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Electoral College: Iowa Back on the Red Side

States with new poll data added since the last update: Virginia, Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, California, Texas, Pennsylvania, Florida, New York, Illinois, North Carolina, Indiana, Georgia, Missouri, Arizona, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Tennessee, New Jersey, Minnesota, Washington, Michigan, South Carolina, Maine (All), Louisiana, Utah, Oklahoma, Alabama, Nebraska (All), Oregon, Kansas, Maryland, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nevada, Connecticut, Arkansas, West Virginia, Colorado, Idaho, New Hampshire, Alaska

We have the weekly batch of polls from Ipsos, plus a handful of other scattered polls. One state changes category:

chart-262

After having been “Weak Clinton” through July, for the last month the average in Iowa has been hovering right around the center line. It had become “Weak Trump” for a short time in the second week of August, but then quickly moved back to Clinton. With the latest couple of polls showing Trump leading, the average moves once again to the Trump side of the line.

This is a narrow lead… 0.5%… it could move back to the other side of the line with the next poll. But for now, Trump leads in Iowa, and so this changes the expected results line:

chart-263

This brings the expected case to a 144 electoral vote win for Clinton. This matches the best Trump has done since April. In terms of the expected case, the metric that actually matters the most, this has seemed like Trump’s ceiling ever since he locked up the nomination. He has been able to move his best case, but in terms of moving blue states over to his side of the line, he just hasn’t been able to push past this level.

With average changes in Ohio and Florida, the tipping point also moved:

chart-264

Prior to the current batch of polls, the tipping point was Clinton +3.8% in Ohio. The new polls exposed a brief spike to Clinton only leading by 2.4% in Michigan, but then falling back to Clinton +3.0% in Florida. The net change in this update is still a 0.8% movement toward Trump though.

As with the expected electoral college result, Trump is near the top of his recent range. A 3.0% Clinton tipping point means that only a small uniform shift across all states would push Trump into the lead. The race is actually relatively close here. So why is most of the talk still about how Clinton is clearly winning?

Well, first of all, because she is. Trump has never led in either the electoral college expected case or the tipping point. She is just objectively in the lead and always has been.

Second, we have seen the whole race wiggle around in a zone. Things move up and down within that zone, but seem to have trouble escaping it. On the one side Clinton can’t seem to break out to move things from just a regular comfortable win to doing better than Obama did against McCain, and on the other side, Trump can make the race tighter, but hasn’t been able to break the barrier of matching or improving on Romney’s performance.

Since April, it has looked like Trump would do better than McCain (192 EV loss), but not as well as Romney (126 EV loss). It just seems like that is where this race wants to be, at least in terms of the electoral college. Of course, both of those men lost. This range does not include winning.

So for Trump to win, things need to change and move into a zone they have not been in before. And he is running out of time. The next opportunity will likely be the debates. The first one is in 22 days. Then we have 65.3 days until results start rolling in.

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. 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. If you find the information in these posts interesting or useful, please consider visiting the tip jar.

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