Category Archives: General Election Forecast

Welcome to the final edition of the Democratic Convention Watch 2016 Presidential Forecast, showing Clinton up 306-232, down 15 EV from our last forecast, but still above the 300 mark.

The forecast is based on a average of pundit and poll based forecasts. The right hand column shows a running total of Electoral Votes. Find the state that crosses 270, and that’s the tipping point state, finally now longer Wisconsin – Nevada is the new tipping point state.

The convention wisdom is that the Latino vote will win Florida and Nevada for Clinton, and then it’s all over.

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Election Night 2016 — What to Look For (Part Five)

capitolThere are potential ways that the votes could come in tomorrow that would lead to one of the candidates reaching 270 before 11 p.m. (EST).  It is also theoretically possible that one party or the other could wrap up the Senate or the House by 11 p.m.   Both, however, are very unlikely in the absence of a clear landslide.  The last batch of states represent 10 likely electoral votes for the Republicans and 78 likely electoral votes for the Democrats.  (To make up for the 78, Clinton would essentially have to win all of the contested states.  To make up for the 10, Trump would need to win Michigan or Pennsylvania or Wisconsin in addition to the other contested states.)  The Republicans are defending twenty contested House seats in these states (and it is unlikely that all of the House seats from the earlier states will have been declared.)  The Republicans have three Senate seats in the last batch of states and the Democrats have two (not counting California in which the two candidates in the run-off are both Democrats).

11:00 p.m. (EST) — The polls in most of the remaining states close.  In particular, the remaining polls in Idaho, North Dakota, and Oregon close.  All of the polls in California, Hawaii, and Washington close.  Of the state-wide races, the only potentially close race is governor in Washington.  Most of these races should be called pretty quickly.

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Election Night 2016 — What to Look For (Part Four)

fireworksAs 9:00 p.m. rolls around, enough states have been closed long enough that exit polls become less significant, and raw vote count becomes more significant.  If the exit polls and early returns in the state had been clear enough, those states would have already been called.  The question at this point in time is which if any of the contested states and races have been called.  While enough states remain that technically nobody will have yet won the White House, or the majority in the Senate, or the majority in the House, it should be becoming clear whether it is simply a matter of waiting for the polls to close in “safe” states or if it is going to be a long night waiting for the last votes in a handful of states.  While the race is not yet over, the next two hours should determine the winners.

9:00 p.m. (EST) — The remaining polls close in Michigan, Kansas, South Dakota, and Texas.  Additionally, the polls close in Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.  Colorado and Wisconsin are the last of the “at risk” states that are part of Secretary Clinton’s easiest path to 270.  Arizona and Nebraska 2 join Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, and Maine 2 in the batch of electoral votes that Trump absolutely needs to get to 270.

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Election Night 2016 — What to Look For (Part Three)

animated flag glitterAs evening turns into night in the Eastern and Central time zones, the pace picks up.  For whatever reason, 8:00 p.m. is a popular time for states in the Eastern time zone to close their polls as is 7:00 p.m. in the Central time zone.  As discussed in part two, lines at the polls means that the networks typically only have enough results to call races if the races are not close.  Most of the states that will be called by 8:00 p.m. are not the races that will decide the election.  Because most of the polls will have been closed for two hours, there is a good chance that the Indiana senate race may be called by 8:00 p.m.  There is some chance that Georgia (an at-risk state that Trump needs to win) or Virginia (an at-risk state that Clinton needs to win) will be called before 8:00 p.m.  Sixteen states will close their polls at 8:00 p.m. as will the polls in part of several other states.  While the results from the early states give some clues about the shape of the race, the shape of the race will become much clearer when the returns from these states start to come in.

8:00 p.m. (EST) — The remainder of the polls close in Florida.  The polls close in Alabama, Connecticut, D.C., Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Tennessee.  The polls close in the eastern part of Michigan, Kansas, South Dakota, and Texas.  Several of these states should have quick calls for president, but several states are key states for the outcome of this election.  (Assuming that none of the “close” states from early are called by 8:15 p.m., the projected electoral vote should be approximately 76 for Trump and 55 for Clinton.)

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Election Night 2016 — What to Look for (Part Two)

VotingBoothImage_0As with many other details of election law, each state gets to choose their voting hours on election day.  Thus, unlike a place like the United Kingdom where all polls close at the same time and when results are announced is a matter of how long it takes to count the vote, there is a slow progression across the country as the different states close.  A complicating factor is that some states are split down the middle by time zones.  In most of the states with multiple time zones, the polls close based on the local time (i.e. the polls in the eastern part of the state close an hour earlier than the polls in the western part of the state) rather than all polls in the state closing simultaneously.  Another complicating factor is that all states only require that you be in line to vote at the time that the polls close; so, in larger precincts, there can be a long line delaying the report of votes from that precinct.  As noted in Part One,  part of the projection process is looking at what precincts are still outstanding.  In a close state, the long lines at urban precincts (which are likely to favor Democrats) can make it hard to figure how strong the Democratic vote in a state is for an extended period.

In terms of interest, not every state is the same.   A lot of states and districts are considered “safe” for President or Senate or Governor or U.S. Representative.  Of course, if something surprising happens in those areas, it could be a sign of a wave developing, but most of the attention will be focused on the “battleground” areas that will decide a close election.  What follows in the rest of this part and the rest of this series is a review in chronological order of closing time (using Eastern Standard Time) at what to look for as the evening progresses.

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Election Night 2016 — What to Look For (Part One)

VotingBoothImage_0After over one year of hate-filled rants from Donald Trump, the fiasco that was the Republican convention in Cleveland, the on-going scandals involving Donald Trump, Trump’s refusal to disclose his taxes, three presidential debates, and recent Republican threats to throw a tantrum for the next two to four years if they don’t win, there is little more that can be said about why the only choice in this election is to vote for the Democratic ticket.  The continued loss of rationality and respect for facts in the Republican Party is a long-term problem that needs to be fixed because democracy requires, at least, two viable alternatives to work.  But this year, the choice is clear.  Even if you think that a Democratic candidate for a particular office is less than perfect, those candidates are still way better than what the Republican Party is offering.  While there is still more to be done over the next three days to get every Democratic voter to the polls, Tuesday night is now looming ever closer.  So, for the next several days, some thoughts about what to look for on Tuesday night.  While the remaining posts in this series will take a chronological look at Tuesday night, this post is more about the basics and the mechanics.

For the media, there are two main tools for calling the election.  While these tools have changed slightly over time, the fundamentals have basically stayed the same.  The first tool is the “exit” poll.  The second tool is the unofficial vote count.

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Election 2016 — Missouri and Kansas

mo-sealBy the time that this posts, there will be one week to go until the end of voting.  For a variety of reasons, the national campaign has been even more negative than is normal (although nowhere near the most negative presidential campaign in US history, the campaigns of the 1800s were routinely negative with lots of slanderous accusations).  More importantly, the daily release of a new piece of negative information about the presidential candidates have sucked up a lot of the oxygen from state and local races.

While the news media focuses on the national race for president, the reality is that even, for president, there is not a national election.  The race for president is actually 51 local races (one in each state and in the District of Columbia).  Senate control will be decided by 34 local elections, and control of the House will be decided by 435 local races.  It’s impossible for anyone person to know the lay of the land in all of the races (one reason why polling exists), but each of us have some idea of what is happening where we live.  Here is what things are looking like in Missouri and Kansas.

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DCW 2016 Presidential Forecast

Welcome to the latest edition of the Democratic Convention Watch 2016 Presidential Forecast, showing Clinton up 321-217, Clinton’s biggest lead of the year, up from our last forecast showing Clinton up 313-225.

The forecast is based on a average of pundit and poll based forecasts. The right hand column shows a running total of Electoral Votes. Find the state that crosses 270, and that’s the tipping point state, which has been Wisconsin since August.

One thing we’re watching is the number of Tossups at the tipping point or higher. This week we’re still at 2: CO and WI. As long as those Tossups in the Blue Wall are out there, that means there are forecasters (we’re looking at you, Rothenberg) who are saying if Trump wins all the Tossups, he has a path to win.

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29 Days Out

It gives me no great pleasure to write this post. I’m a lifelong political junkie and I want to be talking about candidates and issues, yeah, some snark and foibles, but mostly swing states and undecided voters. Not this.

We wrote many times in 2009 and 2010 about the nascent implosion of the GOP, and now in the last 36 hours it has come to pass. There is nothing surprising about the Access Hollywood tape released by the Washington Post.  You knew it was coming since last Monday when the AP released the interviews with cast and crew from The Apprentice. It won’t be the last tape. And none of us political junkies are surprised that The Donald was finally exposed. What happens to the GOP is somewhat sad, but we all saw this coming. The chickens have come home to roost.

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DCW 2016 Presidential Forecast History

On Sunday we showed you the DCW Presidential Forecast, with Clinton leading Trump 313-225. But how has Clinton’s lead grown since mid-June? Below, something you will not find anywhere else on the web: A chart over time showing both the summary, and the individual forecasts. Again, the purely poll based forecasts, TPM and FHQ, show the most impressive rise for Clinton, but they will be the quickest to drop if and when the state polls tighten. (Links to all forecasts at bottom)

image001 image002

TPM
FHQ
NBC
Washington Post
Cook
ABC
Rothenberg
CNN

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