Just 12 days remain in the presidential race — and one of the biggest battleground states is seemingly up for grabs.
Florida, the largest prize of all swing states, just swung into a less-than two-point lead for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, shifting it from a state that leaned in her favour to one that is essentially a tossup.
But even with Florida looking like it could be either Clinton’s or Trump’s to secure, according to the latest RealClearPolitics average of several polls, the former secretary of state maintains a substantial lead in the electoral college. So much so, that if she maintained every state where she is likely or a safe bet to win, she would have enough votes to secure the presidency. That means she could lose each of the above three tossup states, North Carolina, and Nevada, and still come out on top.
Using polling data from RealClearPolitics and Washington Post/Survey Monkey, Business Insider found that Clinton, as of this week, would lead Trump 272 to 181 electoral votes in states that were either safe or likely bets to go in favour of either party’s nominee. That alone would give Clinton more than the 270 electoral votes needed to clinch the presidency.
It’s a slight difference from last week’s projection, which showed Clinton with a 278-to-181 edge in the same categories.
Business Insider judged that a safe state was one in which a candidate led by at least 8 percentage points, while a likely state was anywhere in which the nominee held a 4- to 8-point lead.
When including states leaning toward a candidate by 2 to 4 points, Clinton held a 293-to-187 advantage over Trump. Last week, Clinton was up 322 to 187 when including this category.
Only four states shifted from last week. Virginia moved from “safe” for Clinton to “likely,” Nevada moved from “likely” for Clinton to “leaning” in favour of her, Florida moved from “lean” to “tossup,” and South Dakota moved from “safe” for Trump to “likely” in favour of the Manhattan billionaire.
Those toss-up states — any in which a major-party nominee held a lead of less than 2 points — consist of 58 electoral votes. Last week, the two states that were too close to call were Ohio, and Arizona. This week, Florida joined the pack.
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