Forget about what the oddsmakers say about Trump’s election chances. Instead, let’s focus on polls at the state and national level, and assess the election from a pragmatic point of view.

What would it take for Trump to close the gap? Is it possible?

Let’s start our analysis with a look at a National Poll Average of recent polls by Real Clear Politics.

Momentum Shifts Back to Trump

RCP Poll Averages2

That chart represents national data. The election will be won or lost at the state level. However let’s dive further into national numbers a bit to see what is happening.

Biased Average of Polls

RCP Polling Data

Some may question the LA Times poll. I sure do. But that 50% mark posted by NBC and Bloomberg for Hillary is equally nonsense as the following image shows.

Four-Way Race Results

RCP Poll Averages Four Way 2016-08-21

Clinton’s real support level is 43-44%, not 50%.

Economist/YouGov

YouGov-08-16

The undecideds and others represents a hefty 20%. Might they break for Trump? Are those voters coming mainly at the expense of Trump or Hillary?

IPOS/Reuters

IPOS 2016-08-13

The IPOS poll is even more interesting.

Check out support for Hillary among Democrats. Is it likely to get any better?

Where Trump Can Pick Up Votes

  • 11% of Republicans say they will vote for someone other than Trump or Hillary
  • 9% are unsure or refused to answer.
  • 22% of Independents say they will vote for someone other than Trump or Hillary
  • 12% of Independents are unsure or refused to answer.

That’s one heck of a lot of votes. And they are far more likely to break for Trump than for Hillary.

State Projections

RCP State Projections 2016-08-21

Toss Up State Analysis

RCP Batteground 2016-08-21

Of the eight toss up states, highlighted in yellow, Trump is currently behind in all but Missouri and Arizona.

However, I do expect Trump will win most or all of them. So let’s make that assumption and re-draw the map.

RCP State Projections 2016-08-21A

Winning most of the states currently marked toss up will not be good enough for Trump. In fact, winning all of them will not be enough.

In my projections earlier this year, in which I posted a roadmap for a Trump victory, I expected Trump to win either Virginia or Pennsylvania. That task now looks very difficult.

Even if Trump holds all of the above red states, he still needs to convert some other state from blue to red. Any state will do.

Pennsylvania is big enough to cover a loss of some small state like Nevada. New Mexico is a possible shot. So is Michigan. What about Minnesota?

On August 20, Donald Trump Said He Could Win Minnesota. He might have to. And if he did so, he would be the first Republican to carry the state since since Richard Nixon’s landslide victory in 1972.

If I could win a state like Minnesota, the path is a whole different thing,” Trump told donors at a fundraiser event in Minneapolis.

Expect Race to Tighten Considerably

Trump’s curious focus on Minnesota should now be easy to understand in light of the above math. Trump knows what he has to do.

It’s an uphill battle, but not impossible. I expect a much closer election than the polling odds and mainstream media has you believe.

My rationale?

  1. Hillary has likely peaked with Democrats.
  2. Trump has not peaked with Republicans.
  3. Undecided Republicans are highly likely to break for Trump, and do so in size.

This election is not over yet.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock