You know the math. It takes 270 electoral college votes to be elected President of the United States. And you know the truth – it is a much tougher road for Donald Trump to get there than it is for Hillary Clinton. But it can be done. Having studied the most recent polls from all 50 states, the road to the White House is clear.
For Clinton, just win Ohio or Florida and it’s over. But how does Trump get there? His road to victory must take three simple steps.
1. Win the states he should win.
Trump should win the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming. That gets him to 191. He is still 79 votes short.
2. Win the following toss-up states.
I picked these states because they are the ones where Trump is polling best. He must win each of these, or he faces an almost certain loss: Florida, Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina, and Ohio. These toss-up states total 74 more votes. This gets Mr. Trump to 265.
3. Win one more state.
Despite what you’ve been hearing, Trump does not need to win Pennsylvania. Or Michigan or Wisconsin. To get to 270 (or with New Hampshire, to 269 – a tie), he needs to win one more state. These are his best bets: Colorado, Michigan, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin. His best chance is to win New Hampshire, which leans libertarian, or Virginia, which has been reliably Republican until recent years.
Conclusion: Trump can win, but it won’t be easy. His must-win states: Florida, Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina, and Ohio. Then toss in New Hampshire or Virginia and Trump can prepare to downsize this January – from Trump Tower to the White House.