. If Clinton wins here, then we will know that the most pro-Clinton polls are right. (195 Trump)
Florida- The post Nov 1 polls lean ever so slightly towards Clinton, and big Hispanic turnout in early voting might put here over the top. But Florida is usually about 1 pt more Republican than the nation as a whole, so I am guessing Trump by a 2000-like margin (224 Trump)
If this is NOT close in either direction it is a very big deal.
Ohio- The polls here range from Trump by 7 to Clinton by 1. Clinton would have to win big nationally to win here. So Trump (242 Trump)
Iowa- polls pretty similar to Ohjo and so the result will be too-Trump (248 Trump)
Michigan- A poll here and there shows a tie but not one shows Trump ahead. So I call Michigan (and nearby Wisconsin too) for Clinton. If he wins here he will be winning so big nationally that he won’t need it.
Colorado- See Michigan.
Nevada- A week ago I would have said Trump. But most recent polls show a tie and lots of buzz about how early voting favors Clinton. So I say Clinton with great reluctance.
New Mexico- Solid Dem, not sure why RCP calls this a tossup. Clinton.
Arizona- No polls from this week so hard to call. But last week’s polls range from a 1 pt Clinton lead to a solid Trump lead, so I’ll say Trump (259 Trump)
Grand total: Clinton by a whisker (279-259). The West will put her over the top!
States I am least certain about: Fla and NC- I changed my mind about both as I was typing. If I am wrong, Clinton is at 323. But I think she’d have to gain another point or two of nat’l popular vote to get there.
Senate- This looks like a good Republican year; the Trumpmentum of last week meant that there is not going to be the top to bottom Dem sweep that they needed to get the Senate. RCP says with no tossups its 46-46 (including one D pickup, Illinois) and most of the 8 tossups are in red states. So going state by state (again just the tossups)
Pa- Here you have two week candidates, incumbent Republican Pat Toomey (too conservative for the state) and Dem machine favorite Katie McGinty (who I think ran for something a few years ago and did quite poorly in the Dem primary). The most recent polls are mostly almost a week old (the last one was a five day tracking poll that ended Friday). The range has been from Toomey. My guess is Clinton coattails pull her in. (D pickup)
New Hampshire- Sen. Ayotte seems to have consistenly run ahead of Trump and so should be reelected. The most recent polls are divided but RCP shows her with a Clinton-like lead (R hold) Having said that, if this turns out to be a bigger than expected Clinton victory, the Republicans could lose this one and/or NC
Florida- Not one poll has shown Sen, Rubio behind (R hold)
North Carolina- Polls are divided, as in the Presidential race. But Sen. Burr seems to be running slightly ahead of Trump,which should be enough to put him over the top (R hold)
Indiana- A month ago, Evan Bayh was leading the race to take this open seat. But polls show a Democratic meltown here, as his Republican challenger has established name recognition and hammered away at Bayh’s years as a lobbyist (R hold)
Missouri- Polls show a close race but Trump is winning big here and his coattails should save Sen. Roy Blunt (R hold)
Wisconsin- Two weeks ago I would have called this a Dem pickup. But the November polls show a tie or even a lead for Sen. Ron Johnson (R hold).
Nevada- Harry Reid’s seat. My guess is that this goes the way the Presidential election goes, so if Clinton wins here, Catherine Cortez Masto holds the seat for Dems. Also, the most recent polls lean in her direction; this is one of the few close seats where the Democrat has gained ground over the past month (D hold)
Bottom line: the only seats changing partisan hands this year will be Illinois and Pennsylvania (so that’s a 52-48 Republican Senate).
Seats I am least sure about: Wisconsin, NC, NH, Pa. I could easily see 53-47 R or 51-49 D.
House- Generic ballot news grim for Dems. Just saw a poll showing Republicans ahead for first time. My guess is Dems only gain a third of the RCP tossups, which puts them at 197 (D + 9).
Governors- GOP picks up WV, NH, Vermont. Dems pick up Indiana, NC.
R + 1 (32-17 R).