Can Trump win re-election without the state of Ohio?
It’s been close in Ohio throughout this election cycle. According to the RealClearPolitics polling average, Trump was only ahead in the state by an average of 1%. He led in recent polls by 4 and 5 percentage points, but Biden led in a couple recent polls, too. On election night, Ohio was shaping up to be a nail-biter.
The answer is yes, Trump can win the election without Ohio. You can see some electoral map possibilities later in this article.
First of all, keep up with live election results out of Ohio here via Decision Desk HQ:
Here’s How Trump Can Win the Election Without Ohio
There’s no question about it: It would be a lot harder for Trump to win the election without Ohio, so it’s certainly not an outcome that the president desires. However, there are a couple electoral college pathways that could still give him the presidency against Joe Biden.
One way Trump can win without Ohio: He takes Michigan and Pennsylvania. He won both states in 2016 in upsets, but they are tough fights for him in 2020. This scenario assumes Biden wins Nevada and the two Congressional districts in Nebraska and Maine. It also assumes Trump wins key states that are still unclear, such as North Carolina and Georgia.
Wins in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania could also get Trump back in the White House while losing Ohio (we have him Nevada, but it doesn’t have enough electoral votes to change anything in that scenario). Or, alternatively, a surprise flip in Minnesota could substitute for a loss in Wisconsin. Minnesota hasn’t voted for a Republican since Richard Nixon, so this would be a shocking flip, but the state has been riot-torn and has been facing immigration-related tensions. Trump has competed heavily there, and Hillary Clinton barely won the state in 2016. Wisconsin has trended Democratic in the midterms, electing Democratic Governor Tony Evers and sending a Democrat to the statewide Supreme Court. Trump lost Nevada in 2016 but has a shot to pick up the state, and Pennsylvania is considered a tough state for him to retain, but it’s certainly a possible one.
The road to the White House goes through the Midwest if Trump loses Ohio.
We made our maps with the RealClearPolitics customizable electoral map sheet.
However, if Trump loses a state like North Carolina, all bets are off when it comes to the above maps.
Trump needs to sweep the trifecta of Midwestern states he won in 2016 — Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania (or flip Minnesota instead of Wisconsin) — if he wants to win the White House without either Ohio or North Carolina. Without those states, the race gets tighter and tighter for Trump and his pathways to the White House become far fewer. These maps also assume the president retains Arizona and wins the Congressional districts in Maine and Nebraska that each deliver a single electoral vote to their victor.
Here’s the map showing how Trump can win without North Carolina or Ohio:
Trump won’t win without Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio (even if he wins Pennsylvania).
According to CNN, if a state like Virginia could flip to Trump, that would also help the president.