Nervous about recent changes in polls? As usual, don’t pay attention to single surveys. However, it is true that the Presidential race has narrowed by a few percentage points; the median of national polls taken over the last week is Clinton +2%. PEC’s state poll-based analysis will probably continue to move toward Trump for at least a week as it catches up with national surveys.
There is a great way for you to redirect your tension – to downticket races. Current polls favor the Democrats to not only win the Presidency, but also potentially to take control of the Senate – with an outside chance of taking the House as well. These outcomes have major consequences for legislative and political action in 2017-2018. Under these conditions, where should you put your energy?
The first answer is: close Senate races. PEC calculates the influence that an individual voter can have (see The Power Of One Vote on the right), based on close polling margins and highlighting states of smaller population. In the top states, shoe-leather get-out-the-vote makes the largest impact. The closest races can also be found by clicking the ActBlue site at left (the Republican site, the NRSC, lacks this capability).
The second answer is: the House of Representatives. Republicans are highly likely to lose seats. But will they retain their majority? If they do, there is preliminary talk on the right of impeaching President Clinton in advance. Such a remarkable act of polarization would probably slow down legislative progress, to put it mildly.
I have previously estimated that to have a chance at taking the majority, Democrats would need to win the national popular vote by 6-8 percentage points. This is hard but not impossible. It will come down to close Congressional races such as New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District, which trends about 4 percentage points Republican compared with the rest of the nation. It would be cool to have a web application where one types in a ZIP code, then gets back information about the nearest close Congressional race as defined by the Cook Political Report. Anyone?