Top Five States to Watch Tonight

From left: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

With just a few hours now separating us from the first election results, here are the five states I’m watching most closely tonight:

1.) North Carolina

Obviously, North Carolina is a key swing state in the presidential race, which is likely to be very close, but I’m even more interested in the results of the gubernatorial race between Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and Democrat Roy Cooper.

We’ve been talking about this race for months. McCrory has been under fire from a coalition of radical progressives, corporate bullies, and special interests for his support for HB 2, a bill that stopped an effort in Charlotte to redefine gender and give grown men the right to shower and access changing areas with young girls in public facilities.

The fate of HB 2 — and our best line of defense in the progressive war on gender — rests completely on the results of this race.

2.) New Jersey

Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) is a strong conservative representative in New Jersey who came under fire for criticizing the NRCC for financially supporting Republican candidates who support same-sex marriage. Millions of dollars from outside special interest groups have since poured into New Jersey’s 5th congressional district to defeat Garrett in his race against special interest lobbyist Josh Gottheimer. With the NRCC declining to help Garrett at all, and with only a small coalition of conservatives refusing to abandon him, there’s no doubt he’s an underdog heading into tonight. 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

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

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

New Polls Show Trump Needs Just One More State to Win

A new Florida poll from Suffolk University was released today showing Donald Trump with a slim, single-point lead over Hillary Clinton. But while this was only the latest poll showing a close race in the Sunshine State, it was enough to tip RealClearPolitics’ Florida polling average in the direction of Trump, who now leads by a slender 0.1-point margin. This means, going by RCP’s polling average in each state, Trump has closed to within six electoral votes of Clinton if the election were held today:

Map via RealClearPolitics.com

 

So, assuming all current polling is generally accurate, Trump still needs to see significant gains in one more state — as well as holding his leads in every current red state — in order to defeat Clinton. While this is admittedly a tall order, the electoral map does appear incredibly more favorable to Trump than it did only a month or two ago.

But which remaining blue state does Trump stand the best chance of flipping? The following are his most likely possibilities (in no particular order):

Colorado

Not long ago, media outlets were writing the obituary for the Trump campaign in Colorado, as shifting demographics appeared to put the normally purple state out of play for Republicans. However, limited polling in the state since the beginning of September has shown a narrowing race. A survey from early this month showed Clinton’s lead down from double digits to just five points, while another more recent poll from Emerson gave Trump a four-point lead. Continue Reading

State-by-State Breakdown: Here’s How Hillary Could Lose

When trying to handicap the presidential race, it is tempting to rely on national polling. But ultimately the next president is not determined by the popular vote — he or she will be determined state-by-state via the electoral college.

We report on national polling at The Pulse 2016 all the time, so I don’t mean to suggest there isn’t use for it. Analytics outfits like FiveThirtyEight have found heavy correlations between national polling and election results at the state level.

Because of this correlation, it’s almost a mathematical certainty that, if Clinton wins the popular vote by ten points on Election Day, she would also win the electoral college. But what if she wins the popular vote by just one or two points? As we learned in 2000 with the election of George W. Bush, the results of the popular vote and the electoral college don’t always agree with each other.

And we shouldn’t expect a landslide. As we reported earlier this week, the race has tightened dramatically. Clinton and Trump are virtually tied as we head into Labor Day weekend.

So what can we expect from the electoral college? Let’s first look at the states we can predict with near certainty. These states serve as each candidate’s electoral vote floor.

Map via 270towin.com

 

SAFE RED: Alaska (3), Idaho (4), Montana (3), Wyoming (3), North Dakota (3), South Dakota (3), Nebraska (5), Kansas (6), Oklahoma (7), Texas (38), Arkansas (6), Louisiana (8), Kentucky (8), West Virginia (5), Tennessee (11), Mississippi (6), Alabama (9), South Carolina (9)

TRUMP: 137

SAFE BLUE: Washington (12), Oregon (7), California (55), New Mexico (5), Minnesota (10), Illinois (20), New York (29), Vermont (3), Maine (4), Massachusetts (11), Rhode Island (4), Connecticut (7), New Jersey (14), Delaware (3), Maryland (10), District of Columbia (3)

CLINTON: 201

These results are basically preordained. Continue Reading

Good News for Trump: GOP Adds Droves of New Voters in Key States

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Donald Trump may be losing in the polls, but he is winning in an area that could tip the scales in November — new voters.

According to Politico, Republicans are picking up steam among voters in key battleground states, specifically Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Iowa. In Pennsylvania, for example, more than 85,000 voters have switched their registration from Democratic to Republican. And while Trump deserves some of the credit for this development, Charlie Gerow, a Pennsylvania GOP strategist, remarked, “My view is that a lot more of it is motivated by disgust that many Democrats have for the administration.”

The GOP also received good news from all-important Florida, where the Democratic Party’s lead in registered voters is less than half of what it was during the 2012 election. While voters don’t necessarily vote along the lines of their party registration, this is being rightly called a ray of hope for Trump. In 2012, President Obama won Florida by less than 100,000 votes. Now in 2016, Republicans have added about 70,000 more voters to their registration rolls than the Democrats have.

However, the Politico story was not all good news for Trump. According to Joe Henry, a representative of the League of United Latin American Citizens, the Republican candidate has helped drive up Democratic voter registration in many areas as well. Says Henry: “We’ve probably had a 20 percent increase [in voter registration] just because of concerns about the hate.”

Still, this surge in new voters should help buoy a Trump campaign trying to find new momentum heading into the fall. Continue Reading

Trump Leads in Key Swing States in New Quinnipiac Poll

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

According to the results of the latest Quinnipiac poll, Donald Trump may be surging in three key swing states. The poll, released this morning, covered Pennsylvania, Florida, and Ohio.

When the choices were limited to just Trump and Hillary Clinton, the results were:

  • Pennsylvania: Trump, 43 percent; Clinton, 41 percent
  • Ohio: Trump, 41 percent; Clinton, 41 percent
  • Florida: Trump, 42 percent; Clinton, 39 percent

When Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein are included, the results get even better for Trump:

  • Pennsylvania: Trump, 40 percent; Clinton, 34 percent; Johnson, 9 percent; Stein, 3 percent
  • Ohio: Trump, 37 percent; Clinton, 36 percent; Johnson, 7 percent; Stein, 6 percent
  • Florida: Trump, 41 percent; Clinton, 36 percent; Johnson, 7 percent; Stein, 4 percent

Remember, Trump does not need to win the popular vote to become president, so national polls ultimately don’t matter. He just needs to perform well on a state-by-state basis.

And Trump’s path to victory — reaching 270 electoral votes — becomes much easier if he wins all three of these swing states. Pennsylvania, worth 20 electoral votes, has not gone Republican since 1988, but it has been trending in that direction lately. Florida, which is worth 29 electoral votes, proved to be the decisive state in the 2000 race between George W. Bush and Al Gore. And in 2004, Bush won Ohio by the thinnest of margins, squeaking out a narrow victory in the electoral college.

Winning Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida would allow Trump to lose several battleground states, including Virginia, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Wisconsin, and Iowa, and still win the presidency. Continue Reading

For Trump’s Presidential Hopes, It’s Rust (Belt) or Bust

Donald Trump (photo credit: Darron Birgenheier via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Recent polling has not looked good for Donald Trump. While the presumptive GOP nominee had closed the gap with Hillary Clinton at the end of last month, June polling has shown her reopening the gap — up to nearly 6 points nationally by RealClearPolitics’ average. Seven of the past eight major national polls have shown Clinton with a lead of 5 points or greater. And numbers this week out of Florida — a vitally important swing state — were equally dismal, where Quinnipiac shows Clinton opening up a significant 5-point lead.

Given Clinton’s apparent momentum, however, it is interesting to note places where she hasn’t seen a major polling bump. Most notable is Pennsylvania, a Democratic-leaning state, where nevertheless Trump is still statistically tied with Clinton according to Quinnipiac. The same poll also shows both candidates tied in Ohio, another important swing state in the same region.

While the general election cycle is still early yet, these numbers may suggest Trump’s most likely — and perhaps only — winning strategy. If the Donald hopes to attain victory in November, he needs to focus his attention and resources on wresting one key area away from the Democrats: the Rust Belt.

Electorally, the likelihood of Trump making significant headway in other swing states is not looking great. As mentioned earlier, polling is showing Florida moving away from him. Trump’s documented difficulty in winning over Mormons — a key Republican voting constituency in many Western states — plus shifting demographics may push Western swing states such as Nevada and Colorado out of reach. Continue Reading