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Where is this race, really? Trump is behind, but not by much. Here's why . . .

Here is the basic formula for proper analysis as I see it. Races where the incumbent has not solidified somewhere close to fifty percent often break late in the challenger's direction. As you can see in the formula, Trump has plenty of sources from which to draw to break through. MSM is trying to tell you that the race isn't close, but it is in the states. They are also telling you that unproven allegations from women are all that matter, but that isn't correct either. Google trends consistently shows Wikileaks, Hillary quid pro quo, Project Veritas, FBI related topics and other negative Clinton stories in the top twenty.

The state polls tell a different story than the national polls. Even if the national polls are accurate, and I am showing a five-point Hillary lead, none other than Nate Silver acknowledges Trump could win fairly easily without winning the national popular vote. Funny how he's dropped that point lately.

Further, Clinton has had every advantage and she is not solidified close to fifty percent in polling. Normally, this represents a tell tale sign of likely defeat, but explains that away. Their analysis, however, largely applies to early polling, so what about the fifty percent rule now? Perhaps they should revisit that question.

What polls should we pay attention to?

National polls that sharply diverge from bellwether state polls should be ignored. They are not reflecting what is going on where it really matters, the battleground states. The track record of battleground states, furthermore, in reflecting the actual national popular vote is likely a better indicator of where the national popular vote will actually fall. Why does the national media breathlessly report the most extreme national polls which pollsters know are the least accurate? It's hard to blame anything but media bias. Our nation elects presidents through fifty-one state elections and polls of those elections reflect a close race. It's certainly not an eleven or twelve point race.

The state polling tells a story of a fairly close race by historic standards, certainly a race that can go either way considering all of the new information we are likely to see between now and election day, most of which is bad for Hillary Clinton. It seems like the national media knows this and is trying to finish off Donald Trump so nobody bothers to ask if Hillary Clinton should be president. More on those state polls in a moment. First lets take a look at my national popular vote projection. It shows Trump behind by about five points.

Flag of the United States National Polls

Ref's Projection: Clinton +5.1%

Clinton 45.9, Trump 40.8


How does my projection stack up when considering state polls? Very well. Even Nate Silver, who does tend to favor Democrats in his analysis, acknowledges that state polls overall seem to suggest a national lead of about seven points. He also acknowledges that yesterday's CNN polls are consistent with a national lead for Hillary of around three or four points. So I think the middle ground of five points looks about right. But of what use is national polling really? The truth, not much.


Polling the nation is always less precise than polling a state. Why?

There are 310,000,000 Americans and 51 Electoral Jurisdictions, so there is much greater opportunity for polling errors.

2012 Electoral College Map


My projection is designed to limit the impact of outlier polls because of this imprecision. Unfortunately, polls with extreme results often get reported breathlessly by the media despite their detachment from reality, like the two polls to the right, which I have heard about constantly. Boo! Dishonest!


Monmouth, 726 Likely Voters, 12-Point Clinton lead

NBC/WSJ, 908 Likely Voters, 11-point lead for Clinton


How do we know these national polls are not very useful?

The bellwether state polls have consistently reflected the national popular vote where it counts, in the actual vote. So shouldn't we look to the polls in those states to tell us where the nation is going? Consider Ohio and Florida.

Flag of Ohio Ohio

Ref's Projection: Clinton +0.9%

Clinton 44.3, Trump 43.4


12,000,000 Ohioans, 1 Electoral Jurisdiction

Ohio's population is only 3% that of the nation. It's also has fewer political dynamics to figure out, so it's easier to get an accurate number.


Ohio has a long history of reflecting the national popular vote. See chart to the right. Perhaps we should look to the dead heat in Ohio and conclude that that national race is probably close as well.

  Ohio Dem Natl Dem Ohio GOP Natl GOP
2012 50.7 51.0 47.7 47.2
2008 51.5 52.9 46.9 45.7
2004 48.7 48.3 50.8 50.7
2000 46.5 47.4 50.0 47.9
1996 47.4 49.2 41.0 40.7
Flag of FloridaFlorida

Ref's Projection: Clinton +3.0%

Clinton 45.9, Trump 42.9


20,000,000 Floridians, 1 Electoral Jurisdiction

Florida's population is 6.4% of the nation's population. It has far fewer political dynamics to understand, so it's easier to poll than the nation at large.


Florida has a long history of reflecting the national popular vote. See chart to the right. Perhaps we should look to the small lead Clinton has in Florida and understand that this is a close race.

  Florida Dem Natl Dem Florida GOP Natl GOP
2012 50.0 51.0 49.1 47.2
2008 51.0 52.9 48.2 45.7
2004 47.1 48.3 52.1 50.7
2000 48.8 47.4 48.8 47.9
1996 48.0 49.2 42.3 40.7
So what is the latest from the battleground states?
The Ref's projection of the battleground states is +2.6% Clinton. If Trump can move the numbers by 2.6% in the battleground states, the election would be a tossup. As of now, Clinton is in the lead and would likely win if the election were today. But it's not and he has plenty of material with which to break through the liberal media fog in this election. So let's take a closer look at the state polls.
UPI/CVoter: Nearly every battleground state within margin of error

REUTERS/IPSOS shows slightly bigger leads for Clinton, but does not reflect a large national lead
CNN showed us a battleground state race consistent with a 3 or 4 point national lead for Hillary

My battleground state breakdown

Trump has a very good chance of winning 265 electoral votes by winning the following states, FL, NC, OH, IA, AZ and NV. His problem comes in that he needs to add one more state from the following list. CO, NH, WI, MI, NM, PA or ME.

MUST WIN STATES: He leads in Iowa and Arizona. He is within a point in Ohio and North Carolina. He trails by three points in Florida and Nevada. These are not bad numbers for Trump considering the disastrous two weeks he has had. He could turn these around with a good debate performance, some media focus on Hillary's problems or both.

HE NEEDS TO WIN ONE OF THESE SEVEN: His chances in Colorado, Wisconsin and Michigan are probably not very good. He can still win New Hampshire where he trails by 4.5%, and he has shown an ability to make Pennsylvania close, where he trails by 5.8%. New Mexico, if it votes in large numbers for Johnson, could be a Hail Mary pass for Trump. Trump has also made it close in Maine, but he's pretty far behind there now. So there's a very good chance it could all come down to New Hampshire where I think his chances are better than most people think. It's a small state where he can equal Hillary's spending. He also plays well there culturally as a northeastern rebel.

Ref's Battleground Index

In the Ref's average of all battlegrounds, Clinton leads by 2.6 points

New Hampshire was added to the index as it has become more competitive.

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Florida Clinton 45.9, Trump 42.9  
  UPI/CVoter 10/10-10/16 400LV Clinton 48.7, Trump 46.3

FL - Clinton +3.0

  Quinnipiac Univ 10/10-10/16 660LV Clinton 48, Trump 44
  Gravis 10/11-10/13 1800RV Clinton 46, Trump 42
  PPP 10/12-10/13 990LV Clinton 46, Trump 42
  Reuters/Ipsos 10/7-10/13 1020LV Clinton 48, Trump 42
  Opinion Savvy 10/10-10/11 533LV Clinton 47, Trump 44
  Marist 10/3-10/5 700LV Clinton 45, Trump 42
  Associated Industries of Fl 10/2-10/5 1000LV Clinton 44, Trump 41
  Emerson 10/2-10/4 600LV Clinton 44, Trump 45
  Univ. of North Florida 9/27-10/4 686LV Clinton 41, Trump 38
  Opinion Savvy 9/28-9/29 619LV Clinton 47, Trump 46
  Ohio Clinton 44.3, Trump 43.4  
  Quinnipiac 10/10-10/16 630LV Clinton 45, Trump 45

OH - Clinton +0.9

  CNN/OpRes 10/10-10/15 780LV Clinton 44, Trump 48
  UPI/CVoter 10/10-10/16 350LV Clinton 50, Trump 46
  Reuters/Ipsos 10/7-10/13 1500LV Clinton 42, Trump 43
  NBC/WSJ/Marist 10/10-10/12 724LV Clinton 41, Trump 42
  CBS/YouGov 10/5-10/7 997LV Clinton 46, Trump 42
  TargetSmart 10/3-10/6 812LV Clinton 43, Trump 40
  PPP (Dem) 10/5-10/6 782LV Clinton 44, Trump 43
  Monmouth 10/1-10/4 405LV Clinton 44, Trump 42
  North Carolina Clinton 46.2, Trump 44.0  
  UPI/CVoter 10/10-10/16 350LV Clinton 48.0, Trump 47.7

NC - Clinton +2.2

  CNN/OpRes 10/10-10/15 780LV Clinton 48, Trump 47
  Reuters/Ipsos 10/7-10/13 1056LV Clinton 46, Trump 42
  NBC/WSJ 10/10-10/12 743LV Clinton 45, Trump 41
  Suffolk 10/10-10/12 500LV Clinton 45, Trump 43
  Emerson 10/10-10/12 600LV Clinton 46, Trump 42
  UPI/CVoter 10/2-10/9 514LV Clinton 48, Trump 47
  Qunnipiac Univ 9/27-10/2 507LV Clinton 46, Trump 43
  Bloomberg 9/29-10/2 805LV Clinton 44, Trump 43
  Wisconsin Clinton 45.3, Trump 39.8  
  UPI/CVoter 10/2-10/9 360LV Clinton 51.1, Trump 45.5

WI - Clinton +5.5

  Reuters/Ipsos 9/30-10/13 620LV Clinton 42, Trump 37
  Marquette 10/6-10/9 878LV Clinton 44, Trump 37
  CBS/YouGov 10/5-10/7 993LV Clinton 43, Trump 39
  Gravis 10/4 1102RV Clinton 48, Trump 40
  Emerson 9/19-9/20 700LV Clinton 45, Trump 38
  Marquette 9/15-9/18 677LV Clinton 44, Trump 42
  Iowa Clinton 42.8, Trump 45.8  
  UPI/CVoter 10/2-10/9 322LV Clinton 49, Trump 47

IA - Trump +3.0

  Reuters/Ipsos 9/23-10/7 382LV Clinton 45, Trump 44
  Des Moines Register 10/3-10/6 642LV Clinton 39, Trump 43
  Quinnipiac 9/13-9/21 612LV Clinton 44, Trump 50
  Monmouth 9/12-9/14 404LV Clinton 37, Trump 45
  Nevada Clinton 44.6, Trump 41.6  
  UPI/CVoter 10/10-10/16 320LV Clinton 48.8, Trump 44.7

NV - Clinton +3.0

  JMC Ent 10/10-10/13 600LV Clinton 43, Trump 41
  Reuters/Ipsos 9/23-10/13 350LV Clinton 41, Trump 39
  Public Opinion Strategies 10/11-10/12 600LV Clinton 45, Trump 39
  PPP 10/10-10/11 990LV Clinton 47, Trump 43
  Emerson 10/2-10/4 700LV Clinton 43, Trump 43
  Arizona Clinton 42.4, Trump 44.4  
  UPI/CVoter 10/10-10/16 360LV Clinton 44, Trump 51

AZ - Trump +2.0

  Reuters/Ipsos 10/7-10/13 880LV Clinton 39, Trump 45
  Data Orbital 10/11-10/12 550LV Clinton 43, Trump 42
  Emerson 10/2-10/4 600LV Clinton 44, Trump 42
  OH Predictive Insights 9/28-9/30 718LV Clinton 42, Trump 42
  Colorado Clinton 46.5, Trump 40.5  
  Quinnipiac 10/10-10/16 690LV Clinton 45, Trump 37

CO - Clinton +6.0

  UPI/CVoter 10/10-10/16 340LV Clinton 50, Trump 45
  Reuters/Ipsos 9/23-10/13 560LV Clinton 47, Trump 41
  Gravis 10/12-10/13 1226RV Clinton 44, Trump 39
  Pennsylvania Clinton 47.2, Trump 41.4  
  UPI/CVoter 10/10-10/16 380LV Clinton 50, Trump 46

PA - Clinton +5.8

  Reuters/Ipsos 10/7-10/13 1150LV Clinton 46, Trump 42
  Bloomberg 10/7-10/11 806LV Clinton 48, Trump 39
  Susquehanna 10/4-10/9 764LV Clinton 44, Trump 40
  CBS/YouGov 10/5-10/7 997LV Clinton 48, Trump 40
  New Hampshire Clinton 45.5, Trump 41.0  
  UPI/CVoter 10/10-10/16 310LV Clinton 50, Trump 46

NH - Clinton +4.5

  Reuters/Ipsos 9/23-10/13 200LV Clinton 46, Trump 42
  WBUR 10/10-10/12 500LV Clinton 41, Trump 38
  UMASS 10/7-10/11 520LV Clinton 45, Trump 39


More Analysis from the Ref

WATCH MY DOCUMENTARY: Consent of the Governed

Imagine MSM reaction if Trump revealed top secret tactical nuclear information in front of 70 million people

James O'Keefe promises devastating releases next week. He discussed it Friday on

Rasmussen Reports: TRUMP HOLDS THE LEAD

Ref's Ruling: The NBC/WSJ's small sample and timing led to an absurd result

Why the post-debate polls for CNN and YouGov are wrong

Reuters/Ipsos Battlegrounds: Still a close race

UPI/CVoter: Trump up three in Pennsylvania and Florida, within two in NH, CO and WI

CONCLUSION ON FIRST DEBATE: Hillary won, impact was real but small and easily reversible

Reuters/Ipsos shows Trump up in Colorado and Nevada, tied in Wisconsin and Michigan

Why Mike Pence will almost certainly give Trump a bump in the polls tonight

No Glenn Beck, Trump does not need Pennsylvania to win