Thursday, November 3, 2016

Watch New Hampshire: James Comey really may have handed the White House to Trump

Hillary Clinton has maintained an electoral college "fire wall" of Virginia, Colorado and New Hampshire, keeping her above 270.  That trio of states has made it possible for Hillary Clinton to hold onto a majority in the electoral college even without Ohio, Florida or the other swing states.

New Hampshire may be flipping.  Here are the latest polls.  Clinton still has a one point lead in the average, but the latest polls include Trump with a 1 point lead in the WBUR poll, and a 5 point lead in the ARG poll.  Trump hasn't been able to get a lead in New Hampshire before, and these aren't Remington polls.

I'll state once again that I didn't think Comey's announcement would move things quite this much.  I've been surprised.  Here's the RCP map, with no toss-ups as of now.  That puts Clinton at 273, with New Hampshire in her column.  But, NH is only barely hers.  If those new polls are right and solid, then Comey has handed New Hampshire to Trump, along with the other swing states.  That puts the electoral college at 269-269.  An electoral college tie goes to the House of Representatives with each state getting one vote.

So, do I need to crunch those numbers for you?


  1. RCP has NV wrong. Early voting makes up 60%+ of the votes cast in NV. So, pre-Comey is actually more than half the data there. And pre-Comey, she was winning NV by a bigger margin than Trump has been since.

    1. Early voters are just partisans and independent-leaners (whom you know are the same thing) getting it out of the way early. There is no basis to assume that they would have behaved differently had they waited. NV is still a swing state, and I wouldn't bet a lot on Trump winning it, but I wouldn't recommend anyone counting on early voting to save it for Clinton.

    2. The margins Trump need to run on election day to make up the deficits among partisans are pretty stark. NV reports partisanship of the early voters, so you can actually use those data for something.
      Check out Ralston's blog on this. It's likely that HRC has banked a 30K vote margin already in NV.

    3. That's not the point. Early voting only saves Clinton in Nevada from the Comey effect if the early voters are those who would otherwise have been persuaded to vote for Trump. If Clinton just moved the votes to the early voting period when those votes would have happened anyway, that doesn't change the total. If election day Democratic vote totals are abysmal because they all voted early, then early voting doesn't matter.