There has been very little change in polling results since the third and last presidential debate between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump.
As polls continue to move away from the Republican, Trump is at risk of losing even solidly red Utah to a conservative challenger, further eroding his chances of an Electoral College majority.
Meanwhile, Clinton’s campaign continues to be hit with new email leaks released by WikiLeaks, but so far those revelations haven’t moved the needle in the election polls.
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Needing 270 electoral votes, Clinton at 333?
Real Clear Politics’s national polling average gives Clinton a national lead of 6.1 percentage points, and her largest share of the vote — 48 percent — since the heady days of late August.
The Democrat’s lead is a slightly slimmer 5.8 percent in a four-way race, as Libertarian Gary Johnson continues to slide from his summer high of nearly 10 percent to a 6.1 percent average today.
In Real Clear’s Electoral College count, Clinton has 262 solid votes — eight short of the needed majority — after Maine and New Hampshire were moved into the “leans Clinton” column. Meanwhile, Trump’s vote total dropped to 126 from 170 after the normally Republican strongholds of Georgia and Texas became toss-up states.
Without toss ups, Real Clear awards Clinton 333 electoral votes to Trump’s 205, with Ohio moving to Trump from Clinton and Arizona switching to Clinton from Trump.
Or is it 359? Or 317? Or 352?
FiveThirtyEight gives Clinton a 86.2 percent chance of victory, winning 359 electoral votes. (Its differences from Real Clear? Clinton carries Iowa, Ohio and one added district in both Maine and Nebraska, FiveThirtyEight says.) The site’s polls-plus model shifts Arizona and Iowa to Trump.
The New York Times’ Upshot gives the Democrat a 93 percent chance of victory.
Trump could lose Utah, barely win SC
Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball made some similarly favorable changes in Clinton’s favor last week, switching Arizona to Clinton from Trump and moving Iowa, Utah and Maine’s 2nd District to “toss up” from Trump’s column. That gives Clinton at least 352 electoral votes.
“We doubt the third debate will change all that much. The first part unfolded along predictable partisan lines on the Supreme Court, abortion and other topics,” the Crystal Ball said, adding Trump’s refusal to say he would concede a loss “will be just another distraction Trump can hardly afford.”
Perhaps the most surprisingly developing in this prediction is Utah’s toss-up status, thanks to a strong showing by independent conservative Evan McMullin.
“(P)olls have shown a close three-way race among McMullin, Trump, and Clinton,” according to the Crystal Ball. “In a state where neither major-party candidate is spending much time or money, McMullin’s cultivation of Utah (he’s a Mormon who went to Brigham Young University) could bear fruit, and he may have the most room to grow in a state where Clinton and Trump are very unpopular.”
But Utah is far from the only dark spot on the map for Trump.
“He’s barely ahead in some polls of Alaska, Indiana, Missouri, South Carolina and Texas – states that shouldn’t be close in any competitive election,” Crystal Ball writes.