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Electoral College: Paul gets close in Virginia

Since my last electoral college post, there have been PPP polls in Virginia and Nevada. The only one of the top five “best polled” candidate combinations with a significant change is Clinton vs Paul, and it is good news for Paul.

Clinton vs Paul

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With this latest poll, my average of Clinton vs Paul in Virginia moves to Clinton by 4.6%. While still a substantial Clinton lead, it means Virginia moves to “Weak Clinton” in my average, and I now allow the possibility that Paul could win Virginia.  This improves his “best case” where he wins all the states where he leads in the polls, plus all the states where Clinton is ahead by less than 5%.

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The spike on the upper right is this improvement. Paul’s best case here is still to lose by 26 electoral votes, but this is better than his best case has been since April 2014, and it has been on an upward trend since the beginning of May. So while he isn’t really moving the needle yet on actually bringing more states over to his side of the fence, he is making a few closer, which of course needs to happen first.

The change in Virginia also moved the “tipping point”… basically how far ahead the winning candidate is in the state that would “put them over the edge” in the electoral college. This is a measure of how much polls would have to move nationally, taking into account the structure of the electoral college, in order to flip the election to the other side.

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On this metric Paul has had nothing but moves in his direction since February. Slowly but surely his situation has been improving. It of course still has a long way to go.  But the trend is there.

Everybody Else

So, we do have to ask the usual question. Is this really Paul getting stronger? Or is this just Clinton getting weaker? So lets look at the comparisons with all of the five best polled candidate combinations.

First Virginia:

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Looking back six months…  Bush, Paul, Christie and Rubio have all improved vs Clinton. Only Huckabee has declined in that time frame.

Then the “best cases”:

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Again looking back six months, this time Bush, Paul and Rubio have all improved, while Christie and Huckabee have declined.

Finally, the tipping points:

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Once again, everybody is gaining on Clinton… except Huckabee. Poor Huckabee.

Anyway, together this means that Clinton seems to be weakening generally against most of the Republican candidates, this isn’t something special for Paul. Today’s update just happened to have him be the one to flip categories today.

Having said that though, if you look at the amount Paul has moved in the three graphs above vs the other four competitors, he’s had the biggest move in Virginia, the biggest move in tipping point, and the second largest move in “best case”. So perhaps there is actually something going on with Paul separate from the more general move against Clinton.

For any of that to matter though, he would still have to win the nomination, which is a long shot. But still…

477.3 days until polls start closing.

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. Follow @ElecCollPolls on Twitter for specific poll details as I add them.

@abulsme tweets from 2015-07-19 (UTC)