Is this Trump’s path to 270?

7 November 2016   
Is this Trump’s path to 270?

With only slightly more than 24 hours until we know who will be the next president of the United States, both campaigns are running down to the wire, hitting key swing states that may ultimately decide the crucial electoral vote count. Hillary is in Michigan today, campaigning to the state’s blue-collar labor force. Trump is holding events in Florida, North Carolina, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania. With major polls showing drastically different outcomes for the electoral vote proportions, it is difficult to determine whether these last-ditch campaign efforts will affect the crucial pivot states.

For the most part, pundits are forecasting a landslide Clinton victory, potentially surpassing the 270 mark by a high double digits. On the other hand, however, some publications show a very plausible path for Trump to win the electoral vote count and ultimately secure his seat in the Oval Office. Vox reports that there are three items that must be met for Trump to win tomorrow. Firstly, he must hold onto Republican strongholds in Iowa, Ohio, and Arizona. He must then win North Carolina and Florida, states that have shown oscillating poll numbers for both candidates in the days leading up to the penultimate day of the election cycle. Trump must also win a few smaller contests or secure victories in Pennsylvania or Michigan, states with substantial electoral vote counts.

A further breakdown of this analysis implies that Trump will win in Utah and Georgia, states that have shown favorability to Clinton in recent weeks. The candidacy of Evan McMullin in Utah could shake things up in that state, but most analysts see it falling in Trump’s favor. Georgia has not gone blue in decades, but high African American turnout could change that. Experts, however, see Trump as coming away with the Peach State.

Toss-ups in Florida and North Carolina are crucial for Trump, as without a win in the former, Trump would have to win every other toss-up race and then win several states within Clinton’s “firewall” – a body of states she is almost guaranteed to win. That firewall consists of Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Michigan, Wisconsin, Virginia, and Colorado.

Assuming that Trump does win Florida and North Carolina, states in which he is heavily campaigning today, the path to victory is fairly easy. “Just winning Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes) would be enough to get Trump over the top. Alternatively, Trump could top 270 by winning Michigan (16 electoral votes) or winning Virginia (13 electoral votes).”

There are a multitude of ways in which the electoral math could vary, and this is simply one path through which Trump could defeat Clinton. However, much of the polling that has gone into this interpretation is contingent upon the numbers prior to James Comey’s announcement that the FBI will preserve its decision to not prosecute Clinton for her mishandling of classified information after reopening the case last month. This revelation could really shake up the electoral math.

What do you think about this path to a Trump victory?