The electoral college map for Donald Trump looks pretty challenging and if Real Clear Politics’ first map of the 2016 general election is accurate, it may be getting worse.
The RCP map shows Hillary Clinton with 227 electoral votes and Trump with 143. The candidate who gets to 270 wins the White House. The map has 168 electoral votes in toss-up states like Ohio.
In 2012, President Barack Obama won 332 electoral votes compared to 206 for Mitt Romney. The new RCP map shows Trump in a worse position that Romney was in 2012. The map had Obama at 201, Romney at 191 and 146 toss-ups. In 2012, most of the toss-up states went to Obama on Election Day.
The bad news for Republicans is that the new map shows states such as Georgia, Indiana and Arizona moving from being Republican states to toss-ups. It is unlikely those states will shift to the Democrats this time, but it signals a demographic shift for coming elections.
The usual toss-up states remain including Ohio, Florida, Virginia, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Colorado, Iowa, Missouri and Nevada.
The electoral college has been a challenge for Republicans since 1988. George H.W. Bush is the last Republican president to win an electoral college landslide. He defeated Michael Dukakis huge, 426-111. In the election before, Ronald Reagan had one of the biggest landslides in history defeating Walter Mondale 525-13.
But int he last two Republican victories, George W. Bush won two of the closest elections in modern history in 2000 (271-267) and 2004 (286-252).
The electoral college has given Democrats large electoral college victories since 1992. Bill Clinton defeated George H.W. Bush 370-168 in 1992 and had an even bigger win in 1996 defeating Bob Dole 379-159. Obama defeated John McCain in 2008 365-173.
For Clinton, she needs to hold the Obama states and can even afford to lose Florida and Ohio. If she held all of the Obama states from 2012 and lost Ohio and Florida, she would still win the electoral vote 285-253.
Trump needs to add 64 electoral votes to the Romney 2012 map to take the White House. In addition to Ohio and Florida, he’d need to pick up a big state like Pennsylvania, or Virginia and some small states such as Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.