State of the race

Every day pollsters ask the American people: Trump or Clinton?

 

760,000 Americans have been surveyed in more than 700 polls since the start of the year: that’s nearly three polls per day.

 

Every day we capture the state of the race: both nationally and in Florida, the most important ‘swing state’, which Trump must win to become President.

TrumpClinton
National polls37.7%43.8%
Polls in Florida41.1%45.3%
Latest prediction230308 ✓

Our numbers are a rolling average of all the polls. We track every poll being published, sourced from the Huffington Post.

 

RealClearPolitics, another polling aggregator, only tracks a fraction of polls; RCP’s final average of the polls underrated Obama’s victory by 3 points in 2012.

 

RCP do not track the four major internet pollsters – Ipsos/Reuters, Morning Consult, NBC/Survey Monkey and YouGov/Economist – who have run more than half of the polls published in 2016.

How did we get here?

The US presidential election has been underway for more than a year.

 

If you’re just tuning in, here’s who Trump and Clinton defeated to become their party’s nominees.

 

What happened to the BushClinton fight the punditry expected? Or Marco Rubio? And why isn’t Barack Obama on the ballot?

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Hover over the heads... ...to relive the race so far. White House
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Trump’s rapid rise

Trump quickly became the Republican frontrunner after announcing his longshot candidacy in June 2015. Pundits disbelieved the polls, which had often showed short-lived surges for unlikely candidates in past elections. But Trump’s support proved to be both real and from a range of supporters in Feb 2015, when he won three of the first four primaries. He went on to win more than twenty of the next thirty contests, and secured the nomination on the night of May 3.

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CLINTON’S PATH

Ever since losing to Obama in the 2008 Democratic primaries, Clinton had been discussed as a strong candidate for 2016. She enjoyed overwhelming support from the Democratic establishment during 2015 and avoided a tougher fight when Joe Biden, Obama’s Vice President, chose not to run. She has beaten Sanders much more comfortably than Obama beat her in 2008.

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Cruz’s collapse

“In this election, the moderate lane is unbelievably crowded, they’ll rip each other apart…”, Cruz told donors in December, promising them he’d become the party’s conservative flagbearer. Cruz did outlast all the moderates, but Trump never faded as he had hoped. Cruz ultimately fared little better than past conservative candidates, from Rick Santorum in 2012 to Mike Huckabee in 2008.

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Bernie’s revolution

Despite raising more than $185 million in small donations, a level of grassroots support only ever matched by Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders’ unlikely presidential campaign suffered from a lack of organisation and an inability to win over non-white voters, who almost make up a majority of Democratic primary voters. Sanders won many small states, but Clinton won almost all the big ones.

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Latest Polls

Clinton has led Trump for all of 2016.

 

Trump pulled close recently but has since faded.

 

Barack Obama beat John McCain by 7 points in 2008, and Mitt Romney by 5 in 2012. Democrats have won the popular vote in five of the past six elections.

In the first five months of 2016, exactly 100 Trump v Clinton polls were published.

 

Trump led in the first three of those polls, but Clinton led in all but eight of the following 97.

 

Apart from one week in mid-May, when three polls put Trump ahead, Clinton has clearly led in every week of the race so far.

 

Election Explained

The race for the Presidency will be won and lost in the ‘swing’ or ‘battleground’ states marked in gold below.

 

National polls give a good idea of who’s ahead, but Al Gore won the popular vote in 2000 – yet lost to Bush after controversially losing Florida.

Election Explained
Election Explained

The ‘swing states’ coloured in gold below are based on the 2012 election, when Obama won nine of these states and beat Romney fairly comfortably. But the swing states could change this year: Trump may make competitive some states that typically vote strongly for Democrats, like Michigan and New Jersey. Or Clinton could compete in supposedly safe red states like Arizona and Georgia, which are becoming less white.

Election Explained
Election Explained

Either way, Democrats will win the states along the Western seaboard, from Washington and Oregon in the north to California in the south. California is worth 55 of the 270 votes any candidate needs to become President and is the backbone of Democratic election victories.

Election Explained

While the Democrats’ greatest prize is California, Republican hopes start in Texas, which counts for 38 votes. Almost all of ‘middle America’ is likely to vote Republican, with only Nevada and Colorado in play.

Election Explained

The election will be won and lost in the Mid-West (or ‘the high-tech Corridor of the Industrial Northeast,’ as Toby put it) and across the Eastern Seaboard. Democrats win the tiny states to the very eastern tip of America, while Republicans have a fairly clean sweep in the southern states.

Latest In Key States

This is the one table to keep track of as the flood of news, polls and analysis is released each day.

 

Who’s ahead and how much does each state matter? If Trump wins Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio – and states Romney won in 2012 – he’ll be President.

Obama in 2012?TrumpClintonClinton in 2016?
FloridaFlorida … 29+0.9%
PennsylvaniaPennsylvania … 20+5.4%
OhioOhio … 18+3.0%
North CarolinaNorth Carolina … 15-2.0%
VirginiaVirginia … 13+3.9%
WisconsinWisconsin … 10+6.9%
ColoradoColorado … 9+5.4%n/an/an/a
NevadaNevada … 6+6.7%n/an/an/a
IowaIowa … 6+5.8%
New HampshireNew Hampshire … 4+5.6%

 

Clinton leads in 5 of these golden ‘swing states’, which gives her 82 electoral votes.

 

Trump leads in 5, leaving him with 48 votes from these states.

Latest Prediction

In the map below, Clinton is all but guaranteed to win all the states coloured in blue, with Trump very likely to triumph in the red ones.

 

If Clinton wins these ‘safe states’, she will need just 43 of the 130 votes up for grabs in the ten golden ‘swing states’.

 

The ‘safe states’ leave both candidates short of the 270 votes needed for victory, but bring Clinton much closer to winning than Trump.

Latest Prediction Map

Clinton is on course to win 82 votes from these states, so we currently predict she will win in a landslide with 308 electoral votes overall.

 

That’s more than Bush won in 2000 and 2004, and Obama won in 2012, but fewer than he managed in 2008.

 

She wins all the states Obama won in 2012 as well as North Carolina.

 

(Trump probably wins if both candidates end up with 269 votes.)

Our Prediction Map

Clinton is on course for a landslide, one similar to Barack Obama’s victory in 2008. Trump currently trails in all ten of the key swing states, including North Carolina, the only state among them which Obama didn’t win in 2012.

Trump Wins Map

Trump must win Florida, the largest swing state, if he hopes to win the election. He’ll also need Ohio and probably Pennsylvania. Those are the three most important states for him.

Clinton Landslide Map

Clinton is on course for a landslide, one similar to Barack Obama’s victory in 2008. Trump currently trails in all ten of the key swing states, including North Carolina, the only state among them which Obama didn’t win in 2012.

Who's voting for who?

Americans are more divided than ever. The typical Democrat and typical Republican are now further apart ideologically than at any time in the past 20 years.

 

The US is likely to have become even more polarised in the past year, after the radical campaigns run by Trump and Sanders.

 

America is divided not just by ideology, but by gender, race, education, income and religion.

 

Current polls suggest the greatest gender gap in election history, with men backing Trump and women behind Clinton.

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