Above is the 2016 Presidential Election Map with state-by-state ratings and predictions determined by PPD’s election projection model, 2014’s most accurate election forecaster on the Internet. Please be patient, as we will add polls, data-driven analysis and commentary from PPD’s senior political analyst, Richard D. Baris, sooner than you might think.
Polling is provided when available–by clicking on the state, though you’ll be redirected to PPD tracking when N/A–but polling in and of itself is not enough to determine a credible race rating. You will notice that our ratings do not wildly gyrate back-and-forth with every new poll that is released. As it relates to polling, aggregate data is weighted with and weighed against our internal, in-house polling data conducted via the PPD U.S. Presidential Election Daily Tracking Poll, which we use to discern demographic voting patterns.
States that are known traditional battlegrounds, as well as others we have concluded are potential battlegrounds, are outlined in bold borders underscoring competitive regions of the country. PPD’s survey samples sizes have been increased in these regions to reduce the chance of error in identifying candidates’ levels of support among all the major voting blocs. We then apply those voting patterns to a given state.
But before we get into the model and ratings, be sure to sign up for our FREE newsletter to be notified of rating changes. receive notifications of our new expanded analysis and read free articles at PPD each month.
Explaining PPD’s Election Projection Model
State ratings for our 2016 Presidential Election Map are determined by PPD’s comprehensive election projection model that includes several variables, including but not limited to polling; weighted to value based on pollster accuracy, or the PPD Pollster Scorecard; state demographics and political leanings, including Partisan Voting Index (PVI); candidate ideology juxtaposed to party ID and voter registration in a particular state; party ID and voter registration trends separate from other variables; candidate recruitment and strength, factoring in experience, GOTV and campaign organizations; the national political environment, or voters’ sentiment toward each party; the ever-important variables of the economy, both state and national; and, of course, presidential approval rating in both state and national polls.
While there are more variables–and, the big ones mentioned could certainly use elaboration–it is worth noting the importance of presidential approval ratings. It is certainly true that there is a less tenuous relationship between current approval ratings and presidential election outcomes than in modern Senate race outcomes, but its influence still cannot be understated. The relationship–both nationwide and in the individual states–is nonetheless very strong.
If the president of a particular party is unpopular, then think of it as an anchor for that party’s candidate. Of course, that cuts both ways, and if President Obama’s approval rating is hovering in the high 40s or above come Election Day, then it could help to negate the three-term curse that Democrats face this cycle.
(View Presidential Approval Ratings — Click Here)
So, if you see polling in our expanded analysis or below (coming soon) that does not necessarily comport with the rating assigned in a particular state, then these variables would be the reason why.
We assign the following ratings to races–Battleground, Leans Clinton or Leans Trump, Likely Clinton or Likely Trump and Safe Clinton or Safe Trump.