Based on polls from key battleground states for the past ten days, Hillary Clinton has solidified her lead over Donald Trump in the electoral college.
The presidency is not a popular vote contest, it takes 270 electoral votes to win. If the election were today, this is how we project the electoral map would look:
Clinton 347 electoral votes to 191 for Trump.
Most significant for Clinton is that her solid blue states — those in dark blue below — give her 279 electoral votes, nine more than she needs to win – up six from ten days ago.
Looking deeper at that map:
Clinton 279 solid electoral votes (dark blue above), and 68 leaning her way (light blue).
Trump 155 solid electoral votes (dark red above), and 36 leaning his way (light pink).
Clinton could lose every single one of the states that are currently leaning her way — Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Iowa — and still win. That’s an impressive place to be with 70 days to go.
This map is virtually unchanged from twenty days ago, and that’s a big problem for Republicans. The fact Trump is struggling to break free in the traditionally red states of Arizona, Georgia and South Carolina is also a warning bell.
We have also turned Nevada into “dark blue” this week, meaning Clinton is holding a consistent lead in the polls there. Last week we did the same thing in five other battleground states — Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Hampshire, Colorado and Wisconsin.
For Trump, this map is particularly bad because it shows a state Mitt Romney won four years ago, North Carolina, still leaning toward Clinton. Trump cannot reach 270 unless he builds from Romney’s map and adds other battleground states.
How can Trump turn it around?
First, he needs to solidify Arizona, Georgia, South Carolina and flip North Carolina. That’s the easy part.
Here’s where the task is daunting:
Trump will have to flip Florida, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Nevada and New Hampshire — in this scenario — to reach 271 electoral votes. Pennsylvania will be particularly stubborn, having gone blue in every election since 1988.
With only 70 days to go, and momentum against him, Trump will need a miracle to turn this map around.