How Will The Swing States Swing?

The election is one week off. I think I've convincingly demonstrated, here, that Clinton is likely but not certain to win, that Trump has something of a chance, but not a great one, and that the swing states, therefore, matter.

There are a lot of states that are called swing states but are not. There are non-swing states that are slowly becoming swing states. For example, Georgia and Texas may well be swing states for the next presidential election. Virginia has been considered a swing state for so long that this now reliably semi-progressive/centrist vote-for-the-Dems-for-POTUS state probably shouldn't be considered a swing state any more. Of course, once a state is a swing state, it should probably not be trusted for several election cycles thereafter.

And, of course, there are swing states that are currently busy swinging back and forth and must be paid close attention to. Here are a few observations on this subset of swing states, based on this morning's polling and my previous model. (A LOT, perhaps a record number, of polls came out over the last 36 hours, most of which are fairly low quality, and I'm mostly ignoring them.)

Right now, it looks like Trump will win Arizona. My model puts Arizona in Trump's column. Before you object, FiveThirtyEight agrees with me.

My model puts Iowa in Clinton's column, but polls disagree, and it looks like Iowa is going to be Trump. This may be where my model fails (likely, paying too much attention to Iowans of the past?) Or, this could be where I get to say, later, "I told you so." This contrast has been developing for weeks, but there hasn't been a lot of poling data.

Proposal: If Iowa votes for Trump, take Iowa out of the first slot for the next primary season. (Unless Trump wins the election, then, move to Iowa.)

Nevada really is very, very, close but all indicators suggest that Clinton will win Nevada. My model says Clinton will win Nevada.

New Hampshire probably is not on the table any more as an unreliable state, or a swing state. Does anyone know if this has anything to do with Massachusetts and New Hampshire cross border commuting and car insurance? Eric?

Even though my model is very iffy about North Carolina, it does give it to Clinton by a very small margin, and polls suggest that North Carolina is firmly Clinton.

My model currently puts Ohio barely in the Clinton column. Previous runs of this model put Ohio in Trump's column. Polls suggest it is very iffy. FiveThirtyEight puts Trump one percent above Clinton, suggesting a fair sight better than 50-50 chance of Trump winning there.

Verily, Ohio is the swingiest of states.

I think everyone and every poll and every model is agreed: Pennsylvania is Clinton. But, Pennsylvania has pulled surprises in the past, so don't turn your back on Pennsylvania. If you find yourself in the elevator with Pennsylvania, check your wallet.

People have been talking about Utah like it matters. It does not and never will. But it is interesting. Don't confuse "interesting" with "matters." Trump will win in Utah.

Are we done calling Virginia a "swing state" yet? Clinton.

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Section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment allows for a state’s representation in the House of Representatives to be reduced if that state unconstitutionally denies people the right to vote. The reduction is in keeping with the proportion of people denied a vote.

This amendment refers to voting “at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States.”

Which suggests that North Carolina could/should have their electoral votes reduced, as they are guilty of “state sponsored voter suppression”.

By Brainstorms (not verified) on 01 Nov 2016 #permalink

New Hampshire probably is not on the table any more as an unreliable state, or a swing state. Does anyone know if this has anything to do with Massachusetts and New Hampshire cross border commuting and car insurance? Eric?

I don't think commuter spillover from Massachusetts is the big factor, because the parts of New Hampshire those commuters live in, particularly the bedroom towns of inland Rockingham County, are some of the reddest towns in the state. More likely, it's that rural areas north and west of Concord resemble Vermont: a relatively well-educated population that may have once been Republican but aren't into the kinds of things the Religious Right wants.

The 2nd congressional district in New Hampshire, which covers the western part of the state, is now considered a safe Democratic seat. The 1st district, covering the eastern part of the state (including most of the aforementioned Rockingham County), has flipped in four of the last five elections, and this year the Democrats are hoping to make it five out of six.

Incidentally, if both Hassan (NH-SEN) and Shea-Porter (NH-01) win, New Hampshire will have an all-Democratic Congressional delegation for the first time since at least the Civil War. It will also be an all-female delegation: Kuster (NH-02) and Shaheen (senior senator, reelected in 2014) are also women. As recently as ten years ago, it was all-Republican and all-male.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 02 Nov 2016 #permalink

From my anecdotal vex pop evidence IF it goes they way of Brexit in the swing states

It will be because of the people who have never/or don't usually vote

The are difficult to track for the pollsters / strategists

"Which suggests that North Carolina could/should have their electoral votes reduced, as they are guilty of “state sponsored voter suppression”."

This offence against democracy happened quite blatantly in Florida several presidentials ago, and nothing was done about it.

By craig thomas (not verified) on 02 Nov 2016 #permalink

"The Election Polls That Matter"

Interesting NYT article by Jim Messina.