The seventh month of July is upon us and it is time once again to see how the baker’s dozen of states that comprise my Swing State Symphony are leaning concerning the 2016 American presidential election.
Back in June, I posted the status of the thirteen states that will decide who will be the next occupant of the Oval Office come January 2017. In that post, the presumptive presidential nominee of Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton, was projected to be the winner as eight of the Swing State Symphony (Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin) went for her and two states (Missouri, North Carolina) went for the presumptive presidential nominee of the Republican Party, Donald Trump. The remaining three (Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico) were not awarded to either party because no polls had been done in 2016.
So where do things stand one month later?
Let’s find out.
To recap, here is the baseline tally that I created at the start of this blog that shows the states that are either solidly or mostly leaning towards one party. Thanks once again to the folks over at 270towin.com for their interactive map.
States in deep blue are classified in my baseline tally as “Solid” for the Democratic Party and those in a lighter blue are classified in my baseline tally as “Mostly” for the Democratic Party. Likewise for the Republican Party except the color of choice is red. This map also shows that the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party can count on 202 votes in the Electoral College and the presidential nominee of the Republican Party can count on 181 votes in the Electoral College. With my Swing State Symphony collection (states in gray) holding 155 votes in the Electoral College, the Democratic presidential nominee only needs 68 of those votes while the Republican presidential nominee needs 89 of those votes to hit the mark of 270.
Let’s work through the thirteen states in gray and see where they stand in the month of July.
Starting with Colorado and there has actually been one poll commissioned since the beginning of this year (Huzzah!). In that June survey from CBS News/YouGov (996 likely voters, margin of error 4.3 percentage points, results here), the questioned residents of Colorado expressed their presidential preference. Hillary Clinton received 40% of the vote, Donald Trump received 39%, Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson received 4%, and Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein received 1% of the vote. Other options included “Not sure” (10%) and “Someone else” (6%). I understand that this is one poll and that the difference between Clinton and Trump is a single percentage point, but it’s the only survey from the Centennial State that I have and so the state of Colorado is painted blue (albeit an extremely light blue).
Next up is the state of Florida. In my June posting, the Sunshine State went to the Democratic Party. By my count, there have been ten polls taken in Florida in the month of June (full list here courtesy of electiongraphs.com)*. Of those surveys, Clinton wins eight and Trump wins two. In Trump’s pair of victories, his average margin of victory was 2.5 percentage points (Public Policy Polling, 737 registered voters, margin of error 3.6 percentage points, results here, Trump 45%, Clinton 44%; Gravis (with Other included), 1,619 registered voters, margin of error 2.4 percentage points, report here, Trump 49%, Clinton 45%, Other 6%). In Clinton’s octet of victories her average margin of victory is 7.7 percentage points. Her biggest poll wins are a 14.8 percentage point victory (Saint Leo University, 459 likely voters, margin of error 4.57 percentage points, report here, Clinton 50.1%, Trump 35.3%) and a 14 percentage point victory (Ballotpedia, 596 registered voters, margin of error 4 percentage points, results here, Clinton 51%, Trump 37%). Clinton’s smallest victories in the Sunshine State are both wins of 3 percentage points (Mason-Dixon, previous post here, Clinton 45%, Trump 42%; CBS News/YouGov, 1,192 likely voters, margin of error 3.6 percentage points, results here, Clinton 44%, Trump 41%, Johnson 3%, Stein 1%, Someone else 4%, Not sure 7%). Clinton has extended her margin of victory from 5 percentage points from my post in June to 7.7 percentage points in the last ten polls. For that reason, Florida (and its 29 votes in the Electoral College) goes to the Democratic Party.
Moving on to Iowa, there have been four surveys completed in June that document the presidential preferences of the citizens of the Hawkeye State (full list here from electiongraphs.com). In that quartet of surveys, Hillary Clinton bests her opponent in all of them. Her average margin of victory is 5.75 percentage points. Iowa is painted blue.
Minnesota is next on the list, but there have been no polls done in the Gopher State since an April poll (Star-Tribune, 800 registered voters, margin of error 3.5 percentage points, results here) showed a 13 percentage point for Clinton over Trump, 48%-35%. In my June status post, Minnesota leaned Democratic and in July, it stays the same.
Missouri has also seen no new polls since my June status post. In that post five weeks ago, the Show-Me State went for Trump and it stays red for July.
Nevada had a single poll commissioned in June. From Democracy Corps, this survey (300 registered voters, margin of error 5.66 percentage points, results here) showed a tie between the two major party presidential candidates. Both Trump and Clinton earned 44% of the vote with Gary Johnson taking 9%. This draw makes it difficult to choose a hue for the Silver State, but it is one of my constraints of these monthly status posts that I cannot punt. To break the tie, I look at the last presidential elections and pre-2016 surveys. In 2012 and 2008, the presidential nominee from the Democratic Party won Nevada’s electoral votes. In addition, the pair of polls run in 2015 (full list here) show a Clinton victory of 6 percentage points and a Trump victory of 3 percentage points. That averages out to a Clinton win of 3 percentage points. For those reasons, Nevada joins the list of states turning blue (albeit, again, an extremely light – nearly transparent – shade of blue).
New Hampshire saw a trio of polls done in June (full list here). Of those three, one is a tie and Clinton wins the other two by margins of 5 and 4 percentage points. The Granite State finished my June status post in the fold of the Democratic Party and that trend continues with Clinton’s pair of June wins.
For whatever reason, I missed this poll for my June status post, but that will be rectified here. Since the start of 2016, there has only been one poll done documenting the presidential preferences of the citizens of New Mexico. Done by Public Policy Polling (previous post on poll here), Clinton defeats Trump 41%-33%. Even with the margin of error (3.5 percentage points), this survey is a definite win for the Democratic Party presumptive presidential nominee. The Land of Enchantment turns blue.
Our next stop is North Carolina. In June, there were five polls done (full list here)**. Of those five, Trump wins one (by 2 percentage points) and Clinton wins four (with an average margin of victory of 5.75 percentage points). In my June status post, the Tar Heel State joined Missouri in Trump’s column. That changes in July with this latest quintet of surveys (and Clinton’s four victories) and North Carolina turns UNC-blue.
Ohio was busy in June as six polls (full list here)# were added to my analysis from the Buckeye State. Of those six, two are ties and four are victories for Clinton. Of those four wins, her average margin of victory is 5 percentage points. Ohio was Democratic in the June status post and it remains with that party this month.
Pennsylvania was just as busy as six polls (full list here)## were also added to my analysis. Of those six, one was a draw and five were victories for Clinton. Of those five wins, her average margin of victory is 6 percentage points. The Keystone State was for Clinton in the June status post and it remains in her column in July.
Virginia saw four polls released (full list here) in the month of June. In all four, Hillary Clinton defeats Donald Trump. In her wins, Clinton’s average margin of victory is 5.25 percentage points. There is a sense of deja vu, but Virginia went blue in the June status post and it remains that way for July.
We finish with Wisconsin. In June, I wrote of the eight surveys taken to date that all showed victories by Clinton. In the month of June, five surveys are released (full list here) and, again, they all show victories for the presumptive presidential nominee of the Democratic Party. Wisconsin stays blue.
So with colors added to the Swing State Symphony, what does that do to the electoral map? Here’s how it stands for July. I have changed the original “Solid” and “Mostly” states to their respective solid colors and have color-coded the Swing State Symphony to be either light blue or light red depending on where they fall now.
In my rundown for the month of July, Donald Trump only wins the state of Missouri and its ten votes in the Electoral College. Hillary Clinton wins the remaining dozen states and its 145 votes in the Electoral College. This projection gives Clinton a 347-191 victory over Trump. This is an improvement over her tally of 312 votes in my June rundown.
There is still plenty of time between now and Election Day. There are still the conventions, the vice-presidential picks, the debates, and who knows what else that can happen between now and when the ballots are cast.
The die has by no means been cast.
*From Florida, electiongraphs.com lists fourteen polls from Florida that were released in June. Of those fourteen, Clinton’s average margin of victory is 6.25 percentage points.
**From North Carolina, the full list from electiongraphs.com showcases polls that asked separate questions that included third-party candidates. When those extra two surveys are added in, Clinton’s average margin of victory for all seven surveys is 4.57 percentage points.
#From Ohio, the full list from electiongraphs.com lists surveys that asked separate questions that included third-party candidates. Of those extra three, Trump wins one (by 1 percentage points) and Clinton wins two (by 2 and 7 percentage points). When all nine polls are considered, Clinton’s average margin of victory is trimmed to 3.1 percentage points.
##From Pennsylvania, the full list from electiongraphs.com lists surveys that asked separate questions that included third-party candidates. Of those extra four, Clinton wins all of them. When all ten polls are considered, Clinton’s average margin of victory is trimmed to 4.9 percentage points.