Electoral map rapidly slipping away from Trump

By Aaron Blake, Chris Cillizza

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton smiles while speaking in Columbus, Ohio. Photo / AP
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton smiles while speaking in Columbus, Ohio. Photo / AP

According to the Washington Post's electoral vote tracker - an amazing tool that marries RealClearPolitics polling averages in swing states with the electoral map - if the election were held today, Hillary Clinton would win 341 electoral votes to Donald Trump's 197.

Those totals reflect the fact that Trump's always-narrow path to 270 electoral votes has become a footpath - at best - over the past two weeks or so, dating back to the first presidential debate on September 27.

Trump has been battered over that time by bad reviews of his debate showings as well as the revelations of lewd sexual talk in a 2005 hot-mic tape. His poll numbers have taken a commensurate hit - both nationally and in swing states. That hit is reflected in our weekly update of the Fix electoral map.

Pennsylvania, which we moved into the "toss-up" category last week, immediately moves back to "lean Democratic".

Of the five polls conducted in the state after the first debate, Clinton had led by four, eight, 12, nine and 10 points; her average lead, according to RealClearPolitics, is now 8.6 points.

That move is hugely significant for Trump's chances. Taking Pennsylvania's 20 electoral votes out of the "toss-up" category means he would literally need to run the table of the states remaining in that category - and then some - to win.

We're making three other moves this week - all benefiting Clinton.

Arizona now looks more like a "toss-up" than ever.

The RealClearPolitics average in the state gives Trump a one-point edge. The last four polls in Arizona have shown Trump leads of two points and four points, a tie and Clinton up two.

The last Democrat to carry Arizona at the presidential level was Bill Clinton in 1996 - although he did so with only 46.5 per cent of the vote. The Democrat who won Arizona before Clinton? Harry S. Truman - in 1948!


THE LATEST
RealClearPolitics.com poll average leads

NATIONAL POLL AVERAGES
Hillary Clinton 47.9 (+6)
Donald Trump 41.9

Favourability ratings: Clinton +13.5
Betting odds: Clinton 85, Trump 15

THE SWING STATES

Strong Clinton
Pennsylvania +8.6
Virginia +7.5
Colorado +7.3
Michigan +7
Wisconsin +6.8
New Hampshire +6

Leaning Clinton

Minnesota +4.3
Maine +3.8
North Carolina +2.6
Florida +2.4

Toss-up Clinton

Nevada +1.4
Ohio +0.5

Toss-up Trump

Arizona +1

Leaning Trump

Iowa +3.7


And we are adding Utah and Indiana to our list of competitive states with ratings of "lean Republican."

Trump has been doing worse than a generic Republican in Utah for months because of Mormon resistance to his candidacy.

A Salt Lake Tribune poll conducted before either debate and the Access Hollywood tape showed Trump up only nine points. In Indiana, a state that Barack Obama carried in 2008, an independent poll shows Trump with a five-point edge over Clinton.

We are also keeping our eye on Alaska - yes, Alaska! - because of polling that suggests that the race might well be close. For the moment, however, Alaska remains off our competitive states list.

- Washington Post

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