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Electoral College: Some good news for Cruz, Mixed news for Rubio

Yes, all the attention is on South Carolina and Super Tuesday, but time for a quick electoral college update from recent poll updates. In the last batch of polls were new matchup results in Florida, Georgia, Wisconsin and West Virginia. These resulted in a few notable changes.

Clinton vs Trump

chart (89)

Well, actually, once again there was no significant update in the Clinton vs Trump race, but in this transitional phase where we are still getting polling for folks other than the frontrunners, I’ll mention the frontrunner status when there is a post highlighting changes with other candidate pairs. Trump’s lead in the average in Georgia actually dropped from 10.1% to 9.5% changing Georgia from “Solid Trump” to “Strong Trump” in my categorization, but this really doesn’t make any difference. Georgia isn’t in play at the moment. The situation remains that anything from Clinton winning by 156 to Trump winning by 102 is within the realm of the possible, and Clinton winning by 50 is the “expected” result if all the states go where their averages are currently pointing.

Clinton vs Cruz

chart (90)

Cruz improves a bit in Florida against Clinton, but not enough to change categories. Florida was however the tipping point state, so this also moves:

chart (91)

Cruz’s upward tipping point trend continues. Just a little bit further, and the Clinton vs Cruz race might actually look competitive!

(Reminder, the tipping point represents the margin in the state that would put the winner “over the top” if you ranked the states by their candidate preference. It is a good measure of how much the candidate who is behind would have to change national public opinion to flip the result and win.)

Clinton vs Rubio

This matchup had notable changes caused by the polls in two different states. First up, Florida:

chart (92)

The state didn’t change status. It was “Weak Clinton” before, and remains “Weak Clinton”. But as with Cruz, Florida was the tipping point state, and so the tipping point changes as well.

chart (93)

By this metric Rubio peaked in November and has been declining ever since. A Clinton vs Rubio matchup still looks incredibly close though. Clinton is only ahead here by 0.8%.

So this was good for Clinton. But there was also a change in Wisconsin that was good for Rubio:

chart (94)

All the recent polls have shown Wisconsin as a close state, whereas older polls had it Strong or Solid Clinton, and therefore the average has been moving up toward Rubio. With today’s update, it moves from “Strong Clinton” to “Weak Clinton”. This puts it in play for Rubio and improves his best case:

chart (95)

There are now ELEVEN close states in the Clinton vs Rubio contest, accounting for 141 electoral votes, which is quite a swing! Everything from Clinton by 126 to Rubio by 156 is now “in the bubble”. Clinton remains a slight favorite, winning by 12 electoral votes if all the states ended up following current poll results. But this is a tiny margin. Clinton vs Rubio remains essentially a tied race, with Florida’s 29 electoral votes at the tipping point.

And that is where things stand at the end of February.

254.9 days left until general election polls start to close.

Note: This post is an update based on the data on ElectionGraphs.com. 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.

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