Literally everyone needs to calm down about this election. Few people need to calm down more immediately and more substantially than me, so I acknowledge the irony of my calling you out for the same thing. But we've entered that phase of the presidential contest in this social-media-powered age when a mind-boggling percentage of Americans demand of everyone around them new information about the likely outcome even when it's obvious that nothing has actually changed.
This is the moment for which The Fix was created.
I spend a lot of time looking at the RealClearPolitics polling averages. There are a lot of reasons: The math is simple, the numbers are updated regularly, the coverage is broad. I use their numbers as a track for how the race is evolving all the time.
What is missing, though, is a constantly updated overlay of the RealClearPolitics polling averages in states with the electoral college map — and what that suggests about who would win. Or, rather, that's what was missing. It is missing no longer.
Here's what we've got.
I took our electoral college map tool and applied the current polling numbers in each state from RealClearPolitics. There aren't enough polls in every state for RCP to compile an average, though, so in those states I take the national RCP average and adjust it based on how far from the national result the state was in 2012. So if Hillary Clinton is up 2 points nationally, Alaska would have Donald Trump leading by 16 points because the state was 18 points more Republican four years ago (preferring Mitt Romney by 14 in a race President Obama won nationally by 4 points). Easy-peasy. (I also do this if the polling average is pretty old.)
So as of this moment (or, at most, about two hours ago during the day), the map above captures the RCP data for each state and then figures out the electoral votes that would result. This is a very rough approximation, skipping over things like the electoral votes in particular congressional districts in Maine and Nebraska, for example, and ignoring other aspects of the race that might emerge. If Hillary Clinton comes out tomorrow and declares her allegiance to invaders from the second planet orbiting Kepler 340, it will take a while for that to change the polls in the various states. (For better or for worse.)
Under the map are the current state averages for the 10 closest states, ranked from most close to least close. The state abbreviations link to the current RCP polling data for each state. We're using the Trump-vs.-Clinton head-to-head numbers for those numbers, in case you want to get mad about that. People like to get mad about things.
Since this is The Fix, we are not going to make you come here to see the updates. We've repurposed our who-was-winning-in-past-elections Twitter account to distribute the latest electoral vote totals without delay. It's at @EV_tracker.
One thing that will become apparent pretty quickly here is that the race . . . doesn't really change that much. Sure, one or two states may swing one way or the other — but, as evidenced by the more robust projections at other sites, the ultimate outcome probably won't flip back and forth very often. But who knows? I have heard reports that a fleet of starcraft recently left the Kepler 340 system and should be here by Saturday.