Battleground states

A perusal of the state polls shows that the crucial states tomorrow, in declining order of importance to Trump, will be:

  • Ohio
  • Florida
  • North Carolina
  • New Hampshire
  • Pennsylvania
  • Virginia
If Trump doesn’t win Ohio or Florida, he probably loses. As he takes those states and more, he wins. The victory line is somewhere between New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. So, let’s see where the polls are in each of them, the latest poll, the current RCP average, and the RCP average one month ago. I’ll update this when RCP updates later today; that will also help us see what the trend is for the final stretch.
  • OH: +7 +3.5 (+2.2)
  • FL: +4 +0.2 (-2.8)
  • NC: TIE +1.4 (-1.3)
  • NH: -1 -0.6 (-6.0)
  • PA: TIE -2.4 (-6.0)
  • VA: -6 -4.3 (-7.0)
The month-long trend is strongly positive for Trump. Note also, the latest polls tend to be better than the RCP average, which includes polls as old as October 26th. (Update: the most recent NC poll was negative, but the two before that were strongly pro-Trump and that increased the pro-Trump average.) The trend at the state level in the battleground states continues to move Trumpward, perhaps not as strongly as we’d like to see for a definite Trumpslide, but certainly in the right direction.

The only real cause for concern at the state level is Florida, but the abrupt and sudden jump of Hillary to her highest level of support throughout the entire campaign at the same time it is falling elsewhere is not very credible and hints at pollster shenanigans. I have no doubt that a closer analysis of the sampling will reveal unlikely anomalies.

Other good signs are that some of the supposed battleground states are now solidly pro-Trump.

  • AZ: +5 +4.0 (+3.0)
  • GA: +2 +4.6 (+4.8)
  • NV: TIE +2.0 (-1.8)
In any event, there is no cause for despair. If the pollsters are putting ANY amount of weight on the scales in Hillary Clinton’s favor, and we have very good reason to believe they are, then Donald Trump will win without much difficulty tomorrow. If the pollsters are playing it entirely straight – which I do not believe for one single second – then it’s going to be close and could go either way depending upon enthusiasm, turnout, and fraud. So, go out, do your part, and let the chips fall where they may.

Axiom Strategies takes the polls at face value, of course, and reaches a similar conclusion:

We’re looking at a margin of error race in seven of the eight battleground states we surveyed. Either one of these candidates could realistically run the table in these seven states. The big question is if Donald Trump can mobilize his voters and get them to the polls, if he can’t then he will lose,” said Titus Bond, Director of Remington Research Group

The three states to watch early are Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida. If VA is “too close to call”, that is an excellent sign for Trump. If NC is too close to call, that is a potential cause for concern. If Virginia, Connecticut, or Maine goes Trump, the Trumpslide is on. Keep in mind that NC closes at 7:30 PM, half an hour later than VA and FL, so it probably won’t report quite as soon.

If Clinton wins VA, Trump wins NC, and Florida is too close to call, the next big indicator is PA, where the polls close at 8 PM. If that goes Trump, he wins. If it is “too close to call”, that is also a good sign.