The Slatest

Hillary Clinton Is Losing Ground In New Hampshire, a Pretty Important State for Her

Hillary Clinton and Sen. Elizabeth Warren greet supporters during a campaign rally at Saint Anselm College on Oct. 24 in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Crack, crack, crack. Wednesday I wrote that Clinton’s firewall appeared to be holding up in public polling. Then, because people who do polls hate me, these three results—all from New Hampshire polls taken after James Comey’s letter—popped into ye olde polling average Thursday.

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That’s a tie in the Boston Globe/Suffolk University poll, a five-point lead for Trump in the ARG poll, and a one-point Trump lead in the WBUR/MassINC poll.

Some caveats:

  • ARG is generally recognized as a garbage pollster, with a C+ rating on FiveThirtyEight’s accountability page. Suffolk and MassINC have better ratings, though, and each of their new polls were conducted through live interviews on both cellphones and landlines.
  • If you look at changes from previous surveys by the same group, the fall-off looks less catastrophic. WBUR/MassINC’s poll from two weeks ago showed Clinton up 3 at a time when others were showing her up 6 or 8 or 15. The previous Boston Globe/Suffolk Poll, conducted Oct. 3–5, had Clinton up 2.
  • All polling could just be noise or nonresponse bias or something else bogus (is a thing you say when your side is losing).
  • Maybe new polls will come out later, showing sump’m different? Indeed, there’s another one coming out later Thursday.

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Lame caveats aside: Freak out, and panic if you are worried about Donald Trump becoming president of the United States. Trump’s previous problem was that if he won Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Iowa, and Nevada, he would be stuck at 265 electoral votes with no clear next step to 270. But New Hampshire would get him to 269, i.e. an Electoral College tie. And if he wins New Hampshire, then he’s probably in good shape to win the single electorate vote in Maine’s adjacent second congressional district. Trump 270, Clinton 268.

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Oh what, you want comfort? I’m not here to comfort you, friend. But since you asked nicely: Losing New Hampshire wouldn’t matter if Clinton won, say, Nevada and its six electoral votes. And even though the polling average isn’t spectacular for her there, about half or more of the state has already voted and it’s looking very good for Clinton. And there is no reason to expect her to lose North Carolina or Florida, yet. Or New Hampshire. Yet.

Still, the Clinton campaign should have Bernie Sanders personally yanking the kids out of their dorm rooms on Nov. 8 and dragging them to the polls.

Read more Slate coverage of the 2016 campaign.

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