FiveThirtyEight examines New Hampshire’s importance on the electoral map for Hillary Clinton and how it might signal Donald Trump’s comeback.
Donald Trump hasn’t had a lot of good polling news lately. Very few swing-state polls have shown him with a lead since the first presidential debate, and those few leads have mostly been in states like Ohio and Iowa that aren’t part of Hillary Clinton’s path of least resistance to 270 electoral votes. To find good polls for Trump in states that could be part of Clinton’s firewall, you have to cherry-pick a bit — and you have to accept the fact that “good” in this context means trailing by a little instead of by a lot.
With that stipulated, some of Trump’s better numbers have come in New Hampshire. A MassINC poll released on Friday morning showed Trump trailing by only 3 percentage points there. And a Suffolk University poll last week — conducted before the release of the 2005 “Access Hollywood” videotape — had him down only 2 points in New Hampshire.
So while Clinton would be highly likely to win New Hampshire in an election held today, the question is what happens if Trump makes some type of comeback. If he does, we’d expect New Hampshire to move more with the national tide, while Pennsylvania would be more resistant. But Trump could limit Clinton to a 269-269 Electoral College tie if he wins New Hampshire while losing the other Clinton firewall states, with the tie potentially to be broken by the 2nd Congressional Districts of Maine and Nebraska2 — or failing that, by the House of Representatives.