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Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Electoral Math

When people talk about the presidential election, they often quote polls showing how their candidate will win. But national polls mean nothing, because we don't elect presidents by popular vote. We still use the creaky electoral college method which, while long overdue for trashing, means you have to look at the candidates' opportunities on a state-by-state basis. As Chris Cilizza points out, that view doesn't look so good for Trump:

If Clinton wins the 19 states (and DC) that every Democratic nominee has won from 1992 to 2012, she has 242 electoral votes. Add Florida's 29 and you get 271. Game over.

The Republican map is decidedly less friendly. There are 13 states that have gone for the GOP presidential nominee in each of the last six elections. But they only total 102 electorate votes. That means the eventual nominee has to find, at least, 168 more electoral votes to get to 270. Which is a hell of a lot harder than finding 28 electoral votes.
Read Cilizza's full piece here.

The other part of any analysis of the election has to do with demographics. As I've written before, I don't see any group other than white men over 50 that Trump has a chance of winning, and there aren't enough of them to come close to an electoral win. He has virtually no shot with women, African-Americans, or Latinos.

What's ironic is that, after Romney's drubbing in 2012, the GOP supposedly did a post-mortem and decided it had to expand its reach to exactly those groups if it was going to have a chance to ever win the presidency again. Not that you could tell there was any effort in that department by looking at the policies it continues to embrace. And now Republicans have a candidate who has done nothing but magnify that demographic gap.