Tag Archives: former president Donald Trump

New Hampshire & New Mexico

Could New Hampshire & New Mexico be in play for Republicans?

By Jim Ellis — Friday, July 19, 2024


Even before the Trump assassination attempt and the Republican National Convention commenced, polling was beginning to suggest that some unusual states were venturing into the competitive realm.

At this point in the election cycle, it appears that the top conversion targets for the Trump campaign are Arizona, Georgia, and Nevada. Together, these states would deliver 33 of the 35 conversion electoral votes (from those states that voted for President Biden in 2020 but are strong potential Trump states in 2024) the former president would need to win the national election.

In the trio of these states since the beginning of this year, Trump has not trailed in any of the cumulative 62 polls from 15 different pollsters conducted in the three entities. If these states vote Trump in 2024, then the electoral map significantly changes.

Obviously, beyond Arizona, Georgia, and Nevada, the three commonly discussed Great Lakes states are clear battleground regions: Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Now, however, cumulative polling suggests other places could be potential Trump conversion opportunities. It is important, however, to determine which might legitimate prospects to flip as compared to those where the newly crowned Republican nominee could do well but might only come close to President Biden’s vote percentage.

The states in question are Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Virginia. One victory in any of the aforementioned, or converting the 2nd Congressional District of Nebraska (via an Electoral College tie), would award the election to former President Trump, assuming all 25 states that he twice carried return to his column.

While a Trump plurality victory is certainly within the realm of possibility in Maine since polling suggests his lead in the northern ME-2 district is at or near 20 percentage points, his chances of losing the 1st District by less than such a spread are good. Therefore, Trump could reasonably place first in Maine. His problem is the state’s Ranked Choice Voting system. Because it is doubtful he could secure majority support in the state — more than 50 percent — Trump would likely lose to President Biden in the RCV rounds.

Minnesota is the most loyal Democratic state in modern presidential campaign history. The last time the Land of 10,000 Lakes voted for a Republican in the national election came in 1972 when the state chose then-President Richard Nixon over then-Sen. George McGovern (D). Every other state has voted for a Republican at least one time since that election. In 2016, Mr. Trump came within 1.5 points of Hillary Clinton in Minnesota, which is probably the best he could do in 2024.

New Jersey is a state where Republicans poll better than they run, unlike some of the southern states where the opposite is true. The latest publicly released survey (co/efficient; June 26-27; 810 likely New Jersey general election voters; live interview & text) found Trump actually posting a slight 41-40 percent lead over President Biden in the Garden State. Such a margin is unlikely to occur when actual votes are cast, making New Jersey a “fool’s gold” state for Republicans.

Virginia also is unlikely to flip. The Washington, DC metro area in its entirety, meaning the city itself as well as the Northern Virginia and Maryland suburbs, is historically Trump’s worst-performing area in the country. Therefore, looking at the increased population in northern Virginia and Trump’s unpopularity in the region suggests that his three-point deficit spread found in the July 12-15 Florida Atlantic University survey of 918 likely Virginia voters is the closest that Trump will come to victory in the state.

The New Hampshire and New Mexico situations, however, look different. Both states are small, campaigning is relatively cheap, and though they have Democratic voting histories certainly since 2016, both could be seriously in play come November.

New Hampshire has elected a Republican governor in four straight elections and though outgoing Gov. Chris Sununu (R) is no fan of Trump’s, he pledged to vote for him and if the state is in a position to make a national difference, the governor will put the campaign levers in place to help push Trump over the top.

New Hampshire, however, has not been kind to the Republican presidential candidates. Since the 2012 presidential election, national Republican nominees have averaged only 46.1 percent of the vote as compared to the Democratic contenders 50.5 percent. Yet, the Granite State still has swing characteristics.

The New Mexico numbers are slightly worse than those in New Hampshire. The cumulative average in presidential races since 2012, inclusive, finds the Democratic nominee attracting a mean average of 51.8 percent compared to the Republicans’ 42.1 percent. Yet, with a plurality Hispanic Voting Age Population figure (44.3 percent Hispanic; 40.5 percent Anglo), and more Hispanic voters professing openness toward Republicans, the state may well be closer in 2024 than what previous statistics show.

If the Trump campaign is to overcome their electoral vote deficit, they must first expand the playing field, which they appear to be doing, continue to concentrate on Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, and then invest in some longer-shot states in the hope that one comes through. Two such candidates for long-shot victory are clearly New Hampshire and New Mexico.

The Move to Replace Biden; Menendez Found Guilty; McIver Wins NJ-10 Special Election; Jungle Primary Outcome Predicted in Washington

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, July 17, 2024


President Joe Biden at the June 27 CNN debate.

Democratic National Convention: Further Activity to Open Convention — While the move to replace President Joe Biden as the Democratic nominee was quieted temporarily in the aftermath of the assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump, California US Rep. Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) is now circulating a “Dear Colleague” letter to encourage the Democratic National Committee to forego plans to virtually renominate President Biden. The process is scheduled to begin at the end of the month, but the Huffman proposal would instead allow the nomination roll call vote to occur at the Democratic National Convention as originally planned.

The congressman points out that the delegates should make the nomination decision at the convention to possibly allow another candidate, presumably Vice President Kamala Harris, to emerge as the party nominee, presumably to give the party a better chance of defeating Trump in November. Though delegates are bound by state law, they can, as a matter of conscience, abstain from voting. This could lead to multiple ballots until the various state laws and party rules that bind delegate votes to the candidate whom the state voters supported expire. At that point, the convention would be open to potentially nominate another candidate.


New Jersey: Sen. Bob Menendez (D) Found Guilty — Sen. Bob Menendez (D/I-NJ) was found guilty of bribery and corruption on all counts yesterday, and key Democratic leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Menendez’s home state governor, Phil Murphy (D), are calling for him to resign.

Other New Jersey officials yesterday making public statements encouraging Sen. Menendez to voluntarily leave office are the state’s junior senator, Cory Booker (D-NJ), Rep. Andy Kim (D-Moorestown), the Democratic nominee poised to succeed Menendez in the November election, developer Curtis Bashaw, the Republican US Senate nominee, Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair), and Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop (D), an announced 2025 gubernatorial candidate.

Should Menendez soon depart the Senate either through resignation or expulsion, Gov. Murphy has already said that he will make a caretaker appointment to immediately fill the seat. By losing Menendez, the Democratic majority would retreat to 50D-49R division for the short term.


NJ-10: McIver Wins Special Election — Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-Newark) passed away in late April leaving the 10th District temporarily unrepresented. Last night, as expected, Newark City Council President LaMonica McIver easily won the special Democratic primary over four opponents. She becomes the prohibitive favorite to win the Sept. 18 special general election and will then assume the seat to serve the remaining balance of the current term.

The local 10th Congressional District Democratic Committee will meet later this week to choose a regular election nominee. Though deceased, Payne posthumously won the Democratic primary, so now the party committee must replace him. The meeting was scheduled after the special primary so the committee could simply appoint the person who won the special primary as the nominee for the regular term.


Washington: Poll Predicts Jungle Primary Outcome — Survey USA just released a new Washington gubernatorial poll for KING-TV Channel 5 in Seattle, the Seattle Times newspaper, and the University of Washington Center for an Informed Public (July 10-13; 564 likely Washington jungle primary voters).

S-USA finds Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D) leading the open all-party primary field with a 42 percent preference figure. Also predicted to qualify for the general election is former US representative and ex-King County Sheriff Dave Reichert (R) who garnered 33 percent support. Next in the 28-candidate field is former School Board Member Semi Bird (R) with 11 percent, and state Sen. Mark Mullet (D-Issaquah) who posts four percent backing. The Washington primary is scheduled for Aug. 6. Gov. Jay Inslee (D) chose not to seek election to a fourth term.

Sen. J.D. Vance Selected by Trump as VP Nominee; Michigan GOP Senate Candidate Up in Poll; Disparity in Pennsylvania Survey; Minnesota GOP Unifies Before Primary

By Jim Ellis — Tuesday, July 16, 2024


Former President Donald Trump chose Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance as his running mate for the 2024 election.

Sen. JD Vance: Trump-Vance 2024 — Former President Donald Trump has chosen Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance as his running mate for the 2024 election. Much analysis has occurred about the Vance selection in the past few hours, but what is the Ohio process to fill a vacant Senate seat if the Trump-Vance ticket is elected?

Just before being sworn in as vice president, Sen. Vance would resign his seat. Sen. Vance was elected in 2022 and will again be in-cycle in 2028. Therefore, since Ohio is one of 36 states that allow gubernatorial appointments to fill vacancies, Gov. Mike DeWine (R) will then choose a replacement until the next general election.

This means the individual chosen will be appointed in 2025 and face the voters for a confirmation vote in the 2026 election. Assuming the appointed individual wants to seek election to the seat, the person would run in 2026 to fill the balance of the term, and then again in 2028 for a full six-year stint.


Michigan: Ex-Rep. Rogers Up in Primary Poll — Former Michigan US Rep. Mike Rogers, now a candidate for the Republican Senate nomination, yesterday released an internal Tarrance Group survey (July 8-10; 500 likely Michigan Republican primary voters; live interview). The ballot test finds Rogers breaking the 50 percent threshold (52 percent), substantially ahead of former US Rep. Justin Amash (Libertarian) and businessman Sandy Pensler, both of whom pulled a 14 percent support figure. Physician Sherry O’Donnell posted five percent preference.

The Michigan primary is Aug. 6. The Republican primary winner will almost assuredly face US Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing) in the general election. Incumbent Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) is retiring after serving what will be four full terms.

Pennsylvania: Siena College/NYT New Statewide Survey — The new Siena College/New York Times Keystone State poll (July 9-11; 872 likely Pennsylvania voters) again reports a major difference between the presidential and senatorial preferences. The poll was taken two days before the assassination attempt on former President Trump, so it will be interesting to see if the next set of polling results move closer to him. According to this data, Trump holds a 48-45 percent edge when leaners are included and 42-40 percent on the definitive vote.

Turning to the Senate race, however, tells a much different partisan story. In this poll, Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D) holds a lead beyond the polling margin of error over Republican former hedge fund CEO David McCormick (R), 50-42 percent, or a net 11-point swing from the Trump support figure to Casey’s. This type of pattern has been consistent in most Senate races where Trump is leading a particular state count but the GOP Senate candidate lags well behind the party standard bearer’s benchmark polling totals.


MN-2: GOP Unifies Before Primary — With the Minnesota primary approaching on Aug. 13, the GOP will now become united behind southern 2nd District congressional candidate Joe Teirab, a former federal prosecutor. Yesterday, Teirab’s primary opponent, attorney Taylor Rahm, announced he was leaving the race to accept a position with the national Trump campaign.

Defeating incumbent Rep. Angie Craig (D-Prior Lake) will be a tall task even in a swing district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as D+1. The Daily Kos Elections statisticians rank the seat as the 14th-most vulnerable in the Democratic Conference. In the last two elections, Rep. Craig garnered 50.9 percent in the 2022 election and 48.2 percent, so she will certainly be a GOP conversion target this year. Despite her close re-election percentages, this is still a tough race for any Republican.

Pre-Trump Assassination Attempt Polling Metrics; Sen. Baldwin Up & Down in Wisconsin Race; A Very Close IL-11 Race; Dead Heat in Delaware

By Jim Ellis — Monday, July 15, 2024


Polling Benchmarks: Pre-Trump Assassination Attempt — At the beginning today of the Republican National Committee, the nation is recovering from a near miss — Saturday’s assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump’s life. This, plus the traditional convention polling “bump” that typically helps the party nominee, should soon place the targeted Republican well ahead of President Joe Biden in national general election surveys, but how long will the momentum last?

We start by looking at the current polls, noting that all of the succeeding national surveys were taken prior to the assassination attempt. In five studies conducted during the July 7-11 period from five different pollsters (Fox News; NBC News; NPR/Marist College; ABC News/Washington Post; and Noble Predictive Insights) Trump is holding leads of between one and three points in the national ballot tests. It is from these points against which next week’s polls should be measured.


Wisconsin: Another Different Result — The Wisconsin Senate race polling had, for the most part, been stagnant for many weeks with Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) holding a significant lead over GOP businessman Eric Hovde. In the past two weeks, however, a plethora of five surveys were released including the most recent poll report coming from North Star Opinion Research for the American Greatness organization. This study (July 6-10; 600 likely Wisconsin voters; live interview) sees Sen. Baldwin returning to an eight-point lead over Hovde, 49-41 percent.

In all, since June 18 to July 11, Sen. Baldwin has held leads as high as seven and eight points, but then slips all the way back into a tie with her Republican challenger before soaring again. Hovde led in none of the polls.


IL-11: Surprisingly Close — Illinois’ 11th Congressional District is an outer suburban seat located west of Chicago that begins in the Crystal Lake region to the north and moves south to include the cities of Naperville and Aurora. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as D+10, while the Dave’s Redistricting App statisticians set the partisan lean at 51.8D – 43.4R. President Biden carried the district in 2020 with a 57-41 percent margin. Eight-term Rep. Bill Foster (D-Naperville) won his only race under the redistricted 11th CD with a 56-44% margin.

Therefore, it is surprising to see little-known music school founder Jerry Evans (R) already trailing by only a 41-34 percent margin according to a Cygnal poll (July 2-3; 309 likely IL-11 general election voters; live interview & text) conducted for the Evans campaign. It is these types of polls currently surfacing that show competitive races developing in what should be safely Democratic seats that are largely the reason behind so many House Democrats coming forward to call for President Biden to withdraw from the race.


Delaware: Dead Heat Dem Primary — Candidate filing for the open governor’s race closed last week, and already we see a dead heat developing before the Sept. 10 Democratic primary. Slingshot Polling (conducted for the Citizens for a New Delaware Way Super PAC; July 5-9; 446 registered Delaware Democratic voters) forecasts a 27-27 percent tie between Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long and New Castle County Executive Matt Mayer with National Wildlife Federation president Collin O’Mara only reaching the seven percent support mark. The Citizens for a New Delaware Way is an organization attempting to defeat Hall-Long.

Democrats will hold the position in the general election, so winning the open Democratic primary is tantamount to claiming the state house in November.

Polls Say Biden Better Than Others vs. Trump, But Biden Losing in Solid Dem California District; Split Poll in Wisconsin; Dead Heat in AZ-1

By Jim Ellis — Thursday, July 11, 2024


Trump vs. Biden – how the candidates match up.

National Polls: Biden, Better Than Others — Emerson College, after releasing their swing state results two days ago, publicized their latest national data (July 7-8; 1,370 registered US voters; multiple sampling techniques) that tested former President Donald Trump against President Joe Biden, and then individually opposite other supposed potential replacement presidential nominees.

Paired with President Biden in the head-to-head ballot test, Trump posts a 46-43 percent advantage. If Vice President Kamala Harris were the party nominee, Trump would lead by a much larger 49-43 percent. Opposite California Gov. Gavin Newsom, the Trump advantage is 48-40 percent, and it extends to 48-38 percent if Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) were his opponent.

Once again, we see further evidence that despite the negative talk surrounding President Biden since the CNN presidential debate, he still appears to be the Democrats’ strongest option.

Rep. Mark Takano: Biden Losing in His District — Reports are circulating that California Rep. Mark Takano (D-Riverside) is quoting from a poll of his CA-39 district that apparently shows President Biden losing among the congressman’s constituents. Assuming the accuracy of the poll, this would be a significant data point. President Biden carried the district 62.0 – 35.8 percent in 2020, and Rep. Takano won re-election here in 2022 with 57.7 percent of the vote in the post-redistricting 39th District.

CA-39 sits wholly within Riverside County and contains the city of Riverside. It is a largely minority district. The Voting Age Population figure for Hispanics is 58.5 percent as compared to 22.4 percent for non-Hispanic Whites. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat as D+23. The Dave’s Redistricting App statisticians calculate a 61.6D – 36.4R partisan lean based upon vote history. The Daily Kos Elections statisticians rank CA-39 as the 111th-safest seat in the country. Though national polling doesn’t suggest that the president is in dire political straights, a poll such as this in a safe Democratic congressional district may.


Wisconsin: Another Split Poll — Again, we see the familiar pattern from a survey where former President Trump is leading in a state as is the Democratic Senate candidate. A Republican polling firm and a Democratic survey research operation again combined efforts to conduct a Wisconsin poll for the AARP organization (Fabrizio Ward & Impact Research; June 28-July 2; 1,052 likely Wisconsin voters; live interview & text). They found former President Trump leading President Biden by a 44-38 percent margin. (The CNN presidential debate was June 27.) When moving to the Senate race, however, it is the Democratic candidate, incumbent Sen. Tammy Baldwin, who leads by a similar margin, 50-45 percent.

This pattern of Trump running well ahead of the Republican Senate candidate is present in several other states. This could be due to the voters being more familiar with the incumbent Democrat, or potentially the participants deliberately splitting their ticket so as not to give Trump too much power.

It will be interesting to watch what the Republican strategists do to break this syndrome, and whether their approach will work. For the GOP to maximize their opportunities on a favorable national Senate map, they must secure multiple conversion seats in order to protect themselves against favorable Democratic maps in the 2026 and 2028 election cycles.


AZ-1: Dead Heat Dem Primary — Arizona’s 1st Congressional District will feature a very tight contest between Rep. David Schweikert (R-Fountain Hills) and whomever the Democrats nominate from their crowded Aug. 6 primary election. The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the 1st CD as R+7, but the Daily Kos Elections statisticians project the seat as the 18th most vulnerable in the Republican Conference. President Biden won here in 2020 by a narrow 50.1 – 48.6 percent margin.

A recent Noble Predictive Insights survey of the 1st District likely Democratic primary voters (June 25-27; 420 respondents; text) see ballot test results that place almost all of the candidates in position to win the upcoming party primary. The eventual winner will move into a toss-up general election campaign against Rep. Schweikert who won re-election two years ago with only a 50.4 – 49.6 percent margin against businessman Jevin Hodge. Hodge chose not to seek a rematch despite his strong showing in the 2022 campaign.

Former Arizona Democratic Party chairman Andrei Cherni and ex-state representative and physician Amish Shah are tied for first place with just 16 percent of the vote apiece according to the Noble poll. Following closely with 14 percent is former news anchor Marlene Galan Woods, the widow of late Attorney General Grant Woods (D). Investment banker Conor O’Callaghan then trails with eight percent support. A full 35 percent say they are undecided. Therefore, this primary will become a political shootout in the closing weeks.

Sheehy Up in Montana; New Mexico Senate Race Tightens; Fong’s Opponent Drops Out; Nevada Abortion Initiative on Ballot

By Jim Ellis — Monday, July 8, 2024


Retired Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy

Montana: Sheehy Up Beyond Margin of Error — After not finding much polling data for this critically important Senate race during the early part of the election cycle, we are now seeing plentiful surveying activity. The latest poll comes from Torchlight Strategies for the Common Sense for America conservative political action committee. The study (June 22-26; 649 registered Montana voters) sees retired Navy SEAL and aerospace company CEO Tim Sheehy (R) leading three-term Sen. Jon Tester (D), 47-41 percent. Two recent surveys from Public Opinion Strategies and Fabrizio Lee & Associates both cast the Senate race as a dead heat.

Consistent with the two other most recent polls, former President Donald Trump is staked to a large lead in the Torchlight survey. The result finds Trump topping President Joe Biden, 51-35 percent. With such a strong Republican lead at the top of the ticket, thus setting the turnout model, it will be difficult for Sen. Tester to overcome what will likely be late Republican election momentum in this state.

New Mexico: Senate Race Tightens — As the presidential race grows tighter and expands into several unlikely states, a new 1892 polling organization survey (June 19-24; 600 likely New Mexico voters) posts President Biden to only a one-point New Mexico lead over Trump and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (I), 43-42-8 percent, in a state that last went for a Republican presidential nominee in 2004.

In the Senate contest, 1892 projects Sen. Martin Heinrich (D), on the ballot seeking a third term, to only a 46-42 percent advantage over former hedge fund CEO Nella Domenici, the daughter of the late six-term New Mexico US Sen. Pete Domenici (R). This is a long-shot Republican conversion opportunity that is beginning to draw more political interest.


CA-20: Rep. Fong’s Opponent Suspends — Through various elections and court challenges, newly elected California US Rep. Vince Fong (R-Bakersfield) has already secured his seat for a full term in the next Congress. Last week, Fong’s lone general election opponent, Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux (R), who finished behind Fong in the regular and special primary elections before losing 61-39 percent in the May 21 special general election, announced that he is suspending his regular general election campaign and endorses the new incumbent for re-election.

The FiveThirtyEight data organization rates CA-20, the seat of former US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R), as R+31 making it the safest Republican seat in California. The fact that Fong had placed ahead of Sheriff Boudreaux three times suggested that him winning re-election in November was becoming a virtual certainty.


Nevada: Abortion Initiative Qualifies –– Silver State election officials yesterday announced that the initiative to codify the state’s abortion law into the Nevada Constitution will be on the general election ballot. The Secretary of State confirmed that the movement proponents had gathered the necessary valid petition signatures to put the measure before the voters.

Under Nevada election law, initiatives must qualify in consecutive elections. Therefore, even if this abortion related measure passes in 2024, it will return for a second vote in 2026. National Democratic strategists want abortion propositions on the ballot because they will likely spur turnout among some lower propensity left-of-center voters. The Nevada Democratic strategists will highlight their candidates’ support for this particular ballot measure, in order to increase support for President Biden, Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), and the party’s congressional nominees.

More States in Play

By Jim Ellis — Wednesday, July 3, 2024


MORE SWING STATES IN PLAY: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin (and possibly Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and New Mexico)

Recent polling data suggests that several surprising states are becoming competitive. In addition to Minnesota and Virginia, the former of which has been close for weeks and the latter showing dead heat signs within the last 14 days, four more states are now returning tight polling numbers.

As has been the case since the beginning of the year, Arizona, Georgia, and Nevada have been reporting strong numbers for former President Donald Trump. In fact, the 19 polls conducted in Arizona since Jan. 1 finds Trump leading in each. The Georgia data projects a similar pattern. There, 16 surveys have been conducted in 2024, again with Trump leading in all. The Nevada numbers report the same pattern as Georgia.

It’s also been common political knowledge that the three key Great Lakes states, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, have been in the toss-up category throughout the current year. Recently, the three have all leaned towards Trump, and likely will report an exaggerated trend at least for the short-term post-debate period.

If the Arizona, Georgia, and Nevada trends hold through the election, and Trump converts all three, he would only need one more state of any size to win the national election. Now, it appears several others are coming into the observance realm.

New polling finds the race coming into dead heat territory in Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and New Mexico, all of which have been Democratic strongholds for years.

The last time Maine and New Jersey went for a Republican presidential candidate occurred in 1988, when the states’ electorates supported George H.W. Bush over Michael Dukakis. New Hampshire last voted Republican in 2000 for George W. Bush against Al Gore, while New Mexico supported the latter Bush in 2004 opposite John Kerry. The previously mentioned Minnesota hasn’t voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1972, while Virginia, like New Mexico, also favored then-President Bush over Kerry 20 years ago.

St. Anselm College on Monday released their latest New Hampshire poll (June 28-29; 1,700 registered New Hampshire voters; online) and sees Trump taking a 44-42-4 percent lead over President Joe Biden and Independent Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

The co/efficient firm tested the New Jersey electorate (June 26-27; 810 likely New Jersey voters; live interview & text) and these results also show Trump ahead in an unlikely state, 41-40-7 percent.

The New Mexico data still finds President Biden leading, but barely. The 1892 polling organization (June 19-24; 600 likely New Mexico voters) posts Biden to only a one-point lead, 43-42-8 percent over Trump and Kennedy.

In Minnesota, a place where the two presidential candidates have consistently battled in polls to within three-point margins for most of the year, Emerson College (June 13-18; 1,000 registered Minnesota voters; multiple sampling techniques) recently projected Trump to a one-point edge.

The Critical Insights firm tested the Maine electorate (June 12; 609 registered Maine voters; live interview and online) and found Trump recording a one-point advantage in this state as well, 41-40 percent, with 19 percent going to other candidates. Maine features a Ranked Choice Voting system, so even if Trump manages to secure plurality support in the regular election, he would likely lose in the Ranked Choice rounds.

Fox News conducted the most recent Virginia poll (June 1-3; 1,107 registered Virginia voters; live interview) and this solidly Democratic state, too, turned in a ballot test within dead-heat range. According to the Fox results, Biden would hold a very slim 42-41-9 percent edge.

Typically, a Democratic presidential nominee would not have to exert much effort to hold these aforementioned states in the party column. The fact that they are currently in toss-up range, and all the studies but the New Hampshire poll were conducted before Thursday’s CNN presidential debate, suggests that the electoral map is legitimately becoming more expansive.

At least for the short term, it appears evident that the campaign will expand beyond the traditional seven swing states that have been the deciding factors in the last two elections.