Clinton 323
image description
Trump 215
image description
Click for Senate
Dem 49
image description
GOP 51
image description
  • Strongly Dem (187)
  • Likely Dem (77)
  • Barely Dem (59)
  • Exactly tied (0)
  • Barely GOP (63)
  • Likely GOP (60)
  • Strongly GOP (92)
270 Electoral votes needed to win This date in 2012 2008
Dem pickups vs. 2012: NC
GOP pickups vs. 2012: IA OH

How Predictive Are the Polls One Week Out?

ABC News has been polling presidential elections since 1992 so we have some data on how good they are. Here are the data:

Year Candidates One week out Final poll Election results 1 Week correct?
2016 Clinton-Trump 45% - 46% ? ? ?
2012 Obama-Romney 48% - 49% 50% - 47% 51% - 47% No
2008 Obama-McCain 52% - 45% 53% - 44% 53% - 46% Yes
2004 Kerry-Bush 49% - 48% 48% - 49% 48% - 51% No
2000 Gore-Bush 45% - 48% 45% - 48% 48% - 48% Yes
1996 Clinton-Dole 54% - 35% 51% - 39% 49% - 41% Yes
1992 Clinton-Bush 41% - 34% 44% - 37% 43% - 37% Yes

For the most part, ABC News has gotten it right, except for 2012 and 2004, when the network called it wrong a week before the election. Note, however, that ABC's final 2012 and 2004 polls were correct, so, not surprisingly, the final poll has a better track record than the poll a week before the election. Right now, ABC is calling the election for Trump. Will it get the results right? Come back in a week. (V)

Don't Read Too Much Into Polling Changes

ABC News is a bit bearish on Hillary Clinton, but the New York Times' Nate Cohn isn't. While the polling impact of James Comey's letter to Congress is not fully known yet, Cohn observes that the polling shifts we've seen in this election have not proven to be enduring. The tides may ebb or flow a bit, but ultimately Hillary Clinton's numbers remain within a fairly well-defined range (low to high-40s nationally), as do Donald Trump's (mid-30s to low-40s nationally). There's every reason to suspect the same will hold this week.

Further, Cohn argues, whatever shifts we do see don't actually represent voters changing their minds. He believes (as do we) that at this point in the process, most voters are fairly set in their choices. However, quite a few of those voters are making their choices very begrudgingly, left with two options that they consider to be unsatisfactory. The theory is that when something bad happens to Clinton, the begrudging Clinton voters become less likely to admit to pollsters (and to themselves) the unhappy choice they have made. And when something bad happens to Trump, the same thing happens with begrudging Trump voters. This thesis is hard to prove directly, but it certainly does seem to explain the patterns we've seen in the last few months. (Z)

Seven Questions about Turnout Could Determine Who Wins

We've now gotten to the point where all the pundits are yelling: "turnout, turnout, turnout," and for good reason. That matters more than TV ads at this point. But turnout isn't just a matter of whether 125 million or 135 million people vote, but who votes. Here are a few key questions about turnout that matter:

  • How much of a ground-game advantage does Clinton have?
  • Can Trump find "hidden" voters and get them to the polls?
  • Is Trump's downward spiral over the last month demoralizing Republican voters?
  • Is split-ticket voting back from the dead this year?
  • Hillary Clinton is not Barack Obama. Will it matter?
  • Can a Democratic get-out-the-vote operation work in places like Arizona and Georgia?
  • Clinton is polling better than Obama in 2012, so will over-confident Democrats stay home?

In short, there are so many factors at play here that it is hard to predict turnout next week.

Note that Clinton is running ahead of where Obama was on this date in 2012 (click on "2012" in legend to see that). He was at 281 electoral votes and she is now at 323. In 2012, Romney was leading in Colorado and North Carolina, states that Clinton is likely to win. Also, Florida and Virginia were tied then and look like they will go blue this year. The two states Obama had nailed down and Clinton might lose are Iowa and Ohio, but Colorado, North Carolina, Florida, and Virginia are worth 66 EVs and Iowa plus Ohio are worth only 24. (V)

Early Voting Tells Some Important Tales

As we draw ever closer to Election Day, trends in early voting are becoming clearer. Tuesday saw some good news for both campaigns.

Starting with the Clinton good news (aka the Trump bad news), surveys conducted by TargetSmart indicate that 28% of early-voting Republicans in Florida are casting their ballots for Hillary Clinton. If this presages what's going to happen on Election Day (even if the final percentage drops to, say, 15%), Donald Trump's goose is cooked. He's not likely to peel off many voters from Clinton, and so an implausibly large number of Democrats would have to stay home in order for The Donald to make up the difference. And without Florida, he has no real path to 270 electoral votes.

Now to the Trump good news. Among black voters, early voting is down quite a bit, particularly in Florida, Ohio, and North Carolina—roughly 20%. Since 90% of black voters vote for Democrats (likely more this year, actually), that's a huge loss for Hillary Clinton. The popular explanation for this is that Clinton, for a number of reasons, does not engender the enthusiasm that Barack Obama did. That's likely true, but as Slate's Jamelle Bouie notes, it also appears to be a product (particularly in North Carolina) of GOP efforts to curtail the black vote through reduced early voting, pruning of voter rolls, and the like. The Clinton campaign has sent Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) on a tour of small, majority-black communities in the Tar Heel State. Whether he makes an impact or not, it's certainly looking like it's going to be close there. (Z)

Another Former President May Be Voting for Clinton

George P. Bush, son of Jeb and nephew of George W., has gotten into the family business, serving as a land commissioner in Texas. He was at a rally on Tuesday—one wonders what kind of people attend a land commissioner rally—and he let slip that his uncle may well be casting his ballot for Hillary Clinton.

There was little doubt that George W. wasn't going to vote for Donald Trump, given that they are very different kinds of Republicans, along with Trump's treatment of brother Jeb. Now, it seems he has reached the same conclusion his father did: Better to vote for a less-than-ideal Democrat than for a third-party candidate. If the news is true, then that will give Clinton the complete set of ex-presidents. In fact, with three Democrats and two Republicans, it's a full house. (Z)

Weld Defends Clinton

Typically, politicians promote their own candidacies and pooh-pooh the candidacies of their opponents. But 2016 has been anything but typical, and so it is that Libertarian VP nominee Bill Weld gave a remarkably candid interview to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow. In it, he acknowledged that his ticket is not going to win, and then went on to criticize James Comey and defend Hillary Clinton. "I'm here vouching for Mrs. Clinton, and I think it's high time somebody did," Weld remarked. Indeed, given the tone and tenor of the appearance, it's not inconceivable that Weld and George W. Bush (see above) will be voting the same way for president on Election Day. (Z)

Clinton Raises $11 Million after FBI Announcement

One upside for Hillary Clinton, after FBI Director James Comey announced that he found some of her emails on Anthony Weiner's computer, is that frightened Democrats ponied up $11 million for her in three days, her largest haul since securing the Democratic nomination.

The money could come in handy as the race appears to tighten. Clinton has been forced to spend money in states where she had long since stopped advertising, including Virginia, Colorado, Michigan, and New Mexico. Until last week, they were in the bag for her.

She is running two ads in those places. The first one features clips of Trump saying he will bomb the s*** out of ISIS and that he knows more than the generals about military strategy. The second one features some of his more controversial statements while children watch him on television.

The Trump campaign has also released two new ads. The first is a TV ad saying that Clinton will lead to stagnation, fewer jobs, rising crime, and America diminished at home and abroad. The second is a radio ad has Liberty University president Jerry Falwell, Jr. saying: "As Christians, we cannot allow our Supreme Court to be stacked with liberal justices who will transform America and threaten our freedoms." It is, obviously, aimed at evangelicals. (V)

Union Workers Could Hand the Election to Trump

The Transport Workers Union in Pennsylvania went on strike yesterday, so public transit in Philadelphia and surrounding areas has ground to a halt. If the strike continues until Election Day, many voters might not be able to get to the polls, and this could depress the vote in this heavily Democratic region. That might be enough to hand Pennsylvania, a critical state, to Donald Trump, and potentially with it, the keys to the White House. Voting early is not an option in Pennsylvania, and it is too late to request an absentee ballot. (V)

Trump Asks Early Clinton Voters to Change Their Vote

A few states, among them Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, allow voters who have cast an early ballot to revoke their earlier vote and vote again. Donald Trump called on early Clinton voters to retract their vote and vote again on Election Day. The procedure is not easy and applies only to absentee ballots, where election officials can find the early vote in its sealed envelope and destroy it. People who voted early in person and put their ballot in the ballot box can't vote again because there is no way to find and destroy the first vote. (V)

Sleeping Like the Enemy

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are both wealthy New Yorkers, but they have something else in common: Both fly home almost every night to sleep in their own beds. This daily detour is a tremendous waste of the candidates' time, even for multibedded candidates like these. Clinton has a brick Georgian-style mansion in D.C. as well as a five-bedroom colonial house in Chappaqua, NY. Trump has Trump Tower in Manhattan, Mar-a-Lago in Florida, and hotels in various other states where he can stay. This pattern is unusual. Mitt Romney, who had plenty of beds to call his own, just stayed wherever he was campaigning. After all, even the presidential suite at a top hotel is cheaper than flying home, not to mention less wearing on the candidate. Of course, if the final rally for a day is in East Podunk and the only lodging is Motel 6, then it's homeward bound.

When Trump uses his aging, gas-guzzling 757, he can't land at Teterboro, NJ—the airport of choice for wealthy New Yorkers with their own planes—because the 100,000-pound plane is too heavy for its runways. Instead, he has to land at LaGuardia, which he has called a third-world airport. When Clinton is flying to Chappaqua, she uses Westchester County Airport (HPN), 8 miles south of her home. (V)

House Freedom Caucus to Hold Secret Meeting Today

Members of the House Freedom Caucus will hold a "secret" meeting in D.C. today, although since Politico has reported it, it is not so secret any more. The main agenda point is what to do about Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), whom they strongly dislike. The Republican conference will vote on its preference for speaker by secret ballot a week after the election, even though the speaker is chosen by the full House in January. It is not clear why the Freedom Caucus is bothering to meet today, since its strategy (and power) will surely depend on the composition of the new House. If the number of Republicans in the House who are not in their caucus is 218 or more, nothing they do will matter, and Paul Ryan will be reelected as speaker. If that number is less than 218, it will get interesting, as Ryan may not get enough votes to win, potentially forcing him to negotiate with Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to get her members to support him. She has been around politics long enough to have a pretty good idea of what she could extract from him in return. So even if the Republicans hold the House, life could get quite dicey for Ryan. (V)

Republicans Have a Good Senate Map in 2018

The Democrats have a decent shot at getting 50 or more Senate seats next week, but their celebration will last only two years. The 2018 Senate map looks extremely bad for the Democrats, with at least seven Democratic incumbents facing tough races. Here is the map:

2018 senate map

Here is a list of the senators in the states with a question mark above. In a year with depressed Democratic turnout, they could all be in big trouble, especially if Hillary Clinton is president and her approval rating is low.

State Incumbent 2012 Margin
Florida Bill Nelson D+13
Indiana Joe Donnelly D+6
Missouri Claire McCaskill D+16
Montana Jon Tester D+2
North Dakota Heidi Heitkamp D+1
Ohio Sherrod Brown D+6
West Virginia Joe Manchin D+24

Even though some of the Democrats above won by substantial margins in 2012, in 2018 they will be facing far less friendly electorates than in 2012 because turnout is vastly lower in midterm elections, and the missing voters skew overwhelmingly Democratic. In 2012, 57% of the eligible voters turned out. In 2014 it was 36%. That is a dramatic drop, and 2018 is likely to be just as bad. This means all of the above Democrats will be in tough fights.

In addition, there were special factors in some of the 2012 races. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) easily beat Todd "legitimate rape" Akin. Most likely, the Missouri Republican Party will advise her 2018 challenger not to discuss rape too much, if possible. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) had it easy. The Republican Party of West Virginia couldn't find anyone who wanted to run, so by default, businessman John Raese, whose hobby is running for public office and being crushed, became the Republican candidate. In 2018, the Republicans will surely be able to find a member of the House or state legislature who is willing to try.

Of course, turnout isn't everything. Candidates, the economy, the popularity of the president, and more also matter, Nevertheless, unless the Democrats get 53 or more seats in the 2016 election, they are going to struggle to keep their majority in 2018. (V)

Today's Presidential Polls

Not too much to see here, really. That North Carolina poll that puts Donald Trump up by 7 points is at odds with virtually every other poll of the Tar Heel State; we're not buying it. (Z)

State Clinton Trump Johnson Start End Pollster
California 56% 35% 4% Oct 28 Oct 31 SurveyUSA
Florida 48% 40% 3% Oct 25 Oct 30 TargetSmart/Wm. & Mary
Illinois 45% 34% 6% Oct 26 Oct 27 Loras Coll.
Illinois 53% 41% 2% Oct 27 Oct 30 Emerson Coll.
Kentucky 32% 56%   Oct 26 Oct 28 Cygnal
Kentucky 37% 54% 1% Oct 25 Oct 30 Western Kentucky U.
Maine 42% 37% 9% Oct 24 Oct 26 Maine Peoples Res. Ctr.
Maine 46% 42% 5% Oct 28 Oct 30 Emerson Coll.
Missouri 38% 52% 4% Oct 28 Oct 31 Monmouth U.
North Carolina 42% 41% 3% Oct 23 Oct 27 Elon U.
North Carolina 44% 51% 3% Oct 28 Oct 31 SurveyUSA
Oregon 41% 34% 4% Oct 24 Oct 29 DHM Research
South Dakota 35% 49% 7% Oct 24 Oct 26 Nielson Bros.
Virginia 48% 42% 6% Oct 27 Oct 30 George Mason U.
Virginia 49% 45% 3% Oct 28 Oct 30 Emerson Coll.

Today's Senate Polls

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) better be getting his LinkedIn profile up to date, because he's going to be looking for a job starting November 9. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) should be nervous, too. Not enough data yet to think that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) or Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) should be starting to sweat, but with a couple more adverse polls, we could be there. As with yesterday, those Colorado numbers are not credible. (Z)

State Democrat D % Republican R % Start End Pollster
Alaska Ray Metcalfe 26% Lisa Murkowski* 52% Oct 25 Oct 31 SurveyMonkey
Alabama Ron Crumpton 36% Richard Shelby* 60% Oct 25 Oct 31 SurveyMonkey
Arkansas Conner Eldridge 44% John Boozman* 54% Oct 25 Oct 31 SurveyMonkey
Arizona Ann Kirkpatrick 46% John McCain* 49% Oct 25 Oct 31 SurveyMonkey
California Kamala Harris 47% Loretta Sanchez (D) 27% Oct 28 Oct 31 SurveyUSA
California Kamala Harris 50% Loretta Sanchez (D) 30% Oct 25 Oct 31 SurveyMonkey
Colorado Michael Bennet* 48% Darryl Glenn 46% Oct 25 Oct 31 SurveyMonkey
Connecticut Richard Blumenthal* 59% Dan Carter 38% Oct 25 Oct 31 SurveyMonkey
Florida Patrick Murphy 43% Marco Rubio* 49% Oct 25 Oct 30 TargetSmart/Wm. & Mary
Florida Patrick Murphy 47% Marco Rubio* 49% Oct 25 Oct 31 SurveyMonkey
Georgia Jim Barksdale 41% Johnny Isakson* 50% Oct 25 Oct 31 SurveyMonkey
Hawaii Brian Schatz* 69% John Carroll 27% Oct 25 Oct 31 SurveyMonkey
Iowa Patty Judge 41% Chuck Grassley* 56% Oct 25 Oct 31 SurveyMonkey
Idaho Jerry Sturgill 34% Mike Crapo* 61% Oct 25 Oct 31 SurveyMonkey
Illinois Tammy Duckworth 42% Mark Kirk* 34% Oct 26 Oct 27 Loras Coll.
Illinois Tammy Duckworth 54% Mark Kirk* 36% Oct 27 Oct 30 Emerson Coll.
Illinois Tammy Duckworth 57% Mark Kirk* 38% Oct 25 Oct 31 SurveyMonkey
Indiana Evan Bayh 46% Todd Young 50% Oct 25 Oct 31 SurveyMonkey
Kansas Patrick Wiesner 39% Jerry Moran* 56% Oct 25 Oct 31 SurveyMonkey
Kentucky Jim Gray 39% Rand Paul* 55% Oct 25 Oct 30 Western Kentucky U.
Kentucky Jim Gray 42% Rand Paul* 52% Oct 26 Oct 28 Cygnal
Kentucky Jim Gray 46% Rand Paul* 52% Oct 25 Oct 31 SurveyMonkey
Maryland Chris Van Hollen 66% Kathy Szeliga 31% Oct 25 Oct 31 SurveyMonkey
Missouri Jason Kander 46% Roy Blunt* 47% Oct 28 Oct 31 Monmouth U.
Missouri Jason Kander 51% Roy Blunt* 45% Oct 25 Oct 31 SurveyMonkey
North Carolina Deborah Ross 40% Richard Burr* 44% Oct 23 Oct 27 Elon U.
North Carolina Deborah Ross 43% Richard Burr* 49% Oct 28 Oct 31 SurveyUSA
North Carolina Deborah Ross 47% Richard Burr* 43% Oct 25 Oct 31 SurveyMonkey
North Dakota Eliot Glassheim 27% John Hoeven* 71% Oct 25 Oct 31 SurveyMonkey
Nevada Catherine Cortez-Masto 47% Joe Heck 47% Oct 25 Oct 31 SurveyMonkey
New York Chuck Schumer* 68% Wendy Long 28% Oct 25 Oct 31 SurveyMonkey
Ohio Ted Strickland 40% Rob Portman* 55% Oct 25 Oct 31 SurveyMonkey
Oklahoma Mike Workman 35% James Lankford* 62% Oct 25 Oct 31 SurveyMonkey
Oregon Ron Wyden* 62% Mark Callahan 34% Oct 25 Oct 31 SurveyMonkey
Pennsylvania Katie McGinty 49% Pat Toomey* 46% Oct 25 Oct 31 SurveyMonkey
South Carolina Thomas Dixon 39% Tim Scott* 56% Oct 25 Oct 31 SurveyMonkey
South Dakota Jay Williams 31% John Thune* 67% Oct 25 Oct 31 SurveyMonkey
South Dakota Jay Williams 35% John Thune* 54% Oct 24 Oct 26 Nielson Bros.
Utah Misty Snow 34% Mike Lee* 62% Oct 25 Oct 31 SurveyMonkey
Vermont Patrick Leahy* 64% Scott Milne 33% Oct 25 Oct 31 SurveyMonkey
Washington Patty Murray* 61% Chris Vance 36% Oct 25 Oct 31 SurveyMonkey
Wisconsin Russ Feingold 49% Ron Johnson* 49% Oct 25 Oct 31 SurveyMonkey

* Denotes incumbent

* Denotes incumbent

Email a link to a friend or share:

---The Votemaster and Zenger
Nov01 Sheldon Adelson Set to Donate $25 Million to Trump's Campaign
Nov01 Trump Stiffs His Pollster
Nov01 Trump Avoided Taxes by Stretching a Loophole
Nov01 Last Four Attorneys General Have Now All Criticized Comey
Nov01 Girl Who Starred in the Daisy Ad Makes a New One
Nov01 Kasich Votes for John McCain
Nov01 Computer Scientists Uncovered a Digital Hotline between Trump Servers and Moscow
Nov01 Donna Brazile Gave Clinton a Debate Question in Advance
Nov01 Brazile Shouldn't Be the Only One to Go
Nov01 Schumer Is Helping Democratic Senate Candidates
Nov01 Democratic Senate Candidates Get a Black Eye
Nov01 Desperate Times Apparently Call for Desperate Measures
Oct31 A Third of All Voters Less Likely to Support Clinton Due to FBI Announcement
Oct31 Comey May Find Himself Out of a Job
Oct31 A President Clinton Would Have a Very Tense Relationship with FBI Director Comey
Oct31 Early Votes Favor Clinton
Oct31 Trump Moving Back to Blue States
Oct31 Trump Encourages Supporters to Vote Again
Oct31 A Quarter of All Adults Are Not Registered to Vote
Oct31 Senate Hangs in the Balance
Oct31 Trump Has Changed Dating
Oct31 The Decline and Fall of Chris Christie
Oct30 Comey's Announcement Shocks Former Prosecutors
Oct30 E-Mails Look Like Much Ado About Nothing
Oct30 Four Ways Forward for Clinton
Oct30 Democrats Vigorously Attack Comey
Oct30 GOP Braces for a Multidimensional Civil War
Oct30 Obama Got Zero Votes in at Least 38 Precincts in 2012
Oct30 Voter Fraud Is Already Underway
Oct30 About Those Odds-of-Winning Projections
Oct30 Trump 2020?
Oct30 Who Owns Trump's E-mail List?
Oct30 The Funniest Political Ad of the Year
Oct30 Comey's Announcement Shocks Former Prosecutors
Oct30 E-Mails Look Like Much Ado About Nothing
Oct30 Four Ways Forward for Clinton
Oct30 Democrats Vigorously Attack Comey
Oct30 Trump Bragged about his Philanthropy but Gave Little
Oct30 GOP Braces for a Multidimensional Civil War
Oct30 Obama Got Zero Votes in at Least 38 Precincts in 2012
Oct30 Voter Fraud Is Already Underway
Oct30 About Those Odds-of-Winning Projections
Oct30 Trump 2020?
Oct30 Who Owns Trump's E-mail List?
Oct29 Clinton's E-mails Rear Their Ugly Head Again
Oct29 Economy Does Well in Third Quarter
Oct29 Philadelphia Suburbs Are Going Strongly to Clinton
Oct29 Trump Donates $10 Million to His Campaign
Oct29 States Are Not Prepared for a Cyber attack on Election Day
Oct29 Former Miss Finland says Donald Trump Sexually Assaulted Her