I have not written much about the presidential race (a few scorecards here and there) because I have been hyper focused on the local races. Being the “numbers nerd” that I am, I am intrigued by what is happening right now. If you had asked me 10 to 14 days ago, I (and many others) would have said this election is probably over and Clinton would win pretty easily. There did not appear to be a path to 270 for Trump and all of the momentum seemed to be behind Clinton. Then the past 5 days happened and oh how the polls have changed. Here are some of the changes we have seen recently:
- 10/30 – Texas changes from Toss Up to Leans Trump
- 10/30 – Colorado changes from Leans Clinton to Toss Up
- 11/01 – New Hampshire changes from Leans Clinton to Toss Up
- 11/01 – Virginia changes from Leans Clinton to Toss Up
- 11/02 – Pennsylvania changes from Leans Clinton to Toss Up
- 11/02 – Missouri changes from Leans Trump to Likely Trump
- 11/02 – Georgia changes from Toss Up to Leans Trump
- 11/03 – Utah changes from Leans Trump to Likely Trump
- 11/03 – Texas changes from Leans Trump to Likely Trump
- 11/03 – Mississippi changes from Likely Trump to Safe Trump
- 11/03 – Louisiana changes from Likely Trump to Safe Trump
- 11/04 – Maine CD1 changes from Likely Clinton to Leans Clinton
- 11/04 – Maine changes from Leans Clinton to Toss Up
There is no question that all the momentum has switched over to Trump. All of the changes above now show that trend. Here is what the current map looks like: (Clinton – 224 | Toss Up – 134 | Trump – 180)
So if we remove the Toss Ups and predict based on who is winning the states right now…here is what the map looks like: (Clinton 297 | Trump – 241)
Now that all sounds good except here might be the problem…Rubio is currently ahead in the Senate race in Florida and that could change that state back to “Red”. If it does…he is what we would be looking at: (Clinton – 268 | Trump – 270)
There is always the nightmare scenario of the what if Maine CD2 goes “Blue” (which is very possible). Then we end up with this (Clinton – 269 | Trump – 269).
Then we get this…
What Happens if There is a Tie?
In the unlikely event one of the above scenarios above plays out, and we are left at 269-269 on November 8, the process would head to Congress, which votes on and chooses the President and Vice President. This process was ratified under the 12th amendment that states, “if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President.”
Because nothing is simple in American presidential politics, the representatives in the House don’t just vote for their candidate, a situation that would probably result in a Trump win. Rather, each state’s representatives vote together and the majority wins one vote per state for a particular candidate. Those votes are tallied, and the winner becomes President. The process is repeated for the Vice President in the Senate. A majority of 26 is required to win the House vote; the Senate requires a 51 vote majority.
In this system it seems likely that the House will vote for Trump. But this outcome isn’t certain because states where the representatives are majority Republican may be close enough to equal representation that a few defectors could tip their vote to the Democrat column.
I mentioned the Senate info above, here is what the Senate races look like across the county:
Democrats should be happy as it is looking like they will pick up 3 seats (if the numbers hold) but there is a down side to these numbers. Swing states like Florida, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Ohio and Arizona trending well for the GOP and Nevada is leaning GOP. This makes my 269 to 269 scenario possible (if those states go “Red” in the presidential race).
Now this election is so fluid it may all change drastically over the next few days and really anything is possible. I believe this election will be more about turnout than any other we have seen recently. I really think this may come down to just 3 states – Nevada, Florida and New Hampshire. Be sure to keep a close eye on those races as they may tip the scales (Trump needs them all and they all look super close right now).
One other thing of note – how accurate are these polls? Many (if not most) polls list “Likely Voters” as those polled in the surveys. Will this election be about the “Non-Likely Voters” coming out to vote? Look at the Primaries and the voter turnout we saw from some states. I have a feeling that we may see some crazy numbers that we are not expecting on the 8th.
My point of this article – this race is FAR from over and it is up to everyone to get out and Vote on November 8th.
Here is a link to Real Clear Politics to track all of this data: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/2016_elections_electoral_college_map.html