I went to Real Clear Politics today and created my own electoral map (you can play around with the numbers yourself when you follow the link). And here’s where I believe the election stands today.
Donald Trump probably has 260 of the 270 electoral votes he needs to become President right now. But it stands on a razor’s edge. And the path to 270 is very difficult.
These numbers assume Donald Trump can win Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and Iowa. But those races are tight right now. He can lose any of these four states. And if he does, it’s all over. I predict the momentum he has now ensures he wins currently questionable states like Georgia, Texas and Arizona. The tension in those states always favors the Republican, and it’s hard to imagine he loses any of them.
If he keeps these states in his column, here are the challenges he faces:
- He faces an uphill battle to win Nevada. The Harry Reid turnout machine in Clark County around Las Vegas is legendary. He used it to defeat Sharron Angle in 2010 during a national sweep for Republicans. Angle was a flawed candidate though a Tea Party favorite. Trump is similarly flawed, but has more advantages as a national candidate. Nevada is a possible win for him. If he does, that gives him six electoral votes and brings him to 266.
- If he can take Nevada, he must find another state. New Hampshire is a possibility. But this state has been a Lean Democrat electoral state for a few cycles now. If he picks it up, that’s four more electoral votes and would bring him to 272 taking the White House.
- The last opportunity is Pennsylvania. The 20 electoral votes there would almost ensure a victory for Trump. It would also allow him to lose North Carolina and New Hampshire and still gain the White House if he can take Nevada. But Pennsylvania has been a heartbreaker for Republicans for some time. The polls always seem to show the GOP presidential candidate has a shot of winning the state. But it never seems to break through.
On the negative side of things, there is a worst case scenario which could just as easily play out. Trump loses Florida and North Carolina. These states are in the balance right now, and the Clinton campaign has resources on the ground which could pull them out for her. If that happens, Hillary could gain a 322 electoral vote landslide (see map below). And I am assuming in this map Trump wins in Iowa and Indiana both of which hang in the balance at present–especially Iowa.
This election stands on the edge of a win or an embarrassing loss. And no one–not even the pollsters–know which way it will go. Suffice it to say that a Trump win would be an unexpected victory in the eyes of pundits on both sides of the aisle and with about every major media outlet. And if it happens, we’ll be talking about Hillary Clinton and the entire mainstream media griping about the outcome after they have spent a couple weeks now grousing about Donald Trump’s refusal to say he’ll accept the results of the election.