In the latest look at national tracking polls we learned that Trump's jump slumped in the last three days and Hillary had a slight recovery. Polls taken at around that same time in key states still show some Trump bump. How long it will last is anyone's guess. If he peaks too soon, then Hillary's huge advantage in local campaign offices that manage get out the vote efforts will win the day. Black vote, overall voter enthusiasm and questions about hidden Trump support remain to be answered (that discussion will come later).
The key thing to observe here are trends. Here are some key examples:
|Florida too close to call.|
Hillary overcame Trump's lead last week in the Real Clear Politics average of Florida polls. Final polling shows a more favorable trend for Trump with recent polls favoring him or tied. Trump also appears to be doing significantly better than Romney in the number of absentee ballots returned. If Trump's surge in new voter registration in Florida materializes on election day he can win Florida and be in the best position to win nationwide.
However, Hillary retains significant organizational advantages that Democrats have successfully used in Florida to overcome weak polling. And while there are significant concerns over lower than expected turnout of black voters in early voting, black churches on Sunday ignored the requirements of their tax exempt status and fueled a jump in black early voting on Sunday according to news reports.
|New Hampshire slipped to Hillary|
advantage over the past two days.
Notice the change from Saturday
at right to Monday at left.
Now too close to call.
If Trump loses Florida he will have no one but himself to blame. Failure to establish an effective ground organization will be the reason. An unsympathetic article at Politico describes how the Florida Trump organization was starved for resources and suffered leadership problems.
New Hampshire (4) TOO CLOSE TO CALL
On Saturday a positive trend for Trump in the Granite State flipped by Monday afternoon with two new polls favoring Hillary. With that kind of uncertainty New Hampshire is too close to call one way or the other in my electoral college forecast.
In my forecast below Trump could win Florida but if Hillary wins New Hampshire she would reach the required 270 electoral college votes needed to win election.
Nevada (6): TOO CLOSE TO CALL
The Silver State is another one where the trend looked like a safe bet for Trump but later polls muddied that outlook. Trump still has a 1.5 point lead in the RCP poll average. Nevada's six electoral college votes whether combined with New Hampshire or another small state may be just the edge that either candidate needs to put them over the top.
In every recent presidential election Pennsylvania has teased the GOP but fallen short. The last time Republicans won the state was 1988. But if the black vote in and around Philadelphia is lower than previous years by only a few points the state could be in play for Trump.
Over 240,000 new voters registered with the Republican Party in Pennsylvania this year. 100,000 of them switched from the Democrat Party. Since Obama won the state in 2012 by about 310,000 votes that could mean this year is the best chance the GOP has had in many to add PA to the winning column.
Colorado (9): Pennsylvania has 20 electoral votes. If Trump were to pull off a win there he would still need 9 votes to make up for a loss in Florida. Can he do it with Colorado's 9? Polls in the The Centennial State show some movement in Trump's direction but still leaving Hillary with the edge. Again, a stronger ground game which Trump does not have would make all the difference.
North Carolina (15): Looking better but two recent polls gave the nod to Hillary or tied. With 15 electoral votes it's must win for Trump and a state Romney carried over Obama in 2012. Black turnout in early voting is down here too but experts remind us that black voters in North Carolina are regular voters. Obama has been beating the drum here too but are voters listening? At a rally in Fayetteville, the audience ignored his repeated COMMAND to "sit down and be quiet." Lame Duck anyone?
There should not be the usual phony charges of black voter suppression if Dems lose the state. At a campaign stop Obama declared "it's easier to vote than ever" in North Carolina, Obama said. "What's our excuse?" I'm sure they will come up with something.
Keep this next graphic in mind if things don't go for Trump in North Carolina. Don't say you weren't warned:
|Clinton organizational advantage in North Carolina.|
Iowa (6 ): Looks safe.
Arizona (11): Not sure why this state was ever in doubt. A solid trend for Trump.
Electoral College Map Forecast:
Using the Real Clear Politics tool I came up with the following map. Create your own and drop an image in the comments section.
In my forecast Hillary has 266 electoral votes; Trump has 231. All Hillary has to do to win by reaching the required 270 votes is to pick off toss either New Hampshire or Nevada. Trump has to win them all. Unless of course something happens in Pennsylvania.....
|Mike's America forecast: Hillary 266 electoral votes; Trump has 231.|
Trump must win Florida, Nevada and New Hampshire to be elected.
Each poll tends to make assumptions about turnout based on a range of factors. But they are not always right. If, as some reports suggest, the black vote does not meet the anticipated polling assumptions, or if there is some hidden Trump groundswell then we would be looking at a very different result. Finger crossed!