Monday, November 7, 2016

Donald Trump’s Narrow Path

I really don't see an Electoral College path, but that's me.

He's going to need to sweep up all the states Mitt Romney won in 2012, and then take back a few that Obama won, like Iowa and Colorado, not to mention Florida and Ohio.

At WSJ, "Donald Trump’s Path to Victory Is Narrow":
PHILADELPHIA — After months of campaigning, the presidential race has come down to this: Democrat Hillary Clinton has several apparent paths to the White House, while Republican Donald Trump must all-but sweep the battlegrounds where the race has centered, and will likely need at least one Democratic-leaning state, too.

For Mrs. Clinton, victory would require her winning one or two of the most contested states, if she can hold on to those that have long favored Democratic nominees. Mr. Trump has said he has a shot at those Democratic-leaning states, which include Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota and New Mexico. Yet polls in each show Mrs. Clinton ahead.

Nationally, a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released Sunday found Mrs. Clinton leading Mr. Trump by 4 points among likely voters as the two nominees head into their final day of campaigning before Tuesday’s election.

For Mr. Trump to win, he must finish ahead of Mrs. Clinton in the battleground states of Florida, Ohio and, in most calculations, North Carolina, analysts from both parties said. His path to victory, far narrower than Mrs. Clinton’s, also likely requires a win in at least one state that has long been in the Democratic column.

“He has to run the table,” said Russ Schriefer, a strategist for Republican Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign.

Mr. Trump’s chances are dim unless he can wrest away a state such as Michigan or Pennsylvania, where he campaigned Sunday, places that haven’t voted Republican in presidential races since 1988. Looking to shore up Mrs. Clinton’s base, her campaign added stops in both states Monday and began TV ads in Michigan, where polls have shown the race tightening.

Mr. Trump on Sunday followed a campaign schedule that outlined a possible path to victory—cutting through Midwestern and mid-Atlantic states, regions rich in the working-class, white voters who help form his base of support. He campaigned in Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan and Pennsylvania, each of which has a largely white voter pool that could boost his chances.

He also appeared in Virginia, a state where the Clinton campaign is so confident that Mrs. Clinton last campaigned there in July.

Democrats begin with an advantage in the hunt for the 270 Electoral College votes required to win. In every election since 2000, they have won states that account for 242 electoral votes; Republicans have won states that total 179 in the same period. The GOP, however, gets to a starting tally of 190 by adding Indiana, which backed Barack Obama in 2008 but has since shifted reliably Republican.

“The map naturally has a blue tilt to it simply because there’s a history of these states voting Democratic,” said Neil Newhouse, a Republican strategist and pollster. “Simply because of that, she starts on our 40-yard line.”

Mr. Trump is testing the proposition that a Republican can win with an economic message in the industrial Midwest, where states remain largely white.

“We’re going into what they used to call Democrat strongholds where we’re now either tied or ahead,” Mr. Trump said at a rally Saturday. “We’re doing well in places that they don’t believe.”

Beyond his Midwest strategy, Mr. Trump could also win by carrying a large set of battleground states where polls show him within striking distance or ahead: Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Iowa, Nevada and New Hampshire. That combination of victories would produce a 269-269 Electoral College tie...
Well, that's all we need, an Electoral College tie. The election would go to the House, where Trump would likely win. Talk about Democrats blowing through the roof. It'll be worse than 2000.

But keep reading.