Clinton Might Have The Worst Close In History

Look at the ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll.


This pollster is rated A+ by FiveThirtyEight, with a simple average error of 3.0 and a 78 percent “called correctly” percentage. That’s insanely accurate for this kind of poll. It spells disaster for Clinton.

We’re one week out from the election.


If you look at the momentum, the final estimate and the actual vote, the stars are lining up for Trump in a way that’s got to have Clinton very worried. If not for Friday’s FBI surprise, she probably could have coasted it out to a healthy electoral win (if not a landslide), but now that’s out the window.

The biggest effect of Friday is likely to be early voting, although we won’t know the numbers for a few days. Clinton has (with a large margin of error of +/- 7 points) received more early votes than Trump, according to the ABC poll.

If the trend continues, we may see Trump open up more than just a fractional lead. Notice that the actual vote tends to exaggerate the trend moving from the one week out to the final estimate.

  • In 2012 Obama went from 48 to 50 and the actual was 51.
  • In 2008 Obama went from 52 to 53, with McCain getting a huge turnout on election day.
  • Back in 1996, Clinton faltered against Dole but had a large enough lead and a slow enough decline that he easily held on.

All the polls show Clinton’s lead narrowing, especially in her “firewall” states. ABC has defined “toss-up” as Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Utah. With a 5.5 point margin of error, it’s close, but Clinton could lose enough of these to make it too close for comfort.


Remember that there’s a 51 to 53-day periodic cycle that’s been very apparent in the polls. Trump may hit his peak right on target Nov. 8. I know it’s not scientific but anyone can see it. Look at Florida, where FiveThirtyEight has Clinton with a 52.4 percent over Trump with 47.6 percent chance. That’s essentially tied, a week out, with Trump rising and Clinton falling.


Hillary Clinton may just have the worst close of all time in an election if she loses this one. And it’s not at all clear that she will win. Just a week ago we were packing it in for Trump, and now it’s a real race again.

About the author

Steve Berman

The old Steve cared about money, prestige, and power. Then Christ found me. All at once things changed. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

I spent 30 years in business. Now I write and edit. But mostly I love. I have a wife and 2 kids and a dog and we live in a little house in central Georgia.

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