Polling place: What to make of 3rd-party candidates?

Polling place: What to make of 3rd-party candidates?

Every Tuesday between now and Nov. 8, we’ll provide an updated snapshot of the race for president, as broken down by the numbers crunchers at ELECTION ANALYTICS, a nonpartisan website developed by UI Professor Sheldon Jacobson and his students that analyzes state polling data.

➜ With the first presidential debate less than two weeks away, Hillary Clinton’s lead in the Electoral College now stands at 314-224, which includes Gary Johnson and Jill Stein in the mix.   

➜ Although neither Johnson nor Stein have realistic chances to win any Electoral College votes, their presence will clearly impact the outcome in several states, and the Electoral College race to the White House.  

➜ The question to ask: Will people who have indicated support for these third party candidates actually cast their votes that way on Election Day? If they do, the person who wins the White House will likely garner less than 45 percent of the popular vote, which has only happened five times in U.S. history, the last time of which was 1992 — ironically, with Bill Clinton drawing 43 percent of the popular vote to win the White House, and Ross Perot the third party candidate.  

➜ The number of battleground states has grown to seven — Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Nevada, Georgia, Iowa and Arizona — with Clinton holding a lead in three of them. 
 
➜ Seven other states — Missouri, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Oregon, New Mexico, Wisconsin and New Hampshire — may eventually also enter the battleground group, with Clinton holding a lead in six of them. 
 
➜ All polling data reported suggest that Donald Trump’s momentum continues to swing upward, though he may be approaching a ceiling after his recent advances.   

FOR MORE: Visit electionanalytics.cs.illinois.edu 

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