2016 Electoral College Map, the first look….

Electoral Map

By Joseph S. Iaco, 7/14/2016

It is time to take the first serious look at the Presidential Electoral College Map for 2016.I promise to keep this simple, and I will revisit it from time to time.

Based on past elections including 2012, It is true that Hillary Clinton starts with an electoral advantage. Recall that Obama beat Romney 332 – 206. She has more electoral votes in bedrock Democrat states than Trump does in GOP in states.

However, she also is much more limited in the states she can add to her total. Denying Clinton just a few states denies her the victory.

First let’s eliminate some long shot states that are being discussed as potentially changing parties since the last election. Until I see polling or other evidence, I believe the Democrats will retain New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Michigan. Likewise, I do not foresee Georgia or Arizona going blue. This means there are only a few battleground states this year, and even fewer states that truly matter.

So let’s start with the single most important state in 2016:

North Carolina.

This is a must retain for the GOP and I do not think the winner will produce more than 52% of the vote. NC went for Obama in 2008 but narrowly returned to the GOP in 2012. Obama remains unpopular, and Dem voter registration has decreased from 2.8 million to 2.6 million. GOP registration has stayed flat at 2 million but independents have grown from 1.8 million to 2 million. The “Bathroom-Gender Bill” could play prominently in the outcome, but I believe the GOP can retain this state.

From there the GOP must win in 3 key states, states where they are close to or holding a slight lead now. Florida looks like a GOP win based on the abundance of seniors, the “6th borough” of NY in South Florida and the fact that Trump has a second home here. Every statewide office is held by the GOP. And don’t think the Cubans have forgiven the Clintons over the Elian Gonzalez caper; this state flips to the GOP, garnering them 29 votes to go with the Romney totals.

Next is Ohio, where having an Ohioan as a VP pick would have been helpful. Trump plays well with the blue collar vote and can attract disenfranchised voters that Romney could not. Although it will be close, it could be enough to bring Ohio into the fold, adding 18 votes.

Finally, Pennsylvania is back in play, after voting Democrat for a generation. Again, Trump’s appeal to blue collar voters, both Republicans and Democrats, really makes the biggest difference here. Adding Pennsylvania increases the GOP total by 20 votes, making their total 279 and brings about a victory. What it also does is render states like Virginia and Iowa moot. That is not to say that Trump should ignore them or stop campaigning there. There are many reasons to do so, including forcing your opponent to defend there.

What it does make perfectly clear is that the road to victory for Donald Trump and the GOP is not nearly as difficult as some people think.

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