See total electoral counts for each candidate below.The darker the red, the more certainty there is that the state will go for Trump. Over the coming week, pay close attention to polling in the light blue and pink states.
In putting this map together at RealClear Politics, I took into account a combination of multiple recent polls for each state, historical voting patterns and current trends for each candidate. Dark blue indicates solid support for Clinton; dark red for Trump. While this map still projects a Clinton victory on November 8, her margin is tenuous – 288 to 250. Under this model, while Clinton could afford to lose either Colorado or North Carolina, she could not afford to lose both. Pennsylvania remains, essentially, a must win.
Meanwhile, Trump’s path to victory has significantly improved in recent days. He would need to hold his leads in all the pink states (in Nevada and Florida his lead is razor thin but trending in his favor) and pick up 20 additional electoral votes. Pennsylvania, long seen to be in play, seems an unlikely reach now, which means his most likely path lies through flipping some combination of North Carolina and Wisconsin or North Carolina and Colorado.
Look out, though, if he flips Wisconsin and Colorado and the rest of the map remains as it is above. If the Maine Second Congressional District remains in Clinton’s column (she has a slight lead there) the result would be a 269 – 269 tie. You might think that in the event of a tie, the presidency would go to whomever won the popular vote. Not so.
We’d have to wait till until January when Congress would then settle the matter with a vote of their own. Under this scenario, the representatives of each state would vote to decide which way the state’s one vote would be cast. States with an even number of representatives could end up with a tie vote, which would translate to no vote.
Should the vote for President end up in the House, the result would almost surely be a Trump victory as Republicans currently hold a majority in a majority of states.
In addition to a momentum shift toward Trump, it has to be acknowledged that the last week of this election will seem interminable. It’s unlikely that the ongoing FBI investigation of Clinton’s emails will reveal anything, but who knows? The additional support Trump has picked up seems to be not very much about Clinton’s emails and a whole lot about registered Republicans quitting their support of Johnson (who ran a truly weak campaign) and returning to the fold.
Similarly, it looks like the Clinton Campaign has thrown its best punches at Trump, but again, who knows? It’s a little hard to believe that Trump’s supporters are going to give him a pass on his failure to pay taxes and his refusal to furnish his tax returns. Coupled with his long-standing practice of hiring illegal immigrants and shipping jobs overseas, it would seem that he’s decidedly not the candidate to give voice to populist concerns, but the fact is he’s the best (only) voice his followers have.
Donald Rumsfeld’s famous quote, paraphrased, seems to ring true for both sides: As you know, you go into an election with the candidate you have, not the candidate you might want or wish to have.
The bottom line is that at WestView49, we’re still predicting a Clinton victory. But buckle up for the final week.