A new set of polls shows Hillary Clinton crushing Donald Trump in a series of crucial swing states for the 2016 presidential election. And in the all-important Electoral College, which under the United States Constitution is the body that will actually decide who becomes the next president, the new polls effectively eliminate the New York businessman from winning the White House.
Unless he can do something to turn public opinion around over the next four months, he’s done.
According to the election-tracking site Election Graphs which collects state-by-state polling to compile Electoral College outlooks for both candidates, the best-case scenario for the Republican presumptive nominee would leave him with 243 electoral votes — 27 short of the 270 required to win the Electoral College and the presidency, which would then go to Clinton with 295 electoral votes.
— CBC News (@CBCNews) June 27, 2016
That “best case” for Trump would mean that he would not only win all states in which he currently holds a lead in polling averages, but he would also need to win the four “weak” Clinton states as well — that is, states in which Hillary Clinton leads by less than five percentage points in polling averages.
Those four states are New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, and Nevada. But even if Trump were to sweep those states, he still loses the election in the Electoral College.
For more analysis of the most recent state-by-state polling, watch the following video discussion with political commentator Richard French.
At the same time, a new projection by political scientist Larry Sabato, whose “Crystal Ball” election forecasting model claims a 99 percent accuracy rate in forecasting state election results, gives an even bigger advantage to Clinton, with 347 electoral votes projected for the Democrat, to 191 for the Republican.
The Electoral College system is mandated by the U.S. Constitution, assigning each state one electoral vote for every representative in congress from that state, for a total of 538 votes, including three electoral votes from the District of Columbia.
For example, New York has 25 representatives in the House plus, like every state, two U.S. senators — for a total of 27 electoral votes.
With the exception of Maine and Nebraska, each state awards its electoral votes on a “winner-take-all” basis, but electors are not legally bound to cast their electoral ballots for any particular candidate regardless of the outcome of the vote in their specific states. However, instances of rogue or, as they are generally called, “faithless” electors have been few and far between.
Also few and far between are instances when the winner of the electoral college has not also been the winner of the national popular vote — a situation that has occurred only four times in United States history, and only once since 1888, in the 2000 election which saw Democrat Al Gore win the popular vote but lose the presidency in the electoral college.
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) June 30, 2016
A series of polls by Ballotpedia this week put Democrat Clinton in front of her Republican rival in seven important swing states — states that have not shown a strong tendency in recent elections to favor either party. With most states apparently locked in for either the Democrat or the Republican, the “battleground states” are the ones that will ultimately decide the election.
The Ballotpedia polls showed Clinton leading in Florida, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Of those, only Iowa, with a four-point lead for Clinton, showed the presumptive Democratic nominee leading by under seven points.
“The Ballotpedia results look very bad for Trump,” wrote election forecaster Sam Minter of Election Graphs. “All in all, the net result is that once again even if Trump were to win all the states he is ahead in, plus all the states where he is less than 5 percent behind, he would still lose.”
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In order for the faltering Republican candidate to regain a path to win the presidency in the Electoral College, his best bet appears to be to wrest Florida away from Hillary Clinton, who now leads Trump there by 5.7 percentage points in the Election Graphs average, and 6.6 points in the Huffington Post Pollster average. Winning that state’s 29 electoral votes, plus votes from the four “weak” Hillary Clinton states — and all of the states in which he now leads — would give Donald Trump a razor-thin Electoral College victory over Clinton, and win him the White House.
[Featured Photo By Marc Piscotty / Aaron P. Bernstein / Getty Images]