Without a doubt, the decision by FBI director James Comey to announce the discovery of new emails related to the Hillary Clinton has seriously damaged Hillary’s election chances.

This may hand Trump the victory.

I receive emails every day pointing out that Trump was closing the gap. Yes, he was, but not at a rate sufficient enough to matter.

It is a different matter today. The polls still do not show it the way I see things, which is Trump is about where he was headed into the first debate, with momentum on Trump’s side.

One reader was so confident Trump would win, even before the Comey bombshell, he offered an even up bet on Trump. I took the bet, but laid off a piece on a legal betting site.

I win much more if Hillary wins than Trump, but I win something either way. I hope I lose the bet and win peanuts.

Let’s now turn our attention to the matter at hand.

Assessing Trump’s Chances

For starters, we need to discard national polls that show Trump is in the lead. National polls do not matter, even though they are encouraging. If the election was today, I think Trump would lose.

But the election is not today. Momentum is massively in Trump’s favor, and has been for a couple of weeks. Most importantly, Trump has not made any errors in that time frame.

This map by Nate Silver shows roughly where things stand.

Winding Path

nate-silver-2016-11-02

I disagree with Silver on Nevada and North Carolina. Earlier today Silver flipped on Florida, and before his flip, I disagreed with Silver on Florida.

Mentally place those states in Trump’s column, and we are pretty much where we were heading into the first debate: with Trump needing one more state.

Even the likely candidate states are the same: Colorado, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.

This is where it gets interesting.

Expected Margins

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Spotlight On Michigan

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If we only look at the three most recent polls, Trump has a decent chance of winning Michigan.

In fact, Michigan seems to be Trump’s best shot, followed by Colorado, then New Hampshire.

By the way, even Wisconsin is in play. The most recent poll has Hillary with a mere one point lead, on an adjusted basis.

A slew of states are in play. Trump needs just one of them, assuming I am correct that Florida, North Carolina, and Nevada are a given.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock