Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney admitted that Trump has a path to win. It may be a squeaker, but he could win, factoring all of the weaknesses in Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. Yes, Trump is also incredibly flawed, probably the weakest GOP nominee in recent memory, but voters view him as more honest, he wasn’t under FBI investigation, he didn’t have a private email server that potentially exposed state secrets to foreign actors, and he didn’t lie about it. Clinton did all of those things, and she still has to unite the Bernie faction of the Democratic Party, which threw quite the temper tantrum in Philadelphia. These Sanders supporters could very well go third party.
Yet, let’s get to how Chris Cillizza feels about the map. In his piece, he cites Maggie Haberman and Alexander Burns’ piece about the 2016 electoral map for Trump:
Even as Mr. Trump has ticked up in national polls in recent weeks, senior Republicans say his path to the 270 Electoral College votes needed for election has remained narrow — and may have grown even more precarious. It now looks exceedingly difficult for him to assemble even the barest Electoral College majority without beating Hillary Clinton in a trifecta of the biggest swing states: Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Cillizza is right to note that 2016 was going to be challenging for any Republican against Clinton. Second, if Trump wants to win, maybe he should reconsider trying to put New York and Michigan in play and instead focus on Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida. He wins those states; he wins the election. Period:
The Democratic presidential nominee has won 18 states plus the District of Columbia in each of the six elections between 1992 and 2012. Those states have 242 electoral votes combined. The GOP nominee has won 13 states in every one of those six elections; those states total 102 electoral votes. That so-called "Blue Wall" has almost nothing to do with Trump. So, if Ted Cruz, for example, were the Republican nominee in 2016, his path would be similarly narrow to the one Trump now faces. Could Cruz — or Marco Rubio — be more competitive in, say, Virginia or Colorado than Trump looks to be? Sure. But would Cruz be as competitive in Pennsylvania as Trump is today? Almost certainly not.
That map gives Trump 273 electoral votes to Clinton's 265. He wins. It's not crazy, right?
According to the indispensable RealClearPolitics, Florida (Trump with a .3 point average lead) and Ohio (Clinton +.8) are as close as close gets. Pennsylvania is more problematic for Trump as Clinton holds a 4.4 point lead in the poll of polls in the state.
So, a few silver linings are that Trump holds the Romney map left in 2012. Toss in those key swing states—hello, Mr. President. Republicans have been able to win Florida and Ohio. It’s Pennsylvania that worries me. She can be a cruel mistress—and Republicans haven’t won the state since 1988. At the same time, the Democrats in the western part of the state appear to be having epiphanies, as that part of the state has become more Republican—a lot more Republican.
Cillizza is quick to note that it is incredible Trump still has this path to win after all that has occurred in his campaign. We shall see what happens when the new polling data is released in the coming weeks, after Trump went after a Gold Star mother. If he can survive this, Election Night 2016 could be...interesting.
To be clear, not arguing Trump will win Pennsylvania. But Dems overlook the overall voter reg trend at their peril: pic.twitter.com/JlG2Ldyp3Q— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) August 1, 2016