How Trump could pull off shock victory

 

The US election race remains extremely tight, with a result on poll day - November 3 -considered highly unlikely and both sides threatening legal action in the event of a close call.

Donald Trump has consistently trailed Joe Biden in national polling, but US elections are fought and won in the states and sometimes in single districts.

Some states are flipped so rarely they are known as blue strongholds - such as California and New York - while Republicans have long held the red states of America's south.

Mr Trump's 2016 win came through narrow victories in six swing states, some of which were considered such sure bets for Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton that she barely campaigned there.

Republicans say they are planning to repeat these victories in Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Arizona and Michigan.

"This is the map we defend," says campaign manager Bill Stepian.

They are also targeting a number of states Clinton took four years ago, including Minnesota, Nevada and New Hamphsire.

But 2020 is nothing if not uncertain, and the Biden campaign is also targeting states which Trump took easily last time but where his support is now lagging, including Georgia, Iowa and Ohio.

Polls are so close that the Trump campaign has identified and named five other pathways to victory for the president to gather the crucial 270 electoral college votes he needs to secure the keys to the White House for another term.

 

MIDWEST STRENGTH

America's midwest has been at the heart of both campaigns and this model put forward by the Trump 2020 team awards victory to Trump through taking marginal Minnesota, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Holding Florida gives 289 electoral votes from 29 states. Democrats would take Nevada and North Carolina, for 249 votes from 22 states.

 

RUST BELT STRENGTH

Trump scrapes through with just 272 votes from 29 states, but concedes vote-rich Florida in favour of northeastern and midwest states including Pennsylvania, Michigan and Minnesota.

Here Biden also takes battleground North Carolina among 22 states with 266 electoral votes.

"If you don't think some of these states being red again is possible, just look at where Joe Biden is spending not just his time but also his money," says Stepian.

 

 

 

 

WORKING CLASS SURGE

In this competitive scenario, Democrats hold the west coast and the north east and flip Arizona blue, for 265 votes in 22 states. In this scenario Republicans lose the battlegrounds of Pennsylvania and Nevada, but win 29 states including Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Wisonscin.

Trump 2020 director of battleground strategy Nick Trainer said it was a "myth" that Democrats hadn't fought hard for Pennsylvania in 2016, with a Beyonce concert in the last days of the race and an Obama appearance.

"There is no try harder for a Democrat (than that strategy)," he said.

 

BLUE WALL COLLAPSE

Despite its dramatic name, this option is a nailbiter giving Trump the bare minimum of 270 electoral votes, mainly in the loss of Florida. Here Biden wins 21 diverse states including Arizona, Colorado and Minnesota for 268 electoral votes.

 

 

 

SOUTHWEST STRENGTH

This is another tight result, based on Republicans building a band of red from Florida across to Arizona, and winning Nevada as well. The 29 states in this pathway give Trump the minimum 270 votes. Democrats win the key northern states of Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisonscin with 268 votes from 22 states.

"We see this as a real option," says Stepian.

 

A RED LANDSLIDE

Considered the most unlikely option, this gives Biden 14 states including the Democrat strongholds on the west and east coasts, as well as Illinois, for a grand total of 182 electoral votes. In this improbable scenario, Trump would take all the swing states and most of the rest of the county for 356 votes.

This reporter is on Twitter: @sarahblakemedia

 

 

Originally published as How Trump could pull off shock victory


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