Electoral College Map Suggests Race Could Be Closer Than It Appears, Could Come Down To New Hampshire

As the Inquisitr previously reported, there are numerous indicators that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton is poised to win today’s presidential election. Not the least of these indicators is the fact that polling maestro and election-prediction phenom Nate Silver is giving Clinton a 70 percent chance of winning the race.

Silver is basing his prediction on polling data, Electoral College projections, and other data.

According to RealClearPolitics‘ (RCP) “Battle for the White House” map of projected Electoral College votes, Clinton came into Election Day with 203 Electoral College votes secured to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s 164, with the 171 remaining Electoral College votes divided up between 15 “toss up” states.

That means that to secure the 270 Electoral College votes needed for an electoral victory, Donald Trump would have to win 106 of the 171 toss-up votes. Those are tough odds when the margins are razor thin in so many of those states.

There is one interesting, or troubling (depending on your views), factor that has to be taken into account when considering RCP‘s “Battle for the White House” Electoral College map: Assigning all of the toss-up states to a candidate, based on whichever candidate entered Election Day with a lead in that state (regardless of how thin the margin may have been), creates a much different picture.

RCP has created data for that scenario as well with their “No Toss Up States” map. That map shows Clinton leading by a dangerously close margin of only 272 to 266. If those numbers stand, she would still secure the presidency.

But that’s a very big “if” thanks to one very small state.

New Hampshire falls under the Clinton column in the “No Toss Up States” scenario, but it is nevertheless a swing state. That’s because, according to RCP, the Democratic candidate holds only a 0.6 aggregate lead in New Hampshire right now. And that lead comes from an outlier poll conducted by local ABC affiliate WMUR and the University of New Hampshire that gave Clinton a curious 11 point lead over Trump in the state.

Without that poll, Trump is leading in New Hampshire. In five of the six other polls that have come out of the state in recent weeks, Trump was either tied with Clinton or leading her. In the one poll that had Clinton ahead, she was ahead by only one point.

That means that Clinton’s RCP aggregate lead in New Hampshire is razor thin, and New Hampshire is a bit of an anomaly in New England in that it’s known for having a conservative streak. High voter turnout among Republicans in the state could undercut any lead Clinton may have, if she does, in fact, have one.

That would mean New Hampshire’s four Electoral College votes would go to Trump instead of Clinton, giving him the 270 Electoral College votes he needs to win and knocking Clinton down to 268 votes — if the rest of RCP‘s “No Toss Up States” map held.

On the other hand, there are also states where Trump holds an equally tenuous lead over Clinton. For instance, in North Carolina, he currently holds only a 1 point lead, according to RCP.

It’s factors like these that make any election prediction a bit precarious. Nate Silver and his FiveThirtyEight crew, however, have such a proven record of predicting election outcomes about a 91 percent accuracy rate by their own account that it’s reasonably safe to assume they’re right this time as well.

To be fair, there is one big prediction Silver got all wrong. As he’s previously acknowledged, he never saw Trump winning the Republican nomination until it was basically already a done deal.

Clinton has such a strong Electoral College lead going into the race, she’s still favored to win. If she does lose because of New Hampshire, one of the smallest states in the Union, it will undoubtedly renew debate about the role of the Electoral College in our elections, especially if she wins the popular vote.

[Featured image by SeL | Wikimedia Commons | Cropped and Resized | CC0 1.0 ]