Monday, October 24, 2016

How Much is Hillary Clinton Winning By?

As of Friday, 538 had Hillary Clinton leading on average by 6.5 points and the state polls showed us a 6.7 point win. That'd be a healthy win, but less than Barack Obama's 2008 7-point win and just a bit more than Obama's 2012 4-point win. To make things more complicated, Democrats won the House by 11 points in 2008, but only 1 in 2012. So they did 4 points better than Obama in 2008 but 3 worse in 2012. So Clinton's margin might not tell us that much down ballot.

I keep seeing articles about a Clinton/Democratic landslide and the negative news about Donald Trump sure gives one a feel for that. Democrats are seizing on polls like one from ABC News/Washington Post that has Clinton up by 12. Yet the state polls have moved to a Clinton 6.16 point win. I was thinking maybe states that aren't heavily polled have moved more Clinton but we hadn't seen it. Maybe that was stifling Clinton's total. So I decided to do an aggregate of the 14 most heavily polled states. They account for roughly 40% of all votes. Barack Obama won these states by 1.7 points. Clinton leads them by 3.5 points, only an additional 1.8 points. That's less than the 2.2 points my overall state aggregate has for her.

If I add in Texas, a state where Clinton is polling well, Romney actually won these states by 0.7%. Clinton is winning them by 2.6%, a 3.4 point difference. Even with Texas, the heavily polled states are suggesting Clinton is leading by no more than 7.5 points. Again, that's a very healthy lead, but is is a landslide? And how much will it help Democrats down ballot?

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