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Electoral College: Bush joins Rubio in the “might beat Clinton” club, Clinton margins shrink

A bunch of changes today prompted by the latest Quinnipiac Swing State Poll. The TL;DR is that Clinton’s situation continues to deteriorate.

The Republicans are gaining on her, despite any talk myself or others have been doing about the Trump phenomenon hurting Republicans more generically. If that is going to happen, there is no good evidence of it yet, at least in state level general election polling.

Specifically, Rubio and Bush are nipping at Clinton’s heels. In today’s update, Bush’s best case moves into winning territory, Rubio’s already winning best case gets even better, both candidates improve their “expected” results and the tipping points are getting very close.

To actually win at this point, Rubio only needs to hold the states he already leads and flip North Carolina (Clinton +0.4%) and Pennsylvania (Clinton +2.4%). Bush has to flip a few states that are already leaning Rubio as well, but at this point he has his tipping point down to only a 3.8% Clinton lead. Easily within the reach of a campaign that goes his way.

Now the details for those who want them.

Clinton vs Rubio

Rubio moves states into better categories for him in Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio. A quick look at all three charts:

chart (44)

chart (45)

chart (46)

Now, an argument could be made that some of these new data points look like outliers. But we don’t know until we have follow up polls, and that is why we use poll averages and not single polls anyway, so we include the polls in the average and just see what that does.

Florida (29 ev) flips from Weak Clinton to Weak Rubio, improving Rubio’s expected result to Clinton 299 to Rubio 239. This is still a 60 point electoral point loss, but this is the best “expected case” we have seen on any Republican with a significant amount of state level polling against Clinton.

Meanwhile, with both Pennsylvania (20 ev) and Ohio (18 ev) moving from Strong Clinton to Weak Clinton, a very large chunk of electoral votes gets added into the “possible pick up” category for Rubio’s best case, which is now Clinton 227, Rubio 311… an 84 electoral vote WIN for Rubio. This is also the best “best case” we have seen for any significantly polled Republican so far.

This is what Rubio’s “bubble” looks like now:

chart (47)

Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio are huge electoral prizes. They make a massive difference on these charts. With a Republican in the lead in Florida, and competitive in Pennsylvania and Ohio, it really is a whole different ball game.

chart (48)

This is the Clinton vs Rubio map right now. With a map like this, Clinton still wins, but it is very very close, and the slightest issue would give the election to Rubio.

Clinton vs Bush

Looking at the Bush charts in FL/PA/OH:

chart (49)

chart (50)

chart (51)

Bush also flips Florida. This improves Bush’s expected case to Clinton 314, Bush 224. This is a 90 electoral vote loss, but better than Bush has looked since late 2013.

And Bush also moves Ohio from Strong Clinton to Weak Clinton. Unlike Rubio though, he does not quite bring Pennsylvania into this category. The trend is there. Pennsylvania has been moving toward Bush all year. But Clinton’s lead is still over 5%. Perhaps that will change with the next poll. But Ohio by itself is enough to improve Bush’s best case to Clinton 253, Bush 285, which is a 32 electoral vote Bush WIN.

So we get Bush’s new bubble:

chart (52)

And his new map:

chart (53)

At this point, Clinton vs Bush and Clinton vs Rubio are the only two of the five best polled candidate pairs where the Republicans have a winning best case. But are the trends heading there for anybody else? Lets take a quick look.

Comparisons

Sometimes the national charts can give good comparative insight, but this time since we’ve been concentrating on FL/PA/OH, lets just look at those comparisons for now.

chart (54)

chart (55)

chart (56)

So just at a glance, in Ohio and Pennsylvania all or most Republicans are improving against Clinton. They almost seem to be moving as a bunch. (Except maybe Huckabee.)

But it looks different in Florida. In Florida, Rubio and Bush have separated themselves from the rest of the crowd. They are the only two of these five making Florida competitive. The others are just wandering around in Strong Clinton territory, with no clear trend between them.

It is very hard to map a Republican win without Florida. Possible maybe, but very hard. The trends are clearly going toward the Republicans in many states. For Rubio and Bush, Florida is doing the same. If the general trend against Clinton continues, we should start seeing other candidates gain ground in Florida too, but it isn’t in evidence yet.

But overall, Clinton is losing ground, and the race is getting closer.

445.1 days until polls start to close.

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.

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