Battleground 2016: 12 Week Outlook and the Electoral Map Changes Again

by Camilo Arenivar

map creation courtesy

It is now 12 weeks until Election Day, and as I stated last week, I will be blogging each week until election day focusing on where the electoral votes are this week based on current polling. Now, I should point out that the polls are not considered to be that indicative until at least September. Well ladies and gentleman, that is just over two weeks away. So let’s get to where we are this week, and there HAVE been some changes.
 First, there have been a number of polls, more than one in most of the states I had been wanting there to be. Here is the update:
The most notable changes were observed in Florida. Previous to my last post, polls had been showing either a tie, small Clinton leads or even Trump leads, leaving us in a statistical dead heat.

In the last week there have been three polls. Two of them, NBC/WSJ/Marist & CBS/YouGov both show Clinton with a 5 point lead. A Fox 13 poll, have her a 1 point lead in a four-way race. The last 5 polls, all taken in the month of August show Clinton with anything from a 1–6 point lead but her average is inching up out of the margin of error. I am moving Florida, as of this day, into the Clinton column.
 In July, Ohio had appeared to be slipping away from Clinton. 4 out of 5 polls were ties, with one exception. Now, in the past week we have had two new polls. The NBC/WSJ/Marist poll gave Clinton a 5 point lead in a two way match up and a 4 point lead in a 4 way match up. An August 9 Quinnipiac poll gave her a 4 point lead. Despite these two polls, it does not erase a month of ties and I am keeping Ohio a too close to call toss up state.

North Carolina
 Another state that is hard to tell as far as the polls go. Mitt Romney won it in 2012, and Trump has led some polls in June and the last one at the end of July, but an August 12th NBC/WSJ/Marist polls showed Clinton with a 9 point lead. An August 9th PPP poll showed Clinton with a 1 point lead in a two-way race and a 2 point lead in 4 way race. I am ruling this one still too close to call, we need to wait a few weeks to see how this turns out. I will, however turn it from from Red to Grey as a toss up state in my map.
 2 polls in the last week, 1 gives Clinton a 4 point lead and the other gives Trump a 1 point lead. The previous 2 polls also gave Trump a lead. I am keeping Iowa red until some consistent changes lead me to change it.
 Georgia, which had been showing Clinton with a small lead in 2 separate polls, has had two more polls since then and now Trump is leading them both. I am turning Georgia back to Red until data proves it is really in play for Democrats. 
 Pennsylvania, Maine, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Colorado all continue to poll for Clinton comfortably outside of the margin of error.
Speaking of polls, the person who continues to poll higher than either candidate remains President Barack Obama. He holds steady at 53% in the Gallup Daily approval poll which is based on a three-day rolling average. This favors the incumbent Party’s chances in the Fall if this keeps up.

Bottom Line: The last week’s polling trends for the most part have largely benefited Hillary Clinton. The true battles will linger in Ohio, North Carolina, Iowa, and Florida. Despite those battles, Clinton still at this moment has enough electoral college votes to win the election, even if she lost all four of those states.