Just to have it on the record, and based on a rough mix of my interpretation of the course of this race, the current state of polls, demographic trends, historical state results, and early voting information*, here’s what I’m envisioning as the most likely electoral map to emerge on Tuesday night:
* A few of the key points of what went into the decision-making:
- Hispanics not only look like they will assume a greater share of the electorate based on early voting, but it seems they’re siding even more greatly with the Democratic Party and Hillary based on the highest quality polling data about their behavior. Considering where Hispanics make up the greatest shares of state electorates, that helps particularly in crucial states like Nevada and Florida, makes New Mexico fairly safe, though doesn’t quite tip Arizona into Clinton’s batch of victories–leading in a few stray polls doesn’t outweigh Trump’s much broader strength across the last months of polling.
- Again, based on early voting numbers, black turnout seems to be down in North Carolina, and some other states as well. That hurts most in NC however, and while the state is trending toward the Democratic column over the long run, the marked downturn in North Carolinian black turnout should throw the back-and-forth polling in the state to Trump.
- I think it’s reasonable to say that Trump’s relative strength and potential for more in the Upper/industrial Midwest of the United States has made this election competitive (see Nate Cohn’s great work and argument on this general topic). Here are the states I’d roughly consider part of this dynamic and where Trump stands in each right before the election (+/- indicating he’s up/down based on HuffPost Pollster numbers): Pennsylvania (-5.2), Wisconsin (-6.5), Michigan (-6.2), Minnesota (-6.7), Ohio (+0.9), and Iowa (+1.2). Given his Trump’s strengths with lower educated white voters and those who’ve had economic troubles perhaps tied to rising globalism (it’s a vague and not totally founded story, but that’s the general gist), his inability to perform better here–and the now very unlikely possibility of him stealing one of these states he’s losing in–is all but a death knell for his electoral fortunes.
Happy Election Day!