To reflect that changing reality, we are making four changes to The Fix electoral map this week — all benefiting Hillary Clinton. We are moving Florida and North Carolina from 'toss-up' to 'lean Democratic.' And we are adding Alaska and Missouri to our list of competitive races as 'lean Republican' states.
Florida — with its 29 electoral votes — is the biggest mover of the week. Trump ran well in his second home state during the primary season and stood toe to toe with Clinton in polling for much of the general-election campaign.
But, Clinton has now built a lead — 3.5 points, according to the RealClearPolitics average — and has held an edge over Trump in nine out of the last 10 polls conducted in the state. Those numbers, coupled with Trump's anemic organization in the state and Clinton's muscular one, suggest that the Democratic nominee has the advantage as of today.
Much the same thing is happening to Trump in North Carolina. After running even or slightly ahead of Clinton in the state during the summer, he now finds himself consistently behind her in polling. While Clinton's lead is less than three points in the RealClearPolitics average (it's 2.9), she has led in each of the 10 most recent polls. The North Carolina move is especially problematic for Trump since Mitt Romney won the Tarheel State in 2012 even while receiving just 206 electoral votes.
We're also adding two traditionally Republican states to our map.
Missouri was once competitive at the presidential level — George W. Bush won it by only three points in 2000 — and Trump's struggles appear to be making it competitive again. Two polls conducted this month show him with a five-point edge over Clinton, a margin that puts Missouri very much in the competitive space. Sen. Roy Blunt's problems in the state suggest that something might be going on there with the Republican brand that could make for a very close final margin in both races.
In Alaska, Trump has never performed anywhere near where a traditional Republican should. (It's no accident that Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan have been among the most outspoken critics of Trump.) Polling now show a close race between Trump, Clinton and Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson. This is a real race and might even move to "toss-up" before Election Day.
Below are our full rankings of all the states we see as competitive as of today.
Toss-up (35 electoral votes)
Lean Democratic (121 electoral votes)
New Hampshire (4)
New Mexico (5)
North Carolina (15)
Lean Republican (52 electoral votes)