According to Chris Cillizza of CNN, the electoral college now favors Biden over Trump.
It’s worth noting nearly every analyst picked Hillary to defeat Trump in 2016
“The President is an underdog now in his bid for a second term,” wrote Stu Rothenberg
, founder of the Rothenberg Political Report, in a column published late last week. “That doesn’t mean he can’t win. It simply means that he is in a more difficult place than he was before, in part because Democrats have united behind a consensus candidate who has potentially broad appeal.”
“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.”
Before we dig too deeply into those numbers, let’s remember where we left things in 2016. Trump won 306 electoral votes to Hillary Clinton’s 232 — even as he was losing the popular vote by almost 3 million. (You need to win 270 electoral to be elected president.)
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?
Well, first, Democrats appear set on nominating former Vice President Biden, the candidate who, if polls are top be believed, runs strongest against Trump in all of the expected 2020 battlegrounds. “His message of pragmatism and broadly acceptable change — on health care, climate change, guns and economic fairness — should maximize his appeal to Democrats and swing voters,” writes Rothenberg.
The other big change is the flip among college-educated whites — especially white women with college degrees — who were with Republicans in 2016 but abandoned the party in droves in the 2018 midterms. Trump won whites with college degrees 48%-45% over Clinton in 2016 and lost white college educated women by 7 points. Two years later, as Democrats were retaking control of the House majority, Democratic candidates won whites with college degrees by a 53%-45% margin and carried white women with college degrees by 20 points.
“The President has not added any groups to his electoral coalition,” Rothenberg notes.