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Election Forecast as race for President reaches final few hours

With just hours to go before America goes to the polls to elect its 45th President, the race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton remains as close as well.

November 8

0:00
2016

London , United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland - 8 Nov 2016 - Guardian

With just hours to go before America goes to the polls to elect its 45th President, the race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton remains as close as well. The investigations into Clinton's use of a private email server have now been concluded with no charges to be brought against the Democrat candidate. But the relevations last weekend have already done enough to give Trump momentum into the final week.Based on polling data from RealClearPolitics, we have the latest state-by-state predictions and an estimate of the overall electoral college vote.

The news that the FBI had reopened its investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private server last weekend handed Donald Trump an unexpected boost ahead of the vote.The FBI obtained a warrant to begin searching newly discovered emails belonging to Huma Abedin, a top aide of Hillary Clinton, with Clinton's use of emails also in the spotlight.It seemed likely that Clinton would have to finish the campaign with unspecified allegations hanging over her. But she still retained the lead, according to polling figures, despite it having been narrowed to within a couple of percentage points.Yesterday, however, the FBI cleared Clinton of any criminal wrongdoing, something she will hope will see more voters swing her way in the polling booths.Clinton has been ahead almost continuously in the Telegraph's poll of polls, which takes an average of the last five polls published on RealClearPolitics.

The presidential campaign has seen Donald Trump, once a Republican outsider, close the gap on Clinton before falling back after a series of controversies.Trump has briefly pulled ahead a couple of times - first on 19 May. His polling threatened to consistently overtake Clinton in September, but has since fallen back after a series of allegations of sexual assault were made against him.Trump is prone to making gaffes and alienating key demographic groups with his comments. His comments on sexually assaulting women, as well as poor performances in the presidential debates, had seen Clinton extend her lead.However, with the news that the FBI is once again investigating Clinton, a lot could change between now and election day.The New York Times has worked out that, even one day before previous elections, a simple polling average has differed from the final result by about four percentage points. With the polls being still close, anything could happen.

Democrat Hillary Clinton has about a 90 per cent chance of defeating Republican Donald Trump in the race for the White House, according to the final Reuters/Ipsos States of the Nation project. Her chances are roughly similar to last week's odds, and any upset by Trump on Tuesday depends on an unlikely combination of turnouts of white, black and Hispanic voters in six or seven states, according to the survey released on Monday.

The former secretary of state was leading Trump by about 45 percent to 42 percent in the popular vote, and was on track to win 303 votes in the Electoral College to Trump's 235, clearing the 270 needed for victory, the survey found.

Trump's chances rest with his performance in Florida, Michigan, North Carolina and Ohio, which were too close to call on Sunday, when polling ended, and Pennsylvania, where Clinton enjoyed a slim lead of three percentage points. For Trump to win, he will have to take most of those states.

Any combination of two losses in the three states of Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania would almost assuredly result in a Clinton victory. At the same time, Trump must hold onto the traditionally Republican state of Arizona, where the race has drawn close, and hope that independent candidate Evan McMullin does not claim another Republican bastion, Utah.

To win, Trump needs higher turnout among Republican white voters than that which materialized in 2012, a drop-off in ballots by African-American voters and a smaller-than-predicted increase in Hispanic voters, the project showed.

North Carolina, one of the first states to report results on Tuesday night, might provide clues to the outcome. If Clinton wins the state, it probably means African Americans are turning out to vote at a similar rate to 2012, when President Barack Obama beat Republican Mitt Romney by four points nationally. Romney won North Carolina by two points.

The States of the Nation poll found that early votes have been cast evenly between Trump and Clinton in North Carolina. Trump enjoyed a slim one-point advantage among all likely voters, 47 percent to Clinton's 46. He had a 30 percentage point lead among white voters, while Clinton led by about 85 points among black voters.

Florida, with its 29 electoral college votes, is crucial to Trump. If Clinton wins Florida, she just needs to win one of the three big swing states of Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania while Trump would have to win all three. If he wins Florida, Trump still must win both Ohio and Michigan or hope for an upset in Pennsylvania.

According to the project, Clinton enjoys the tiniest of leads in Florida, 48 percent to 47. Clinton leads Trump by 75 points among black voters and has about a 20 point lead among Hispanics. But Trump enjoys a 30 point lead among likely white voters. Clinton's success in Florida depends on heavy turnout among black voters. Without it, the race becomes razor-thin, even with a large increase in Hispanic ballots.

Michigan and Ohio were too close to call on Sunday, according to the project. Clinton's support is more solid in Pennsylvania. Still, a surge of white Republican voters combined with a drop in turnout among black Democrats could be enough to tilt Ohio and Michigan to Trump and put Pennsylvania in play.

If Trump remains in contention on Tuesday night after the eastern swing states have been decided, eyes will turn to Arizona. Trump led Clinton by five points on Sunday, but Arizona had moved steadily toward Clinton in recent weeks, according to the project. It is also a state where higher Hispanic turnout could tip the result in Clinton's favor.

If Trump is in a position to win after Arizona, he could still be tripped up by Utah, where McMullin has remained a contender to the end.

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