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Clinton vs. Trump: Seven Ways Donald Trump Could Win

Trump Sanford Rally photo

Donald Trump.


Will Donald Trump win?

(If you’re a Democrat, or just someone who can’t stand Trump, feel free to switch that to: “OMG, is it possible Donald Trump could win?” If you like Trump, you can say the above question with exuberance because it’s more possible on November 5 than it was a week before.)

Sites that forecast the election using different statistical models are still saying it’s not likely Trump will be president, though (and Hillary Clinton has inched back up slightly in forecasting models after falling repeatedly in recent days). That’s because the electoral college math remains formidable for Trump, and here’s the key reason: Pretty much everything has to go right for him on election day in battleground states that are currently tied or almost tied, whereas Hillary Clinton can afford to lose a few. And he needs to pick up a state that was trending her way too.

She has a firewall. He’s trying to break into one. Therein lies the difference. Hillary Clinton is in the power position, but Trump has the momentum (or Trumpmentum as you will.)

The polls have shifted fairly dramatically in the past week. National polls now have the race a virtual tie. Battleground states are tightening, with Clinton’s support eroding in almost all of them since October 27, the day before the FBI director lobbed his letter grenade into the presidential race by sending it to Congress. It’s enough to make Democrats reach for the smelling salts; every time you refresh your RealClearPolitics screen (or FiveThirtyEight) in recent days, it seems, she’s lost more ground in the polls. Still, his math is tougher. Much tougher. We’re headed into election day with a lot of key states as virtual ties. He battled back to that the past week.

However, this question is another story: Could Donald Trump win?

He could win. There also could be polling error (the number of polls nationally is down since 2012 fairly dramatically), and turnout and voter enthusiasm will matter. Start with this premise though: Trump probably has to win Florida. Without Florida, it’s almost impossible to make the map work. Although it is possible (and by possible we mean by winning states where he is at least somewhat close with growing momentum).

Furthermore, all of the different pathways entail Trump winning a string of states that are currently tied in the polls or almost tied. All of his dominoes need to fall. The right way. Of course, if you’re a Trump supporter, you might be thinking: This sounds familiar. Been here before. No one thought he would win the primary, either.

But the demographics and task are different; Trump has alienated various non-white groups, which makes it harder to win some states (but Democrats are worried by some early voting tallies showing African-American turnout is down, although Latino turnout is up. However, blacks have been more lopsidedly supporting Clinton in polls than Latinos have, even with all of the immigration rhetoric.)

We could do the same exercise for Clinton, but it would be too obvious, and that alone underscores the fact that it’s still hers to lose. Clinton wins if she takes Florida most likely. Or North Carolina. Or Ohio. Probably even if she wins Nevada. She doesn’t have to win combinations of those or all of those as Trump largely does. She just needs to take one big one away from his column. And some of those states are virtual ties.

Let’s briefly recap the state of battleground polls using RealClearPolitics polling averages from November 5.

States that are virtual ties  (Someone leads by 3% or less, which is in the margin of error for most polls): Florida, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Iowa, Colorado, and Nevada.

States Trump leads in single digits: Arizona, Ohio, and Georgia.

States Clinton leads in single digits:  Michigan, Wisconsin, Maine (but one Congressional district is tied – we will get to that in a minute), and Virginia.

Now, let’s entertain some hypothetical scenarios that have the nation saying “Mr. President” to Donald Trump. Here are 7 ways he could win:


1. He Wins Pennsylvania

trumpmapelectoral

Pennsylvania, with its 20 electoral vote prize, could be a game changer. The state hasn’t gone Republican since 1988, but it has several factors that make it possible for Trump: It’s largely white and non-college educated; it’s divided between pro Trump west and pro Clinton east (think Pittsburgh vs. Philly); the number of registered Democrats has dropped; it’s got one of the highest rates of Obamacare premium increases in the country; and past elections have been fairly close (although not close enough for Republicans).

Here’s another key point. Pennsylvania doesn’t allow early voting to all. Only 5% of the state early voted in 2012. That’s good for Trump because he’s tightened in the polls more recently, and a few weeks ago, he was embroiled in the sexual misconduct allegations he denies.

Remember those states where the polls are virtually tied on November 5? Let’s revisit them. Here’s a map without them, and you will see how desperately Trump needs every one of them. She needs them too. Neither is close to 270 without them. But she’s closer. She’s stronger than he is before seeing how the battlegrounds fall.

trumpundecideds

How likely is it that Trump will win Pennsylvania?

Four of the five most recent Pennsylvania polls show the race now in the margin of error, as voters tell pollsters they are worried about the economy and jobs. However, Clinton leads in 4 of those 5, and the 5th is a tie. Her average as of November 5 in RealClearPolitics polling averages was 2.6%. But it’s been tightening the past week. She was up an average 5.8% on October 30.

If Trump wins Pennsylvania, he could afford to lose some states where he’s currently leading, like Nevada and New Hampshire (a good thing because early voting trends in Nevada have looked promising for Clinton, and she led in New Hampshire until a few days ago). Trump would also need to win Ohio, Florida, and North Carolina for this map to work, though.

Clinton vs. Trump: Can Trump Win Pennsylvania as Polls Tighten?

Pennsylvania presidential polls are giving Democrats heartburn as the race tightens and people wonder: Could Donald Trump win Pennsylvania and its 20 electoral votes?

Click here to read more

2. He Wins Maine’s Second Congressional District

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Here’s a scenario that gets Trump exactly 270 electoral votes.

The keys here: He must win the string of states that are currently tied or almost tied: Florida, North Carolina, Nevada, and New Hampshire. What puts him over the top? The Second Congressional District of Maine, which apportions some of its delegates by giving one to each of two Congressional districts (the statewide winner gets another 2 electoral votes).

Although he’s behind in Maine overall and in its First Congressional District, a recent poll showed the Second Congressional District race was virtually tied.

If this same map held, but Trump lost that district, the race would tie, putting it in the House of Representatives, which is controlled by the GOP. This might be the most likely path to Trump victory because he’s got some momentum in each of the battleground states coded red. But they’d all have to fall right for him. He can even lose Pennsylvania and Colorado and still win this way.

Why Does Maine Split Its Electoral College Votes by District?

Maine is one of only two states in the U.S. where the Electoral College votes can be split, and where the system is not winner take all. Why is that?

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3. He Wins Colorado

trumpmap3

Let’s swap out Pennsylvania and give it to Hillary.

Let’s give him Colorado instead.

If Trump wins Colorado, he can afford to lose Nevada (where early voting trends have looked good for Clinton) and the Maine Congressional District.

How likely is it that Trump wins Colorado? It’s more likely than a week ago, but the polls are somewhat contradictory there, and he’s not leading.  She leads by 3% in the RealClearPolitics polling averages.  Of the 5 recent polls, she leads by 5 and 6 (one of those from a Democratic leaning pollster and one from a Republican); one is a tie; and she leads by 1 and 3 in the final two. (Obama won Colorado in 2012 and 2008, but the state was red in 1996, 2000 and 2004). You remember who was running in 1996 right? Bill Clinton against Bob Dole.

Lots of Coloradans have early voted. The state’s largely white demographics work for Trump, who has alienated various minority groups. The state has a lot of independents.


4. He Loses Florida & Shocks By Upsetting Two States Recently Trending For Clinton

trumpmap5

By this scenario, Trump could weather losing Florida, where the polls are basically tied (although the last two showed Clinton in a slightly stronger position).

Lots of Floridians have early voted and those tallies have looked positive for Republicans compared to 2012.

In fact, if Trump won Colorado and Pennsylvania, that would do it, as long as he retained other battleground states that are close. Notice one thing all these maps have in common? North Carolina. It’s very important this year. How likely is Trump to win North Carolina?

He leads an average of 0.8% in North Carolina polling averages. Trump was up by 7 and 2 in the two most recent polls there.

Early Voting Results: Who Leads in Battleground States Nov. 4

Republicans are doing well in early voting trends in some key states (like Florida and North Carolina), but Democrats are performing strongly in other states like Nevada.

Click here to read more

5. He Swipes Minnesota From Clinton

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OK, Minnesota sounds like a Hail Mary pass. Not many people are talking about it right now, as the campaigns focus on Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina, and New Hampshire. But let’s puzzle through it for a second.

Minnesotans learned October 24 that their state would have among the highest Obamacare premium increases in the country. The Democratic governor has even said he’s considered the unusual step of creating a multi-million dollar fund to bail people out with state taxpayer money. How dire is it? Bloomberg wrote in late September, “Minnesota will let the health insurers in its Obamacare market raise rates by at least 50 percent next year, after the individual market there came to the brink of collapse, the state’s commerce commissioner said Friday.” And that was before the federal government confirmed the big hikes.

CNN estimated about 100,000 people in Minnesota will face huge premium hikes without tax credits/government subsidies. Is 100,000 people enough to sway the election? Well, who knows how many were already for Trump, but it does give him an issue. The Democratic governor of Minnesota said Obamacare was “no longer affordable.”

And Minnesota hasn’t had a non-online poll since October 22.

October 22 was before James Comey’s letter to Congress. It was also in the wake of all of the sexual misconduct allegations against Trump, which caused him to plummet in polls around the country. The poll before that one, taken in September, showed the race a tie. When Trump appeared at a rally in November in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, news reports said lots of Minnesotans were there (it’s a more than two hour drive, too).

That means it’s not entirely clear how the Comey letter (or Obamacare increases) affected Minnesotans. And the race was pretty tight before. Clinton led but not by double digits.

Jesse Ventura Myron May

There have been a string of online polls measuring Minnesota attitudes. They show Clinton leading between 4 and 10 percentage points. No polls measure only a time frame post Comey’s letter, though, online or otherwise. The most recent, by Reuters, was conducted online and straddled a time frame both before and after the letter. It found Clinton up 5.

Plus, Minnesota has a history of electing unorthodox TV stars (remember Jesse “The Body” Ventura?)

Is it likely Trump can win Minnesota? No. But it’s fun to add one in that no one expects. And, again, Minnesota elected a wrestler.

Instead of Minnesota, we could give Trump its Midwestern neighbor, Wisconsin, which has a Republican governor. But Trump has been underperforming in that state’s suburban Milwaukee Republican bastions. Why? Lukewarm support from top GOP leaders in the state, the Never Trumpism of a prominent conservative talker there, and the affluent, college-educated demographics of those counties. Furthermore, higher presidential turnout tends to color Wisconsin blue. Trump does well with rural, working class Wisconsinites. Like those who live “Up North” by…Minnesota.

On Saturday, Trump cancelled a rally he had planned for Sunday in Wisconsin. Instead, he suggested he might head to Minnesota:

Hmmmm.


6. He Swipes Virginia from Clinton

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Or Trump could swipe Virginia. That seems more likely; Virginia was a Republican state from 1968 through 2008 until Obama flipped it (but can Clinton maintain the voter enthusiasm Obama had with millennials and African-Americans in particular?) However, Clinton’s running mate Tim Kaine hails from Virginia, so Virginians would have to thumb their noses at the hometown guy.

It doesn’t get talked about much, but, by this barometer, Kaine was a smarter pick for Clinton than Mike Pence was for Trump. Pence hails from Indiana, a red state. Yes, he helped Trump shore up his base, but he doesn’t bring a state. Virginia would have gone a long way for Trump. It could get him the White House.

Virginia allows Trump to lose Nevada and New Hampshire. However, Clinton leads there an average 5.2% and has polled outside the margin of error in recent polls. However, her standing has been slipping.


7. He Wins Michigan

trumpmichigan

Look at what Michigan gets Trump. No wonder he’s been campaigning there. If Trump wins Michigan, he could afford to lose a bunch of states he’s competitive in right now, like New Hampshire, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and even Iowa, the latter of which most pundits think he has a good chance of winning.

How likely is it, though? Clinton’s polling average there was 4%. Recent polls showed her up 5, 3, and 4. However, she led an average 6.3% about a week ago, showing the race in Michigan is tightening, and Trump and his family have been aggressively campaigning there (as has Clinton).

Still, you can see why Trump is targeting Michigan. It gives him the presidency while allowing him to lose several other tightly contested states. Some of the other scenarios require him to basically run the table.

Here’s the bottom line. They’re tough maps. However, he’s got a lot of different codes that would crack the safe. She has more, though. That should keep everyone up late on Monday night with worry.

Clinton vs. Trump: Trump Gains in Many Battleground State Polls

Latest 2016 presidential polls in Clinton vs. Trump have shown Trump gaining support in many battleground states in the past week, but the electoral math remains tough.

Click here to read more

Read more about Donald Trump and Melania in Spanish at AhoraMismo.com:

Melania Trump: Las Fotos Más Sexys y Escandalosas de la Esposa de Donald Trump

Melania Trump, la esposa de Donald Trump, tiene una historia muy única cuando se trata de mujeres casadas con candidatos…

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8 comments

  1. Congratulations.Trump Mr. President of the United States
    May the Almighty bless you and keep you and your government safe and prosperous.
    Sam Kumar
    Gloucester
    United Kingdom

      • If the unthinkable happens, Hillary steals the election means FBI cannot do its job. Loretta Lunch wil be Hillary’s soldier. We will permanently lose our first and second amendments. Your children will be taught Columbus, the Pilgrims committed genocide. English will be a minority language.

        Candidates will elected not by policies, solutions, or ideology. They will elected because they are either a minority, women or corrupt. Today we have two candidates:. Clinton (corrupt, racketeering, money lauderning, liar, racist, bully, sloppy with national security, uses Clinton foundation as her private ATM, spreads lies and innuendos against her opponents, Donna Brazil gives her questions to debates, anti police, anti Christianity, calls Catholicism the bastardization ot christianity, pays thugs to riot, pays women to make false allegations, murdered 4 American diplomats in Benghazi and called their family members CRAZY, her maid handles top secret emails without security clearance and 5 enemy countries and/or terror organizations can and will bribe her as president! Vs a billionaire who has the American work ethic, loudmouth, not politically correct however, has a great economic plan, will lower taxes, improve American healthcare, stop outsourcing of American jobs, end illegal immigration, stop human and drug trafficking, end common core, increase school choice, lower college tuition, believes in law and order, secure borders, believes in extreme vetting of legal immigrants, wants improve healthcare but increasing competition of insurance companies to lower premiums and deductible and increase coverage(opposite of Obamacare: high premiums high deductibles less healthcare), and drain the swamp of corruption.

        Which of the two will be good for America? Trump! Which of the two will bring economic diaster? Hillary Rodman Clinton. So far she has no issues other than her lies about Benghzai, lies against Trump, lies against James Comet, pays celebrities to use foul language to her events. JayZ calling women prostitutes and African Americans the “N” word and encouraging young African Americans to use and sell illegal drugs, and continue to break the law! That’s great thing to teach our children! Anyone who votes for Hillary must have issues with our traditional work ethic, and Judeo-Christian values! Pray that President Trump will win this election and that Hillary will not steal this election! God bless America and Trump/Pence! May Hillary receive what she earned from taking the low ground!

  2. Yesterday, a young black 21-year-old mother Christian Clark killed her 17-month-old baby boy and attempted to smother to death her 2-year-old daughter, sending text messages and videos in the process. And, you “micky ficky” muh-fu . . .kas believe that you can put the “smooth” brother we elected president in 2008 and 2012, his wife, or some “anyhoo” stale rapper in our face to force our hand again with voting.

    HELL NO! WE’RE NOT VOTING FOR HILLARY CLINTON!!!

    We have reached our limit with the Democratic Party, CNN, and all those “Ja Rule” Judas slip knots who with just a few days until the election STILL CAN’T ACKNOWLEDGE HOW MUCH WE HURT IN BLACK AMERICA.

    It’s that simple.

    • Chill with the rants . . . I think this is still America, and you canstill vote for anybody you want . . . although, that may all go away on November 9th should Donald Trump win!

    • Ted, what the hell does your message have to do with election . . . black people kill children?? . . . tragically, so does every culture and race of the rainbow , , , my god, look at Tim McVeigh, a white veteran, took out a Federal building killing 78 Americans including 22 children . . .to McVeigh, they were all mere “collateral damage . . ,

      You support the Klu Klux Klan’s candidate–shame on you, Ted . . . and I’ve got news for you, there’s a bunch of us have reached our limit too, but it’s with Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and the rest of that fear-mongering crowd . . . it’s one thing to be passionate about a candidate, but you are downright rabid!! The tyranny of the minority will NOT prevail.

      • Did you know hillaryvRodman Clinton’s godfather and mentor was Robert Byrd! Did you know that the clinton’s country club excludes blacks and non whites? Did you know that Bill Clinton said that barak Obama should be
        bringing us water instead of running for president in 2008! Did you know that Hillary Clinton said SHE HATES REGULAR AMERICANS! Who are the regular people, we the people! Let’s elect Donald J Trump president and sent the Clintons back to Arkansas! Even their state is voting Trump!