Electoral College Outlook Still Says Hillary
Myra Adams has done an excellent job of explaining why the horse race aspect of this presidential race is strictly for entertainment purposes. According to the Real Clear Politics (RCP) electoral map, Hillary is only 60 electoral votes shy of the magic 270 needed to win the White House. Currently RCP awards her a whopping 210 votes compared with Trump’s 164. The electoral college determines who becomes the next President.
Hillary’s 210 votes are derived from eight solid Clinton “dark blue” states totaling 119 votes. In addition, she’s predicted to win 35 votes from three royal blue “likely Clinton” states, and 56 votes derived from seven light-blue “leans Clinton” states. This means Hillary only needs to win 60 out of the 164 remaining electoral votes within 13 toss-up states
In fact, Hillary could lose a major battleground state such as Florida, with its 29 electoral votes, and still reach 270. For example, she could cobble together 62 votes from the following five states where RCP poll averages show her in the lead: Michigan (16), Ohio (18), North Carolina (15), Colorado (9) and New Hampshire (4).
Alternatively, all Hillary needs is 62 votes from Florida (29), Pennsylvania (20) and Virginia (13), and she has made history. This three-state victory is entirely possible considering that Clinton is also leading in the RCP poll averages in Virginia by 4 percentage points, in Florida by 3.7 points, and in Pennsylvania by 2.3 points.
Thanks to Trump’s “popularity,” two traditional red states appear on RCP’s list of 13 toss-ups. Georgia, with 16 electoral votes, has consistently gone red for the last five presidential elections; and Arizona, with 11 electoral votes, has faithfully landed in the red column nine out of the last ten presidential elections, with 1996 the only exception.
The Clinton campaign understands this electoral college math. The 8 states where the campaign spent $26 million on the airwaves in June were Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia. All 8 are included on RCP’s list of 13 toss-up states, and their electoral-vote total is a nice round 100. During June, the Trump campaign spent zero, allowing the Clinton campaign to have the airwaves in battleground states all to themselves.
Interesting enough, there were no ad buys in Pennsylvania and Michigan, two RCP toss up states in the “Rust Belt” populated with disgruntled white male voters. Historically Michigan, with its 16 votes, and Pennsylvania, with 20, have been won by every Democratic presidential candidate since 1992. We should see spending in those states post-Labor-Day if Trump is making inroads.
Since Clinton needs to win only 60 out of a possible 164 toss-up votes, the following data explains why she is likely to win double that number and possibly even more: According to the respected Pew Research Center’s survey of registered voters, Clinton is winning women by a margin of 59 to 35 percent. By comparison, in 2012 Obama won women by 55 to 44 percent over Romney. In 2008, Obama won women by a margin of 56 to 43 percent over John McCain.
Trump is winning men by six points, 49 to 43 percent. Romney won men by seven points, 52 to 45 percent.
The overall white vote is in Trump’s favor 51 to 42 percent. Romney won whites by 20 points, 59 to 39 percent over Obama.
It is no surprise that Trump is losing Hispanic voters to Hillary 66 to 24 percent. What is surprising is that Romney actually did worse, losing Hispanic voters to Obama by 71 to 27 percent.
African-American voters are totally in lockstep for Clinton, 91 to 7 percent. Shockingly, Obama did only slightly better, winning this voter block 93 percent to Romney’s 6.
Younger voters ages 18 to 29 are choosing Clinton over Trump by 60 to 30 percent. Voters ages 30 to 49 are also in the Clinton camp, 52 to 39 percent. Older voters ages 50 to 64 are with Clinton, too, but by a smaller margin of 49 to 46 percent. The 65+ crowd is the only group that Trump is winning, and by three points, 49 to 46 percent.
With national demographic shifts toward active younger voters, female power and a more racially diverse population, the electoral college will be increasingly slanted against a GOP that is overwhelmingly white and male. This means the electoral college, not the economy, will be the number one campaign issue in the near future.