The Current Trump-Clinton Electoral Prediction

There are some interesting, and in some cases, potentially disturbing, things going on with the state by state numbers in the current election. Most of this has to do with third party candidates, and most of it with Gary Johnson.

First, I'll note, that despite fears among liberals and progressives that a lot of Bernie Bots would flock to third party candidates and eschew Clinton, there is no strong evidence that Clinton is losing much to any third party candidates. However, in some states, especially those with libertarian tendencies, Gary Johnson is doing fairly well. And, this had been hurting Trump.

However, lately, there has been a shift backwards in at least one state, New Hampshire. Johnson supporters are abandoning Johnson and switching to Trump, as though they were trying to shore up his position there. This has brought the Trump-Clinton numbers to within the margin of error.

In other words, Libertarian White Males in the "Live Free or Die" state are flocking to Misogynist Racist Trump's aid rather than "voting on principle" which is what, I assume, they were formally pretending to do. And, this could cost Clinton a couple of electoral votes if the trend continues.

Meanwhile, something like this may be happening in Virginia, but in the opposite direction, where Johnson appears to be getting a lot of Trump votes, maybe more as time goes on.

I don't have time to do any of this right now, but when this is all over, it would be very interesting to look at the third party effects in this race.

OK, now on to the model. Let me explain the basic approach I take, which is different from other predictors (though 538 may have quietly adopted part of my approach for the general, as they've added something that looks a lot like my primary methods to their analysis).

Assume that all polls are good, and that all states are recently sampled with high quality polls with good methods and good samples.

OK, after you've stopped laughing, work with this assumption for a minutes. If this was the case, then you could use those polls to predict the electoral outcome, and unless the electoral outcome was really close, or something major went wrong, your prediction would be clear as two who won, and very close if not spot on as to how many electoral votes ultimately go to each candidate.

Now assume that we don't have polls at all, but we have some numbers indicating how people in a given state are likely to vote (like, if they went for Romney, they are likely to go GOP) or numbers indicating how people will vote based on ethnicity (like, African Americans are not likely to vote for any of the candidates other than Clinton, or among whites there is a certain percentage of White Supremacists, so they'll vote for Johnson or Trump, etc.) If these numbers are accurate, you can predict the state by state outcome.

We don't have either of these, but we do have a little of each.

My method uses only a subset of polls, hopefully across a range of states (geographically, politically, etc.), that are taken by higher end polling agencies and recently. These are then combined with data on percentage of voters in that state that voted for Romney, and the classically defined ethnic breakdown for that state, to come up with a muliti-variable regression model. This model uses the percent of the vote that Trump gets out of Trump vs Clinton as the dependent variable, and a Romney number, and the ethnic breakdowns, as the independent variables.

I exclude some states that have recent data but that are beating to their own drums. In this case, Iowa is doing something different, and nobody understands it. Also, Virginia is doing something different and has not been analyses yet. So, even though I have recent data from those two states, they are excluded.

The polls need to be mostly or entirely after the famous "bus tape" and most are after the second presidential debate. These polls come from Utah, Wisconsin, Georgia, Missouri, Indiana, Texas, Alaska, Ohio, Colorado, New Hampshire, Florida, North Carolina, Nevada, Maine, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Michigan, and Washington.

So, good polls are assumed to be nearly perfect, and they show the relationship between available prior voting patterns and demographics and the likely outcome. Then, this model is applied to all states (even those with the good polls) to come up with a list of states and their corresponding "Trumposity"

The result of that analysis is this:

State Trumposity
Utah 0.58063023
Wyoming 0.567768212
Oklahoma 0.549223043
Idaho 0.548614992
Alabama 0.546790641
West Virginia 0.541869467
Arkansas 0.541711727
Louisiana 0.539524138
Tennessee 0.536052614
Kentucky 0.53465294
Mississippi 0.532941927
Nebraska 0.529403232
Kansas 0.527964979
North Dakota 0.524771763
South Carolina 0.522670157
South Dakota 0.519464786
Georgia 0.517394808
Texas 0.513464342
Montana 0.51208424
Missouri 0.509752111
Indiana 0.509722982
Alaska 0.503877982
North Carolina 0.498999354
Arizona 0.494053798
Florida 0.486219535
Ohio 0.485026033
Virginia 0.48473854
Pennsylvania 0.477290142
Michigan 0.472823203
New Hampshire 0.472629126
Iowa 0.472420972
Wisconsin 0.470889284
Minnesota 0.470213444
Colorado 0.46956662
Nevada 0.465734145
Delaware 0.456986898
Oregon 0.454603152
Illinois 0.452734653
Maine 0.45123086
Connecticut 0.450282382
New Jersey 0.448700354
Washington 0.448170787
New Mexico 0.447855158
Maryland 0.445995181
Massachusetts 0.436816062
New York 0.429018521
Rhode Island 0.427783887
California 0.425306503
Vermont 0.411357768
Hawaii 0.371874288
District of Columbia 0.339691168

You can now split the table at the 50-50% mark to decide which states will break for Clinton and which will break for Trump.

(Note: Alaska will always break for Trump. It is located near the 50-50 line because Alaska is a special snowflake state. Ignore it, just keep it red on any map, and that will do.)

The first map I want to show you is the map of states that are in the Clinton Camp that are a) most Clinton leaning in this analysis, and b) sufficient to get Clinton to 270:


I added Virginia and colored it light blue. The reason I did this is that Iowa is a presumed-Clinton state in this mode, but is in fact, polling for Trump, because people in Iowa seem to have a new goal in life: Pissing off the parties and the electorate sufficiently that nobody cares about them any more, and the Iowa Caucus is no longer allowed to take the prominent role it has for all these year. I predict that if Iowa breaks for Trump, in four years, the first contest will not be the Iowa Caucus.

By adding Virginia and thus potentially starting early on the process of regarding Iowa as irrelevant to electoral politics, we have a list of states that is clearly Clinton and sufficient to put the former first lady back in the White House but with a different job.

Now, let's do the same thing for Trump. What states are required to put him past the 270 line?


In this case, I've colored pink the states that my model puts in the Clinton column but that are on the Trump-end of that part of the list (see table above), that are required to give Trump the election.

Ohio is actually possible. My model shows Ohio going to Clinton, but recent polling shows that Ohioans are more white supremacist than we might have thought. So may be Trump gets Ohio, but I don't think he'g soing to get all those other pink states, or even any of them, likely.

Putting this a slightly different way, the solid Trump states (in my model) plus Ohio is still under 200 electoral points.

The current most likely outcome according to this model is this:


That would be an electoral blowout.

What happens if some of the more suspect states go backwards and vote for Trump? Iowa is threatening its own irrelevance, New Hampshire is acting strange, Ohio is polling towards Trump, and North Carolina, Arizona and Florida are close to the mid point. Change all of those states to Trump, and we get this nailbiter:


The difference between these last two maps is clearly going to be the focus of interest over the next several days.

Colored here in red, for Danger, not for Trump/GOP, are the states that need to be watched closely, for which we eagerly await new polling, because they are either close, near the middle, or acting strange over recent days:


That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Until at least Tuesday or so.

Go to 270 to win to make your own maps!

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By Desertphile (not verified) on 16 Oct 2016 #permalink

These are all thing that should make us all nervous all the time.


By Antwoine V Mccoy (not verified) on 16 Oct 2016 #permalink

According to RCP Clinton's lead nationally has gone down, but her lead has increased in Nevada and Virginia and is unchanged in the other swing states where she's led. To me it looks as though Trump is solidifying his support in red states, rather than gaining ground in states that would affect the result. This isn't helping his electoral chances, but it is weakening the establishment wing of his party. I think there's further evidence of this in the senate races. Heck is now trailing Cortez Masto in Nevada, and his disavowal of Trump has caused some Trump supporters to abandon him.

By cosmicomics (not verified) on 16 Oct 2016 #permalink

One wonders when Trump will declare the Trumpkin Party of America...

Leaving the Republican Party a rump party. Something it became in the primary, when Trump took the majority of their voting base.

By Brainstorms (not verified) on 16 Oct 2016 #permalink

Trump is much bettet class. Better president for America.
We're definitely needed Trump.
We can't afforded to allow ourselves in anymore of crooked lied steal and murdered from this serial criminal and lying thief Hillary Clinton.
Trump and Pence are the tight ones for Ametics st this time.

By Christine (not verified) on 16 Oct 2016 #permalink

Sometimes I don't understand this state. I can understand some of the things that this backward state has done at times, but the fact that people in this state want this orange bigot in the WH is unforgivable.
I bet if Sanders was running he'd carry OH.

By George Doyle (not verified) on 16 Oct 2016 #permalink

The notion that there will be hanky panky at the polls on election day is being pushed harder by the trump camp, as is the idea that trump people need to watch polling places in "some places, you know which ones."

That notion is bad enough, but I find it very easy to see Trump refusing to give a concession speech and instead stating that the election was stolen, and sending an early message that Hillary isn't a legally elected president.

Shorter version: I see very ugly times ahead.

Listening to all you scared sheep, blindly following your libertard owners. Always apologizing for the globalist establishment, you play thier talking points that they fed you via CNN. Y all are so scared you have resorted to semantics , "voter suppression" , huh? Its called federal law , to keep illegals from voting, its sad we need laws where common sense should suffice. BUT liberal morons need a law to tell you where to take a piss... ya. Look out for the big bad Trump.. BOOO! The polls are lying to you. But you know this. Just like every poll taken with Trump since he started. You know this.... good day

Christine and bill, the white coats are coming for you, and they'll be in black helicopters. I just called them a few minutes ago, and I'm allowed to do that because I'm a card-carrying liberal.

bill, in the meantime, could you please clarify your use of the word 'libertard'? Because that's what we normally call nihilistic libertarian know-nothings like yourself who don't understand how the the modern world actually works.

By metzomagic (not verified) on 16 Oct 2016 #permalink

Apologies, that last comment was probably a bit too harsh. We'll let the electorate sort it out. May they choose... wisely.

By metzomagic (not verified) on 16 Oct 2016 #permalink

Y all are so scared you have resorted to semantics , “voter suppression” , huh? Its called federal law , to keep illegals from voting

Yes, it is called voter suppression because that is what it is, as several Republicans in the states where those laws were passed have said the intent was to reduce voting by demographic groups known to lean to Democratic candidates.

It is not meant to prevent "illegals" from voting because, well, there is no history of that: despite the lies that you've obviously fallen for, voting fraud of that type (or any type, really) does not exist.

What is a shame is that, judging by your post, you have never taken advantage of that liberal invention known as education.

In the history of United States voting, there have been only 20 cases of vote fraud. Even bill will have to admit that if this one election results in as much as 200% more vote fraud, it would not be enough to swing the election either way.

By Brainstorms (not verified) on 16 Oct 2016 #permalink

However, if bill wants to repeat Trump's claims that there is a conspiracy to keep him from winning, he's actually correct on that:

There is a conspiracy of lawfully registered voters in this country who will be voting in concert with the express intent of keeping Trump out of office. We wish them the best.

By Brainstorms (not verified) on 16 Oct 2016 #permalink

Arizona is crammed full of neo-fascist Teapublican “sovereign citizens” who love all things Trump stands for

Arizona also has a substantial Mormon population. Unlike too many white Christian evangelicals, the Mormons actually take family values seriously enough to despise Trump. That's part of what's making Arizona purple this year, and I have seen polls suggesting that Utah is unusually close for the same reason (I doubt Utah will go for Clinton, but it's not impossible). A big part of what's happening in Utah is people who would normally vote Republican looking at third party candidates (there's a fair amount of that in Alaska as well, for different reasons).

I hope local officials are prepared to act in the case of voter intimidation. Trump seems to have quite a few fans among the gun nut crowd.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 16 Oct 2016 #permalink

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The candidate once omnipresent across the “mainstream media” these days largely limits his interviews to the safe harbor of the opinion shows on Fox News, and most of them are with Sean Hannity...

The man who boasted about his poll ratings while he was winning, now declares that the polls are rigged. He's losing the election and is increasingly an object of abomination and ridicule. Trump hotels and golf clubs, which in the U.S. are concentrated in cosmopolitan blue states, are losing customers. The photos linked to below show clear signs of physical deterioration.……

My belief is that Trump will be so resoundingly defeated that the narrative of a stolen election will find difficulty gaining traction among all but his most deluded supporters, and I don't think there are enough of them to cause serious problems. I believe that Trump will quickly become as insignificant as Sarah Palin. (But I also believe that the Republican Party is in serious trouble.)

By cosmicomics (not verified) on 16 Oct 2016 #permalink

Re. #7

"Christine's" comment is not only linguistically helpless, but the mistakes in "her" comment are abnormal. They are deliberate and constructed by someone with little awareness of language. No one makes the mistakes that "she" does.

By cosmicomics (not verified) on 16 Oct 2016 #permalink

Wondering if Christina was a Russian hacker or something, I rand a whois. The source of the post was a few blocks from the Christine River in Maryland, near DC.

So, now we know the location of one of the Russian's safe houses!!!! :)

Here's the really scary part to me:

I really don't think Trump has a chance. My real fear is what happens to the Trump constituency that really embraces his rants. Some people will just vote Trump to vote Republican and will not be too heartbroken over a loss. But the ones that agree with the racist, sexist etc rhetoric...what are the odds that a Trump loss leads to introspection regarding their ethics? Will any of them think they may have been in the wrong, or will the conspiracy talk lead to the worst of the worst just doubling down on hatred?

A purely anecdotal observation from here in Arizona. From fellow citizens I personally know who would normally vote for the Republican candidate for President has indicated they intend to either not vote at all or write in a preference. The vast majority who have expressed such intentions are women.

By Peter Craven (not verified) on 17 Oct 2016 #permalink

You know, if beating Trump were the point of this election, you would have been much better off voting for Bernie Sanders. He DESTROYED Trump in the polls, where Hilary barely beat him. She did better against the "normal" GOP hopefuls, but not quite as well as Sanders.

So if you feel like blaming someone other than Trump supporters for Trump winning (if he did), then blame those who voted against the Sanders candidacy.

Me? I'd prefer the saner option of blaming the supporters of Trump for him winning. Non-voting doesn't get added into the nutters' candidate you know.

@Wow: As Willie Stark put it: "There is always something."

The right wing has been after Hillary Clinton for about three decades now. As a result, we had a pretty good idea what that "something" was, and that she could successfully defend against it.

Sanders is a backbencher Senator from a small state. Before this election cycle, he was largely unknown outside of Vermont and neighboring states. You can bet that Republican oppo research would have found something (and yes, there was something to find, at least as substantial as anything they had on Hillary). We don't know how he would have reacted to it. And the Republicans would have had an easier time framing Bernie's identity precisely because he was unknown to the voters.

BTW, during the primaries Bernie, like Donald, wasn't releasing his tax returns. Speculation at the time was that Trump's would have shown his net worth to be substantially lower than he claimed, and Sanders' would have shown his net worth to be substantially higher than he claimed. I even heard some half-joking speculation that Sanders may actually have a higher net worth than Trump.

TL;DR: There is no reason to think Sanders would have maintained his lead over Trump (or any other Republican nominee, for that matter).

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 17 Oct 2016 #permalink

There are a billion or so things "we would have been much better off" doing... Shall we start enumerating them? Then spend our time discussing them?

Or perhaps our attention is better turned towards dealing with what we've got in the here & now..?

By Brainstorms (not verified) on 17 Oct 2016 #permalink

My model tends to put Alaska right in the middle (see above) but Alaskans like John McKay keep telling me to leave it red.

Indiana is mounting a widespread criminal investigation of "fraudulent voter registrations" that involved confiscation by the police of 45,000 voter registration forms in one county alone, an unknown number from other counties, which were taken from a campaign to register African-Americans. Even if many errors are found, the vast majority of these will be fully valid. Yet if those forms are held hostage by the pi ... cops until the registration deadline passes, that's up to 45,000 African-Americans who won't ge a chance to vote against Drumpf. Nor do we know how many applications to vote were taken from other counties. As of January 1, there were 4,634,149 registered voters in Indiana. The model presented here shows that an extra 1% of voters choosing Hillary would flip the state. Coincidence? I think not.

Who was it who said, "It's not the people who vote that count. It's the people who count the votes."

What did the Nazis do to rig the elections in their favor?

And why is that everything that Trump whines about is something that he/his stooges are DOING (this kind of vote-rigging included)???

Coincidence? I think not.

By Brainstorms (not verified) on 18 Oct 2016 #permalink

“It’s not the people who vote that count. It’s the people who count the votes.”

That one is usually attributed to Stalin. According to, he didn't say this exact quote, but he did say something similar (referring to a particular election), and he isn't the only one to have said something along those lines.

The Nazis won a plurality in a parliamentary system, which is why Hindenburg appointed Hitler as Chancellor. I don't know if there was substantial rigging of the vote, but I don't know that there wasn't, either, and there was definitely political violence in Germany at the time.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 19 Oct 2016 #permalink

"@Wow: As Willie Stark put it: “There is always something.”

The right wing has been after Hillary Clinton for about three decades now."

Aye, but they won't be voting for Hillary. They may not vote for Trump either. Because "none of the above" is always an option.

But several Trump supporters would have voted Sanders. And if Trump gets fewer votes, he is more likely to lose.

Though please remember, for those complaining about the splitting of Al Gore's vote with Nader, Al STILL WON A PLURALITY OF THE VOTES. This is clear indication that merely counting up the number of plain votes is insufficient proof of why someone won or lost a vote.

"And why is that everything that Trump whines about is something that he/his stooges are DOING (this kind of vote-rigging included)???"

Two biggest ones:

1) Get your defence in first by claiming others are doing it first.
2) If "everybody's doing it", then you're not a bad person for doing it yourself.

"There are a billion or so things “we would have been much better off” doing… Shall we start enumerating them?"

Well, you're going telling people that they MUST MUST MUST vote for Hilary.

And it's not as if the polling were being done AFTER the choice of Hilary had been made, the evidence was there right from early on. Yet it was ignored because for some reason "leftist ideals" are "unelectable", yet rightwing nutjobs are perfectly acceptable by the left, because "free speech and free elections require the choices be there".

If you wish to claim vote Hilary because Trump, you should have been telling everyone to vote Sanders. You have no valid reasoning to swap to "STOP TRUMP!" if you were a Hilary supporter.

If Sanders *had* got through, there would have been ample consolation "At least Trump won't get in", but part of the problem of the election being close enough to be worrying was the support of Hilary, DESPITE her lower standing against the GOP candidates, doubly so for Trump.

Tactical voting is not an option for those who voted "the most electable" as a stick to beat others into line.

"TL;DR: There is no reason to think Sanders would have maintained his lead over Trump (or any other Republican nominee, for that matter)."

That is no reason to suppose the support would have dropped. Indeed, even if it's merely indicative, it's STILL indicative *of a continued lead*.

Wow. Fighting yesterday's battles is a waste of time. Keep moving on.

Maybe you'll find some resonance with this:

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P.S. Humans are not monkeys. They're great apes.

By Obstreperous A… (not verified) on 19 Oct 2016 #permalink

So is Curious George.

Time to leave childish topics behind and move on to grown-up topics.

By Brainstorms (not verified) on 19 Oct 2016 #permalink

Think of it this way, it's about the issues not the candidate. You have a better chance of *positively* affecting the issues you care about with Clinton. So don't vote for her, vote for the issues you care about.

Play the hand you're dealt, though suck it may. Pulling an Achilles and retiring to your tent is not a positive or constructive move. You are needed.

By Obstreperous A… (not verified) on 19 Oct 2016 #permalink

That's hope, though.

Face it, if "You can't vote otherwise" is the case, then why SHOULD Hilary change?

Hell, look at how when complaining about what you want to change Hilary on you're dogpiled to silence by people screaming "BUT TRUUUUUUUMMMMMPPP!!!!!". Fer chrissakes, that's what happened with Obama and his "All the change we think we can get some republicans to agree to".

The USA doesn't HAVE a left. All that the democrats need to do is flirt with the rightwing voters, because the entire left has nobody to vote for.

"Wow. Fighting yesterday’s battles is a waste of time. Keep moving on."

Those who wilfully ignore the past not merely consign themselves to repeating the mistakes of the past, they consign the very idea of mistakes to the graveyard, making the mistakes in the future WORSE.

Look if you want to consign the past to the past, then stop whining about how the split vote got shrub in power.

What's that? You can't? Because those are other people and they aren't under your control? Weeeel, maybe you need to give them your advice, hmm?

Look, there will be some people who may vote for Hilary as the best of a bad bunch, but if you keep bleating about how they MUST MUST MUST!!!! vote Hilary, you'll annoy them by dictating to them what they must do, and they'll say "fudge you mother hubbard!" and either not vote or, just to return the "favour" vote Trump and let you know and annoy the arse off you.

LET THEM VOTE as they wish.

Doesnt mean "Don't make your case", just cut the "But you MUST..." or "No, you CAN'T...". You say what you will do, give your reasons and let your argument stand on its own without coercive language.

I, for one, am quite happy to "let them vote as they wish".

What we want is for them to VOTE, period.

The Right in America is an unpopular minority. Just let them vote. Perhaps we need a law or a carrot (tax break?) that compels everyone to vote every election.

Democracies don't work when the populace gens up excuses and avoids participating in the elections.

By Brainstorms (not verified) on 20 Oct 2016 #permalink

Uh, if they wish to not vote, that's their voting preference too. And doing so does not give Trump the presidency. They may vote "Third party", and you have complained about that too previously. Now, it may be that some of the arguments for leaving the voting preference of people alone have swayed you, but this has not been said, unless it's in a thread that disappeared off visibility without me seeing it.

Voting third party DOES have utility: that vote is flagged up as up for grabs if the "main party candidate" wishes it by determining what policy attracted that vote.

But sometimes there will be nobody for whom you have a single thing to vote for, and not voting is also an available response. To date the response has been to ignore the flagging votes, and guess what: Trump support comes from people whose nonparticipation has been ignored. And Bernie votes too. Hilary and the GOP candidates all had the chance of trying to get the nonvoting vote, but they couldn't be arsed.

Maybe that will change now that the ability of invigorating the nonvoting block to actually have a reason to think voting this time will be worth it has been shown to produce election-busting consequences.

And as I said long ago, critics of Hilary do so because they think it will do something, critics don't bother with Trump because they know it won't make a difference. Stop complaining that only Hilary is criticised, because it's actually evidence that shows she's more acceptable to them than Trump is.

Trump support comes from people whose nonparticipation has been ignored.

My GOD! Who KNEW that if you avoid voting that you would be IGNORED by the process you're ignoring???

You have a curiously narrow view of voting that it is only valid if you have something to vote FOR. Do you support blocking the votes of people who wish to vote AGAINST something?

As for all these critics you cite, I'm looking around and not seeing or hearing what you apparently are seeing/hearing...

By Brainstorms (not verified) on 20 Oct 2016 #permalink

First of all, if you're going to talk to me, then talk to me. I've said nothing about Bush and the split vote--to anybody, ever. I have tried to convey to you that there is a time and a place for everything. Standing in the middle of a battlefield with arrows whizzing past your head and going on and on about something that happened yesterday is not productive.

Look I take your point about how some Democrats have talked to millennials (or presumed millennials). To those Dems I would say that you don't have to blindly take all of your cues from the top. Frankly some of what I heard was condescending at best and otherwise Bernie bashing by proxy. It was offensive even to me, and I'm way, WAY past being a millennial.

But here's the thing; I gave you reasons why I would consider not voting or lodging a protest vote. All I'm hearing from you so far are rationalizations. 

Get it together.

By Obstreperous A… (not verified) on 20 Oct 2016 #permalink