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

Republicans Never Dreamed of Winning These States — Until Trump Came Along

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Much attention is being paid this election to the relatively small polling leads Donald Trump holds in many traditional Republican strongholds — states such as Texas, Utah, South Carolina, and Georgia to name a few. This led, especially during the summer, to speculation of a Hillary Clinton blow out, with both liberal pundits and staunch #NeverTrump’ers pushing the narrative that Clinton could be poised to flip many red states into the Democratic column.

What these pundits have ignored, however, is that while Trump’s leads in red states have indeed been unusually small, he has also been running much more competitively in blue states where Republican candidates normally don’t stand a chance.

Take the following states, for example:

Maine

  • Romney 2012 deficit: 15 points
  • Trump 2016 polling deficit: 7 points

Michigan

  • Romney 2012 deficit: 9 points
  • Trump 2016 polling deficit: 5 points

Nevada

  • Romney 2012 deficit: 5 points
  • Trump 2016 polling deficit: 1 point

New Jersey

  • Romney 2012 deficit: 17 points
  • Trump 2016 polling deficit: 5 points (The only poll taken in the last two months shows Trump down only 4 points)

Rhode Island

  • Romney 2012 deficit: 28 points
  • Trump 2016 polling deficit: 3 points (Based on one poll)

Wisconsin

  • Romney 2012 deficit: 7 points
  • Trump 2016 polling deficit: 5 points

So what does this all mean? As Trump moves into the high-40s and closes in on 50 percent in national polling, Republicans will find that they are competitive in states that no other recent GOP nominee — and probably no alternative candidate — would have had any hope of winning. 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

Michigan Catholic Diocese Ditches Common Core

The Catholic Diocese of Marquette, Mich., announced that their schools are experiencing success implementing a classical curriculum in place of the Common Core standards that have become prevalent at school districts across the country.

“While we respectfully understand that other private and Catholic schools may discern to adapt or adopt the standards for these and other reasons,” Marquette Bishop John Doerfler said in a statement, “we do not believe that such actions would benefit the mission, Catholic identity or academic excellence of our schools.”

The diocese began implementing the new curriculum in the last school year, and reports are that the schools are very pleased about the positive changes they have seen and enthusiastic about what the future of classical, liberal education holds.

Michigan’s legislature is currently considering two bills that would repeal and replace Common Core in government-run school districts.

“It is time to end the disastrous national experiment that is Common Core and let Michigan manage its own destiny to achieve excellence in our education system,” State Senator Phil Pavlov, a Republican opponent of Common Core, said in a statement. “This bill sets quality, Michigan-controlled standards that give our schools consistency for the future and give local communities a voice in their children’s education.”

Anecdotal evidence suggests Michiganders wholly agree with Pavlov’s assessment of the national standards.

Zach Good, provost at the Sacred Heart Academy in Grand Rapids, worked with the Marquette Diocese to transition to a classical curriculum, and received strong support from the community.

“Sacred Heart had around 60 students, and the number was declining significantly every year,” Good told the Heartland Institute. 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