Election results from Ohio are beginning to come in, and although the numbers are still early, Hillary Clinton is currently ahead. How important is the state to Donald Trump’s chances of winning the White House? Is it a must win?
Ohio is monumentally important for Republican candidates to the point that no Republican has ever been elected president without it. It’s technically possible that Trump could still reach 270 Electoral College votes without Ohio, but to do so, he would have to dramatically change the map and start breaking into states that have been traditionally considered Democratic strongholds.
If, for example, Donald Trump wins Florida, North Carolina, Arizona, Iowa, New Hampshire and Maine’s 2nd Congressional District but he loses Ohio, he will be at 246 Electoral College votes. He would then be 24 electors away from victory, and there is no one blue state that makes up for Ohio by itself.
Therefore, if Trump loses Ohio, at minimum he must carry every single other battleground state, plus he must win two blue states.
The blue states that Donald Trump has to work with are Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Colorado. Based on recently polling, it seems that Pennsylvania is really the only one of those that Trump actually has a chance in, though the Trump campaign believes he can pull off a surprise win in Michigan.
Here are a few scenarios where Trump would be able to get to 270 Electoral Votes without Ohio, assuming he wins every single other swing state:
- Trump loses Ohio but wins Colorado and Michigan. This takes him to 271 Electoral College votes.
- Trump loses Ohio but wins Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. This takes him to 276 Electoral College votes.
- Trump loses Ohio but wins Virginia and Michigan. This takes him to 275 Electoral College votes.
While technically possible, these are all very unlikely paths, and so the Trump campaign is really betting on Ohio turning red. If Donald Trump loses Ohio, he absolutely must win two blue states, and if he can’t do that, Hillary Clinton will be elected the next president of the United States.