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Ratings Change: 7 States Shift Toward Clinton in Electoral College

Democrat projected to win 332 electoral votes — she needs 270 to win

Donald Trump appears to be drowning in the wake of the conventions.

The GOP presidential nominee was in a precarious electoral position even before the conventions because of his high unfavorable ratings and penchant for controversial remarks. The four days in Cleveland were supposed to unite the GOP but appear to have done the opposite, as Trump has lost ground to Hillary Clinton in national and swing-state polls.

While the overall numbers in the Electoral College haven’t changed, certain key states appear to be slipping out of Trump’s reach while a few reliably Republican states are coming into play. We’re changing the ratings in seven states toward Clinton and just one in Trump’s direction.

Based on more recent presidential elections and demographic trends, any GOP nominee already faced an uphill battle in the Electoral College by needing to win Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and Colorado. With less than three months before Election Day, Trump’s path is rapidly evaporating as he falls behind in battleground states.

[2016 Roll Call Election Guide: President]

At the beginning of July, roughly two weeks before the Republican National Convention, we moved all four Tossup states toward Clinton, giving her an advantage in 26 states and the District of Columbia for a total of 332 electoral votes. That’s well over the 270 needed to win and on the path to the 365 Electoral College votes Obama received in 2008.

Clinton has opened up a distinct advantage in Colorado, Virginia, and New Hampshire with a high single-digit lead or better in recent polling. We’re changing The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call rating in all three races from Tilts Democrat to Leans Democratic.

The campaign season has deteriorated to the point where Trump is struggling in Arizona and Georgia and we’re changing the rating in both states from Republican Favored to Leans Republican. New Mexico and Oregon hosted close races in 2000 and 2004 and may have been competitive with different nominees, but Trump won’t challenge in either state. We’re changing both from Democrat Favored to Safe Democrat.

On the other hand, Nevada has turned out to be more competitive than initially thought and we’re changing the rating in the Silver State from Democrat Favored to Leans Democratic.

You can read the full analysis of the presidential race and ratings changes in the Aug. 19 issue of The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report.

Here is a summary of the recent changes:

  • Arizona: From Republican Favored to Leans Republican
  • Colorado: From Tilts Democrat to Leans Democratic
  • Georgia: From Republican Favored to Leans Republican
  • Nevada: From Democrat Favored to Leans Democratic
  • New Hampshire: From Tilts Democrat to Leans Democratic
  • New Mexico: Democrat Favored to Safe Democrat
  • Oregon: Democrat Favored to Safe Democrat
  • Virginia: From Tilts Democrat to Leans Democratic

How the race ratings have shifted since early 2015:

For more, visit Roll Call's 2016 Election Guide. (Graphic by Ryan Kelly/CQ Roll Call)
For more, visit Roll Call’s 2016 Election Guide. (Graphic by Ryan Kelly/CQ Roll Call)

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