CNN’s Political Prediction Market currently gives the Republicans only a 25 percent chance of winning the Presidency. Perhaps worse is that Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball has just revealed its first revision to their 2016 Electoral College map initially rolled out last May, before Donald Trump developed cult-like following.
The initial pre-Trump cult map predicted a close, competitive general election, with the Electoral Votes slightly favoring the Democrats — Democrats 247, Republicans 206 and 85 toss-ups. Sabato and company say its now “crystal clear” that Hillary Clinton will be the Democrats’ candidate, and with Trump the leading the race to be the Republican nominee they have revised the map. The revisions come with many caveats. The major one being the reliability of the polls:
Polls may be ephemeral and sometimes wildly inaccurate, yet surveys (and demographics) are the only hard data we have this far out from the election. The polling averages for a Clinton-Trump face-off show roughly a 10 percentage point lead for the Democrat. RealClearPolitics has Clinton up about 11 points and HuffPost Pollster gives Clinton a lead of about nine points.
They also don’t buy the theory that Trump’s “appeal” to blue-collar whites in Rust Belt states could pull those states’ electoral votes into the Republican column. Nor the theory that increased Republican primary turnout this year will save the Republicans.
So for a Hillary/Trump election the revisions to the Crystal Ball Electoral College Map all go the Democrats way. All seven states rated toss-ups, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Virginia all changed to lean Democrat. Indiana was changed from Safe Republican to Likely Republican. Nebraska was changed from Likely Republican to Leans Republican. North Carolina and Oregon changed from Likely Democrat to Safe Democrat. The bottom line after the revisions is a solid Hillary win over Trump:
Election analysts prefer close elections, but there was nothing we could do to make this one close. Clinton’s total is 347 electoral votes, which includes 190 safe, 57 likely, and 100 that lean in her direction. Trump has a total of 191 (142 safe, 48 likely, and 1 leans).
Rubbing salt into the GOP’s wounds, the Crystal Ball folk say that Hillary “is a beatable candidate” having unique vulnerabilities as a result of being “shopworn after a quarter-century of public controversies.”
Sabato and Company do offer a ray of hope. If the Republicans manage to nominate Sen. Ted Cruz, the November election would be closer:
Cruz would have a better chance of overcoming a gap of three or four points than Trump would of bridging a 10 or 11-point difference.