It’s 14 months out and
Poll are out here, but they actually choice is done just by the state Electors…
Without knowing the identity of the Democratic nominee, and without knowing the future shape of the economy and a number of other factors, the best thing to do (in our opinion) is to look at the race as close and competitive for now, as presidential elections have mostly been in recent years and as an acknowledgement of the competing electoral indicators.
We are formalizing that to some degree in our Electoral College ratings by making one slight adjustment, moving New Hampshire from Toss-up to Leans Democratic. The Granite State is almost always competitive, but Trump’s approval there has generally been weak. Throughout 2018, Gallup measuredTrump’s approval in New Hampshire at 35% approve, 58% disapprove; more recently, Morning Consult found his approval rating 20 points underwater. The University of New Hampshire’s Granite State poll (42% approve/53% disapprove) and Gravis Marketing (44%/54%) from earlier this summer are better but still weak for the president. So this trend isn’t really new, but in reassessing our ratings, we thought it was more appropriate to list New Hampshire as Leaning Democratic. Meanwhile, in the state’s Senate race, it appears that former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski (R) is getting closer to entering the race to challenge Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). A Lewandowski nomination would certainly represent a double down on Trump Republicanism in New Hampshire, even though the notoriously fickle state may be moving away from the president.
That makes the overall Electoral College ratings exactly split, 248 apiece, with 42 electoral votes’ worth of Toss-ups: Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, plus Nebraska’s Second Congressional District.
This also puts all of Clinton’s 2016 electoral votes in at least the Leaning Democratic column. But that doesn’t mean the president shouldn’t target some of these states anyway — and he certainly will.