The Buzz

2 weeks after the conventions, Clinton shores up lead

Now that both party conventions are behind us, The State is taking a week-by-week look at the polling and Electoral College projections in the presidential race. Numbers will be updated each week until Election Day on Nov. 8.

Two weeks after the end of both parties’ conventions, Hillary Clinton is shoring up her lead over Donald Trump in most national projections.

Democrat Clinton had a strong lead in most polls a week ago, after Republican Trump had a particularly difficult week of controversial statements.

Clinton’s lead stabilized this past past week, which saw more self-inflicted wounds by Trump. The GOP nominee tried to get his campaign back on track this week with a major speech on the economy on Monday, but then had to play defense the rest of the week after suggesting “2nd Amendment people” could stop Clinton and labeling President Obama the “founder of ISIS.”

The pile-up of bad news seems to be sinking Trump even in states that are normally solid red.

Clinton maintains her lead despite the ongoing controversy over her use of a private email server while secretary of state, and the latest controversy over the State Department’s relationship with the Clinton Foundation, including access for a million-dollar donor to a U.S. ambassador.

Popular vote? Clinton leads by 6.8, down slightly

Real Clear Politics’ polling average tightened slightly this week, with Clinton’s lead down to 6.8 percentage points from a high of 7 percentage points a week earlier. Clinton has a polling average of 47.8 to Trump’s 41. She continues to lead in all national polls from the past week by from one point — LA Times/USC — to 10 — NBC News/SurveyMonkey.

Voters dissatisfied with the two major candidates are evident in polls that give Libertarian Gary Johnson an 8.3 percent average and the Green Party’s Jill Stein 3 percent. However, the third-party candidates seem to take support from both Clinton and Trump equally.

Electoral map: Predicts Clinton landslide

Real Clear’s electoral map projects Clinton will win 256 electoral votes, as Virginia – home of Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Tim Kaine – and Wisconsin both have been shifted into leaning toward Clinton over the past week. That leaves her 14 short of a 270 majority in the Electoral College.

Clinton also maintains a slim 0.3 percentage-point lead in Real Clear’s Georgia average, while Arizona is almost a mirror opposite, with Clinton within a third of a point of Trump’s average.

If toss-states are assigned to the current poll leader, Clinton wins, taking a massive 362 votes, adding Georgia to the other states where Clinton leads – and leaving South Carolina as the only state on the Eastern Seaboard voting for Trump.

89.2% chance of winning?

Even more encouraging for Democrats, FiveThirtyEight gives Clinton an 89.2 percent chance of victory – an improvement on the 83.4 percent chance the site gave her last week. The site would give both Georgia and Arizona to Clinton for a total of 373 electoral votes.

Looking at where else Trump may be vulnerable – as FiveThirtyEight did last week – South Carolina is portrayed as the most competitive state still listed in the Trump column.

Sabato: Generic Republican would be favored

Larry Sabato with the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics hasn’t budged from his initial projection of 347 electoral votes for Clinton, but adjusted his map this week by moving Pennsylvania – widely seen as a key swing state – from merely “leaning” toward the Democrat to “likely Democratic,” shoring up Clinton’s lead in Sabato’s map.

Still only leaning toward Clinton: Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Ohio. In the Trump column, Arizona, Georgia and Nebraska’s 2nd District still are only leaning toward the Republican.

These numbers have stayed constant despite the fact, Sabato’s “Crystal Ball” said a generic Republican should be a slight favorite to win this year.

To check out McClatchy’s interactive national projection map and the latest polling, click here.

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