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Electoral College: The Actual Presidential Vote

The Electoral College voted on Monday December 19th. There were faithless electors this year, so the final results differed from the “earned” results reported in my “Final Forecast and Election Night Updates” post.

Despite the hopes of groups like the Hamilton Electors, the number of Republican faithless electors was nowhere near the 37 that would have been needed to send the election to the House. Only 2 Republican electors actually abandoned Trump. In fact, not only was the goal of stopping Trump not achieved, but the efforts backfired completely. In the end there were more Democratic defectors than Republican defectors, so Trump’s margin actually increased from a 74 electoral vote win to a 77 electoral vote win. Not quite what those campaigning for electors to vote independently were hoping for.

Lets look at the details of the final counts.

The last state called was Michigan on November 28th. The “earned” electoral vote based on the states won and lost at that point was:

  • Donald Trump 306
  • Hillary Clinton 232

When the electoral college voted, there were 7 faithless electors. 5 of these were Democratic and 2 were Republican. This was the largest number of faithless electors since 1872 when 63 electors pledged to Horace Greeley did not vote for him… because he had died between the November election and the December electoral college vote. Not counting 1872, since perhaps one shouldn’t count not voting for a dead candidate, this was the largest number of faithless electors ever.

The 7 faithless electors voted for a variety of different candidates, making the official totals:

  • Donald Trump 304
  • Hillary Clinton 227
  • Colin Powell 3
  • John Kasich 1
  • Ron Paul 1
  • Bernie Sanders 1
  • Faith Spotted Eagle 1

An additional 3 Democratic electors attempted to be faithless, but were thwarted by state laws and procedures in Maine, Minnesota, and Colorado. It is possible some or all 3 of these electors may end up filing lawsuits over this. If lawsuits actually happen and are all successful (which we obviously can not say at this point), Clinton would lose 3 additional electoral votes, Sanders would gain 2, and Kasich would gain 1. If this were to happen, Trump’s winning margin would increase further to 80 electoral votes.

Normally, we think of the Vice Presidential race as locked with the Presidential race as part of “tickets”, but in fact as far as the electoral college is concerned, these are actually two separate votes, and the faithless electors also split their choices for Vice President. The Vice Presidential results were:

  • Mike Pence 305
  • Tim Kaine 227
  • Elizabeth Warren 2
  • Maria Cantwell 1
  • Susan Collins 1
  • Carly Fiorina 1
  • Winona LaDuke 1

And with that, absent any minor adjustments from potential lawsuits by the three foiled Democratic faithless electors, or Congress doing something unexpected on January 6th, the 2016 electoral results are set.

Donald Trump wins.

Donald Trump August 19, 2015

Photo by Michael Vadon [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Curmudgeon’s Corner: You can do that?

On this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner, Sam and Ivan’s biggest topic is of course Russia Russia Russia, as we discuss all of this last week’s hubbub about Russian interference with the election, and everybody’s responses to that. But we also take one last look at the Electoral College before they vote, and do a segment on Apple products. Rounding it out, we cover being sick, taking parents or kids to work, the drama over the North Carolina governorship, Ivanka as First Lady, and more…

Click below to listen or subscribe… then let us know your own thoughts!

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Show Details:

Recorded 2016-12-17
Length this week – 2:25:37

  • (0:00:10-0:17:15) But First
    • Agenda
    • Everybody sick
    • The unknown friend
    • Bring parents/children to work days
    • Sick kids at school
    • Salt rooms
  • (0:18:00-1:03:59) Russia Russia Russia
    • Didn’t we know this?
    • Intentional misdirection?
    • Was it decisive? Does it matter?
    • Clinton team blaming everything but themselves
    • Obama’s response
    • Tillerson Nomination
    • Hacking vs Disinformation/Propaganda
    • Republican response
    • Retaliation?
    • Snowden Comparison
    • Trump denial/connection?]
  • (1:04:38-1:29:35) Electoral College
    • Hamilton Electors
    • How many will be faithless?
    • Who will they vote for?
    • Record number of faithless electors?
    • House scenarios
    • State binding laws
  • (1:30:44-1:53:57) Apple Stuff
    • New TV app
    • MacBook Pro battery
    • Ivan’s iPad Pro
    • iPhone 6s batteries
    • Apple News
    • AllSides
  • (1:54:37-2:25:17) Lightning Round
    • North Carolina Governor drama
    • Some more Trump appointments
    • Facebook fake news effort
    • Sam and Brandy donations
    • Ivanka as First Lady
    • Trump can’t divest?
    • China goading Trump?
    • Trump Tower visitors
    • Future of Obamacare

 

The Curmudgeon’s Corner theme music is generously provided by Ray Lynch.

Our intro is “The Oh of Pleasure” (Amazon MP3 link)

Our outro is “Celestial Soda Pop” (Amazon MP3 link)

Both are from the album “Deep Breakfast” (iTunes link)

Please buy his music and support his GoFundMe.

Electoral College: Trump Surge Sputtering Out?

States with new poll data added since the last update: All 50 states and DC.

Notable changes in: Florida (29), Georgia (16), North Carolina (15), Virginia (13), Wisconsin (10), Colorado (9), Iowa (6), and the tipping point.

National Summary

It has been about two days since the last update. Since then the changes have been mixed, indicating that perhaps the recent movement toward Trump has topped out.

Good for Trump

  • The tipping point moves from Clinton by 2.2% in NH to Clinton by 1.8% in NC
  • Trump’s best case has improved from a 100 EV win to a 112 EV win

Good for Clinton

  • The expected case moves from Clinton winning by 32 EV to Clinton winning by 108 EV
  • Clinton’s best case moves from a 178 EV win to a 210 EV win

Charts

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Discussion

While we have some indicators moving in each direction, the two to pay attention to are the expected electoral college result and the tipping point. The two “best case” scenarios give all states with a margin under 5% to one candidate or another. Those are both highly unlikely scenarios less than three days out from polls closing.

Even those two indicators are mixed though. If you had to decide who is favored in this update, you would still pick Trump though. Even though his expected electoral total has gone down, the tipping point moves a bit in his favor, meaning that the amount he has to move polls in order to win has lessened.

So while he is losing by more, the amount of effort to change that has still decreased.

The one caveat there is that while the tipping point has improved since my last update, looking at the actual trend line it seems to be down from a recent peak.

If you put all these mixed messages together, it looks like the recent “Trump Surge” may have reached a high water mark… or at least a pause.

At these levels Clinton is of course still winning. The electoral result according to the current averages would be Clinton 323 to Trump 215, a 108 electoral vote win for Clinton. Trump does better than Romney did here, but still loses.

Trump still has ways to win though. The easiest way right now would be for him to pull in Nevada (0.1% Clinton lead), New Hampshire (0.7% Clinton lead), Florida (1.8% Clinton lead), and North Carolina (1.8% Clinton lead). That would get him to a 269-269 tie and throw the election into the House of Representatives, where he would probably win. To win outright, he would need to also pull in Maine’s 2nd congressional district, where Clinton is currently leading by 2.0% in the Election Graphs average.

Moving things by 2% doesn’t seem that big a move in the grand scheme of things, but given the history of the race in terms of what seem to be the candidate’s floors and ceilings, as well as reports of early voting trends in some of those states (specifically Nevada and Florida), moving those states that last little bit is harder than it may seem just looking at the percentages. If anything, the preliminary early voting data seems to indicate Clinton may end up over-performing the polling, not the other way around.

Just to check in with the sites that give odds (which we do not), the chances of a Trump win given all the current information:

The median of these 8 estimates is 12%. That seems reasonable and in line with what I would expect from the Election Graphs numbers and the small amount of time left before the election is over.

2.5 days until polls start to close. We are almost there.

State Details

The following are the detailed charts for all the states that influenced the national changes outlined above.

Moving from Trump to Clinton

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Moving from Clinton to Trump

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Now possible Trump pickups

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Now possible Clinton pickups

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No longer possible Trump pickups

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Other states that helped move the tipping point

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A note about faithless electors

In the past few days there have been reports of first one, then two, expected electors from Washington state saying that that have decided to or are considering being “faithless electors” by voting for someone other than who they are “supposed to” when the Electoral College votes in December.

Yes, they can do that. In Washington state there would be a $1000 fine if they did, but they can do it, and it would count.

There was also one other potential elector from Georgia who suggested they would be faithless back in August. That potential elector came under extreme pressure and resigned, to be replaced by someone who would presumably vote the “right” way.

That might well happen to these two as well. But faithless electors can and do happen every few election cycles. In the last 50 years there were faithless electors in 2004, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1972, and 1968. That is 6 out of 12 elections during that period. Half. It would not be surprising if there were one or more faithless electors in 2016, especially given the contentious nature of the race. They have never made a difference in the final outcome.

The Election Graphs estimates show what the results “should be” given who wins various states. They do not take into account statements by individual electors on their intentions. If a scenario arises where it is close enough for electors who have made statements like this to potentially make a difference in the outcome or throw the race to the House, we will of course make note of that. And once electors vote in December, we will show the final tallies, including any votes cast by faithless electors.

A note about McMullin

Right now the Real Clear Politics average in Utah has McMullin 12.4% behind the lead. The 538 average in Utah has him 10.3% behind the lead. Although McMullin was a lot closer than anyone expected, he never got closer than 5% to the lead in Utah in these averages and now appears to be fading. 538 still has him in second place, but it doesn’t seem likely at this point that he will win electoral votes.

If that changes, I will of course note it in these updates and on the Election Graphs site.

For more information…

This post is an update based on the data on ElectionGraphs.com. Election Graphs tracks a state poll based estimate of the Electoral College. 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.

Edit 13:56 UTC to add an additional paragraph break.

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Covered in Butter

We’ve almost made it! Election 2016 is finally here. In this last episode before the actual votes are tallied, Sam and Ivan start out with some updates from the Republicans Sam interviewed in May and some feedback from a listener, then jump into the campaign events of the last week, before finally discussing faithless electors and final thoughts on what is likely to happen when the votes are counted. This is it folks. We’ve made it to the end. Almost.

Click below to listen or subscribe… then let us know your own thoughts!

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 1-Click Subscribe in iTunes
 View Podcast in iTunes
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Download MP3 File
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Show Details:

Recorded 2016-11-05
Length this week – 1:53:34

  • (0:00:10-0:46:14) Updates and Feedback
    • Agenda
    • Update from Matthew
    • Update from Bruce
    • Feedback from Lenny
  • (0:047:17-1:24:20) Election 2016 – The Last Week
    • Comey Letter
    • Illegal Melania / Trump Affair
    • Secret Trump Server? (No.)
    • Russia DNC Hack
    • Last minute Trump baiting?
    • Trump on Obama heckler
    • Trump rape case
  • (1:24:59-1:53:14) Election 2016 – The Election Itself
    • Faithless WA Elector
    • Polling Update
    • House and Senate
    • Ground Game, Early Vote, Hispanic Vote
    • Clinton beating the polls?

 

The Curmudgeon’s Corner theme music is generously provided by Ray Lynch.

Our intro is “The Oh of Pleasure” (Amazon MP3 link)

Our outro is “Celestial Soda Pop” (Amazon MP3 link)

Both are from the album “Deep Breakfast” (iTunes link)

Please buy his music and support his GoFundMe.