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Electoral College map 2016 projection: Hillary Clinton 294, GOP candidate 244

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While the 2016 presidential election may be 975 days away, speculation is already mounting on who the candidates will be and which party will win. The following projection is for those political junkies amongst us who want a prediction of the 2016 Electoral College before one should reasonably be provided. This projection gives 303 Electoral College votes to Democrats in 2016, compared to 235 Electoral College Vote for Republicans. The projection includes all polling available recently released, which at this point is rare but existent. Over the last 48 hours new polls have been released from Quinnipiac for Colorado and Public Policy Polling for Wisconsin.

So how are these projections made?

First, I looked to how Democrats and Republicans performed in the last three presidential elections. While past results do not always indicate future performance, there presidential elections give us a fairly good idea of how the demographics of each state favor or disfavor each party. More emphasis is put on the last presidential result, 2012, since that date is obviously more recent and, therefore, more likely to be accurate.

Second, I look to how each state is trending. Trends are determined by looking at the last three presidential elections and also the changing demographics of each state.

Finally, the projection also accounts for any polling done within that state and the national polls done thus far. A Real Clear Politics average of national polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton, should she decide to run, with a sizeable lead over any potential There are some polls that have been done in individual states already for the 2016 presidential election. However, the overall number is sparse and the data is less likely to be accurate given how far away we are from the election. Therefore, at this point the past election results are given more weight. However, in the future polls will take on more significance. In analyzing the current poll I look at the numbers for the best candidate from each party in each poll. In most cases, that turns out to be former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for Democrats and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for Republicans.

So with no further delay, here is a projection for the 2016 presidential election.

Safe Democratic States

State, Electoral Votes, 04 Result, 08 Result, 12 Result, Most Recent Poll

  • California (55) –(D) 54%-44%, (D) 61%-37%, 37%, (D) 60%-37%, None
  • Connecticut (7) – (D) 54%-44%, (D) 61%-38%, (D) 58%-41%, None
  • Delaware (3) – (D) 53%-46%, (D) 62%-37%, (D) 59%-40%, None
  • Hawaii (4) – (D) 54%-45%, (D) 72%-27%, (D) 71%-28%, None
  • Illinois (20) – (D) 55%-45%, (D) 62%-37%, (D) 58%-41%, None
  • Maine (4) – (D) 54%-45%, (D) 58%-40%, (D) 56%-41%, None
  • Maryland (10) – (D) 56%-43%, (D) 62%-37%, (D) 62%-37%, None
  • Massachusetts (11) – (D) 62%-37%, (D) 62%-36%, (D) 61%-38%, None
  • Michigan (16) – (D) 51%-48%, (D) 57%-41%, (D) 54%-45%, 46% (Clinton) v. 37% (Christie) PPP
  • Minnesota (10) – (D) 51%-48%, (D) 54%-44%, (D) 53%-45%, None
  • Nevada (6) – (R) 51%-48%, (D) 55%-43%, (D) 52%-46%, None
  • New Mexico (5) – (R) 50%-49%, (D) 57%-42%, (D) 53%-43%, None
  • New Jersey (14) – (D) 53%-46%, (D) 57%-42%, (D) 58%-41%, None
  • New York (29) – (D) 58%-40%, (D) 63%-36%, (D) 63%-35%, None
  • Oregon (7) – (D) 52%-47%, (D) 57%-40%, (D) 54%-42%, None
  • Rhode Island (4) – (D) 59%-39%, (D) 63%-35%, (D) 63%-35%, None
  • Vermont (3) – (D) 59%-39%, (D) 68%-30%, (D) 67%-31%, None
  • Washington (12) – (D) 53%-46%, (D) 58%-41%, (D) 57%-41%, None

Total Electoral Votes: 223

Analysis: As was the case in 2012, the Democrats likely will start with a much bigger base of safe states than Republicans. This is a tremendous advantage as it practically means that the Democratic candidate will only have to win fewer swing states in order to obtain 270 electoral votes. Republicans, on the other hand, will need to win nearly all the swing states to get to 270.

President Obama won every state listed above by at least six points in 2008, and won each state by an equal or larger margin in 2012. The Demographics of most of these states (i.e. high Hispanic population in New Mexico) should make these states even more favorable for Democrats in 2016. The list above does not even include Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes) and Wisconsin (10 electoral votes). President Obama won both states by over five points in 2008, but they were both still listed in the swing states since Republicans may find a way to compete in the states four years from now.

Safe Republican States

State, Electoral Votes, 04 Result, 08 Result, 12 Result, Most Recent Poll

  • Alabama (9) – (R) 63%-37%, (R) 60%-39%, (R) 61%-38%, None
  • Alaska (3) – (R) 61%-36%, (R) 59%-38%, (R) 55%-41%, None
  • Arkansas (6) - (R) 54%-45%, (R) 59%-39%, (R) 61%-37%, None
  • Idaho (4) - (R) 69%-30%, (R) 62%-36%, (R) 65%-33%, None
  • Indiana (11) - (R) 60%-39%, (D) 50%-49%, (R) 54%-44%, None
  • Kansas (6) - (R) 62%-37%, (R) 57%-42%, (R) 60%-38%, None
  • Louisiana (8) - (R) 57%-42%, (R) 59%-40%, (R) 58%-41%, None
  • Kentucky (8) - (R) 60%-40%, (R) 57%-41%, (R) 60%-38%, None
  • Mississippi (6) - (R) 60%-40%, (R) 56%-43%, (R) 55%-44%, None
  • Missouri (10) - (R) 53%-46%, (R) 49%-49%, (R) 54%-44%, None
  • Nebraska (5) - (R) 66%-33%, (R) 56%-42%, (R) 60%-38%, None
  • North Dakota (3) - (R) 63%-36%, (R) 53%-45%, (R) 58%-39%, None
  • Oklahoma (7) - (R) 66%-34%, (R) 66%-34%, (R) 67%-33%, None
  • South Carolina (9) - (R) 58%-41%, (R) 54%-45%, (R) 55%-44%, None
  • South Dakota (3) - (R) 60%-38%, (R) 53%-45%, (R) 58%-40%, None
  • Tennessee (11) - (R) 57%-43%, (R) 57%-42%, (R) 59%-39%, None
  • Texas (38) - (R) 61%-38%, (R) 56%-44%, (R) 57%-41%, None
  • Utah (6) - (R) 73%-26%, (R) 63%-34%, (R) 73%-25%, None
  • West Virginia (5) - (R) 56%-43%, (R) 56%-43%, (R) 62%-36%, None
  • Wyoming (3) - (R) 69%-29%, (R) 65%-33%, (R) 69%-28%, None

Total Electoral Votes: 164

Analysis: Mitt Romney won all the states above by at least ten points in 2012 in a disappointing turnout year for Republicans. Democrats dream of a day when they can compete in Texas given the large and growing Hispanic population in the state, but 2016 is likely one presidential election too soon for such hopes since Romney won the state by 16 points in 2012.

The bad news for Republicans is that they start with a much smaller base even including Texas in their win column. As a result, Republicans will have to win almost all the swing states below to take back the White House in 2016.

Swing States

State, Electoral Votes, 04 Result, 08 Result, 12 Result, Most Recent Poll

  • Arizona (11) - (R) 55%-44%, (R) 54%-45%, (R) 54%-45%, None, Projected Republican Keep
  • Colorado (9) - (R) 52%-47%, (D) 54%-45%, (D) 51%-46%, 48% (Paul) v. 43% (Clinton) Quinnipiac, Projected Republican Take
  • Florida (29) - (R) 52%-49%, (D) 51%-48%, (D) 50%-49%, 49% (Clinton) v. 43% (Bush) Quinnipiac, Projected Republican Take
  • Georgia (16) - (R) 58%-41%, (R) 52%-47%, (R) 53%-45%, None, Projected Republican Keep
  • Iowa (6) - (R) 50%-49%, (D) 54%-44%, (D) 52%-46%, 46% (Clinton) – 42% (Huckabee) PPP,
  • North Carolina (15) - (R) 56%-44%, (D) 50%-49%, (R) 50%-48%, 45% (Clinton) v. 44% (Bush) PPP, Projected Republican Keep
  • New Hampshire (4) - (D) 50%-49%, (D) 54%-45%, (D) 52%-46%, 44% (Clinton) v. 42% (Christie) Purple Strategies, Projected Democrat Keep
  • Ohio (18) - (R) 51%-49%, (D) 52%-47%, (D) 51%-48%, 49% (Clinton) v. 40% (Ryan) Quinnipiac, Projected Democrat Keep
  • Pennsylvania (20) - (D) 51%-49%, (D) 55%-44%, (D) 52%-47%, 46% (Clinton) v. 41% (Christie) Quinnipiac, Projected Democrat Keep
  • Virginia (13) – (R) 54%-46, (D) 53%-46%, (D) 51%-47%, 45% (Clinton) v. 41% (Christie) Quinnipiac, Projected Democrat Keep
  • Wisconsin (10) - (D) 50%-49%, (D) 56%-42%, (D) 53%-46%, 50% (Clinton) v. 45% (Ryan) PPP, Projected Democrat Keep

National Polls

Analysis: The usual suspects of Florida, Ohio, and Virginia will show up in the swing state list again in 2016. Republicans will need to take back at least two of these states (probably Florida and Ohio) to have any hope of winning in 2016. The bad news for Republicans is that the Demographics of all three states favor Democrats with a growing population of African-Americans and Hispanics.

If Republicans are feeling industrious they may try to compete in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin in 2016 to try and give their candidate more paths to Electoral College victory. However, over the past three presidential elections Republicans have tried again and again to win Wisconsin and Pennsylvania only to fall short each time. Both Romney and Paul Ryan made visits to Wisconsin and Pennsylvania in the final week, but lost each state by over five percentage points.

The most recent poll does give Colorado to Republicans and based on this data and the another poll from March the state was given to the GOP. The most recent poll shows Clinton ahead in North Carolina but it was still given to Republicans given victories in the by Bush and Romney in the last two presidential elections.

Democrats will likely try to compete in Arizona and possibly even Georgia. Obama lost Arizona by 11 points in 2012, but the state has a booming Hispanic population and two urban population centers where Democrats may be able to boost their numbers four years from now. Georgia is likely a longshot, but the demographic trends also favor Democrats making the state more competitive in 2016.

In the current projection I give Florida to Republicans assuming they will be more competitive in 2016. However, given the national polls and trends of the other states I do not project the Republicans taking back any other states they lost in 2012, which will give the Democrats 294 Electoral College votes, 24 more than they need to win. It would have been easy to project an even larger victory for Democrats given the current state of national polls, but former Clinton has still not announced whether she will run and it is therefore too early to base projections entirely on national polls showing her with a large lead.

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