Election 2016 Polls: Nate Silver Blog Projects Tough Climb For Donald Trump, He Must Win Almost Every Swing State

Christine Beswick - Author

Oct. 29 2016, Updated 9:41 a.m. ET

This week, the 2016 election polls from USA Today/Suffolk University poll found Hillary Clinton with a “formidable lead approaching 10 percentage points.” Other outlets, such as the Guardian, are reporting that her lead is getting narrower by the day.

The Nate Silver blog, Project 538, released a projection model that has successfully predicted the outcome of both the 2008 and 2012 elections, adding that it’s in everybody’s best interest to “push the narrative” that the race is tight.

This narrative would get complacent Hillary Clinton voters out to vote on Election Day, says Project 538, the Nate Silver blog endorsed by the New York Times. A “narrow lead narrative” also gives Donald Trump a chance to tell his supporters he still has a fighting chance.

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However, the Nate Silver blog Project 538 says in a separate report that the narrow lead is all up to interpretation, and that the reality is that Donald Trump must win almost every swing state to win the election.

The Nate Silver blog also says that’s a very remote possibility at this stage of the game. Of course, anything is still possible.

Time Magazine reported in 2009 that Nate Silver became one of “The World’s 100 Most Influential People” when he successfully predicted the outcome of the 2008 election in 49 states. That led to the New York Times offering Project 538 a license for publication. A Webby Award was also given to the Nate Silver blog in 2013 for “Best Political Blog” as awarded by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.

When 2012 rolled around, the Nate Silver blog was 50 for 50. Today, using a projection model that compiles all recent polling data from every single source on the two candidates for Elections 2016, Nate Silver says that Hillary Clinton is ahead of Donald Trump. Project 538 says Donald Trump will need to win “almost every swing state” to stand a chance at the Oval Office.

In a recent report, Nate Silver writes that Hillary Clinton maintains a five- or six-point lead in national polls. The New York Timestracking data also compiles information from all polls, and it has the same numbers.

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At this stage of the game, the race is a state-by-state competition, and Nate Silver says, “Donald Trump’s options in the Electoral College have been significantly narrowed.”

Nate Silver says Donald Trump’s must-win states have changed considerably since before the presidential debates. Nate Silver calls Hillary Clinton the winner of the first debate, a trend that continued through the next two debates. Nate Silver also says that before the debates, both Florida and North Carolina were leaning red but aren’t anymore.

Project 538 and most political pundits agree that without Florida, Donald Trump can’t win the election. According to Project 538, Florida has been getting bluer by the day.

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Project 538 further notes that Hillary Clinton’s chance of winning the election averages lately to around 83 percent. If she wins specific swing states like Florida, Nate Silver’s blog projects her chances of winning at around 90 percent. However, if Donald Trump wins Florida, he still only has a 60 percent chance of winning the election, writes Nate Silver.

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Nate Silver recently tweeted that the polls in Florida, across all nation-wide polls, have been “uncannily consistent” and lean toward Hillary Clinton, with her leading in Florida by three to four points in many polls. On his electoral map on the Nate Silver blog, he still only gives her a 65 percent chance of winning Florida.

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Donald Trump must win all or almost all swing states to win, and he has a much tougher path to 270 than Hillary Clinton, according to Project 538.

The Nate Silver blog writes, “This decline for Trump tells us that there’s no magic bullet for him in terms of the electoral map anymore. Clinton has more paths to victory. She can afford to lose any of these 14 states and still have somewhere between a 21 percent and 64 percent chance of winning. There’s not a single state now where Trump wins the Electoral College in at least 80 percent of the simulations.”

Even worse for Trump, says Project 538, there are four states that he must claim in order to win the election. Those are Ohio, North Carolina, Florida, and Iowa. Today, Ohio and Iowa are leaning Trump, but Florida and North Carolina are not.

According to the Project 538 electoral college map data, Donald Trump leads in Ohio and has a 51.2 percent chance of winning that state if the election happened today and reflected polling data. This same map shows Donald Trump’s chance of winning Iowa is 50.1 percent. Hillary Clinton has a 64.5 percent chance of winning Florida and a 63.8 percent chance of winning North Carolina if the election happened today and reflected polling data.

Donald Trump must win them all to have a chance. This is why averages are so important for Project 538 that says the race could still tighten and these numbers could change.

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Nate Silver also says that the electoral college map is not Donald Trump’s biggest challenge now, even though it is a state-by-state contest. He says that the five- to six-point lead nationally is going to be Trump’s biggest problem come Election Day unless that number narrows or “the race tightens.”

[Featured Image by John Locher/AP Images]


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