With a week to go, projection models still give Clinton lead, but lasting impact of ‘Comey Effect’ uncertain

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It’s being called the “Comey Effect,” but it’s hard to say just how much of an impact it has had at this point and whether it will grow in the last week before Election Day.

Democrat Hillary Clinton still maintains a lead, but she definitely lost ground last week in most of the eight projection models we have been following the past month in tracking the presidential election. Six of the eight models posted updates Monday, and they produced a wide range of changes. Four of them showed double-digit losses in electoral votes, ranging from 23 to 59. But one showed a loss of only one electoral vote, and another actually increased her total by one.

Was it all due to FBI Director James Comey’s releasing information Friday that more emails may have been found that could affect the bureau’s previous investigation into Clinton’s use of a private server as secretary of state? Not necessarily.

The University of Virginia team that puts out one of the models we’ve been tracking, the Crystal Ball 2016 Electoral College Ratings, points out that the race was already tightening before news came out about the new wrinkle in Clinton email troubles. That’s because the spotlight has been harsh on both Clinton and Republican Donald Trump when it has turned their way. Last week, it was mostly on Clinton, thanks to the announcement of steep price increases to obtain insurance under Obamacare, plus potentially damaging releases by WikiLeaks that it attributed to hacked emails to and from her campaign manager, John Podesta.

But while the Comey Effect and that other bad news mostly took votes from Clinton, it didn’t always give a big bump to Trump. The change for Trump ranged from a loss of six electoral votes to a gain as high as 38 votes, but it should be noted that while that particular model gave Trump a good boost, it gave him even higher totals only two weeks ago.

Even with all this tightening, pre- and post-Comey, all the models we’ve tracked still give Clinton a lead, with only one of them has her short of the 270 electoral votes needed for election. Her totals range from 263 to 323 – that high figure came from one of the models that has not updated since last week, when her range was from 262 electoral votes to 352.

Trump’s scores on the models run from 164 electoral votes to 215. Last week, they ran from 126 to 191.

Tossup states also saw a wide range of change, from a decline of 39 electoral votes to an increase of 59.

Once again, let’s stress that these are projections and all have a human element that adds uncertainty to these totals, which are, after all, merely predictions.

Trump and his supporters may find they would rather believe machines. CNBC has reported that an artificial intelligence system that accurately predicted the results of the past three presidential elections was giving its mechanical nod to Trump.

There’s also a history professor at American University who uses a system based on 13 keys to predict the winner, something he says he has done correctly in the past eight elections. Allan Lichtman says the keys favor Trump, although there are a couple of conditions that could affect this prediction. One is whether Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson manages to draw 5 percent of the vote. The other factor is the unprecedented nature of Trump’s campaign, which makes this an election year like no other.

“We have never seen someone who is broadly regarded as a history-shattering, precedent-making, dangerous candidate who could change the patterns of history that have prevailed since the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860,” Lichtman told The Washington Post.

There’s one other thing: The Comey Effect is not one of Lichtman’s keys.

Here are some of the basics you need to know when looking at these models, which are found on the political website 270towin.com and RealClearPolitics:

They all rate states as “safe” for one candidate or the other, “likely” or “leaning,” or “undecided,” and they assess how many electoral votes each candidate has. 270towin offers explanations for how models arrive at their conclusions.

We concentrate on the “likely,” “leaning” and “undecided” states to help explain where candidates are choosing to campaign.

One other complication in the math: Electoral votes can be divided among candidates in Maine and Nebraska.

We will run one more roundup on Election Day.

Here’s a look at the most recent projections from each model:

COOK POLITICAL REPORT FORECAST (as of Oct. 27)

Overall – Clinton 293 electoral votes to 179 for Trump

Last week – Clinton 278 electoral votes to 179 for Trump

Up for grabs – 66 electoral votes (81 last week)

Florida (29), Ohio (18), Arizona (11), Iowa (6), Maine (1) and Nebraska (1).

Last week – Florida (29), Ohio (18), North Carolina (15), Arizona (11), Iowa (6), Maine (1) and Nebraska (1)

Likely voting for Clinton – 55 electoral votes (59 last week)

Pennsylvania (20), North Carolina (15), Wisconsin (10), Nevada (6) and New Hampshire 4

Last week – Pennsylvania (20), Michigan (16), Wisconsin (10), Colorado (9) and New Hampshire (4)

Likely voting for Trump – 22 electoral votes (no change from last week)

Georgia (16) and Utah (6)

Last week – Georgia (16) and Utah (6)

THE CRYSTAL BALL 2016 ELECTORAL COLLEGE RATINGS (as of Oct. 31)

The Crystal Ball is produced by Larry Sabato and his team at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

Overall – Clinton 293 electoral votes to 173 for Trump

Last week – Clinton 352 electoral votes to 173 for Trump

Up for grabs – 72 (13 last week)

Florida (29), Ohio (18), Arizona (11), Iowa (6), Utah (6), Maine (1) and Nebraska (1)

Last week – Iowa (6), Utah (6) and Maine (1)

Leaning for Clinton – 21 electoral votes (94 last week)

North Carolina (15) and Nevada (6)

Last week – Florida (29), Ohio (18), North Carolina (15), Arizona (11), Wisconsin (10), Nevada (6), New Hampshire (4) and Nebraska (1)

Leaning for Trump – 16 (no change from last week)

Georgia (16)

Last week – Georgia (16)

FIVETHIRTYEIGHT POLLS-PLUS FORECAST (updated hourly)

FiveThirtyEight combines polling data with information about the economy and voting histories. It defines a state as a tossup if no candidate has a better than 60 percent chance of winning the state.

Overall – Clinton 272 electoral votes to 191 for Trump

Last week – Clinton 322 electoral votes to 179 for Trump

Up for grabs – 75 electoral votes (37 last week)

Florida (29), Ohio (18), North Carolina (15), Iowa (6), Nevada (6) and Maine (1)

Last week – Ohio (18), Arizona (11), Iowa (6), Maine (1) and Nebraska (1)

Likely voting for Clinton – 13 electoral votes (50 last week)

Colorado (9) and New Hampshire (4)

Last week – Florida (29), North Carolina (15), and Nevada (6)

Likely voting for Trump – 21 electoral votes (19 last week)

Arizona (11), Utah (6), Alaska (3) and Nebraska (1)

Last week – Georgia (16) and Alaska (3)

THE FIX ELECTORAL COLLEGE RATINGS (as of Oct. 31)

The Fix is produced by the political team at The Washington Post.

Overall – Clinton 294 electoral votes to 180 for Trump

Last week – Clinton 317 electoral votes to 186 for Trump

Up for grabs – 64 electoral votes (35 last week)

Florida (29), Ohio (18), Arizona (11) and Utah (6)

Last week – Ohio (18), Arizona (11) and Nevada (6)

Likely voting for Clinton – 109 electoral votes (121 last week)

Pennsylvania (20), Michigan (16), North Carolina (15), Virginia (13), Minnesota (10), Wisconsin (10), Colorado (9), Nevada (6), New Mexico (5), New Hampshire (4) and Maine (1)

Last week – Florida (29), Pennsylvania (20), Michigan (16), North Carolina (15), Virginia (13), Wisconsin (10), Colorado (9), New Mexico (5) and New Hampshire (4)

Likely voting for Trump – 84 electoral votes (52 last week)

Texas (38), Georgia (16), Indiana (11), Missouri (10), Iowa (6) and Alaska (3)

Last week – Georgia (16), Indiana (11), Missouri (10), Iowa (6), Utah (6) and Alaska (3)

PREDICTWISE PRESIDENTIAL FORECAST (updates three times a day)

Overall – Clinton 293 electoral votes to 215 for Trump

Last week – Clinton 340 electoral votes to 179 for Trump

Up for grabs – 30 electoral votes (19 last week)

Defined as meaning no candidate has a 60 percent or higher chance of winning the state.

Florida (29) and Maine (1)

Last week – Arizona (11), Iowa (6), Maine (1) and Nebraska (1)

Leaning for Clinton – 21 electoral votes (33 last week)

Defined as meaning no candidate has more than a 79.9 percent chance of winning the state.

North Carolina (15) and Nevada (6)

Last week – Ohio (18) and North Carolina (15)

Leaning for Trump – 36 electoral votes (16 last week)

Ohio (18), Arizona (11), Iowa (6) and Nebraska (1)

Last week – Georgia (16)

REALCLEARPOLITICS

Overall – Clinton 263 electoral votes to 164 for Trump

Last week – Clinton 262 electoral votes to 126 for Trump

Up for grabs – 111 electoral votes (150 last week)

Florida (29), Ohio (18), Georgia (16), North Carolina (15), Arizona (11), Colorado (9), Iowa (6), Nevada (6) and Maine (1)

Last week – Texas (38), Florida (29), Ohio (18), Georgia (16), North Carolina (15), Arizona (11), Minnesota (10), Iowa (6), Nevada (6) and Maine (1)

Leaning for Clinton – 94 electoral votes (77 last week)

Pennsylvania (20), Michigan (16), Virginia (13), Minnesota (10), Wisconsin (10), Connecticut (7), Oregon (7), New Mexico (5), New Hampshire (4) and Maine (2)

Last week – Pennsylvania (20), Virginia (13), Wisconsin (10), Colorado (9), Connecticut (7), Oregon (7), New Mexico (5), New Hampshire (4) and Maine (2)

Leaning for Trump – 74 electoral votes (36 last week)

Texas (38), Indiana (11), Missouri (10), South Carolina (9) and Utah (6)

Last week – Indiana (11), Missouri (10), South Carolina (9) and Utah (6)

ROTHENBERG & GONZALES RATINGS (as of Oct. 21)

Overall – Clinton 323 electoral votes to 191 for Trump

Up for grabs – 24 electoral votes (68 last week)

Ohio (18) and Iowa (6)

Likely voting for Clinton – 84 electoral votes (40 last week)

Florida (29), Pennsylvania (20), North Carolina (15), Wisconsin (10), Nevada (6) and New Hampshire (4)

Likely voting for Trump – 44 electoral votes (27 last week)

Georgia (16), Arizona (11), Indiana (11) and Utah (6)

UPSHOT PRESIDENTIAL FORECAST (updates three times a day)

The Upshot is produced by The New York Times, using polls, past election results and national polling.

Overall – Clinton 322 electoral votes to 191 for Trump

Last week – Clinton 323 electoral votes to 179 for Trump

Up for grabs – 25 electoral votes (36 last week)

Defined as meaning no candidate has a 60 percent or higher chance of winning the state.

Ohio (18), Iowa (6) and Nebraska (1)

Last week – Ohio (18), Arizona (11), Iowa (6) and Maine (1)

Leaning for Clinton – 35 electoral votes (22 last week)

Defined as meaning no candidate more than a 79.9 percent chance of winning the state.

Florida (29) and Nevada (6)

Last week – North Carolina (15), Nevada (6) and Nebraska (1)

Leaning for Trump – 34 electoral votes (16 last week)

Georgia (16), Arizona (11), Utah (6) and Maine (1)

Last week – Georgia (16)

 

Reader Comments 0

38 comments
Dale Strickland
Dale Strickland

Only thing Clinton leads is her way back to home ...that's it

Anthony Caro
Anthony Caro

I'm gonna go to the end with her. Don't care what anybody else does

Gwen Collins
Gwen Collins

You will thank hate when she brings thousands of Muslims in

Reinhold Francis
Reinhold Francis

Voted early for Hillay , I can't wait to see her run the table on Trump, tired of reading these fools ,haters.

Don Orem
Don Orem

I am struck by some of the negative comments being made about Hillary...the FBI is REVIEWING emails. Innocent until proven guilty in the USA. Unfair to make assumptions to this point. On the other hand Trump is in fact going to trial regarding T/Univ ersity and a Child Rape case. It appears Director Comey made a partisan move in order to impact the election. Where is the review on Trump's alleged connection to Putin/Russia ? Very unfair at an opportune time.

Blair Peters
Blair Peters

Comey what a joke. Voted last Saturday in NC for the next President Hillary Clinton.

Summer Smith
Summer Smith

Donald Trump...Loves our country. Hillary Clinton...Loves herself. Donald...Wants to protect our Constitution. Hillary...Wants to tear it apart. Donald...Wants to Protect our borders from foreign enemies. Hillary...wants open borders. Donald...Against abortion and killing babies (except under certain circumstances) Hillary supports aborting and killing babies up to 9 months and supports Planned Parenthood that was caught selling baby body organs. Donald...A proven business tycoon that knows how to create jobs and wealth. Hillary...has never worked in the private sector or owned a business therefore knows nothing about creating jobs...she does know to accept money from foreign countries that hate the U.S. and abuse women and gays, for political favors. Donald...Knows how to surround himself with successful individuals that know how to get things done. Hillary...knows only lying, corrupt, fraudulent individuals. Donald...Will rebuild and make our military strong and feared again. Hillary...ignored ambassador Chris Stevens request for help leaving him to being tortured and raped for 7 hours and killed along with 3 other brave Americans in Benghazi...Doesn't care and is not fit to be commander and chief of our military. Americans, the choice is clear.

Summer Smith
Summer Smith

Hillary is a repugnant individual. She has no concept of truth. Take a good look, because this is the face of a very sick Pathological Liar that knows how to professionally embellish, blame, distort, and spin the facts for her benefit. Her entire staff and the DNC have been caught lying, committing fraud and cheating. What is more disturbing is that this sick behavior doesn't bother her supporters. What does this say about America? The truth is that she only cares about herself and the power, and will say and promise anything to get it. Hillary is an Unindicted Felon. People have been lost their jobs and imprisoned for much less. The Clinton's have acquired an enormous amount of wealth in a very short time. However, the Clinton's have never worked or owned a business in the private sector. The Clinton's have accepted millions from the Middle East Countries for favors. The only way one gets rich in politics is to be a corrupt and fraudulent and dishonest one! This woman shouldn't even be on the ballot! Brighten up America! She should be in Prison. Say no to Hillary for President!

John Nemeth
John Nemeth

I can't wait for this stupid election to be over with.

Tim Johnson
Tim Johnson

Yup, not people going to the polls; rather a fairytale is going to make her win! That makes sense!!

Dona Elaine Hubbs
Dona Elaine Hubbs

I wouldn't call it the 'Comey Effect'...more like Hillary is a criminal effect. This woman, and everyone she surrounds herself with, would be investigated and jailed throughout her presidency if she were elected. Anyone who is old enough to remember the Bill Clinton presidency should know that.

David Anderson
David Anderson

She's been investigated again and again. The republicans in congress have already stated they're ready to start more if she's elected.

Tim Johnson
Tim Johnson

David Anderson that's right, giving more evidence that congress needs to be flushed out of people who'll waste time and money, because that's easier than representing the people!

Scott Wrighter
Scott Wrighter

It's more Wikileaks, or the emails they thought no one would ever read

Parker Lewis
Parker Lewis

Too bad the NYT already debunked that. Woulda been awesome.

Keith Yancey
Keith Yancey

Who knows at this point. This whole election campaign just gets weirder and weirder as time goes on. A week ago I would have said Clinton has it in the bag but now who knows. Certainly can't rule out a Brexit effect.

Parker Lewis
Parker Lewis

Most people don't understand their OWN taxes. President Trump correctly determined that very few people would understand HIS, which are much more complicated.

Denise Woods
Denise Woods

They don't care...or about him being a bigot...it doesn't matter. I could get into all the reasons why but its not worth it. I'm sure you already know anyway.

Mac Macaraeg
Mac Macaraeg

TRUMP'S BUSINESS IS STIFFING PEOPLE & THE GOV'T: HE NEVER WAS A POPULIST. JUST. A. CON. MAN. Atlantic City proved that Trump was a spectacularly bad businessman (casinos, IPO) in the booming 1990s. It also proved that he is a soul-less ruthless con artist. Atlantic City made Trump a billionaire in the most perverse way. ====== HIGHLIGHT LINKS ========== - "Donald Trump Used Legally Dubious Method to Avoid Paying Taxes" (New York Times, 10/31/2016): http://goo.gl/54W3zg - "Art of the Steal: This Is How Trump Lost $916M and Avoided Tax" By David Clay (Daily Beast, 10/3/2016): http://goo.gl/75gEVW - "The story of Donald Trump's Atlantic City comeback is even worse than his collapse" By Matthew Yglesias (Vox, 10/7/2016): http://goo.gl/g9GbTJ - "Just Ask the Americans who invested in a Trump IPO" (DailyKos, 10/7/2016): http://goo.gl/cxha5V =============================== The Nutshell Summary [2b] of his AC foray [2c] is this: - At around the same time as his Trump Tower project (court case involving abusing undocumented Poles), he partnered with Harrahs for his first casino; - He angled for another casino, at which time Harrah just sold its share of the first; - Claiming he knows casinos b/c of Harrahs, he tripled his casinos (Taj Mahal), personally guaranteeing $830B with the rest at junk rate loans from banks. - As expected, his 3 casinos cannibalized each other; - His mgmt team died in a plane crash; - Within a year, he needed restructuring; with the NJ gaming authority backing him and the Trump Tower case where he was stiffing for years starving Poles for pennies, the banks relented (3 zombie casinos with $5.4M in Trump yearly stipend); It should be clear here that he is bad at casinos. [2c] [2b] He lobbied Congress for Section 108 (real estate losses forgiven by banks not recognized as income for as long as depreciation in the future up to $1B is forgone). Now comes the Ruthless part. [2a] - He had his banks forgive $916M in 1995 - He elected to use Section 108. - He also elected to use Section 1231 where NOLs are spread over 1993-2010. - Knowing that he doesn't have depreciation, meaning his income from 1995-2010 could faster exceed the spread NOLs, he created a public company and issued an IPO, with the casinos as the underlying asset. - Moms/pops bought the IPO; he effectively offloaded the casinos to the public company; - The public company got loans to pay for his $830B guarantee, gave himself a salary, bought from his companies, bought one of his buildings that was overpriced by $100M. - Trump became a billionaire due to tax free accumulation of 12 years worth of income (from the NOLs from 1993-2005), plus his dirty tricks money within the public company. He became a *billionaire* by *monetizing* his losses and *deliberately stiffing* his bankers, contractors and *moms/pops who lost everything.* His rate of return from 1990-2016 is beaten by S&P. In the 1990s, when IPOs made money, his lost. This is the *real* Donald Trump. He has *no business* being POTUS. ===== Trump has admitted to Monetizing his colossal failure in Atlantic City, not paying taxes for 18 years and not being a genius investor (5.4% v. 9.5% (S&P 500) over 1990-2016). He stiffed moms/pops, contractors and bankers. "Then Trump was asked about his income tax returns that he has refused to make public." [0] "“You have not answered, though, a simple question,” Cooper said. “Did you use that $916 [million] loss to avoid paying federal income taxes?”" [0] "“Of course I do,” Trump replied gleefully. “Of course I do.”" [0] "Hillary had complained about “people like Donald who paid zero in taxes, zero for our vets, zero for our military, zero for health and education — that is wrong.”" [0] "“See?” Trump countered. “I understand the tax code better than anybody that’s ever run for president!”" [0] (This is a lie. [1]) So, basically, Trump admitted to all of [2]: - "The $916 million loss claimed on Trump's 1995 return ACCOUNTED for 1.9% of all the net operating losses claimed by individual income taxpayers in the US in 1995." (such a genius [2d]) - Trump CREATED a stock scheme that ended up pushing all his losses to stockholders (moms/pops), bankers and contractors. - His TAX PLAN does not close his loophole (bigger than the carried interest loophole). He gives himself the 15% pass through tax rate. And he gives his kids zero estate tax. - The reason why he's billionaire-rich and not millionaire-rich is because he MONETIZED his 1995 counterparties' (bankers, stockholders, contractors) losses. Which is the future value of $916M. - Trump, the scumbag, was aided by another scumbag, Roy Cohn (Joe McCarthy) [2e] - The PERIOD includes 9/11 through 2013. He could have money buying low in the housing crash. - Trump used loopholes only available to active real estate property developers. ===== [0] "Trump digs a hole in one" (Politico, 10/10/2015): http://goo.gl/wzilE4 [1] "On CNN, Trump's Former Accountant Debunks Claims That Trump "Handled The Tax Code Brilliantly" > Jack Mitnick: Trump Had "Virtually Zero" Involvement With His Tax Returns Which Were "Entirely Created By Us"" (Media Matters, 10/5/2016): http://goo.gl/t7KjN6 [2a] "How successful is Donald Trump? And how did he do it? (A: He underperformed the S&P 500 (5.4% v 9.5%) from 1990 to 2016, by stiffing everyone (bankers, contractors, mom/pop investors))": http://goo.gl/QoUftX [2b] "How Trump lost $916M, paid no taxes over 18 years, stiffed everyone, and still made money": http://goo.gl/Mmc5GR [2c] "DONALD TRUMP'S MANY BUSINESS FAILURES, EXPLAINED" By Kurt Eichenwald (Newsweek, 8/2/2016): http://goo.gl/HKChCE [2d] "On CNN, Trump's Former Accountant Debunks Claims That Trump "Handled The Tax Code Brilliantly" > Jack Mitnick: Trump Had "Virtually Zero" Involvement With His Tax Returns Which Were "Entirely Created By Us"" (Media Matters, 10/5/2016): http://goo.gl/t7KjN6 [2e] “‘He Brutalized For You’: How Joseph McCarthy henchman Roy Cohn became Donald Trump’s mentor.” (Politico, 04/8/2016): http://goo.gl/l9R50W ====== STATE OF THE RACE - "US Election 2016 > Presidential election poll tracker" (Financial Times, 11/1/2016): https://ig.ft.com/us-elections/polls - "Who will win the Presidency" (538, 11/1/2016): http://goo.gl/1sBki9 > Hillary (74.3%) v. Trump (25.7%) - "Who will be President" (NYT Upshot, 11/1/2016): http://goo.gl/TRGgL2 > Hillary (88%) v. Trump (12%) - "Who will win the Senate" (538, 11/1/2016): http://goo.gl/Dkjtw2 > Democrats (71.9%) v. Republicans (28.1%) ======================

Tony Ostoja
Tony Ostoja

Because the "It appears Hillary did A LOT OF BAD SH@T" headline is just too long!!!!! AND it doesn't sit well with the AJC!!!!!!

Mac Macaraeg
Mac Macaraeg

If you don't like the AJC, you have 8 to choose from: Trump's newspaper endorsements (as of 11/1/2016) (the smallest number in history): - "The KKK’s official newspaper has endorsed Trump for president" (Boston Globe, 11/1/2016): http://goo.gl/WABqNH - the National Enquirer; - Santa Barbara News Press; - New York Post; - New York Observer (Trump's son-in-law); - The Waxahachie Daily Light; - Times-Gazette; - Las Vegas Review Journal (Sheldon Adelson); Hillary has 150+ "Here are the 150+ newspapers that have endorsed Hillary" (Business Insider, 10/12/2016): http://goo.gl/dSaqAg

Tony Ostoja
Tony Ostoja

Hey, cool!!! Its one of those uneducated Hillary voters!!!!! Were you able to find your way out of one of her packed out rally crowds of 30 people without help?!?!?!?! LOL

Terry Case
Terry Case

Funny but everything points to Trump in the lead except your liberal made up polls.

Keith Yancey
Keith Yancey

These are predictions not polls. Completely different statistics.

Mac Macaraeg
Mac Macaraeg

You were saying? ====== STATE OF THE RACE - "US Election 2016 > Presidential election poll tracker" (Financial Times, 11/1/2016): https://ig.ft.com/us-elections/polls - "Who will win the Presidency" (538, 11/1/2016): http://goo.gl/1sBki9 > Hillary (74.3%) v. Trump (25.7%)k - "Who will be President" (NYT Upshot, 11/1/2016): http://goo.gl/TRGgL2 > Hillary (88%) v. Trump (12%) - "Who will win the Senate" (538, 11/1/2016): http://goo.gl/Dkjtw2 > Democrats (71.9%) v. Republicans (28.1%) ====================

Tony Ostoja
Tony Ostoja

Thats just it, he's not just saying it, I'm not just saying it, but the FBI is saying it, other democrats are saying it, and Obama is now believing it!