March 15, 2016
Less Data = More Fun. Anyone can make a pick with lots of data. There are no fewer than 18 semi-recent GOP polls in Florida. If you want to see a boring forecast, click here. North Carolina has a bit more uncertainty. For a semi-interesting forecast, click here.
But Missouri is fun. Three polls in 2016 on the Democratic side, one for the Republicans. Trump ahead by 7 in that one, Bernie up by 1 in the most recent survey on his side, with Hillary having led by 7 and 4 in the previous two.
Betting markets are feeling the Bern by a 2 to 1 rate. FiveThirtyEight narrowly favors Hillary. Bettors narrowly favor Trump, while FiveThirtyEight doesn’t have enough data to weigh in. Where data stops, we start.
Bernie Sanders: 54.4%
You may ask how someone trailing in the poll average winds up winning by almost 10. He was in a similar position in Oklahoma and won by a similar amount. Missouri is adjacent.
Hillary led in a single Kansas poll. Bernie won easily. Missouri is a bordering state. He also finished a little ahead of his polls in Iowa, another bordering state.
Arkansas and Tennessee didn’t turn out quite as well, so I’m assuming Hillary will keep this relatively close and retain her approximate polling average. However, the undecided voters get assigned to Bernie.
Hillary Clinton: 45.0%
It appears the Clinton team has mostly written this one off. They’re trying to salvage Illinois and making a big push in Ohio, but are willing to lose Missouri. It’s still possible Hillary winds up winning, but it’s her least favorable state of the five.
If she does get this one, it means she swept the entire day. I don’t see a situation where she wins this and loses Illinois or Ohio.
Ted Cruz: 44.3%
I’m giving Cruz a large majority of the undecided voters from the one poll we have to work with. Also assuming a few Rubio voters continue migrating to Ted. In Oklahoma and Kansas, Cruz got some Trump leaners in addition to undecided.
In Arkansas, Cruz more than held his own, barely losing to Trump in a contest where Rubio was well over 20%. It’s not a bad Trump state, and The Donald likely gets delegates from at least one congressional district possibly more, but it’s Ted’s state.
This is by far his best target of the day. Illinois is possible, North Carolina an outside chance. He won’t get either of those if he doesn’t take this one.
Donald Trump: 39.2%
Trump was at 33% in December, 36% in early March. This seems about right. He’s yet to break 40% in a state where he didn’t poll over 40%. He didn’t exceed his final polling numbers in any state that borders Missouri.
In Oklahoma and Iowa, he led Cruz in the final polling average before losing by about the same margin he was ahead by. Kansas was a total debacle and Arkansas was a near escape. Even in Tennessee, where Trump won easily, Cruz narrowed the margin from the final polls.
Until proven otherwise, I’m going to continue to use the triangulating method when there’s an absence of data.
John Kasich: 9.3%
This is his level in Missouri, North Carolina, and Florida. Maybe a point higher, maybe a point lower, but somewhere around here. It sort of kills the suspense. This is a two-person race.
Marco Rubio 6.4%
According to the betting markets, Marco Rubio entered the New Hampshire debate with a 55% chance of winning the Republican nomination. Can you say biggest debate choke in American history?