Hillary Clinton has an 87 percent chance of winning the presidency according to the FiveThirtyEight polls-only model and a 77 percent shot according to our polls-plus model. Several new national polls reinforced the picture we already had: Clinton leads Donald Trump by about 7 or 8 percentage points. We also got some new state polls, including in Florida, Iowa, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, South Carolina and Texas, and while our topline forecasts haven’t changed much, those surveys emphasized how many different paths Clinton has to victory.
If you’ve followed politics over the past 20 years, you’ve probably heard repeatedly that the two most important swing states are Florida and Ohio. That’s not untrue. Both states are at the center of things this year too — they rank No. 1 and No. 3, respectively, in our tipping-point index, which measures which states are most likely to provide the decisive vote in the Electoral College.
But it’s also easy to overstate the importance of Florida and Ohio. In the simulations our models run, Florida or Ohio prove crucial less than 30 percent of the time. Indeed, Clinton has some viable paths to the White House even if she loses Florida, Iowa, Nevada or Ohio — all states where her polling has been lackluster relative to her national numbers. That’s because she’s outperforming her national polls in Colorado and Virginia.
And then there’s New Hampshire, where we just got some new polling. Let’s take a closer gander at what’s going on in the Granite State.
Take a look at our “winding path to 270 electoral votes” graphic:
New Hampshire puts Clinton over the finish line in …