Donald Trump does have a path to victory but it is a tough one, and he needs to find a considerable number of votes in three states by next Tuesday.
Setting aside all the boorish and inaccurate narrative about other states in play, the Electoral College, at best for Trump, looks like this today (purple states are author’s emphasis):
Assume that Trump carries all seven toss-ups, which is a longshot since five are polling inside a single point, and the map now looks like this:
Trump could now win with a victory in Pennsylvania, or wins in both Michigan and North Carolina. But, not to get crazy about it, if he loses Florida he needs all three “purple” states on the map. If he loses Nevada and Iowa, or Ohio, he needs Pennsylvania and Michigan or North Carolina.
It is most likely at least one or two of the seven toss-ups don’t go his way, so the big three of Michigan, North Carolina and Pennsylvania are the focus. That’s where the Trump campaign has to find almost 1 million votes, and that is a very tall order.
Why 1 million votes? Taking the current polling averages in those three states and using the voter turnout in 2012, the chart below shows the projected deficit Trump has in the popular vote in each state.
It will take a combination of new voters for Trump and an increase in the voters for another candidate coming to the Trump camp to win. In Pennsylvania it will take more than 400,000 votes, which is almost 7.5% of the total votes cast in 2012. In Michigan it will take more than 375,000 votes, which is just over 8% of the 2012 vote. In North Carolina it will take 125,000 votes, which is just under 3% of the 2012 tally.
Can the Trump campaign pull a rabbit-out-of-a-hat next Tuesday? Maybe, but the likelihood of that happening is very small indeed. Is it possible Trump could sweep the toss-ups and win North Carolina? Possibly, and that is far more likely than carrying Michigan or Pennsylvania.
But even if he manages to perform that well the map comes up short with the Electoral College breaking for Clinton by a 273 to 265 margin.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: These maps do NOT represent my current projections, and I will publish my final analysis on Monday afternoon for the President, Senate and House.