Hillary Clinton continues to maintain an edge over Donald Trump, with roughly one-fourth of all expected ballots cast in the 2016 election in her favour. However, data about the early vote suggests she's not doing as well as President Barack Obama in 2012. Ballot requests from likely supporters have been weak in parts of the Midwest, and African-American turnout has fallen, too.
With more than half the votes already cast in those states, Democrats are matching, if not exceeding their successful 2012 pace, according to data compiled by The Associated Press. Early voting — by mail and at polling stations — is underway in 37 states. More than 31 million votes have been cast, representing nearly 25 percent of the total votes expected nationwide if turnout is similar to 2012. In all, more than 46 million people — or as much as 40 percent of the electorate — are expected to vote before Tuesday, according to AP data.
With the US Presidential Election 2016 just four days away, it is the battleground states that will determine the winner. According to ABC News, 15 states and two congressional districts are either leaning towards Democrats, Republicans or are the battleground states. Among the 12-odd purple states, let's look at Florida, Virginia and Arizona, which are touted to be a few of the swingiest states.
What happened during the 2000 election is common history now. In that election, Florida tipped the presidency in favour of George W Bush. The winner was decided after a month-long legal battle. In 2000, the television networks had made a premature call and had announced that Bush had won. Al Gore conceded as Florida was the deciding state. However, it was later announced that the it was too close to call. As per American law, the situation called for a recount. After a month-long legal tussle, the Supreme Court of America rejected the Florida court’s recount order and Gore had to concede once again.
In Florida, more than half of voters have already cast ballots. Democrats remain virtually tied with Republicans. At this point in 2008 and 2012, Democrats held an advantage in ballots cast. Obama won the state in both the years.
The black share of ballots is down, while the Latino share is up.
Democrats and Republican analysts say they see signs that Republican early voters are those who previously voted on Election Day, while Democrats are drawing new voters. That would be good news for Democrats.
"I'm still bullish that Clinton will get to the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House," said Scott Tranter, co-founder of the Republican data firm Optimus, according to AP.
The new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll indicates that Trump has the support of 45 percent of the surveyed voters, while Clinton has 40 percent of the support.
In Arizona, where two-thirds of votes have been cast, Democrats trail by 6 percentage points. But at this point in 2012, Republicans had opened a lead of roughly 10 percentage points. The share of independent voters or those whose party affiliation is unknown is also up slightly.
Turnout rose among all races, but at higher rates among Hispanics. "Arizona is close," Tranter said, reported AP.
According to CBC News, the demographic constitution has undergone change in Arizona, which has traditionally has been a red state. The growing Hispanic population in the state might help Democrats clinch a win in this state. Trump’s promise of building a border wall with Mexico to stop illegal immigration has not resonated well with the high Hispanic population in the state.
Hillary Clinton has a 6 percentage-point lead over Donald Trump in this swing state, reported Politico. In fact, the recent Clinton email scandal and FBI director James Comey's announcement have not affected the voting preferences. The report states: "The bulk of Clinton’s support comes from the Northern Virginia counties that surround Washington, where Trump is especially unpopular."
However, according to Newsweek, though Clinton has a lead in Virginia, it's still a swing state as the Democrat Presidential nominee's vote share has shrunk.
(With inputs from AP)