Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton? We Make Our Electoral College Predictions

Happy Election Day! With voting set to conclude this evening — make sure to vote if you haven’t already! — it’s time to reveal our predictions for who will be sworn in next January as the 45th President of the United States.

Will it be Donald Trump? Or will it be Hillary Clinton? Here’s what our writers think:

Steve Wagner — Trump wins 274-264

A surprise upset in Wisconsin, plus key wins in the swing states of Florida, North Carolina, and New Hampshire, propel Donald Trump to a 10-point electoral college victory.

Shane Vander Hart — Clinton wins 307-231

Hillary Clinton’s advantage in early voting, plus an uptick in Hispanic votes, is enough to push her over the top in Florida and Nevada while preventing Trump upsets in Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Terry Schilling — Trump wins 278-260

Donald Trump ekes out a close win in Florida while using high turnout from working-class whites to pull off upsets in Colorado, New Mexico, New Hampshire, and Maine’s 2nd congressional district (ME-2) — enough for an 18-point electoral college victory.

Matt Bowman — Trump wins 270-268

Swing state wins in Florida, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada and ME-2 give Donald Trump just enough electoral votes to eke out a 2-point victory over Clinton.

William Upton — Clinton wins 283-255

Victories by Donald Trump in Florida, Nevada, and New Hampshire are not enough to breach Hillary Clinton’s firewall, as she wins North Carolina and the White House.

Mary Powers — Trump wins 272-266

Despite losing Nevada, Donald Trump shocks the political world by winning Virginia and uses victories in Florida, North Carolina, and New Hampshire to complete his 6-point electoral college triumph over Clinton. Continue Reading

For Trump’s Path to 270, It All Comes Down to One State

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Last Friday, The Pulse 2016’s Frank Cannon and Jon Schweppe laid out the most likely path to 270 electoral votes for Donald Trump, arguing that if he were to win all the closest toss-up states at that time, he would need only one more state to go his way in order to overtake Hillary Clinton.

After a week, it looks like the final piece of the puzzle for Trump may be New Hampshire. New polling in the Granite State has been very favorable to Republicans, and the RealClearPolitics average now has Trump leading by 1.5 points with just four days to go.

However, a Trump victory is still far from certain, given how close the race remains in several battleground states. The RCP polling averages in four states (and Maine’s 2nd congressional district) are currently within two points:

In order for Trump to reach 270, he must win each of these states and ME-2 — or else he must win another one or more states where Clinton’s polling lead is more robust. It’s a tall order, though far from an impossibility.

However, of the above states, one holds a place of particular importance if Trump hopes to pull out a win on Tuesday: Florida. And it’s not just because he is slightly behind in the polling right now. Continue Reading

Six Days Left: Trump Has a Lot of Outs

When poker players are drawing to a straight or a flush, they will often talk about having a certain number of “outs” — i.e. how many cards are left in the deck that can make their hand, allowing them to win the pot.

Donald Trump doesn’t have a winning hand yet, but he has a lot of outs.

Last Thursday night, we wrote at Townhall about Donald Trump’s easier-than-you-think path to 270 electoral votes. We explained that Trump could get to 265 by winning Utah, Georgia, Iowa, Ohio, Arizona, Florida, Nevada, and North Carolina. At the time, this still seemed like a somewhat daunting task, albeit one that was within the realm of possibility.

But now? Well, Trump’s lot has improved significantly in these states since Thursday night, as Hillary Clinton’s lead appears to be fading fast:

Utah

  • RCP Average (10/27): Trump +5.8%
  • RCP Average (11/2): Trump +6.0%
  • 6 Day Swing: Trump +0.2%

Georgia

  • RCP Average (10/27): Trump +2.8%
  • RCP Average (11/2): Trump +5.7%
  • 6 Day Swing: Trump +2.9%

Iowa

Ohio

  • RCP Average (10/27): Trump +1.1%
  • RCP Average (11/2): Trump +3.3%
  • 6 Day Swing: Trump +2.2%

Arizona

  • RCP Average (10/27): Clinton +1.5%
  • RCP Average (11/2): Trump +3.0%
  • 6 Day Swing: Trump +4.5%

Florida

  • RCP Average (10/27): Clinton +1.6%
  • RCP Average (11/2): Trump +0.7%
  • 6 Day Swing: Trump +2.1%

Nevada

  • RCP Average (10/27): Clinton +2.0%
  • RCP Average (11/2): Trump +1.6%
  • 6 Day Swing: Trump +3.6%

North Carolina

Obviously, these states are still too close to call, but Trump now is tied or enjoys small leads in all eight of them. Continue Reading

Is Trump Outmaneuvering Clinton on TV?

Photo credit: flash.pro via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Last month, I wrote about the Associated Press’ interactive tool that allows us to see where both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump — as well as the various super PACs supporting or opposing them — are spending money on TV ads. You can check it out here.

At the time, the situation looked somewhat dire. Week to week, the Trump campaign was getting outspent by the Clinton campaign at least 5 to 1, and sometimes by more. Things have improved dramatically since.

Trump’s October TV Ad Spending:

  • October 2 – October 8: $6,723,974
  • October 9 – October 15: $10,299,758
  • October 16 – October 22: $13,974,642
  • October 23 – October 29: $15,248,878

Clinton’s October TV Ad Spending:

  • October 2 – October 8: $24,615,578
  • October 9 – October 15: $27,178,214
  • October 16 – October 22: $27,184,236
  • October 23 – October 29: $38,631,418

The Clinton campaign still has quite an edge, but the Trump campaign has at least been competitive in October. It’s also interesting to see where both campaigns are spending:

Clinton’s TV Ad Spending By State (October 16 – 22):

  • Florida: $7,021,119
  • Pennsylvania: $3,211,502
  • Ohio: $3,164,488
  • North Carolina: $2,508,899
  • Nevada: $1,812,832
  • New Hampshire: $1,464,935
  • Colorado: $1,117,840
  • Iowa: $1,033,225
  • Arizona: $530,750
  • Georgia: $161,322

Clinton’s TV Ad Spending By State (October 23 – 29):

  • Florida: $10,467,397
  • Ohio: $5,027,531
  • Pennsylvania: $4,746,023
  • North Carolina: $4,059,559
  • Nevada: $2,667,294
  • New Hampshire: $1,675,522
  • Iowa: $1,337,795
  • Arizona: $1,315,618
  • Georgia: $537,814
  • Colorado: $380,067

Trump’s TV Ad Spending By State (October 16 – 22):

  • Florida: $3,480,950
  • Pennsylvania: $1,485,646
  • Ohio: $1,218,202
  • North Carolina: $970,203
  • Colorado: $837,662
  • Nevada: $835,366
  • New Hampshire: $799,516
  • Virginia: $560,140
  • Wisconsin: $471,857
  • Iowa: $334,879

Trump’s TV Ad Spending By State (October 23 – 29):

  • Florida: $4,226,822
  • Pennsylvania: $1,679,017
  • Ohio: $1,401,368
  • North Carolina: $1,268,145
  • Nevada: $936,952
  • Colorado: $821,342
  • New Hampshire: $533,966
  • Wisconsin: $520,879
  • Iowa: $411,696
  • Virginia: $403,090

Trump’s TV ad spending is much more concentrated than Clinton’s. Continue Reading

Did We Publish an Inaccurate Headline? McMullin Fans Think So…

On Thursday, I wrote a piece titled, “Evan McMullin Admits His Campaign Strategy Is to Elect Hillary Clinton.” Dozens of McMullin supporters commented on the story and tweeted at me to tell me the headline was misleading.

Okay. So let’s rehash this. Here is what McMullin said, in full:

Via RealClearPolitics:

QUESTION: How many states are you going to be on the ballot would you say?

EVAN MCMULLIN: Right now we’re either on the ballot or registered as a write-in in 34 states. By the time we get to November 8th it will be 40 to 45. And that’s plenty for our strategy which is not a conventional strategy. We’re not trying to win 270 votes. Of course that would be great but it’s just not going to happen, this is a three-month presidential campaign.

So, what we’re trying to do is earn enough electoral votes to block Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump if the race between both of them is so close that we are able to do that by winning 1 or 2 states. So, that’s the idea. But if not that then we will be happy to have prevented someone who I believe is a true authoritarian from taking power in the United States and that’s Donald Trump. [Emphasis added]

In his own words, Evan McMullin admits to having a two-pronged strategy. The supposed primary objective is to block both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump from winning 270 electoral votes by winning “one or two” states. Continue Reading

Trump’s Path to 270 Is Easier Than You Think

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

“It’s over. Trump can’t win.” That’s the narrative the Clinton campaign and the mainstream media have relentlessly promoted over the past several days. The problem with that narrative is that it is a bald-faced lie. This election is nowhere near over. Not even close!

Let’s take a look at the electoral map. Remember, to become the next president of the United States, Trump needs to win 270 electoral votes. Conversely, he needs to hold Hillary Clinton to 269 electoral votes because, with a Republican House of Representatives, a 269-269 tie is likely to also result in a Trump presidency.

Trump’s baseline amount of electoral votes is 158. Let’s assume Clinton’s baseline is 239 — we will generously cede her Virginia (13), Minnesota (10), Wisconsin (10), Michigan (16), New Mexico (5), and three of Maine’s four electoral votes.

If this is a fixed reality, Trump must win the following states to get to 265 electoral votes (ordered from easiest to win to most difficult):

Utah

Utah just became a battleground state as Independent candidate Evan McMullin has been surging recently. It truly is a three-way race at the present. The most recent poll, conducted on October 23 and 24 by Heat Street/Rasmussen, gave Trump a narrow 32-29-28 lead over McMullin and Clinton, respectively.

Georgia

[…]

Read the full article at Townhall.com.

Frank Cannon is the president of American Principles Project. Jon Schweppe is the Communications Director at American Principles Project. Continue Reading

Evan McMullin Admits His Campaign Strategy Is to Elect Hillary Clinton

Evan McMullin (photo via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0)

I have a lot of friends voting for Evan McMullin, the independent presidential candidate.

McMullin is a hero to what’s left of the #NeverTrump movement. He is supposedly a conservative, although many conservatives are skeptical. Maybe he’s a fine person. I don’t even care to contest that. I don’t know him.

But McMullin is not a viable candidate for president. He is a spoiler candidate, and he is fully aware of this! That’s why his campaign strategy, as he revealed in a recent interview, is not to win 270 electoral votes, but instead, to swing the election to Hillary Clinton.

Via RealClearPolitics:

QUESTION: How many states are you going to be on the ballot would you say?

EVAN MCMULLIN: Right now we’re either on the ballot or registered as a write-in in 34 states. By the time we get to November 8th it will be 40 to 45. And that’s plenty for our strategy which is not a conventional strategy. We’re not trying to win 270 votes. Of course that would be great but it’s just not going to happen, this is a three-month presidential campaign.

So, what we’re trying to do is earn enough electoral votes to block Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump if the race between both of them is so close that we are able to do that by winning 1 or 2 states. So, that’s the idea. But if not that then we will be happy to have prevented someone who I believe is a true authoritarian from taking power in the United States and that’s Donald Trump.

Continue Reading

The Five Battleground States Trump Needs to Win

The media has grown obsessed with driving the narrative that Hillary Clinton has this election in the bag. Supposedly, according to our elite overlords, this election is so over. You might as well stay home!

But when you analyze the data, placed in context, especially on a state-by-state basis, this narrative reveals itself to be ridiculous. The presidential race is still very close. It’s not over yet.

Some pollsters say Clinton is up double digits. Others say the race is a virtual tie. The stark differences can be chalked up to differing turnout models: Will Democrats turn out for Hillary Clinton like they did for Barack Obama, as many of these models that show Clinton up double digits presume? Or will Donald Trump add new voters to Romney’s insufficient 2012 coalition and surprise with a victory? It’s hard to tell.

But regardless, national polling numbers matter little. The electoral college determines the next president. So for that, we look to state polling numbers.

And state polling has been very close.

Remember, for Trump to become president, he just needs to deny Hillary Clinton a victory and get to an electoral tie, 269-269, at which point the House of Representatives would pick a president, and presumably, the Republican House would pick Trump.

Here are the top five battleground states Trump needs to win to make that happen:

5.) Florida and Ohio

Okay, maybe I meant top six. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where Trump wins without winning Florida (29 electoral votes) and Ohio (18). Continue Reading

Is Trump Giving Up on Pennsylvania? Is That a Bad Thing?

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

The Associated Press has a very cool interactive tool that allows you to see where Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump — and the various super PACs supporting or opposing them — are spending money on TV ads. Check it out here.

Using this tool, we gain a better understanding of the Trump campaign’s electoral strategy. While pro-Trump and anti-Clinton super PACs have been spending on TV ads for quite some time, the Trump campaign didn’t officially go on the air until the week of August 14.

Below is the Trump campaign’s TV ad spending by week:

  • August 7 – August 13 ($0)
  • August 14 – August 20 ($809,851)
  • August 21 – August 27 ($3,121,608)
  • August 28 – September 3 ($4,755,742)
  • September 4 – September 10 ($7,310,402)
  • September 11 – September 17 ($2,684,099)
  • September 18 – September 24 ($516,441)
  • September 25 – October 1 ($4,429,224)

Compare this to the Clinton campaign’s TV ad spending during the same time period:

  • August 7 – August 13 ($12,962,027)
  • August 14 – August 20 ($13,152,489)
  • August 21 – August 27 ($10,988,130)
  • August 28 – September 3 ($10,715,162)
  • September 4 – September 10 ($14,075,985)
  • September 11 – September 17 ($17,803,495)
  • September 18 – September 24 ($19,522,217)
  • September 25 – October 1 ($19,455,030)

Yikes. And remember, the Clinton campaign began spending on TV ads the week of May 15. All together, the Clinton campaign has spent $198.9 million on TV ads. The Trump campaign has spent just $23.6 million.

Additionally, the Associated Press tool allows you to see what spending has looked like in individual states. Continue Reading

Why Is No One Talking About This Swing State?

Photo credit: Ron Cogswell via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Don’t look now, but in the last few weeks the electoral map has shifted significantly in favor of Donald Trump.

Paul Dupont wrote here yesterday about Trump’s updated path to victory and how he currently needs only one more state to push him over the top. And at FiveThirtyEight today, Nate Silver made a similar argument, just in reverse, writing that Hillary Clinton’s electoral map has shrunken to give her one — but only one — “really good” path to victory, which involves her winning every state she is currently leading in. If even one of those states moves toward Trump, however, it will result in Clinton having “a total mess on her hands.”

Both Dupont and Silver identify many of the same swing states most likely to defect from the Clinton column: New Hampshire, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Virginia. However, I think they both overlook one key state which could be poised to take everyone by surprise: New Mexico.

Why New Mexico? For one, although it doesn’t show up in the RealClearPolitics’ average, the most recent polling data from Reuters/Ipsos shows Trump leading by five points over Clinton in New Mexico, while a Morning Consult poll from earlier this month has Trump trailing by only one point in a four-way race. Furthermore, many pundits forget that while President Obama has won New Mexico in the last two presidential elections, Republicans took the state by a slim margin in 2004. Continue Reading