As of right now the race has tightened, however it is not because Hillary has (significantly) dropped in the polls, but rather because Trump has gained. What this means is that the independent voters are buckling toward the major parties. Trump did poorly in October and so the conservative leaning independents have moved in favor of Trump. The liberal leaning independent will undoubtedly move toward Clinton in response to this.
There is alot of chatter and uncertainty with this election and undoubtedly most analysts are predicting something much closer.
At the end of the day Trump is the populist candidate in this election, but his appeal is limited and he struggles to hold the party together (more so than his adversary). He has alienated Hispanics and women which is going to end up costing him the state of Florida and the election along with it. In the aftermath, the discussion is always where the loser went wrong and the focal point of that discussion will be (ironically) he campaign announcement speech.
Then there are the silent voters which are notoriously difficult to gauge in terms of how they will effect the election. However one thing that is certain is that Trump's supporters are anything but silent. In addition to this Trump also represents (massive) uncertainty while Clinton as the incumbent party represents stability and things have to be pretty bad for the electorate to choose the former. Based on these things I would expect that the silent voters mostly side with Clinton and will result in a comfortable victory both in terms of the popular vote and the electoral college.
I'd be very surprised if Trump doesn't take Ohio at this point, but there may be other electoral surprises. New Hampshire has alot of undecideds of whom I expect will back Clinton in the end, so the states I'd be watching are Florida, North Carolina, Iowa, and Georgia. Florida because it's Florida, and the latter three because they will be very close.
Unless we have a 'November' surprise shake things up at the last minute which is looking less and less likely ( at this point it would take something really really bad for either candidate to make a difference) my predictions are as follows.
Clinton - 51%
Trump - 47%
Clinton - 323
Trump - 215
Clinton - North Carolina
Trump - Iowa
Final Electoral College Map 11/6/2016:
Electoral Map Prediction 10/5/2016 (link to comments)
Since I've been making successful presidential predictions here since 2004 I figured I would pop in here to do the same for 2016 and 2020.
I was pretty certain of this months ago, but Bernie seemed like he had a chance there for a brief time so I held back. I'll admit that he fared well and far better than I or anyone had anticipated. But in any case Hillary is very near finish line in terms of delegates and Bernie would need to win nearly all that is left to beat her which isn't happening. Though it seems like he'll want to hang on til the end which means we'll have to wait until June until it becomes official.
As for the G.O.P... Well Trump really created a ruckus. I would have bet money that Jeb Bush would take the nomination but I think Trump pretty much destroyed him and ended the Bush Dynasty once and for all. However the future of the party is not bright. The damage he and Cruz has done cannot be undone and the years of racist undertones and religious radicalization has caught up with them and they lost the American people in the process. Key states like Florida will be unattainable because of the increase in minority voters. By 2020 The entire millennial demographic and some of generation 'Z' will be eligible to vote and will outnumber baby boomers.
The Republican Party is now split between too many subgroups none of which will be embraced by the majority of Americans today. Among these groups the most powerful are the establishment Republicans who really aren't that much different that the establishment Democrats. And when Hillary takes office she'll be faced with a split congress and will need to curry favor with the establishment Republicans to get things done. So in all likelihood your establishment Republicans will begin to slowly join the ranks of the Democratic party as a means to retain their influence and power because that's what it's all about for them. They'll kick the social conservatives to the curb in a heart beat taking their financial backing with them. This will leave the G.O.P. in even worse shape than before and secure Hillary's second term.
This Compromise will undoubtedly leave many liberal Democrats unhappy as Bernie's campaign efforts will have resonated among many young voters. This will have lasting change and from that you will likely see a new 'Labor' party emerge from this. Traces of the G.O.P. may continue to survive as congressmen and senators through their efforts in gerrymandering; but it won't last because they can't win the presidency making them a ship without a rudder. The 2016 Election will go down in history as a turning point as we have officially entered the era of 21st Century American Politics.. . Hillary may not be the candidate everyone wants, but after Sanders and Trump I think people will begin to demand better of our leaders. Welcome to the Future.