“Biden starts with a slight lead in the Electoral College math. Right now, 232 electoral votes sit in Lean/Likely or Solid Democrat. On the GOP side, 204 electoral votes are in the Lean/Likely/Solid Republican column. There are six states (and one congressional district) in Toss-Up: Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Nebraska’s 2nd district. Those add up to 102 Electoral votes.”
His victory was rooted in his ability to win in places in the industrial Midwest — Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — where a Republican presidential nominee had not been victorious in decades. Trump also was able to keep traditional swing states like Florida and Ohio is his column while only losing Virginia, Colorado and Nevada of the true toss ups going into the election.
What’s changed between then and now?
“The President has not added any groups to his electoral coalition,” Rothenberg notes.
Of the six states the Cook Report identify as pure toss-ups heading into November, Walter says that Florida is the one that Trump simply cannot afford to lose. “Under our current ratings, there is only one scenario out of 12 possible for Trump to get 270 electoral votes without winning the Sunshine State,” she writes.
If Trump wins Florida — and, again, he really has to — then, according to Walter, the race again moves to the Midwestern states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. If Trump loses two of those three, he can still get to 270 — with Wisconsin looking the best for him at the moment.
Obviously, the electoral map is subject to change — particularly in this moment when the eyes of the country are on Trump and his performance in effectively dealing with (or not) the coronavirus crisis seizing the country.
But as of today, this race looks like Biden’s to lose. Which, as very recent presidential history makes clear, absolutely can happen.