Polls Tighten, but the Electoral College Map Tells a Different Story
Policy + Politics

Polls Tighten, but the Electoral College Map Tells a Different Story


Hillary Clinton may not have shined Wednesday night in a town hall about national security and America’s armed forces, but one force is with her: Electoral College math.

Related: What Happens If Neither Clinton Nor Trump Get Enough Electoral Votes?

A new examination of the Electoral College map by the news, polling and market research organization Morning Consult gives Clinton 321 votes to 195 for Donald Trump if the election were held today. A candidate needs 270 votes to win the presidency.

While Clinton holds only narrow, within-the-margin-of-error leads in battleground states such as Florida, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, Morning Consult has seen voter sentiment shifting since its last deep look at the Electoral College in July.

Source: Morning Consult, September 8, 2016 analysis.

Trump maintains small leads in New Mexico and North Carolina, for example, but he is losing his edge in Arizona. And while voters in Ohio were leaning toward him in July, Clinton has now gained strength there. She is also getting more support in Nevada and Wisconsin, Morning Consult reported.

Clinton was on the defensive at last night’s NBC News town hall arranged by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and held on the Intrepid, a decommissioned aircraft carrier on the Hudson River in New York. Many of the questions by moderator Matt Lauer and veterans from the audience were about her email woes. A new NBC/Survey Monkey poll, taken before the town hall, shows Trump leading Clinton by almost 20 points among military and veteran voters.

Trump is also doing better in national polls. A recent CNN poll shows him ahead of Clinton by two points, though most other polls still show him trailing, albeit by a smaller margin than a month ago. The Real Clear Politics poll average shows Clinton with a three point lead.

But in the end the only math that counts belongs to the Electoral College, which still points to a substantial Clinton victory.