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Electoral College: Paul now ahead in North Carolina average vs Clinton

Today’s poll update consisted entirely of a new release of North Carolina data from PPP. They polled 11 different candidate combinations for 2016. Only one of these caused a category change for one of the top five “best polled” candidate pairs. That would be Clinton vs Paul:

Although the most recent poll has Paul behind by 3%, the poll it replaces in the average had Paul behind by 5%, so the average moves from an 0.2% Clinton lead to an 0.2% Paul lead.

Now, to be clear, just barely on one side of the line vs just barely on the other side of the line, either way this is about as close to a tie as you can get. (Especially since the way I calculate polling averages actually doesn’t allow ties, since it will pull in older polls to break any ties that might otherwise come up.)

The spread of the last five polls is from Clinton by 5% to Paul by 6%, so there is a lot of uncertainty here too. Basically, North Carolina is a toss up. But that’s what being “Weak” means in my model anyway. We allow the state to swing from side to side in calculating the range of possible outcomes.

But for now, this does push the “Expected Margin” in Paul’s direction:

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Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 06.11.29779

Still way behind to be sure, but every change in the Clinton vs Paul margin range numbers in the last few months has been in Paul’s direction.

Bush, Christie and Huckabee were also in this latest batch of North Carolina polls, so lets look quickly at the comparison chart as well:

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Ignore Clinton vs Ryan, which has never been polled in North Carolina.

All of the candidates have been improving against Clinton in the last few months. Paul is just the first to flip the state. Bush was very close, but the last two polls including him didn’t go his way, so he pulled back a bit. But even Christie looks like he may have bottomed out and is now improving again. In North Carolina at least, the trend seems to be away from Clinton and toward the various Republican contenders.

As usual though, the usual caveats apply on how sparse polling still is, just how far away from the election we still are, and how the very next poll may change the trend.

Final thing to mention, with today’s new data Clinton vs Huckabee passed Clinton vs Ryan to take the #4 spot in my “Top 5 best polled” list. Given that Ryan has said he is not going to run, it probably won’t be that long until he drops off the top 5. Cruz, Rubio and Walker (all vs Clinton) have all gotten recent polling attention that is improving their polling situation. Given all the recent attention, my bet would be on Walker, even though of this bunch he is currently furthest behind in my polling quality metric, but we shall see…

Note: This post is an update based on the data on my 2016 Electoral College Analysis Site. All of the charts and graphs seen here are from that site. Graphs, charts and raw data can be found there for the race nationally and in each state for every candidate combination that has been polled at the state level. In addition, comparisons of the best polled candidate combinations both nationally and each in each state are available. All charts above are clickable to go to the current version of the detail page the chart is from, which may contain more up to date information than the snapshots on this page, which were current as of the time of this post.

@abulsme tweets from 2015-03-04 (UTC)