A series of surveys on swing states (and not so swing) published on Wednesday clarify this reality.
How bad are those numbers for Trump? To put a good point: really bad.
Now, let’s see what these numbers would mean for Trump’s chances of hitting 270 in November.
* If Trump loses Texas (and wins anywhere else he won in 2016), he misses to Biden, 270 electoral votes to 268 electoral votes.
* If Trump loses Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin (and wins anywhere else he won in 2016), he misses to Biden 278 to 260.
* If Trump loses Arizona, Michigan, and Pennsylvania (and wins anywhere else he won in 2016), he misses to Biden 279 to 259.
* If Trump loses Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin (and wins anywhere else he won in 2016), he misses to Biden 276 to 262.
* If Trump loses Arizona, Ohio, and Wisconsin (and wins anywhere else he won in 2016), he misses to Biden 271 to 267.
The point here is not to say that none of these electoral map scenarios are locked up. After all, we are still 152 days from the November 3 election. (And yes, I counted).
Rather, they should note that Biden, as of now, has ALL the different paths for 270 electoral votes, while Trump has an ever-decreasing number. And, of course, the polls released Wednesday don’t even address potential problems for Trump in Florida, North Carolina, and Georgia, all of which he won in 2016.
For what he’s worth, Trump’s best / most likely path to a second term would be to lose one or both of Michigan and Pennsylvania and keep all the other states he won in 2016. If he lost both Michigan and Pennsylvania, he would win a 270-268 electoral votes victory over Biden. If only Pennsylvania lost, it would win with 286 electoral votes. Only Michigan loses, and Trump has 290 electoral votes and a second term.
“The country is as polarized as it was two months ago, and the trajectory of competition has essentially not changed as Biden maintains a comfortable lead in national polls and has multiple avenues for 270 electoral votes.”
“While daily developments give cable TV networks something to talk about, today’s great story will be replaced by a new tomorrow, and another the day after that. But the foundations of the race remain unchanged.” .
That is exactly correct. As of today, Biden has more ways than at any point in the campaign to date to reach 270 electoral votes. And Trump has less.
Could that change? Of course! In the summer of 2016, the electoral map looked like Hillary Clinton would achieve a victory over Trump. Hell, it looked like this until the fall.
The choice is not today. Trump will carry out a well-funded, and probably fierce, campaign that seeks to paint Biden out of touch on every issue, from immigration to China to the race. And as the past few months have reminded us all, events can step in to change what we think we know about the November election.
All that is true. None of that changes the fact that Trump is looking at an increasingly difficult electoral map today, and little suggests that a major change will occur anytime soon.