Final Five Candidates -- USA Search Interest

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Understanding CNN’s View of the Election

Understanding CNN’s View of the Election


Question:   How do CNN’s categorizations of Leans Republican, Battleground and Leans Democratic compare to polling data from Real Clear Politics?  Do political tendencies in key states favor Democrats or Republicans?



Analysis: The chart below has the RCP average as of the Friday night before the election. The Republican Index variable is the sum of the Republican Senators and Republican Governors currently serving.    A 3 indicates a state is strongly Republican while a 0 suggests a state is strongly Democratic.




Understanding CNNs Electoral College Map as of 11/03/2016
Leans Republican
Favorite
RCP Average
Republican Index
2012 Outcome
Georgia
Trump
4.6
3
Romney
Iowa
Trump
2.4
3
Obama
Ohio
Trump
3.3
2
Obama
Utah
Trump
10.4
3
Romney
Battleground
RCP Average
Republican Jndex
2012 Outcome
Arizona
Trump
4
3
Romney
Florida
Clinton
1.2
2
Obama
Nevada
Trump
2
2
Obama
New Hampshire
Trump
1.6
1
Obama
North Carolina
Trump
0.8
3
Romney
Leans Democratic
Favorite
RCP Average
Republican Index
2012 Outcome
Colorado
Clinton
3
1
Obama
Michigan
Clinton
4.8
1
Obama
Pennsylvania
Clinton
2.6
1
Obama
Virginia
Clinton
5.2
0
Obama
Wisconsin
Clinton
5.5
2
Obama




Observations and Comments:


 Based on the RCP averages Trump leads in every battleground state with the exception of Florida.  Sometimes TV pundits quote single polls that have Clinton ahead in more battleground states but the RCP averages provide a more favorable view for Trump.

If these numbers are correct, Trump will not lose a single Obama state and will take two states that Romney lost.

This election may be very close if Clinton fails to win Florida and if Trump wins North Carolina.  I am cautiously optimistic about Florida and pessimistic about North Carolina.

The polls are very tight in North Carolina and a Clinton win, which is possible, would put Clinton over the top but I believe Trump will take North Carolina.   Republicans in NC are very good at suppressing black votes.   The state has two Republican senators and a Republican governor.   Sometimes Democrats win races in the state and lets hope I am wrong.

The uncertainty about Utah stems from the fact that it is a three-person race and one of the polls in the average was a larger outlier in favor of Trump.  A third-party candidate win in Utah does not affect Clinton’s chances of 270 but is a complicating factor for Trump.

I suspect that CNN will soon move Georgia to the solidly Republican category.   Look at the Republican index.   When was the last Democratic victory in GA?   Look at the Senate poll numbers for GA.



Arizona should be moved from battleground to Leans Republican because the poll differential is above median for lean Republican, Republican Index is 3, and Romney won the state.


All leans-Democratic states appear solid based on information in the chart.

I believe Trump’s team should have put more emphasis on Wisconsin than Pennsylvania.  Wisconsin is similar to Iowa, which is the state most likely to switch from 2012.  An issue for after the election is whether Trump would have won with more support from Ryan.

Final Thought:  In my view, the CNN map slightly understates the chances that Trump will win this election. Can Trump sweep or nearly sweep the battle ground states and peal off something to get to 270?  Clinton taking Florida is the key to whether we have a comfortable Clinton victory or a nail biter.

Authors Note:  I am glad the election is ending.    People interested in health care should read my health memos blog.






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