The Rushmore Report: New Electoral Map – Race Tightens

A new memo sent by Hillary Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook declares Clinton “has many paths to 270 electoral votes, while Donald Trump has very few” – he’s right, but Trump’s potential path to victory looks a bit wider than it did a month ago. The race across the battleground states has tightened considerably, according to new projections released Tuesday.

While Clinton still has the overall Electoral College advantage, the Fox News Electoral Scorecard shows the race between Clinton and Donald Trump becoming more competitive in New Hampshire, Colorado, and even Minnesota – and Trump gaining the edge in Iowa.

New Hampshire is not rated as “toss-up,” after previously having been rated a “lean” Democratic state. Colorado also is now rated as “toss-up,” after previously having been rated “lean” Democrat, as well. Minnesota has moved from “solid” Democrat to “lean” Democrat. Meanwhile, Iowa has moved from “toss-up” to “lean” Republican.

In New Hampshire, both campaigns are fiercely fighting for the state’s mere four Electoral College votes. Clinton had held a lead in the state, but Trump looks to have closed the gap.

Clinton also had long looked to be comfortably ahead in Colorado, but she failed to lock the state down. Her campaign even pulled down TV ads in the state. Clinton still has some advantages in the Centennial State, but polls show a tightened race – one recent poll showed Trump ahead.

In Iowa, a state with a lot of working-class white voters, Trump’s lead has grown more comfortable. The state has gone Democratic in five of the last six elections, but it looks friendlier to Trump than most of the other battleground states.

Minnesota still looks like a state that the Democrats can hold, but Trump appears to have a small chance of expanding the map into this long solidly blue state. Other battlegrounds – North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Nevada, Georgia, and Arizona – are all still rated as “toss-ups” in the latest projections.

And while polls have tightened in Virginia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, Clinton continues to have an edge in all of them. Overall, Clinton’s electoral edge remains significant.

If Clinton wins the states rated “solid” Democrat along with the states rated as leaning in her direction, she’d have 260 electoral votes.

If Trump wins the “solid” Republican states along with the states currently seen as leaning in his direction, he’d come away with 170 electoral votes.

Neither candidate, though, reaches the 270 electoral votes needed to win the 2016 presidential election without winning some of the toss-up states, which hold 108 electoral votes.

About the Author

Bryan Murphy is a journalist for the Washington Post and the author of several non-fiction books, including The New Man. He previously worked as the Dubai bureau chief for the Associated Press.

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