Eleven days before the general election, the presidential race had another unusual turn of events.
Comey stated “emails that appear to be pertinent” to the investigation of Clinton’s personal email server were uncovered “in connection with an unrelated case,” and were under FBI review “to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation.”
It was revealed by the New York Times that the new emails were discovered after the FBI seized electronic devices belonging to Clinton’s top aide Huma Abedin and her husband, Anthony Weiner.
Before Friday, election forecasts and polling indicated that Clinton was on a clear path to the White House. Clinton has held a comfortable lead over Donald Trump in most national polls since the first presidential debate, and a slew of sexual assault allegations surfaced against the real estate mogul.
It remains unclear how much Friday’s news will shift the dynamics of the race, however Clinton appears to still be the overwhelming favorite in most election forecasts. It also remains to be seen if the emails directly implicate Clinton.
While some betting markets and forecasts reacted to the email probe more drastically than others, most major election forecasts show it helped Trump gain a point or two. Although Clinton’s likelihood of winning decreased slightly, forecasts are showing it isn’t enough to alter the trajectory of the race.
As FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver pointed out, in most years, the early-October polls are strong indicators of the outcome, with a correlation of +0.96 between the polls and the final result.
A Trump comeback would be rare at this point in the election cycle and basically unprecedented, but not impossible. That’s in large part due to the number of undecided voters. Although the number is declining, it is still fairly high for this late in the election cycle.
Something that appears to be working to Clinton’s advantage is early voting. The results are showing some signs of strength for the Democratic nominee that is in line with most recent polling.
States only report early voting by party affiliation and not actual vote tallies, however voter registration gives Democrats the early edge.
As the Associated Press reports, 13.4 million voters have already cast their ballots and strong early-voting turnout by registered Democrats shows Clinton has the advantage in critical battleground states, as well as signs of strength in traditionally Republican states.
Here’s a look at the latest forecast trends:
How Forecasts Compare
NYT Upshot: Clinton 91%, Trump 9%
The New York Times’ Upshot elections model indicates Trump has a challenging path to the presidency, although the GOP nominee is up two percentage points from the beginning of the week.
Based on the latest state and national polls, Upshot gives Clinton a solid 91 percent chance of winning the presidency compared to Trump’s slim 9 percent.
To put it in sports terms, Upshot states Clinton’s chance of losing is about the same as the probability that an NFL kicker misses a 31-yard field goal.
Upshot shows Clinton has held a significant lead over Trump for weeks. Since Oct. 17, the Upshot model has shown Clinton has held a 90 percent chance or higher of winning the election.
FiveThirtyEight: Clinton 80.6%, Trump 19.3% (Polls-Only)
Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight forecasts have consistently shown Clinton is highly favored to win on Nov. 8. However, all three of FiveThirtyEight’s models show the Democratic nominee took a hit after Friday’s news from the FBI.
Their polls-plus forecast shows Trump has a 21.5 percent chance, which is a large bump from Monday which put him at 15.9 percent. Clinton held an 84 percent chance on Monday, and now stands at 78.4 percent. The polls-plus forecast takes into account the polls, economy and historical data to make a prediction.
The polls-plus model gives Trump the highest chance of winning among all election forecasts. This model indicates a Trump presidency is more than twice as likely as Upshot suggests. As Silver points out, historically, there’s been a strong correlation between the number of undecided and third-party voters, and polling volatility, which the polls-plus model takes into account.
Clinton has a slightly higher chance of winning according to the polls-only forecast, which projects she has an 80.6 percent chance of winning. Trump’s chances have increased to 19.3 percent from a low of 12 percent. Clinton’s lead over Trump is now 5.5 percentage points in the polls-only popular vote forecast, down from 7.1 points on Oct. 17.
FiveThirtyEight’s Nowcast, which incorporates new polls very quickly, shows the Democratic nominee having an 80 percent chance of winning if the election were to be held today.
PredictWise: Clinton 88%, Trump 12%
In addition to polling-based models from FiveThirtyEight, there is the PredictWise model, which uses information from betting markets to make a prediction.
Within about an hour of Friday’s news, PredictWise reacted– showing Trump’s chances of winning the presidency rose from 10 percent to 13 percent. Clinton’s chances dropped from 90 percent to 87 percent.
As of Saturday afternoon, PredictWise is giving Clinton an 88 percent chance of winning.
On Twitter, PredictWise founder David Rothschild explained he would be surprised if the news will affect voter sentiment, but added he could see it affecting voter enthusiasm.
Daily Kos: Clinton 95%, Trump 5%
Daily Kos shows Clinton currently has a 95 percent chance of winning the presidency. In a simulated electoral votes projection, Clinton has 333 compared to Trump’s 205. Their projection, which gives Clinton the highest likelihood of winning only takes into account current polling data.
How States Have Shifted
RealClearPolitics has Clinton up by an average of 4.6 points. Trump has experienced slight improvement since his poll numbers plummeted in the wake of the release of a 2005 tape in which he made lewd comments about women and a host of sexual assault allegations.
In the aftermath, polls showed that traditionally Republican states such as Texas and Georgia moved away from the GOP nominee. In the past week, however, Trump appears to be regaining ground in some red states, as well as a few critical swing states.
Both candidates are strongly vying for Florida’s 29 electoral votes, which are necessary for a Trump victory. Clinton holds a slim lead in Florida, RealClearPolitics shows the average of statewide polls gives her a 0.7 advantage, a drop of four points from just a week ago. On Oct. 21, Clinton held a 4-point lead over Trump.
Nevada is another crucial state for Trump, which has gone back and forth the past several weeks. Clinton currently holds a 1.6-point lead, according to RealClearPolitics.
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