So says RCP, and there’s reason to believe it. Trump is also climbing in the state polling average, although his “sharp” rise there is more a matter of recovering ground he lost in October than suddenly soaring to new heights.
Consider this a complement to Ed’s post this morning about that bombshell WBUR poll showing Trump now ahead in the state by one.
A GOP source in the state shared internal polling with RCP that showed Trump gaining necessary ground within his party. Three weeks ago, he lagged behind by 11 points, with 69 percent of support from Republicans. Two weeks ago, he was behind by four points, with 76 percent of GOPers backing him. Last week, Clinton led by three points, with 84 percent of Republicans supporting their nominee…
“Republicans are coming home,” the source said, noting that Trump’s numbers improved as he was in the news less and the spotlight remained on Clinton. New Hampshire does not have early voting, so the final days of a campaign can be particularly influential.
Strategists in the state say Clinton is still likely to win New Hampshire but that the growing GOP movement is welcome news to Sen. Kelly Ayotte and some other Republicans running down the ballot.
Remember that Gallup survey earlier this week showing that, thanks to the FBI, voters are suddenly hearing more about Hillary than about Trump for one of the few times this year? It’s paying off in New Hampshire, among other places. Even if it doesn’t save Trump, it might save the Senate.
Ed showed you one electoral map this morning in which Trump, with help from New Hampshire, nudges past 270 and wins the presidency. That map relied on Virginia turning red, though, which remains unlikely. (It also relied on Trump winning Florida, North Carolina, Arizona, and Utah, all of which are toss-ups right now.) We have one poll from Hampton that gives him a lead in VA but literally every other poll taken in the state this year has Clinton ahead, including some post-Comey. My hunch is that if Trump wins Virginia on Tuesday, he’ll also have won one or more other blue states as part of a gigantic upset, making Virginia icing on the cake but not decisive. There must be other blue states out there that represent likelier pick-ups for him than VA does.
How about … Colorado?
A new poll released Wednesday from the University of Denver/Ciruli Associates shows Clinton and Trump tied at 39% each in a four-way match up with Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson at 5% and Green Party nominee Jill Stein at 4%, among likely voters.
About 14% responded “none/other/don’t know or it depends,” which could be depressing the numbers behind each candidate.
Colorado is a state that’s been long thought to swing for Clinton, and a key part of her road to 270 electoral votes, and her campaign only recently re-launched television advertising there. Trump, however, has continued to campaign there.
Trump hasn’t led a poll of Colorado in more than a month but the last four surveys there are all tight: Clinton by three, Clinton by three, Clinton by one, Tie. A month ago her lead was touching double digits. Let’s look at a different hypothetical electoral map, then:
That’ll get you to President Trump — it’s 273/265 for the Republican there — but he needs New Hampshire and Colorado to make it happen. (I’m leaving Nevada blue because that’s what the early-voting tea leaves say.) Even if he takes NH and CO, there’s no margin for error anywhere else. Florida has to tilt his way, as does North Carolina. Iowa must flip to red. Arizona needs to come through. Utah has to hang on. If any one of those seven states goes blue, the outcome ranges from a Clinton win to a nightmarish 269/269 tie — specifically, if New Hampshire stays blue but Trump wins each of the other six states.
There’s also an outside shot here of the election going to the House if Trump wins each of the seven states I’ve flagged except Utah, which breaks for Evan McMullin. That would leave Trump with 267 and Hillary with 265. I think the odds of McMullin surviving a national Trump surge to win Utah are exceedingly thin, though. Some of the support he was getting there a week or two ago was surely due to the sense that Clinton would win the presidency easily next week and therefore Utahns didn’t have to worry about the national implications of their vote. Now, with the race tightening, they do. That’ll tip some McMullinites back to Trump. McMullin’s chances of winning have already begun to plateau, in fact. There’s a real chance that he’ll finish second, which is nice, but my hunch is that Trump wins the state by 10 points, with a flaccid 41-42 percent.
One last point about the poll in New Hampshire that has Trump ahead and the poll in Colorado that has the race tied. Neither of those surveys actually show Trump surging. On the contrary, his numbers in both polls are some of the worst he’s notched in either state lately. WBUR has him ahead in NH 40/39; Trump’s average in the state, though, is 41 percent, and he hit 42-43 in other polls recently. Likewise, in the Denver poll, he’s at 39 percent — nearly two points lower than his state average of 40.8 and several additional points behind the 44 he notched in Remington’s last poll there. The reason he’s competitive in these two polls is because Clinton’s own numbers have cratered. Since mid-October, her worst showing in a poll in New Hampshire had been 43 percent while her worst showing in Colorado had been 42. Suddenly she’s at 39 in the WBUR and Denver surveys. It may be that the Comey news isn’t pushing votes into Trump’s column in blue-leaning battleground states but rather, however temporarily, pushing a small critical mass of Clinton votes into the undecided column. My guess is that, if no other FBI news breaks before Tuesday, some of them will drift back to her in the nervous assumption that the new investigation won’t turn up anything incriminating. She’s still the favorite in both states (73 percent in Colorado and 69 percent in New Hampshire, per FiveThirtyEight), but there’s much more uncertainty now than there was a week ago.
Update: Harry Enten of FiveThirtyEight sometimes gets a peek at polls before the rest of the public has seen them. Buckle up:
Four NH polls coming out today. The first two have Trump ahead.
— (((Harry Enten))) (@ForecasterEnten) November 3, 2016
He amended that tweet later to say that it’s three polls that are on the way, not four. But still — we have a trend.