A day after noting the competitiveness of the New Hampshire senate race, a new poll comes out with incumbent Republican Kelly Ayotte leading by 9 points. I’m suspicious that the poll is an outlier, but it has shifted the projection for the race from Weak DEM Gain to Weak GOP Hold. With one less takeover in today’s Senate projections, the Democrats are now projected to earn 46 seats, falling 3 seats short of the majority if you include the two independent senators who caucus with them. Illinois and Wisconsin, two very problematic holds for Republicans, are still painted blue on the Senate map, leaving the GOP with a projected 52 seats.
In the race for the White House between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, my home state of North Carolina has flipped from Weak GOP Hold to Weak DEM Gain due to two recent polls each giving Clinton a 2-point advantage. The switch of 15 more electoral votes into her account brings the projected EV tally in the presidential election to 349-189 in favor of the former First Lady. That 160 electoral vote margin is 34 larger than President Obama’s 2012 victory.
If the polls are right – and that’s a big if – Trump’s attempts to gain a larger following haven’t been successful yet. However, we’re still months away from the start of voting. There is plenty of time left for the numbers to shift back and forth multiple times before November. I’d caution either side against getting too high or too low about the polls we’re currently seeing. We’ve still got a long and nasty road to travel before our next president is known.