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February 2016

Electoral College: Clinton strengthens vs Cruz in New Hampshire

Most attention right now continues to be on the primary races, as we are in the days between Iowa and New Hampshire, and things are still very unsettled and exciting. But there have been a handful of new general election polls. The latest change to mention is in the matchup between the delegate frontrunners in both parties.

Clinton vs Cruz

chart (87)

For a few short weeks, some favorable polls for Cruz moved New Hampshire from “Strong Clinton” to “Weak Clinton”, meaning that the poll average showed a Clinton lead of less than 5%, so we considered the state “possible” for Cruz and included it in Cruz’s best case.

In this update Clinton’s lead in the New Hampshire poll average against Cruz is back up to 6.0%, so New Hampshire seems like it is off the table for Cruz again.

This moves Cruz’s best case from losing to Clinton by 76 electoral votes to losing by 84 electoral votes. The “Expected” case where each candidate wins all of the states they are ahead in the poll average, with no states flipping, still has Cruz losing by 96 electoral votes.

chart (88)

Cruz is well behind Clinton in these electoral college estimates. (Popular vote polling is more positive to him though.). But his best case, worst case, and expected case have all been improving over the last year. Today’s change is the first one in which his position has gotten worse since August 2014, which frankly was before there were enough polls to give a reliable picture.

The question is of course if this is a sign of additional movement to come. Is this the best that Cruz can do against Clinton? The popular vote numbers I pointed to earlier indicate that Cruz probably can indeed do better than this, and perhaps we’re not seeing it in the electoral college numbers just because we don’t have enough recent polling in enough states. Or maybe we really do have a popular vote / electoral college disconnect. It is possible.

In any case, it would be premature to think that Cruz has topped against Clinton. We have a very long way to go. If Cruz continues to be the Republican delegate frontrunner, or even close, we’ll continue to get more polling and a better picture of how a Clinton vs Cruz race would go, and of course things will look different once the general election campaign starts in earnest.

Of course, if Cruz falls behind in the delegate race, polling involving him will dry up in favor of whoever is leading in his place. And nobody will miss it. :-)

275.1 days until general election polls start to close!

Note: This post is an update based on the data on Election Graphs tracks both a poll based estimate of the Electoral College and a numbers based look at the Delegate Races. All of the charts and graphs seen in this post are from that site. Additional graphs, charts and raw data can be found there. 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 @ElectionGraphs on Twitter or like Election Graphs on Facebook to see announcements of updates or to join the conversation. For those interested in individual general election poll updates, follow @ElecCollPolls on Twitter for all the polls as they are added.

@ElectionGraphs tweets from 2016-02-06 (UTC)

@ElecCollPolls tweets from 2016-02-06 (UTC)

@abulsme tweets from 2016-02-06 (UTC)