POLITICS

New Hampshire Is Waffling Between Donald Trump And Hillary Clinton

But the recent pro-Trump trend doesn’t seem to extend to other potential swing states.

New Hampshire and its four electoral votes took center stage on Thursday, as several polls came out showing Donald Trump leading in the state, upsetting a previously clear Hillary Clinton lead. But that’s not going to change the fact that Clinton has an overwhelmingly strong chance of winning next Tuesday.

First, a MassINC/WBUR poll in the state showed Trump up by 1 point, 40 to 39. That’s essentially unchanged since their last poll showed Clinton with 41 percent support and Trump with 38 percent, but enough change to pull the state into question.

Another new poll from American Research Group put Trump up by 5 points in the state, and Suffolk University/Boston Globe showed the two candidates tied. But SurveyMonkey’s 50-state tracker daily update put Clinton up by 10 points ― which could be partially explained by its dates going back farther than the other polls.

Something clearly changed in New Hampshire in the last few days. Clinton’s odds of winning New Hampshire will likely decrease a bit in the HuffPost forecast model. But that’s not likely to change Clinton’s overall win odds much since she’s holding steady in other key states. And Trump continues to struggle in states Republicans usually win handily.

New NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls in Georgia, Arizona and Texas all show the GOP nominee leading, but only in single digits. Trump is up by 9 points in Texas, 5 points in Arizona and only 1 point in Georgia. SurveyMonkey’s daily tracker shows both Arizona and Georgia tied and only a 4-point Trump lead in Texas.

Texas won’t be in play, but Arizona and Georgia have been close over the last few weeks. Decreased odds of Trump winning those states would offset any gains he’d make from New Hampshire. Right now, Trump has an 82 percent chance of winning Georgia and a 72 percent chance of winning Arizona.

And then there’s Utah, another deep red state that has been on the radar in this bizarre election cycle. For a few weeks it seemed as though independent conservative candidate Evan McMullin might take the state, especially since Republican leaders are divided on whether to support McMullin or Trump.

The latest polling in Utah ― including a survey out Thursday from Monmouth University ― shows Trump leading. McMullin’s support peaked around 30 percent in a few polls, but he’s never been ahead of Trump, and those numbers have come down to the mid-20s. Even though Trump is only averaging 35 percent in the Beehive State, he’s overwhelmingly favored to win it. McMullin’s spoiler attempt doesn’t seem to be working.

So it seems that whatever tidal shift might be occurring in New Hampshire is isolated to the Granite State. The rest of the polls this week show states holding steady near where they have been.

That means not much will change in the HuffPost presidential forecast. The only state that is at risk of flipping from Clinton to Trump is Ohio ― but it’s flipped a couple of times already in the last few weeks. The change from a 54 percent chance of Clinton winning to a 50-54 percent chance of Trump winning won’t be large enough to change Clinton’s overall win probability much. She doesn’t need Ohio (or New Hampshire) in order to win.   

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