NBC News is out with their latest electoral battleground map.
There are quite a few changes from May, the biggest being the move of Pennsylvania from “Lean Dem” to “Toss-Up”.
The other moves are as follows: New Jersey from “Lean Dem” to “Likely Dem”; Florida from “Toss-Up” to “Lean Dem”; Maine’s 2nd Congressional District (Maine and Nebraska split electoral votes by statewide and congressional district winners) from “Lean Dem” to “Toss-Up”; Nevada from “Lean Dem” to “Toss-Up”; Utah from “Likely GOP” to “Lean GOP”; Mississippi from “Lean GOP” to “Likely GOP”; Montana from “Lean GOP” to “Likely GOP”.
Despite seeing Pennsylvania, Nevada and Maine’s 2nd drift away, Clinton still holds a larger electoral lead now (255-190) than back in May (253-190) because of Florida.
“Like in May, our Tossup designations are very (small c) conservative; we’ll be more aggressive after the conventions,” NBC First Read’s Chuck Todd, Mark Murray and Carrie Dann write. “But for now, anything that appears to be a 5-point state or less sits in the toss-up column. Two forces seem to be at play here. First, Clinton is over-performing in diverse states like Florida and North Carolina — or to put another way, Trump is VASTLY underperforming in these states. The exception, however, is Nevada, where both private and public polling shows a close contest that actually leans Trump’s way right now. (Trump’s strength is Reno, by the way).”
“The second force at play is that Trump is holding his own and even slightly over-performing in states with large white working-class populations like Pennsylvania,” they continue. “(Yes, most public polls show Clinton ahead in the Keystone State, but note that Clinton’s Super PAC is now on the air there, and that Vice President Biden will campaign there with Clinton next week.) But Trump is also faring worse in more upscale white states like Utah.”
NBC is correct that Clinton has made a number of moves to shore up the Keystone State, including indications that her campaign and her main Super PAC will be running ads here soon. Also, Vice President Biden will join her on the trail in Scranton on July 8th.