[Vision2020] 538.com 10-31-18: Governors Update: New Polls In Georgia And Ohio Show Really Tight Races

Ted Moffett starbliss at gmail.com
Wed Oct 31 21:41:57 PDT 2018


Oct. 31, 2018, at 1:07 PM
Governors Update: New Polls In Georgia And Ohio Show *Really* Tight Races

By Geoffrey Skelley

Welcome to our Election Update
<https://fivethirtyeight.com/tag/election-update/> for Wednesday, Oct. 31 —
we are now less than one week from Election Day!

Our governors forecast
continues to show Democrats in a position to make significant gains this
year: The Classic version of the forecast has Democrats positioned to
govern 59 percent of the nation’s population in 24 states, which is roughly
what it was when we launched two weeks ago. There are five toss-up
candidate has more than a 3 in 5 chance of winning.

in our forecast, but with new polls in our two most populous toss-up states
— Georgia and Ohio — we thought we’d take a look at just how competitive
they remain.

The Georgia race has attracted national attention not only because it’s
close, but also because Democrat Stacey Abrams is seeking to become the first
African-American woman governor
in U.S. history. Republican Brian Kemp has narrowly led Abrams in most
recent polls <https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/polls/governor/georgia/>
of likely voters, but a new survey
from OpinionSavvy2

found Abrams with a slight edge, 48 percent to 47 percent. Each
of our model
views Kemp as a slim favorite — though all three consider it a toss-up —
but with polls this tight, it’s possible there will be an Abrams-Kemp
runoff on Dec. 4. Georgia requires
a candidate to win a majority in a general election, so if Abrams and Kemp
run close together, Libertarian Ted Metz could win enough of the vote to
prevent either from achieving a majority. Metz is at 1.2 percent in our
forecasted vote share, but he *could* win slightly more than that. After
all, Libertarian candidates averaged
3.1 percent of the vote in Georgia gubernatorial elections from 1990 to

Ohio, the classic bellwether
swing state also has a close race for governor, confirmed in the latest two
polls. Emerson College found
two slightly different results depending on how it asked the horse-race
question. In the head-to-head contest, respondents gave Cordray a 1-point
edge, but with third-party options included, DeWine actually had a slight
lead (half a percentage point) over Cordray. Unlike the Georgia race, where
Kemp is a narrow favorite in each version of the forecast, the versions
differ just a bit when it comes to Ohio. The Lite forecast
which uses only national and state polling, gives Cordray a 5 in 9 chance
of winning, while the Classic version
which adds election fundamentals to the polls, gives both candidates about
a 1 in 2 shot of winning. But the Deluxe version
of the forecast, which adds in the views of expert handicappers to the
polls and fundamentals, assigns DeWine a 5 in 9 chance of victory. So it’s
sort of a “Choose Your Own Buckeye Adventure,” with all three versions
pointing to a tight race.

On election night, these two states will receive a lot of attention because
of their size and competitiveness, but also because of their political
history — Georgia because of Abrams’s history-making potential and Ohio
because of its traditional status as a bellwether state.

Geoffrey Skelley is an elections analyst at FiveThirtyEight


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