Doug Sosnik, who was the White House political director during President Clinton's successful re-election race, writes for Axios that during President Trump’s first term, the country completed a political realignment that began in 1992.
Why it matters: With this realignment, the electoral college map is changing for the first time since 1992. So Trump is running on different terrain than in 2016.
*Changing demographics: The fastest-growing demographic groups — nonwhites and millennials (now the largest voting bloc) — are D-friendly.
*Women are increasingly abandoning the Republican Party.
*More-educated voters are increasingly Democratic.
*Suburbs, which constitute an increasing share of the U.S. population, are moving D.
What to watch
Rust Belt's traditional battlegrounds:
*Trump’s chance of winning Michigan, which he carried by 11,000 votes in 2016, has been significantly reduced by the impact of COVID-19 in the state, which has suffered the fourth most deaths in the country.
*Pennsylvania has almost been as hard hit as Michigan (fifth-most deaths).
*Of the three Rust Belt states, Trump is best positioned in Wisconsin, where his job approval has remained higher than the national average.
West and South emerge as new Democratic base:
*Seven western states — California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington — are firmly in the Democratic column.
*Six states in the South and Southwest — Arizona, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia — are in various stages of becoming blue states.
*Outside of Virginia, which has already become a blue state, Arizona is the state most likely to transition to a Democratic base state as early as November.
Biden’s most likely paths to 270 electoral college votes:
1). Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Arizona: Biden wins all three states — his best option, given the political environment. (Map)
2). Michigan and Pennsylvania + two congressional districts — Nebraska-02 and Maine-02. (Map)
3). The Rust Belt: Biden wins Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. (Map)
4). Michigan and the Sunbelt: Biden carries Michigan, Arizona, and North Carolina. (Map)
5). Florida +1: Biden carries Florida, getting him to 261 electoral votes. A win in any of the other battleground states would put him well past 270. (Map)
The bottom line: Biden's best strategy:
1). Make putting Michigan out of reach for Trump the top priority.
2). Lock up Pennsylvania.
3). Prioritize winning Arizona, Maine-02, and Nebraska-02.
4). Focus remaining resources on Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Florida.
Go deeper: Read Doug Sosnik's full analysis, "The Post-Political-Realignment Electoral College Map."
Date Posted: Sunday, May 17th, 2020 , Total Page Views: 333
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