More than seven-in-10 GOP insiders, 71 percent, say the polls understate Trump’s support because voters don’t want to admit to pollsters that they are backing the controversial Republican nominee.
With that in mind, here’s what my instincts tell me…
- North Carolina will go to Trump. Reports about early voting are all over the place, but low turnout among African-Americans and large increases in the unaffiliated vote (a presumably Trump-heavy voting bloc) lead me to believe Trump will win my home state.
- Clinton will take Nevada. Harry Reid’s comfortable victory in Nevada back in 2010 when polls going in showed him struggling and reports that Clark County, a huge Democratic stronghold, is coming out ahead of 2012’s pace compel me to buck current polls and expect these six EVs to end up in Hillary’s basket.
- Iowa and Ohio will be Trump pickups. The electorates in these two states are well-matched with Donald Trump’s message. Combine that with solid polling data in his favor and alarmingly low turnout rates in Ohio’s heavily African-American counties, and you have a recipe for important GOP wins in both states.
- Colorado is another state that is ripe for a Trump victory. My hunch is that he’ll get its 9 electoral votes by a very narrow margin.
- Several states, such as New Hampshire, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are moving Trump’s way. New Hampshire, as today’s numbers attest, appears to be the most likely to go red, but Trump has a chance in the others as well. However, the outcomes in these states depend on whether Trump’s surge continues through Election Day. If it does, he could very well win them all. If it doesn’t, he’s likely to lose them all.
- That brings us to Florida. Polls early this week looked very good for Trump, and a Republican view of early vote trends seems encouraging as well. However, the most recent polls have shown Clinton re-establishing a bit of a lead here, and the Democratic view of the early vote comes to a pro-Hillary conclusion. Could we be in for a 2000 election redux in the Sunshine State? My instincts keep wavering on who will win Florida’s 29 EVs. One thing’s for sure. I’ll be surprised if either candidate carries the state by more than a percent or two.
So we have Hillary Clinton currently winning the projection here at EP, but flip North Carolina and Maine CD-2 (which I also believe Trump will win), and Donald Trump reaches 270 EVs. My instincts say North Carolina will indeed flip and that Nevada and Colorado will switch colors. If these outcomes materialize and if there is no hidden vote for Trump and if his momentum levels off between now and Tuesday, (yeah, I know, lots of ‘ifs’) then it will all come down to Florida. Yep, we may be in for another long night of election coverage which could well introduce a whole new generation of voters to the term “chad.”