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February 2016

Electoral College: Trump takes lead from Clinton in North Carolina, Rubio even stronger

General Election state polls have been few and far between since we are in the heart of the primary battles, but we did get a new PPP North Carolina poll and when it gets factored into my poll averages, it resulted in a couple of category changes worth noting:

Clinton vs Trump


As you can see, North Carolina has been bouncing between “Weak Clinton” and “Weak Trump” ever since there was substantial polling here for Clinton vs Trump in the fall. With this latest update to the average, North Carolina flips back into Trump’s column.

The reality here is that regardless, North Carolina looks close, and could easily go either way, but it moves the center “expected” line in our chart showing the range of plausible electoral results:


Trump’s “Expected” case, where he wins every state where he leads the poll average, and loses those where he doesn’t, is to lose to Clinton by 50 electoral votes. Trump remains well within reach though. If he were to take the lead in only Iowa, Ohio, and Michigan he would take an electoral college lead. If he were to take all the close states, he would end up winning by 102 electoral votes.

Clinton vs Rubio


Rubio has been doing substantially better in North Carolina than Trump. Rather than bouncing around near the zero line, this has been hovering near the 5% line that I use to separate “Weak Rubio” from “Strong Rubio”. This update pushes the average to a lead just barely over 5%, so I remove North Carolina from the list of possible Clinton pick up states. This does not change the “expected” results, but diminishes Clinton’s “best case” scenario where she wins not only the states she currently leads, but also those where she is behind by less than 5%.


So Clinton’s best case goes from winning by 156 electoral votes, to only winning by 126 electoral votes. The “expected” result remains a 48 electoral vote win by Clinton given the states where she leads in the poll averages.

Once we get clear winners in the primary races, I expect we will stop seeing polling for any candidate combination other than those winners, and general election polling should speed up again. In the mean time, most of the action is going on in the delegate races. Before long though, attention will move back to the general election, and there will be plenty to watch on this side of things too.

262.3 days until the first 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 2016-02-19 (UTC)

  • 17:44:27 The latest Curmudgeon’s Corner podcast is out. Election talk starts at the 1:22:34 mark and goes for 46 minutes.
  • 18:23:31 Over the last few days in addition to logging new superdelegates I did a complete review and fixed some errors. Net: +5 Clinton, +1 Sanders
  • 18:28:50 I also put back the 2 O’Malley superdels who have not publicly changed their preference. This matches my WP source.

@ElecCollPolls tweets from 2016-02-19 (UTC)

@abulsme tweets from 2016-02-19 (UTC)