Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Fight for Battleground States

battleground state

Donald Trump must take battleground states: Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Ohio to win the 2016 presidential election. As of October 13, Trump needs 113 electoral votes for the total 270, as reported by the 270towin Electoral Map.

Statistics From Combined Polls for Battleground States:

Colorado – Clinton +6
Iowa – Trump +5
Michigan – Clinton +9
New Hampshire – Clinton +5
Nevada – Clinton +3
Virginia – Clinton +11
Pennsylvania – Clinton +7
Wisconsin – Clinton +5
Florida – Clinton +3
North Carolina – Clinton +3
Ohio – Trump +0.4

Georgia is not considered a battleground state but with electoral votes, the state was leaning Republican, as reported by poll results on October 13. These statistics were collected from the five most recent survey results conducted in the battleground states.

The CNN/ORC poll, conducted October 13-15, shows the biggest lead for Trump in the battleground state of Ohio, by four points. The only survey, among the top five, that shows Clinton leading, in the same state, is the one from CBS News/YouGov. The other three surveys reveal that the presidential race is neck-and-neck.

The survey asked questions about the release of Trump’s locker-room talk video and people agreed that it showed his true attitude toward women. CNN compared the October survey with those taken in August and September. It does not appear that the video or the forthcoming accusations have hurt him in Ohio or North Carolina. Is it possible he will gain the votes in the battleground states?

Caucasian voters with a college degree, in the battleground states of North Carolina and Nevada, prefer Clinton by a wide margin, which is significantly more narrow in Ohio. However, the same was true for Mitt Romney in 2012.

Comparison of 2012 and 2016 Election Polls:

Election maps show more than geography. There is an election map broken up by U.S. counties that show the religions, ethnicities, races, cultures and history of each region. This style map can make the country appear mostly conservative. However, it reveals geographical patterns that cannot be analyzed using the regular election map. One such pattern is that Blue areas can be found along the shores of major rivers and the oceans. These areas started as small settlements before they grew into large cities. Democrats tend to dominate in these areas.

Cultural and demographic changes in metropolitan areas that have increased education and diversity have made Democrats more popular. Upshot’s election analyst, Nate Cohn, believes Clinton will fare better among voters in these cities than President Barack Obama did in 2012. John Heilemann, the managing editor for Bloomberg Politics, stated that Clinton speaks directly to female college voters. Her base is strongest in this population, which could likely win her the election. This is the same population that Trump needs to turn around in the battleground states over the next couple weeks.

The Map of Gay Marriage in America, in 2016, looks similar to the 2012 electoral map. The LGBT community is generalized to larger cities. The only difference in these two maps is race, which is a significant component in determining party affiliation. Cohn refers to the Gay Marriage Map as one of “white liberalism.”

This map does not show the strength of the Democrats in the old Black Belt – named for the soil that was rich on the cotton plantations in the interior South. These areas have a high percentage of African-Americans who are left-wing supporters.

An interesting difference between the 2012 and the 2016 Gay Marriage Map is that Mormons are not in favor of the Republican candidate. Utah, which has not been a battleground state, could likely vote Democrat or Independent in the 2016 election.

Currently, there is a four-way race in Utah. Polling results for October show Trump ahead by five points. He was at 30.8 percent, Clinton at 25.2, Evan McMullin at 24.4, and Gary Johnson at 8 percent. None of the data shows Clinton in the lead, however, the Emerson Poll indicated that Independent McMullin had a four-point lead that he has held since August. Clinton has maintained a 24-25 percent voter base. The only change in the state’s polls overall is a declining support for Trump, since August, when he had a 15-point lead.

The biggest difference between the 2012 election and the 2016 election polls, thus far, is the education level of white voters. Toni Monkovic, an editor for Upshot, states that this has a direct impact in the states where the race is competitive or Trump is ahead. These states include Northern Ohio, New England, New York, Michigan, Northern Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. The majority of his support comes from the Northern white working-class voters, where he could possibly gain battleground states. Will this be enough?

Two Weeks to Election Day

On October 21, POLITICO’s Battleground Project showed that Clinton has taken six of the 11 states. She currently has at least a 5-point lead over Trump in Michigan, Colorado, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, and Virginia. However, The Telegraph believes the polls averaged by Real Clear Politics, show Trump closing the gap in some areas, as of October 25.

The double-digit lead held by Clinton is being overcome by Trump appeal. Nevertheless, there are two weeks before election day and The Telegraph warns that anything can happen. The New York Times has stated that 14 days before previous elections, the national polling average has been off from the final results by as many as four points.

Polls show an average of the popular vote, which is different from the electoral level. In 2008, Barack Obama had 53 percent of the popular vote but won 68 percent of the votes from the electoral college. States, such as California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, Texas, and Florida offer the largest possible numbers from the electoral college, ranging from 20 to 55 electoral votes. Winning these six states would grant a candidate 191 out of the necessary 270 electoral votes. This is the primary difference between the polls and reality.

Currently, Clinton seems to have California, Illinois, and New York. Pennsylvania is leaning toward the Democratic candidate, but as of October 24, Texas and Florida remain undecided. Among the seven battleground states that Clinton has not overtaken, Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina, and Florida are all undecided. “Morning Joe” states that the phone polls could be inaccurate. Guest, Chris Cillizza, from The Washington Post, stated that people may not be willing to tell pollsters that they support the Republican candidate, who defiles and belittles women.

In most of the nation, including the battleground states, Clinton is showing an overall 4-point lead. This is what national polls are currently showing, nevertheless, there are political consultants that believe anything could happen in these final two weeks. This is especially true if the Republican candidate continues to speak on the message of the party, making this election bigger than himself.

By Jeanette Smith


CNN: Tight races remain in three battlegrounds: Nevada, North Carolina and Ohio
Real Clear Politics: Utah: Trump vs. Clinton vs. Johnson vs. Stein vs. McMullin
The New York Times Upshot: What This 2012 Tells Us About American, and the Election

Featured Image Courtesy of Sander van der Wel’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Top Image Courtesy of Chris Camacho – Used With Permission

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