US Election: 29 days to go — the floor collapses under the Trump campaign

Since my last update of this blog, we’ve had a vice presidential debate on Tuesday, the revelation of Trump’s disgraceful comments about women back in 2005 on Friday, and the second presidential debate last night. Both of the instant polls conducted after that debate showed Clinton was again the winner, but by a narrower margin than her commanding victory in the first debate. But the story about Trump’s comments is not going away and will probably turn out to be more significant than the debate.

Furthermore, over the weekend, we saw the spectacle of a significant number of Republican politicians abandoning Trump entirely. From Senator John McCain to former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, Republicans were lining up to declare that they wouldn’t vote for Trump. And today Paul Ryan seemed to essentially concede the presidential race to Hillary Clinton and pledged to spend his time trying to defend the Republican majority in the House of Representatives.

The National Overview of 10 October — Clinton riding high

Trump was already in trouble in the national polls after his defeat in the first debate, but the revelations on Friday seemed to have made that trend even worse. The national polls which came out today were uniformly awful for the Republican candidate — culminating in the new NBC/Marist/Wall Street Journal poll which showed Clinton leading by 11 points in the four-way race and 14 in the head-to-head. Whilst this may well be an outlier, and we are yet to see what impact if any the debate will have, these numbers are simply terrible for Trump with just four weeks until the election.

Frustratingly, the Huffington Post poll tracker hasn’t updated its average to include the most recent polls yet. However, the graphic above demonstrates the massive challenge which faced Donald Trump even more these new numbers came out today.

As always, it is taking a while for the national polls to filter through to the statewide polling. However, there are some signs that Clinton is matching her improvement nationally with better numbers in the swing states. The electoral map with four weeks to go looks like this:

The changes this map represents from last week are:

  • Michigan has moved from lean Clinton to safe Clinton.
  • North Carolina and Nevada have moved from tossup to lean Clinton.
  • Arizona, Iowa, and Ohio have moved from lean Trump to tossup.
  • Texas and Alaska have moved from safe Trump to lean Trump.

Clinton continues to hold a significant edge in the electoral college vote which ultimately determines who wins the election. Trump is running out of time — 400,000 people have already voted and millions more are due to vote in the next couple of weeks. Tick, tock…

Battleground Watch — Arizona (11 electoral votes):

Arizona is not usually a battleground state, but this year it looks like it might turn out to be one of the most closely fought states in the country. Hillary Clinton has shown a great deal of strength in this usually Republican state. If she continues to hold a significant lead nationally then she may well win Arizona.

Arizona Voting History: Arizona has historically been one of the most reliably Republican state in the country. Since 1948, it has only voted Democrat once — for Bill Clinton’s re-election in 1996. John McCain, who is from Arizona, beat Barack Obama by 8% in 2008 and Mitt Romney won it by 9% in 2012.

Arizona Demographics: Like many states in the southwestern corner of the United States, Arizona has a rapidly growing Hispanic population, which is a large part of the reason why the state has become more competitive in presidential election given the Democrats’ recent strength among Hispanic voters.

Arizona Polling: Right now, Arizona is a pure tossup. The latest polls have shown good numbers for Hillary Clinton, but there hasn’t been a high quality poll of Arizona recently, so it’s quite hard to make an accurate statement about exactly what is going on in the state at the moment.

Rating: If the election were held today, Arizona would be too close to call. I tend to think that it’s Republican nature will reassert itself in the last few weeks of the campaign. But I could be wrong and it would not a big surprise if Clinton ending up winning there in November.

Next week we will continue to look at the fallout from the second presidential debate and look at the southern state of Georgia.

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