Battleground County Updates and NEW Statewide Surveys in CO, FL, NV, NC, OH, PA, VA & WI

Surveys | October 23, 2016

KANSAS CITY, MO – In early June, Axiom Strategies set out to find a select group of counties that have historically been indicators for statewide presidential election results. Axiom, in collaboration with Remington Research Group, analyzed individual county election results dating back to 2000 in order to select areas that best fit our criteria. The search began by identifying counties that had correctly predicted the statewide result in each of the last four presidential elections. We then chose the counties that consistently matched the overall statewide result within a few percentage points. At the time, seven counties that reside in seven battleground states fit our criteria and were selected to be Axiom’s Battleground Counties.

Polls conducted in June and July showed strong Trump leads in most Battleground Counties. But by September 8th, Trump had seen his mid-Summer gains completely wiped away with the exception of Washoe County, NV, where his lead had grown from 12 points to 17 points. Additionally, three new counties, which were added to monitor whether certain original Battleground Counties may have been outliers to their normally predictive nature, showed much more competitive races in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Hamilton County, OH, showed Clinton with a single point lead compared to Trump’s seven-point lead in Sandusky County, OH. In Pennsylvania, Northampton County showed Trump with an eight-point lead compared to the 15-point lead he enjoyed in working class Luzerne County. The race seemed to be slowly moving towards Hillary Clinton.

In mid-October, with certain counties appearing to possibly be outliers, the decision was made to conduct statewide polling in each of the battleground states. Polling also continued into the ten Axiom Battleground Counties and, as of Oct. 23rd, we find a presidential campaign where Hillary Clinton has the clear advantage over Donald Trump, but we do not find a presidential campaign that is out of reach for Trump. The odds are stacked against Trump, as our data and data from most reliable sources shows, but he has slim leads or is within the margin of error in his must-win states. Trump would need to overcome a deficit in Colorado, break through a current tie in Florida and maintain small leads in Nevada, North Carolina and Ohio to have a chance to accumulate 270 electoral votes. Virginia, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania appear to be out of his reach as he is at least three points behind in each of those states in the closing weeks of the campaign. A pathway has been charted, but data also shows that Trump could also be the victim of a clean sweep in these states.

Click here to download the project timeline.