Clinton has a commanding lead in Fox News’ 2016 Electoral Scorecard. Clinton is campaigning from a position of strength and she’s now maneuvering to press her advantage. Early voting has started in a lot of states and the Clinton camp is hoping to translate increased enthusiasm among Clinton voters into victories in more states.
The Fox News Decision Team is moving our rating for Iowa from Lean Republican to Toss Up. Iowa is still typically a blue state in presidential elections – it has gone Democratic in six of the last seven elections. President Obama won Iowa in 2008 and 2012, and the most recent Republican to win the state was President George W. Bush in 2004. This year, Iowa has looked to be the state most likely to flip from Democratic to Republican. Iowa has a large number of white voters without college degrees, the base of Trump’s support. That’s a big reason we’ve long seen the state leaning in his direction, but the polling data is now mixed enough and Clinton’s ground team is active enough for us to now call Iowa a Toss Up.
We’re moving Indiana from Solid Republican to Lean Republican. Trump's vice presidential running mate, Gov. Mike Pence, might be the state’s sitting governor, but that doesn’t mean Republicans are assured a victory in Indiana. Remember that Obama eked out a narrow victory in the state in 2008. That was the first time a Democrat had carried the state since 1964. While we still see Trump as favored in Indiana, he only has a single-digit lead in the polls. Clinton is starting to air ads in the state as she tries to pick off a few typically Republican states and, in the process, help elect several down-ballot Democrats.
Maine’s 2nd Congressional District goes from Lean GOP to Toss Up in our ratings. Trump and Clinton have been battling over one electoral vote in rural northern Maine. Trump was long thought to have a lead in this large, densely-wooded district, but recent polling – what little there is – suggests a tight race. Maine splits two of its Electoral College votes between its two congressional districts, but only one of those districts, the 2nd District, appears competitive. A Trump victory in ME-2 would be the first time in state history that Maine’s electoral votes didn’t go to just one candidate.
Trump might have vowed to keep us in suspense as to whether he’ll accept the results of the election, but the outcome of the three debates is clear – Trump’s performance hurt him among undecided voters. If Republican voters start coming home over the next two weeks to shore up their candidate then some of the Lean Democratic states could go back to being Toss-Ups. For the moment, Trump has slipped well behind in the race for electoral votes.
If Clinton wins the states we’ve rated Solid Democrat along with the states we see as leaning in her direction she’d have 307 electoral votes. A presidential candidate needs only 270 Electoral Votes to win the presidency so Clinton currently holds a considerable advantage. If Trump wins the Solid Republican states along with the states currently seen as leaning in his direction he’d come away with 174 electoral votes. The Toss-Up states, not currently in either candidate’s column, hold only another 57 electoral votes. Winning the toss-up states wouldn’t be enough for Trump, he’d have to turn the tide and win back more than one of the states currently leaning Democratic to reach 270.
The 2016 Scorecard map shows whether we think the state is solidly in a candidate’s column, leaning toward one candidate, or currently a toss-up state. The solid states are not currently thought to be competitive, the leaning states are still competitive but one candidate appears to have an edge, and the toss-up states are races where neither candidate has a clear advantage.