Wednesday, February 20, 2013

HILLARYLAND: Early In 2016 Race, PPP Finds A Nearly Invincible Hillary Clinton

In 2008, Barack Obama carried 365 electoral college votes against John McCain, roughly on par with the 379 electoral college votes Bill Clinton carried against Bob Dole in 1996, and 1 of the largest electoral college victories since George H. W. Bush trounced Michael Dukakis in 1988, 426-111.

But according to Public Policy Polling (D), when voters are given Hillary Clinton as a hypothetical presidential choice for 2016, she would win in a landslide at least larger than Obama's in 2008 and her husband's in 1996, and at most, would rival FDR, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan for 1 of the largest landslides in history.

A string of recent 2016 polling from the prolific Democratic pollster indicates that Hillary Clinton would be, by far, the Democrat's strongest candidate in a generation. In states as traditionally conservative as Alaska, Texas, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Georgia, Hillary would tie OR defeat every single one of her potential Republican rivals. This fact is far more astounding when you consider that Barack Obama lost all five of these deep-red states in both 2008 and 2012, by no less than 8 points (in Georgia), and no more than 23 points (in Kentucky). Furthermore, Kentucky & Louisiana have not voted Democratic since 1996, Georgia since 1992, Texas since 1976, and Alaska since 1964.  

But just for fun, let's assume Hillary Clinton wins every state Obama won in 2012 (for a total of 332 electoral college votes), as well as the five additional deep-red states PPP finds Hillary performing well in:

That puts Hillary's ECV total at 389, to 149 for her hypothetical Republican opponent (the lowest ECV total for a Republican since Barry Goldwater in 1964!). But really, if PPP is correct regarding their red-state, 2016 polling, what are the odds that Hillary Clinton would win AK, TX, KY, LA, & GA, but lose other less Republican states, such as North Carolina, Indiana, Missouri, or Arizona? Quite slim. The below map takes a look at how many states Hillary Clinton could win in the event she wins every state Obama lost in 2012 by 14 points or less (the margin by which Obama lost Alaska, one of the five red states where PPP finds Hillary Clinton defeating her likely Republican opponents):

As you can see, the electoral college map turns the blue-est its been since 1964, when Lyndon B. Johnson won a landslide 486-52 victory against Goldwater (R) in the wake of John F. Kennedy's assassination. In fact, Hillary's 470-68 lead, if played out in 2016, would be the 7th largest electoral college victory of the last 29 elections, dating back to 1900.

Yet if we take PPP's finding one step further, and assume that Hillary wins every state Obama lost by 23 points or less (the amount by which Obama lost Kentucky), she would win a whopping 507-31 electoral college votes, just barely shy of Nixon's '72 and Reagan's '84 landslides:

The above map brings to mind an image widely circulated after the 2004 election that depicted the electoral college map as "JesusLand," a jab at George W. Bush's recent reelection on the strength of "moral values" voters. Except this time, we have "Hillaryland." If PPP is right about Hillary being capable of winning states such as Kentucky, Alaska, Texas, Louisiana, and Georgia, the above electoral college map is quite feasible. And if this scenario plays out, where would Hillary's victory fall on the spectrum of historical landslides? The chart below answers this by pointing out the electoral college results of the last century, while also including 2016 scenarios inspired by PPP:

It's amazing to think that the former GOP punching bag of the 90's could win more Republican states than her folksy, charismatic husband ever did. But that is exactly what PPP is finding at this early stage of the 2016 race. Not only that, if Hillary were able to win Kentucky (as PPP finds), and other states that Obama lost by similar margins or less, she would be poised to win over 500 electoral college votes, something accomplished only 3 times over the course of 29 elections since 1900. If all of this sounds a bit optimistic...that's because IT IS, especially when you consider how confusing some other PPP findings are regarding the 2016 presidential race.

For example, in their poll taken Jan 31-Feb 6, 2013,  PPP found Hillary Clinton leading all of her GOP foes nationally by anywhere from 5 to 8 points, while sporting a mediocre national favorability rating of 49/42%. On the 3 occasions in the last century in which a presidential candidate received over 500 electoral college votes - 1936, 1972, 1984 - the winner of those elections defeated their opponent by 24, 23, and 18 points respectively. So if Marco Rubio is trailing Hillary Clinton by 3 points in Louisiana, as PPP found last week, it's a pretty safe bet that he would be losing to Hillary nationally by a much larger margin than 49-41% (John McCain lost by nearly that margin to Obama in 2008 nationally, though still carried Louisiana by about 20 points). The same applies to Chris Christie, a Republican who manages to trail Hillary Clinton in deep red Texas, 45-43%, but only trails 46-41% nationwide. One would expect a Republican to be trailing by double digits nationally in the event they are losing to a Democrat in Texas. The below chart shows the results of every hypothetical 2016 match-up put out by PPP since the 2012 election, state and nationwide:

Of course, any measure of an election that is still four years out should be taken with a grain of salt. But PPP is finding a pretty amazing electoral scenario shaping up for Hillary Clinton. Unfortunately, they are one of the only pollsters in the field doing hypothetical 2016 general election match-ups in typically safe Republican states. It will be interesting to see if other pollsters find America on the verge of "HillaryLand" in the weeks and months ahead.

UPDATE; 2/23/2013: PPP just released 2016 numbers in the state of Montana, which becomes the 1st  "red-state" to show Republicans....actually....beating....HILLARY! Rubio leads 50-42%, and Ryan leads 51/44%. So subtract blue Montana from the map above (all 3 electoral college votes). Hill's still impeccably positioned for 2016 (per PPP findings).


  1. I hope she doesn't win.

  2. Please Hillary don't run.

  3. Agreed, hillary would be a catastrophe.

  4. This is wishful thinking. Of course Hillary is leading in the polls because no one else besides Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney have actually declared they are running. With Obamas approval rating, and questionable scandals surrounding Hillary it is more then likely she may be knocked out of the race before the nominee is officially decided. Dont rule out the possibility of Elizabeth Warren entering the race just to take votes and make Hillary seem less crazy in comparison. Keep in mind Obama's election was special.(And I am no fan of Obama.) She will not have the same amount of enthusiasm behind her that he had going for him.

  5. January 30, 2016.... Hillary... "you've come a long way, Baby !!"

  6. God Bless Hillary Clinton. 98% of Latinos are voting for Hillary. 3 millions new latinos are voting for hillary in texas. Donal Trump is the DEVIL. Obama is going an Excellent Job, you just don't want to give him the credit because he is 50% black. but he has done a very good job and thats the reason we the latinos whether you like or don't are going to vote for Hillary Clinton as the next President of the United States of America. so, if you are voting for Trump you are wasting your Vote. Vote for Hillary and be part of the celebration. jajaja!!!!

  7. Obama is doing and Excellent Job.


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