This Map Shows Who Would Win the Election If It Were Held Today

Chris Wilson in Time Magazine:

MapWhen it comes to political warfare, the Republican party has the superior ground game—literally. “If land could vote, the Republicans would do a lot better,” says Princeton astrophysicist J. Richard Gott, who dabbles in election forecasting when not studying time travel or general relativity. A glance at the map of any recent presidential contest confirms this. Due to their dominance in large, low-population states like Wyoming and the Dakotas, Republicans appear visually to command a dominant lead even when the actual results are very close. To remedy that problem, Gott and fellow cosmologist Wes Colley invented a map that visualizes each state with blocks according to the number of electoral votes it receives, such that the area of red and blue exactly corresponds to the results of the electoral college. TIME developed an interactive version of this map below that you can populate with a variety of different forecasts for the 2016 election.

In 2004, the method that Colley and Gott developed correctly predicted every state except Hawaii, where only two polls were conducted. In 2008, they missed three states and one electoral vote in Nebraska, one of two states that splits its electoral votes by congressional district. (The other is Maine, which is why the above map specifies district numbers for those two states.) In 2012, they only missed Florida. This year, Gott points out, Clinton has a “firewall” of 273 electoral votes—three more than she needs to win—in which she has won nearly every poll conducted. The most vulnerable of those is Colorado, according to his method. So don’t be surprised if you see her heading there in the coming weeks. Virtually every forecaster has Clinton with better-than-even odds of winning, but that gap is narrowing. And there are many more polls to come.

More here.