Florida was, once again, causing heartburn in voters all over the country as the race seesawed wildly back and forth all night (although as the night progressed, Wisconsin and Michigan replaced Florida as the states giving everyone stress attacks).
One minute, Donald Trump was up in Florida, and then Hillary Clinton, and then Trump again. People on Twitter were declaring their love for Florida one minute and their hatred of Florida the next. In the end, Clinton lost Florida, and the race turned out to be a canary in the mine for the rest of the election.
The New York Times said Trump won Florida 49.1% to 47.7%. Clinton’s support among Hispanics was outmatched by Trump’s support with working-class whites, the Times said. Barack Obama won Florida by .09%, and early voting had shown Democrats were off the 2012 pace.
After Clinton lost Florida, for a few hours at least, people wondered whether Clinton still had a pathway to the White House.
The answer is yes. Florida by itself didn’t sabotage her chances. It was Wisconsin that played spoiler, along with Michigan and Pennsylvania. She could have weathered a Florida loss. But not a Florida + Wisconsin loss.
There were higher stakes for Trump in the Florida contest initially. If Clinton had won Florida, it could have been electoral sudden death for Trump (although less so with the blue state gains).
The stakes for Clinton in Florida were also significant but not fatal alone; she still had pathways to victory without Florida. He had no margin for error. That is, unless he could flip a traditionally blue state like Michigan, Wisconsin, or Pennsylvania. He ended up doing so, which was something the oracles of punditry did not predict.
Here’s how Clinton could have won without Florida.
Let’s start with a key way she can’t. The maps were created with the 270toWin site. If Trump had simply run the table in the remaining battlegrounds, he would have won without securing a blue state in the Midwest:
The problem for him initially seemed to be that he couldn’t afford to lose any of the above states without a surprise pickup. Check out reporter Jon Ralston’s blog on Nevada early voting patterns, and you will see the challenge for Trump. Remember: Barack Obama won Nevada by a healthy margin in 2012. In the end, Trump lost Nevada. If he had not flipped traditionally blue states, he could not have survived a Nevada loss in the electoral college.
Here is what would have happened if you give her Nevada, and she had won Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania as everyone expected:
She would have been president. We could do this reduction process endlessly. She takes North Carolina, along with that trio of blue states, he loses. She takes New Hampshire, and those blue states, he loses:
However, Trump created a new game altogether by flipping three states that had not gone Republican since the 1980s. That made Florida a game changer in the end after all; had Clinton won Florida, she could have weathered other losses.
Read more about the Wisconsin race here:
Read all the election results in Spanish at AhoraMismo.com: