Saturday, July 30, 2016

Last Call For Trump's Lonely Road

As I've been saying for months now, Hillary Clinton has a distinct electoral college advantage, where she can win only a couple of swing states and take the White House.  Donald Trump on the other hand has to run the table and things have gotten so bad for him now that there's effectively only one path Trump has to the White House, and it goes through the traditional "Big Three" swing states of American presidential politics: Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida.

Even as Mr. Trump has ticked up in national polls in recent weeks, senior Republicans say his path to the 270 Electoral College votes needed for election has remained narrow — and may have grown even more precarious. It now looks exceedingly difficult for him to assemble even the barest Electoral College majority without beating Hillary Clinton in a trifecta of the biggest swing states: Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

President Obama won all three states in 2008 and 2012, and no Republican has won Pennsylvania in nearly three decades.

With a divisive campaign message that has alienated many women and Hispanics, Mr. Trump appears to have pushed several traditional swing states out of his own reach. According to strategists on both sides of the race, polling indicates that Mrs. Clinton has a solid upper hand in Colorado and Virginia, the home state of Senator Tim Kaine, her running mate. Both states voted twice for George W. Bush, who assiduously courted Hispanic voters and suburban moderates.

In addition, Trump allies have grown concerned about North Carolina, a Republican-leaning state that has large communities of black voters and college-educated whites — two audiences with which Mr. Trump is deeply unpopular.

While Mr. Trump is not ready to give up entirely on any of the major battlegrounds, advisers have become increasingly convinced that his most plausible route to the presidency, and perhaps his only realistic victory scenario, involves capturing all three of the biggest electoral prizes on the map, and keeping North Carolina in the Republican column.

Right now Trump has basically given up on Virginia, Colorado, Nevada, Iowa, Wisconsin and New Hampshire.  Taking the four states Trump needs aside, that gives Clinton 265 of 270 Electoral votes:

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In other words, this is the map that's now Trump's best case scenario.  Trump needs all four states to win, and that only actually matters if he doesn't lose any more states to Clinton, like Arizona, Missouri, Utah or Georgia.  If Clinton swipes even one of those eight states, Trump loses.

Trump has the run the table just to squeak out a win.  I don't think he can do it, I think he can maybe pull off Ohio and edge out NC but he'll lose both PA and Florida and that will end him.

Clinton's best case scenario however looks like this:

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It would be a bloodbath, and if she runs the table, she gets to 390. Like it or not, the electoral college may be what ultimately saves up from Trump.

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