The last week has been full of what (in any other year) would be a disqualifying, bombshell and earth-shattering series of reports. It will be interesting to see what the polls look like at this point next week after Sunday's debate and after the current headlines have a chance to bake themselves into the cake.
Clinton has won every scientific poll of debate watchers. That being said, the bump she has gotten from the debate seems to be minor. The minor bump is evident and it does continue her negligible lead. We will have to wait through the weekend to see if her trend continues and whether the VP debate and further POTUS debates work in her favor. She remains a modest favorite tp win in November.
Clinton, while maintaining her lead that she has held all cycle, is in a position where she could use some help from Trump. Expectations where they are, unless Trump entirely implodes during the debate, it will likely be considered a "win" for him. Clinton could run circles around him with policy and Trump would win so long as he refrains from actually shooting someone on fifth avenue before the debate. It is even a couple hours where he can't tweet. That is another plus for his campaign.
The Senate is another story all together. This cycle, we have gone from Democrats having a slight edge to retake the Senate to the Republicans being a heavy favorite to keep it. There is very little evidence that the Senate is tracking the Presidential race at all, which is shocking to an extent. While candidates are always over and underperforming the top of the ticket, a Senate map such as we have this year SHOULD suggest Democrats have a heavy advantage. It will be interesting to see if candidates like Rubio, Kirk, Toomey and Ayotte continue to run far ahead of Trump. Likewise on the Democratic side: Kander, Bennett and Feingold are running (at least marginally) ahead of Clinton.
This is now where I see this race sitting. Clinton picks up North Carolina from the Romney pile and Trump picks up Iowa and Maine's Second Congressional District. Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Nevada, Arizona and Georgia are now all (roughly) equally in play. So there is still quite a bit of uncertainty here. We are getting to the point where we are unlikely to see any surprises (unless you would still consider any one of the states I just mentioned as a surprise).
The question is bound to arise: Why do you have the Senate 51-49 in favor of the Democrats when they only have a 43.3% chance of taking the Senate? The answer is that (as I have noted above the number in the graphic) 51-49 represents pushing each seat to wherever it is leaning. With the Senate so close, what matters is how likley each seat is to flip. The closest seat in the D column right now is Indiana is only about a 50% shot of turning blue. The next two are New Hampshire (54% of turning blue) and Nevada (57% of staying blue). Republicans, on the otherhand, have their closest races on their side at least at 60%: North Carolina (60%), Florida (62%) and Arizona (65%).
At the moment, no rational observer could conclude anything other than: Hillary Clinton is winning. The question arises: By how much? Is this just a convention "bump."
It is hard to argue this is all a convention bump. With Trump's continued implosions, we must conclude that is also a factor. Second, both conventions have already happened and they happened over back-to-back weeks. Third, things have gotten worse over the past week for Trump and not better. Finally, he did receive a convention bump and had some momentum going into the conventions. Entering the slow month of August and the Olympics taking place: things may stay put now until September. If this is true, Trump is in huge trouble. Early/absentee voting will begin in some states in September. If he can't turn this around quickly, Clinton could bank an advantage in the early vote.
I currently have Trump projected to be down by 7.2% nationally. We are getting close to having a couple more states switch columns. Nebraska's 2nd congressional district could go to Clinton. If the election were held today, I have Trump up there by 3.42%. In Georgia, Clinton is within 2.22%. In Arizona, she is now only down by 2.34%. Missouri is also down to 5.38%. Montana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Indiana are all in the upper single digits. Clinton's weakest states are Florida (4.42%), North Carolina (2.43%), Ohio (2.60%), and Iowa (4.91%). Nothing else is closer than 7%.
Note: These numbers (at the state and national level all of these are a factor) incorporate Obama's Approval numbers, National polling and state polling. Also, there is a baseline of support for a generic candidate in each state which is in turn affected by national polling and approval numbers.
While the "Senate 2016" tab is not yet updated with current information, I have now begun posting my Senate projection alongside the Presidential projection. Currently, if I force all races out of the toss-up category, the Senate is split 50-50. In such an event, the Vice President (who is the President of the Senate) determines which party has the majority. I have this linked to the Presidential projections. In the 50,000 simulations I run for the Senate races: If the simulation results in a 50-50 Senate, control of the Senate is determined from the probabilities of Clinton or Trump winning the White House. Therefore, as of the evening of the 13th, Democrats would have a 86.3% chance of holding the majority in a 50-50 Senate.
A lot of speculation now happening from both camps on the when, where and who the VPOTUS picks are going to be.
This morning, Clinton held a unity rally with Sen. Sanders, Gov. Hassan and Sen. Shaheen in New Hampshire. While many of his supporters are reluctant to get behind Clinton, this endorsement should be worth a good point or two in the polls. With her lead already fairly stable, this could give her a padding to get through the GOP convention next week.
I have now begun shifting the focus of the site away from the primaries and towards the general. While Sanders has not dropped out of the race, he no longer has a mathematical path to the nomination. Therefore, I am considering him no longer in the race for the purposes of this site.
First off: a note on third parties. Polling, especially at this point, drastically overstates the strength of third party candidates. While this could change this year, it is unwise to bank on that prospect. Therefore, I am considering the odds of a third-party White House win to be as unlikely as Trump winning the District of Columbia. If this changes, I will begin to display the numbers accordingly. While the third parties influence the margin, they do not have a defined % chance of victory. I am considering them to be infinity small and therefore statistically negligible. I don't see the need t add a column for a candidate if that column will just contain zeros or "<1%"
There are three new items now added to the site. The first is a simple histogram. This displays the distribution of Electoral Votes based on a simulation of 50,000 elections. Second, there is a table displaying individual win probabilities for each state. These win probabilities for the specific state treat each state as its own individual election. For example, the probability in California does not care what the outcome in Alabama is. Therefore, running a simulation based only on these probabilities would yield some very unlikely scenarios. For example, Clinton winning Mississippi and Georgia while losing Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The histogram on the other hand treats the simulations as national elections. Therefore, if a Clinton were to win Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, California, Illinois, Mississippi, Arizona, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Minnesota and Ohio: she wouldn't be losing New York. While there are absolutely upsets happening in these simulations, the quantity of upsets are reduced to a more reasonable level. Therefore, Trump winning Iowa doesn't mean he will win Minnesota, but it does make it much more likely that he carries Kansas and Utah.
Finally, a table to display all of this. This table consists of an overall win probability which is drawn from the same 50,000 simulations I ran for the histogram. I will note here that electoral ties are presumed to go to Donald Trump. The House would decide the winner in a 269-269 tie. Even if Democrats regained control of the house, they would be exceedingly unlikely to do so at a level that would allow them to vote in Clinton. An election in the House would allocate one vote for each state. Therefore, the District of Columbia does not get to vote. Also, states where congressional districts have been drawn favorably to one party or the other will skew that count away from the 2-party congressional vote state-wide. Examples would be Virginia and Ohio. Also, winning a seat in a red state does not help. You must hold a majority of seats in the state as the state's delegation determines how to vote.
The second section of the table is a vote margin. This is the margin I am projecting that the leading candidate is currently leading at the national level. The third section is where the electoral college would currently sit if all favored candidates won the states in which they are favored. This negates any form of a toss-up and forces states into someone's column.
There will be more data and graphics implemented as we move forward, but I will be rolling those out at a later date. Any feedback is welcome, however keep in mind that the numbers can be very volatile at this point and should be taken with a grain of salt until we start getting closer to the first presidential debate this fall. For example, Trump could clearly still win. However, Clinton is much more likely to win at this point based upon the data at hand.
Any financial help to offset the costs of running this site is always appreciated.