posted at 6:02 pm on November 8, 2016 by Allahpundit
Update: Hard to believe we’d be seeing stuff like this early if Conway and company liked the numbers they were looking at.
Publicly and privately we are already hearing frustration from Trump camp about the coordination bw RNC and Team Trump. @alivitali
— Katy Tur (@KatyTurNBC) November 8, 2016
— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) November 8, 2016
Original post follows:
How much the midwest and mountain west matter this year depends, of course, on the outcome in the southeast. We’ll know what happened in Florida and North Carolina before we know what happened in Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado and probably Ohio. So let’s look at a map, with some assumptions in mind. Let’s assume Trump holds Arizona and Georgia, as most people expect, and let’s further assume Hillary holds Nevada and New Mexico. Where are we if Florida and North Carolina go her way?
We’re in the dumpster, that’s where.
That’s Clinton 263, Trump 191 with OH, MI, WI, IA, CO and PA still off the board. Any one of those states would singlehandedly put Hillary over the top. Trump would need to sweep all of them to get to 270 or else he’d have to pick off some other safe blue state we’ve already awarded to Hillary. That’s … an awfully heavy lift. I’m loath to say that this post doesn’t matter if Florida and North Carolina turn blue, but realistically it doesn’t. The Rust Belt results will be more a matter of tracking how far Hillary runs up the score than of whether Trump can put a crack in her blue-state firewall.
But what if Trump wins Florida and North Carolina, as I predicted he would? Then we have a ballgame: It’ll be Trump 235, Clinton 219 with OH, MI, WI, IA, and CO still on the board, as well as PA and NH. And remember: Trump is favored in Ohio and Iowa. Those states are technically part of the Democratic firewall since Obama won them twice, but the last poll of Iowa had Trump ahead by seven and he finished fairly comfortably ahead in the final polling average of Ohio at 3.5 points. FiveThirtyEight gives Trump better than 60 percent odds of winning each state. Throw those two into his column and he’s at 259. Flipping Wisconsin would clinch an electoral college tie at that point. Flipping Michigan would win him the presidency. Even if Hillary holds those two states, as she’s expected to do (her odds in each, per FiveThirtyEight, are between 78 and 84 percent), Trump could still win by flipping Colorado and taking either New Hampshire or Nevada. Prepare for high drama in this thread, is what I’m saying, if Florida and North Carolina end up in Trump’s column. That will open up all sorts of paths to victory for him through the Rust Belt. Clinton will have no margin for error.
And what if we get a split decision in Florida and North Carolina, with Clinton winning the former and Trump winning the latter? That gives you Clinton 248, Trump 206. Obviously, with Hillary needing just 22 electoral votes between PA, NH, MI, WI, and CO to clinch a national victory, the situation for Trump would be dire, if not quite as dire as the scenario where he loses both FL and NC. The basic fact of this election is that he can’t afford to lose Florida, pure and simple. Winning the state wouldn’t quite guarantee him a national victory, as my predicted map demonstrated earlier, but it would ensure a dramatic battle across the swing states late into the evening. Losing Florida, though, would mean he’d have to essentially sweep the Rust Belt, Pennsylvania included, to get to 270. In fact, if Trump loses Florida, then in virtually any realistic scenario he’d have to win at least two of Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin to clinch the presidency. Winning even one would qualify as a major upset, but that wouldn’t be enough. That’s what he’s up against.
Here are your handy dandy Townhall/AP election result tickers for Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Colorado. Polls close in Ohio at 7:30 ET, so I’ll be focused on that state’s returns first. Michigan, Wisconsin, and Colorado don’t close until 9 p.m. and then Iowa closes at 10. Let’s hope we still have a competitive election by then. Updates will be featured at the top of the page, to make for easier scanning.