The presidential election ends — we hope! — Tuesday.
Below we offer our last ratings of the race, our look at the truly competitive states on the eve of this most unpredictable of elections. While we moved two states in Donald Trump’s direction on the second-to-last day of the campaign, the overall map still clearly favors Hillary Clinton: She has 275 electoral votes solidly or leaning her way — five more than she needs to win the White House on Tuesday night. In fact, even if Trump holds all of the states either solidly or leaning his way and wins all three states currently rated as “toss-ups,” he is still seven electoral votes short of 270.
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.