Our big change on the eve of the election is to move North Carolina from “lean Democratic” back to “toss-up.” From mid-September to mid-October, Clinton led in 19 of the 20 polls conducted in the state. But, of the nine most recent polls, four show Clinton ahead, three show Trump in the lead and two project a tie. Trump has a 1.4 percent edge in the RealClearPolitics polling average.
And, unlike the early voting in Florida and Nevada that appears to have favored Clinton, North Carolina’s early vote has been much more of a mixed bag. While more than 3 million votes have been cast early, black turnout is down from where it was in 2012, while white turnout has surged more than 300,000 as compared with the last election. That should be good news for Trump.
The other change in our final map is that Utah moves back to “lean Republican” from “toss-up.” Trump is drastically underperforming in the Beehive State, and the presence of Brigham Young University grad (and Mormon) Evan McMullin on the ballot is a major problem. But the last five polls in the state have shown Trump with leads ranging from five points to 11 points, and his average lead, according to RCP, is in the low double digits. Utah was always going to be a tough state for Clinton, given the conservative nature of its electorate. And Trump appears to have done just enough to hold it.
Toss-up (48 electoral votes)
Lean Democratic (90 electoral votes)
Lean Republican (119 electoral votes)