The relationship between the popular vote, roughly reflected in national polls, and the Electoral College vote, is where the rubber meets the road.
When you look at states that are very solid for each candidate, neither candidate has a lock on the race, but Clinton has way more electoral votes, currently. These numbers hover around 200-something to 100-something.
Then there are the strongly leaning states, which when added to the other states, put Clinton almost exactly at the required 270 electoral votes. Maybe a little more, maybe a little less, depending on which states you think you can count on. For example, until this weekend, many put Florida in this second category, but Florida is now looking more like a Trump state.
All of these in between states, including the strongly leaning ones and the real tossups, have the candidates within just a few percentage points of each other. If a strong swing toward or away from either candidate happens, either candidate could win this election. The chances that such a swing puts Trump in the White House is low, but not zero. Repeat: Not zero. And, there is currently an anti-Clinton swing going on, the full magnitude of which we will not know for several days.
It is distinctly possible that the situation on the weekend before voting day will be distinctly different than, say, last weekend. At the present, the race is in flux.
More on the negative side: It is possible that James Comey has (in an act best described as a felony) put enough of a counter spin on the top of the ticket that the Senate is lost to the Democrats.
On the positive side, it is possible that the Democratic Party gets anywhere between one and three extra points in each state because of an improved ground game, a get out the vote effort, compared to the Republicans. But, the Republicans have been getting good at this, and in states where they have a senator at stake, they are putting millions of dollars into play. And of course, some of those states are also swing states.
Anyway, here is today’s bad news:
Recent trends reflected in the FiveThirtyEight electoral vote estimate:
Of the swing states, Trump is leading in Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, Ohio, Utah,
Of the swing states, Clinton is leading in Colorado, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Caroina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Clinton is leading in Florida but with a rapidly diminishing lead, and is behind in more recent polls than is Trump. Florida may go for trump. A prudent guesser will now put Florida in the unknown column, or to be safe, in Trump column.