A top political forecaster just changed his presidential race prediction between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump from “over” to “tightening.” Changing Electoral College ratings indicate that the difference between the two candidates is drawing closer, so the race is far from a done deal.
Publisher of the Cook Political Report Charlie Cook told The Hill:
‘The race is in a different place than 8 or 9 days ago when there was virtually no path for Trump. So yes, like everyone else, we’ve revised our assessment.’
The change is filtering down to the level of a few key races, according to the Cook Political Report. In October, Trump started losing states he had held in September. But after the director of the FBI James B. Comey released his letter full of vagaries and absent facts to a Republican-led House committee, states such as Ohio and Iowa began sliding back toward Trump. Cook has changed Ohio from “toss up” to “lean Republican.”
Electoral College Ratings Changes November 3, 2016
Arizona had been trending toward Clinton just days ago, but now it is heading back to the GOP’s man. The stronger than typical early vote favors the Democrats, as do the highly motivated Latino voters. Trump deeply offended Hispanics with his wall rhetoric, and comments about “rapists and murderers” coming to the U.S. from Mexico.
Not one poll shows Clinton ahead in Arizona since October, so Cook has moved this state prediction from “toss up” to “lean Republican.”
Cook had this to say about the potential of an extremely close vote:
‘If this race got to within a point or so and I don’t think it is, one candidate having a very sophisticated voter identification and get out the vote operation and the other having only a skeleton crew would very likely make the difference.’
Granted, Clinton is not reaching the number of African-American voters that President Barack Obama reached in 2012, but that is not surprising. After all, while the president may be campaigning for Clinton as forcefully as he did for himself, he is not on the ticket.
Clinton still has a clear lead, but the Democrats are paying very close attention to how the voter movement within the states impacts the Electoral College. Cook added:
‘I would say the chances of Clinton exceeding 330 electoral votes are better than Trump reaching 270.
‘To me the question is whether Clinton gets an Electoral College vote that is in or just barely above the 270s or does she clear 300. A week or two ago she had a good chance of getting 300 or more. That is now fairly unlikely.’
Cook users reviewed both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and assigned them stars on a one-to-five scale. Clinton received 600 user reviews, and Trump received 753.
The Cook Political Report is a subscription-based independent, non-partisan online newsletter. It analyzes elections and campaigns for the U.S. presidency, governor races, senate races, and house races.
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