- Business Insider/Andy Kiersz
Just 12 days remain in the presidential race – and one of the biggest battleground states is seemingly up for grabs.
Florida, the largest prize among the swing states, now sees Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton leading by less than 2 points, shifting it from a state that leaned in her favor to one that is essentially a toss-up.
But even with Florida looking as if it could be either Clinton’s or Donald Trump’s to secure, the latest RealClearPolitics average of several polls suggests the former secretary of state maintains a substantial lead in the Electoral College. She would have enough votes to secure the presidency even if she only maintained every state where she is likely or a safe bet to win. That means she could lose each of the three toss-up states along with North Carolina and Nevada, which only lean in her favor, and still come out on top.
Using polling data from RealClearPolitics and The Washington Post/Survey Monkey, Business Insider found that Clinton, as of this week, would lead Trump 272 to 181 electoral votes in states that were either safe or likely bets to go in favor of either major party’s nominee. That alone would give Clinton more than the 270 electoral votes needed to clinch the presidency.
It’s a slight difference from last week’s projection, which showed Clinton with a 278-to-181 edge in the same categories.
Business Insider judged that a safe state was one in which a candidate led by at least 8 percentage points, while a likely state was anywhere in which the nominee held a 4- to 8-point lead.
When including states leaning toward a candidate by 2 to 4 points, Clinton held a 293-to-187 advantage over Trump. Last week, Clinton was up 322 to 187 when including this category.
Only four states shifted from last week. Virginia moved from “safe” for Clinton to “likely,” Nevada moved from “likely” for Clinton to “leaning” in favor of her, Florida moved from “lean” to “toss-up,” and South Dakota moved from “safe” for Trump to “likely” in favor of the Manhattan billionaire.
The toss-up states – where a major-party nominee held a lead of less than 2 points – consist of 58 electoral votes. Last week, the two states that were too close to call were Ohio and Arizona. This week, Florida joined the pack.