POLITICS
11/08/2016 08:22 am ET

HUFFPOLLSTER: It’s Finally Election Day, And Things Look Good For Democrats

Go vote, and then read on for poll-based projections and a look back at 2016.

HuffPost’s poll-based forecasts give Hillary Clinton the win and the Democrats a narrow Senate majority. Many Americans are going to be unhappy regardless of the outcome. And we take a look back at the campaign. This is HuffPollster for Tuesday, November 8, 2016.

POLL-BASED PROJECTIONS GIVE CLINTON THE WIN - HuffPollster: “The HuffPost presidential forecast model gives Democrat Hillary Clinton a 98.2 percent chance of winning the presidency. Republican Donald Trump has essentially no path to an Electoral College victory. Clinton’s win will be substantial, but not overwhelming. The model projects that she’ll garner 323 electoral votes to Trump’s 215. For all of 2016’s craziness, that projection actually follows a fairly traditional electoral map…. Florida, Nevada and North Carolina have leaned toward Clinton in the polling averages. The forecast in recent weeks, along with the strength of early voting numbers, makes it seem very likely that these will stay with her….  [Ohio is] the closest [state], according to the HuffPost forecast model. Trump leads by just 1 point, and the polling trend has moved toward the GOP in the last few weeks. The HuffPost model gives Trump about a 70 percent chance of winning the state. In the event that Clinton’s ground game stimulates turnout and pulls Ohio in her direction ― which is not out of the question ― she’ll get 341 electoral votes.” [HuffPost]   

The Senate is likely to go blue as well - More from HuffPollster: “The Senate is likely to shift to a Democratic majority, with 51 seats, or 50 seats and Tim Kaine as the vice presidential tie-breaker. The HuffPost model says there’s a 66 percent chance Democrats will get 51 or more seats, and a 25 percent chance the chamber ends up with each party at 50 seats…. The key Senate races likely to switch to Democratic from Republican are in Illinois, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Indiana. The HuffPost Senate forecast model gives those races fairly high probabilities of switching to Democratic hands. If all five states shift, Democrats will have 51 seats. If our model has Indiana incorrect, Democrats will have 50 seats and will require Kaine’s vote to break ties.” [HuffPost]  

NO MATTER WHO WINS THE PRESIDENCY, MOST AMERICANS WON’T BE SATISFIED - HuffPollster: “No matter who wins the presidential election on Tuesday, fewer than one-third of the public is going to be excited about the results, a new HuffPost/YouGov survey finds. Just 24 percent of Americans say they’ll be enthusiastic if Hillary Clinton wins the presidential election, while just 20 percent would be enthusiastic about a Donald Trump victory. Thirty-five percent would be outright upset if Clinton wins, while 44 percent say the same of Trump….As might be expected in such a polarizing election, most Americans have a strong preference one way or the other. Just 4 percent would be at least satisfied with either possible election outcome….Voter enthusiasm as a whole is down compared to four years ago….Americans’ general lack of excitement about either candidate may bode poorly for the next president’s job approval, and the relatively dampened enthusiasm for voting may explain why the vast majority of Americans wish the election were over. But, despite the plethora of ink spilled over voter enthusiasm, it may not be a particularly useful metric for predicting who’ll turn out to vote….This year, negative emotions may be just as likely as positive ones to drive people to the polls.” [HuffPost]

2016 SEES A PROLIFERATION OF ELECTION DAY PROJECTIONS  - Steven Shepard: “This year, a handful of different projects are underway to disrupt the rhythm and flow of information on Election Day — including one controversial effort that some worry could affect the actual election results. Slate and Vice News have partnered with Votecastr, a company helmed by Obama and Bush campaign veterans, to provide real-time projections of how the candidates are faring in each state throughout the day. They expect to begin posting projections at 8 a.m. Eastern time on Election Day — a dramatic departure from current practice, where representatives from a consortium of news organizations (The Associated Press, ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Fox News and NBC News) huddle in a quarantine room without cell phones, poring over the earliest exit poll data but declining to release anything that points to an election result until all the polls have closed….Votecastr won’t be the only new data source for interested observers on Election Day itself. POLITICO is partnering with Morning Consult to conduct a survey of voters after they have cast ballots….The official network exit polls are continuing apace…. Buzzfeed, between its online news site and live video presentation on Twitter, is trying to get ahead of the actual vote count the AP provides to the networks and other media outlets, including POLITICO.” [Politico]

No network exit polls in 22 states - Per Shepard: “The consortium of news networks that commissions election exit polls will survey 28 states on Tuesday, eschewing state-level polls in many smaller and less-competitive states….In recent elections, the National Election Pool — which includes The Associated Press, ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Fox News and NBC News — and Edison Research, which conducts the exit poll, have eliminated state-level surveys in an effort to cut costs. In 2012, there were 31 state-level exit polls, with exit pollsters skipping 19 states, plus the District of Columbia.” Not on the list this year: AL, AK, AR, CT, DE, DC, HI, ID, KS, LA, MD, MA, MS, MT, NE, ND, OK, RI, SD, TN, VT, WV and WY. [Politico]

Realtime forecasting can be tricky - Nate Cohn: “For readers unaccustomed to live Election Day forecasting, the VoteCastr effort could be a horror story as well. This is not because the VoteCastr effort is unserious or doomed to fail. It takes many of the steps needed to do the job well, or at least as well as it can be done….One obstacle is that turnout varies over time: Younger voters don’t usually vote in the morning, and many voters in nine-to-five jobs might surge to the polls in the evening….It’s also hard to infer what shifts in turnout by precinct mean for certain groups. If the turnout in a well-educated precinct is down 5 percent, does that mean that the turnout among well-educated voters, who tend to support Hillary Clinton, is down? Or does it mean that well-educated Republican turnout is down?...Another challenge is estimating vote preferences in the first place. The turnout by precinct doesn’t say much about how people voted — just who voted. The estimates for how people voted come from polling data, and the models deduced from it. Many of the problems facing polls — like the possibility that undecided voters or the supporters of minor-party candidates will break one way — apply to the models as well.” [NYT]

A LOOK BACK AT 2016 - It’s been a long year. Here’s how this election took shape, as told through some of HuffPost Pollster’s analysis this year:

January:

February:

March:

April:

May:

June:

July:

August

September:  

October:

November:

HUFFPOLLSTER VIA EMAIL! - You can receive this daily update every weekday morning via email! Just click here, enter your email address, and click “sign up.” That’s all there is to it (and you can unsubscribe anytime).

TUESDAY’S ‘OUTLIERS’ - Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:

-Harry Enten shares an hour-by-hour guide to Election Night. [538]

-Mark Blumenthal finds support for Democratic House candidates inching up in SurveyMonkey’s tracking poll. [SurveyMonkey]

-USC’s Dan Schnur offers a defense of the USC/LA Times “Daybreak” tracking poll, which consistently shows outlier results. [LAT]

-Americans’ satisfaction with the way things are going surges to match historical norms. [Gallup]  

-The forecasters who correctly predicted Brexit predict Donald Trump will lose. [WashPost]

-Barack Obama is ending his presidency with higher approval than Ronald Reagan. [WashPost]

 

Special thanks to Jerry Goldfeder for providing interesting and informative daily trivia questions! Enjoy this last question:

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