November 1st Early Voting and Polling Rundown
- ABC/Washington Post October 25-29:(Likely Voters) 2 Way Hillary Clinton 49% Donald Trump 47%: 4 Way Hillary Clinton 46% Donald Trump 45% Gary Johnson 4% Jill Stein 2%
- Reuters/Ipsos October 26-30:(Likely Voters) 2 Way Hillary Clinton 44% Donald Trump 39%: 4 Way Hillary Clinton 43% Donald Trump 37% Gary Johnson 6% Jill Stein 1%
- NBC/Survey Monkey October 24-30:(Likely Voters) 2 Way Hillary Clinton 51% Donald Trump 44%: 4 Way Hillary Clinton 47% Donald Trump 41% Gary Johnson 6% Jill Stein 1%
- Politico/Morning Consult October 29-30:(Likely Voters) 2 Way Hillary Clinton 46% Donald Trump 43%: 4 Way Hillary Clinton 42% Donald Trump 39% Gary Johnson 7% Jill Stein 5%
- Colorado- 2 Way Hillary Clinton 45% Donald Trump 44%
- Florida- 2 Way Donald Trump 48% Hillary Clinton 44%:
- Ohio - 2 Way Donald Trump 48% Hillary Clinton 43%
- Nevada 2 Way Donald Trump 48% Hillary Clinton 44%
- North Carolina- 2 Way Donald Trump 47% Hillary Clinton 45%
- Pennsylvania - 2 Way Hillary Clinton 45% Donald Trump 43%
- Virginia - 2 Way Hillary Clinton 47% Donald Trump 43%
- Wisconsin - 2 Way Hillary Clinton 46% Donald Trump 42%
The big news is the story that the FBI has reopened to investigation into Hillary Clinton. This close to the election, it has become almost impossible to analyse the impact outside of partisan viewpoints. To Democrats, the real story is the blatent politicization of the FBI, and ignoring their previous praise of FBI Director James Comey, they have latched onto the idea that he broke with procedure to announce the investigation in order to damage Clinton. For Republicans, the return of the story is a preview of what a Clinton Presidency will look like. The treatment of the story is so surreal that the revelation that the Justice Department advised Comey against the letter is being interpreted as confirmation by both sides. For Democrats, it is proof he acted inappropriately. For Republicans, it is proof of everything they have alleged regarding the politicization of the Justice Department.
Where voters will come down on this is anyone's guess. My personal prediction is that it will serve to help Trump not so much by damaging Clinton directly, but by throwing the entire campaign narrative off course. It means that for the better part of a week, the major discussion will be the emails rather than Trump, and that rather than focusing on a closing message, Democrats are stuck making viciously partisan attacks on the FBI, one of the most favorably viewed branches of government, and on its Obama-appointed Director. Yes Comey is a Republican, but that message is weaker than the one that he was appointed by Obama, and voters do not find it credible Obama would appoint an FBI director who would support Trump. The Republican line about emails is unlikely to reach people who are not already convinced, but it strikes me that the Democratic one is going to be a hard sell to anyone who is not a committed partisan in full election mode. It is intuitively implausible to most people.
That said, I am unconvinced it will throw the election to Trump. This still looks very much like 2012, with Clinton weaker with African Americans and much stronger with Hispanics. Whether lower turnout among young voters and African Americans will be made up by Hispanics is up in the air, but despite polling, I really don't see Clinton losing Nevada, Colorado, or Virginia at this point, which means Trump needs to win Pennsylvania, where he has failed to lead even partisan polls. At stake may be the difference between a 2008 margin or a 2012 one, but even in places where signs are worst for Democrats in terms of polling and early voting, like Iowa, I would still put money on Hillary Clinton narrowly winning the state.
That said, early voting has not produced the lopsided margins Democrats expected from the double whammy of Trump as the Republican candidate, and the lack of any sort of Trump operation on the ground.
State by State
- Colorado - Colorado is the one place where a Democratic wave appears to be building. Currently more than 1,049,917 votes have been cast, equal to about 40% of the total 2012 electorate and Democrats lead by 37.4% to 34.9%. In 2014 by contrast, Republicans led the early vote by a margin of 7% producing less than a 2% victory in the Senate race. Even absent Republican defections, Clinton appears to be on her way to a margin bigger than Obama's in 2008 here.
- Georgia - As of October 31, 1,517,444, of which 60.6% were by whites. This includes the results for Sunday, when the "Souls to the Polls" campaign to bring African American voters to early voting sites after church services took place. It did close the gap slightly, but nowhere near enough, and it is now almost certain that the Georgian early vote electorate, which will be a majority of the electorate overall, will be whiter than in 2012. Probably substantially so given African Americans made up 35% and 34% those years respectively, and currently sit at 28.4%. Clinton could still do better than Obama in 2012 due to defections by moderate whites in the Atlanta area, but the evidence from 2012 is that there is a very low ceiling for white defections in the state no matter the candidates. It is hard to see the Clinton campaign seeing much promising here.
- Florida - As of the end of Sunday, October 30th, 3,732,408 votes have been cast, which makes up about 43% of the total 2012 electorate and 78% of the 2012 early vote . Margins between the parties are tight. Currently Republicans lead by 9000 votes, 40.5% to 40.2%. As with Georgia however, these figures include Florida's single weekend of early voting, and despite what is normally their most favorable day, Democrats are still behind. They may well take a small lead by the end of the week, but it will likely be closer to 1% rather than the 3% margin from 2012. Turnout as a whole is likely to be up. Both the upshot and Fivethirtyeight have suggested that these figures are misleading due to a Dixecrat exodus which has seen nominal Democrats officially switch to the GOP. This may well be true, but it fails to deal with the fact that turnout is up in absolute terms for everyone except African Americans. These results do not presage a Trump win, but again must be disappointing for Democrats who dreamed of knocking off Marco Rubio on Clinton coattails. The extent of this shift can be seen in the analysis by Daniel Smith who illustrated it in graphical form.
- Iowa - At the end of Sunday, October 30th, 453,044 votes had been cast both in-person and in the form of returned absentee ballots. Democrats lead 198,736 to 155,425 or by about 43,000 votes or around 10%. The Democratic percentage lead has been falling rapidly in recent days, but as noted earlier this week, that is because they are voting proportionally higher rather than actually catching up. Democrats have increased their lead in absolute votes from 37,000 to 43,000 over the last week, and the state is looking increasingly solid for Hillary Clinton in a close national race.
- Nevada - At the end of Sunday, October 30th, 457,276 ballots had been cast, compared to 705,000 total in 2012, and and an overall 2012 electorate of just over 1 million. Democrats lead by 34,000, up from 28,000 on the 27th, and enjoy a margin of 44.3% to 36.4%. Again, the major element of interest is the turnout, which seems on track to exceed 2012's. As with Colorado, this is a state where registration figures are tied, and where a strong Democratic machine exists. As with Iowa, however, the local Republican party is a mess, divided between a Ron Paul and Establishment wing even before Trump arrived to confuse things further. Denny Heck, the Republican Senate candidate has also publicly come out and said he cannot support Trump. The expected result would by a dysfunctional coordinated campaign. Increasingly I am convinced that Democrats are better off here than polls indicate, though likely still worse than 2012.
- North Carolina - As of the end of October 30th, 1,647,314 votes had been cast, of which 44.2% were by Democrats, 30.7% from Republicans, 70.5% by whites and 22.5% from African Americans. Lower African American turnout was blamed on the differential opening times between counties, and turnout did go up over the weekend when more sites opened, but not to the degree that would indicate the african american % from 2012, 27.4%, is achievable. And the same phenomenon is visible in Georgia which did not have any changes to the system. Having had our weekend "Souls to the Polls" and seeing African American turnout still stuck at 22.5%, it is nearly impossible to imagine it reaching anywhere close to the 2012 figure of 27.4%. In fact, it looks like turnout may be down overall from 2012, at least in terms of early voting. We are barely 60% of the way to the 2.8 million 2012 hall. Again, pollsters seem convinced Hillary Clinton is up here, based on white defections, but the concern i have is that those Romnery-Clinton whites are simply not bothering to vote, as are quite a few African Americans.
- Texas - Turnout has begun to slow down in Texas, with 2.6 million having voted by the end of Sunday. That is a bit over half of what it was in 2012. Turnout has also slowed in Hispanic heavy border counties after a strong start, while it is beating records in GOP areas. A good example is to compare Fort Bend County, a GOP suburb, with El Paso county. El Paso has 428, 320 registered voters compared to only 404,038, but on Sunday,5,729 voted in Fort Bend while only 3,013 voted in El Paso. The current totals for El Paso and Fort Bend are 90,809 and 127,922 respectively. Trends are moving against Democrats here.