Presidential election polls change throughout the course of the cycle. June is early to make state-by-state predictions, since not all the states have been polled. However, when considering the breakdown of the electoral college, things are looking pretty good for Hillary Clinton at this point.
Modern Presidential elections come down to swing states, Florida and Ohio often being the most important. If the Republican candidate can hold the “red” states, or at least the “lean red” states, and vice versa for the Democrat with the “blue” states, then the election is really about Ohio and Florida. That was the case in 2000 and 2004. However, Barack Obama did quite well in 2008, adding some normally “red” states to his victory column, including Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District, Indiana, and North Carolina. In 2012, he lost those contests, but still won handily. And as in 2008, in 2012 he didn’t need to rely on Florida or Ohio to push him over the top.
That brings us to 2016. Besides not really advertising or creating a ground game or seeming to actually care about running for President in a serious way, Donald Trump’s candidacy could harm Republican down-ticket races. If Trump actually starts campaigning (instead of just funneling money from himself to his businesses the way a normal person might move money from their checking account to their business account), he’s going to have to play a lot of defense.
For instance: for the first time in years, normally “red” Arizona is potentially in play for the Democrats. Also, Indiana and Missouri are back in play. Heck, even Georgia is a pickup opportunity. That being said, there are states that are so Republican that a red-colored squirrel could beat Hillary Clinton. So, sadly, Donald Trump will most likely win those states; places like Wyoming and Idaho comes to mind.
For her part, Hillary Clinton will benefit from the African American and Latino votes in certain normally “red” states. That puts parts of the Deep South in play, as well as Texas (albeit the Lone Star State is still Likely Republican). Arkansas is a long-shot after Obama was thumped there twice in a row. But perhaps, now that the Clintons are back, that could change the math in that state.
As for the purple states, less diverse states like Iowa, Maine, and New Hampshire are still “leaning” Democratic and not yet considered “likely” Democratic. That may change.
For right now, here is the breakdown, and I am being generous on some states in Donald Trump’s favor.
Safe Republican – 57 electoral votes
Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska (all other), North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, Wyoming
Likely Republican – 85 electoral votes
Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Montana, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas
Leans Republican – 17 electoral votes
Georgia, Nebraska (CD-2)
Toss Up – 47 electoral votes
Arizona, Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina
Leans Democratic – 100 electoral votes
Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Maine (CD-2), New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia
Likely Democratic – 50 electoral votes
Maine (all other), Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Nevada, Wisconsin
Safe Democratic – 182 electoral votes
California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington State
If this analysis is correct, then as of today, Hillary Clinton has 332 electoral votes at least leaning in her favor; while Donald Trump has 159. There are 47 Toss votes in the “Toss Up” column.
At best, Hillary Clinton could theoretically win over 400 electoral votes and over two thirds of the U.S. states. But at worst, hey, she could still lose. It’s still early. Republicans are still holding out hope they can get her indicted before the election. That may be their only shot, and it’s a very long one at that.
If, by late October, Hillary Clinton’s victory looks like a forgone conclusion, the House and Senate and state legislative races will be very much up for grabs. This might be more of a mid-term election than a Presidential election if Donald Trump isn’t competitive.
Let’s see how the trend continues; stay tuned for more updates!