If the election were held today, here’s where things stand.
A few things stand out:
- A bunch of deep red states (TX/KS/SD/ND/IN) would be fairly close.
- Hillary’s not quite to 270 electoral votes yet in terms of “safe states.” I have placed placed Oregon, Washington, and Maine’s 2nd-CD in the “Likely” category because these are areas where Trump is uniquely positioned to outperform historic trends. Also, Oregon, Washington, and Maine will be good states for Stein, and the only available polling shows Oregon fairly close, though it’s partisan polling.
- On the flip side, Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina are set up for Clinton to outperform Obama. When you remove the racism factor and look at Romney’s 2012 strength with college educated whites in these areas, Clinton has a ton of room to grow.
- We’re not yet seeing Trump’s supposed Rust Belt advantage in the polls. For example, Clinton has consistently crushed him in Wisconsin. Of course, Clinton has been swamping him with ads in these areas. Also, without a field campaign to speak of on the Republican side, you can add 1% to every state that Clinton is targeting. And even if the RNC spends on field, you can bet that they will be promoting down-ticket candidates over Trump.
- I don’t buy the Utah hype. Until a Republican billionaire starts spending money to promote Evan McMullin in Utah, the only state where he could potentially play a spoiler role, let’s not overrate his chances.
- For whatever reason, Nevada is not a great state for Dems this year. Nevada’s unemployment rate remains above 7%, and they have one of the most popular Republican governors in the country, Brian Sandoval. Democratic Las Vegas mayor Carolyn Goodman is refusing to support Hillary Clinton. Still, Nevada polls consistently under-count the Democratic vote, so she will ultimately win it.