The news in politics keeps getting tougher for Republicans. After Democrats reported huge fundraising numbers in Senate and House races this week, the Cook Political Report released its Electoral College Ratings. As of today, according to Cook, “Democrats have 279 electoral votes in the Solid, Likely and Lean categories and would need 0 electoral votes from the Toss Up column.” Joe Biden needs 270 win.
For Trump to get re-elected, he will need to win all four toss-up states (Arizona, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina) plus at least 11 electoral votes from states rated lean Democrat. According to the Real Clear Politics average, Biden leads in three of the four toss-up states. Georgia is the only one where Trump leads.
Even if Trump sweeps the four toss-up states, his path to picking up eleven electoral votes among the lean-Democrat states is difficult. Only two, Pennsylvania and Michigan, have more than eleven votes. He is trailing by 6.5% in the RCP average in Pennsylvania and 7.5% in Michigan. If he can’t win either one of those two states, he’ll need to win either Minnesota or Wisconsin and one of the other smaller states. He trails in Minnesota by 16 according the latest poll, and in Wisconsin by 6.5% according the RCP average.
For Trump to win, the political environment will need to shift or Democrats will need to get very complacent. That does not appear to be happening right now. If anything, the situation in the country is getting worse, with COVID-19 spikes threatening hospitals and ICUs. The economy is still limping along and not likely to get much better. Democrats and progressives seem more motivated than ever. They are seeing victories in removing statues and progress in reforming police departments. They smell a huge victory and it’s attracting momentum, not apathy.
Trump is now like a cornered animal. He’s getting rid of the voices of moderation and reason and putting into place the people who got him to the White House in the first place. They will try to salvage his presidency with vicious attacks on Biden and more disinformation. The next four months will likely be ugly. In states like North Carolina, expect a deluge of negative advertising on every medium. Watch for voter suppression efforts to ramp up even more than they have in the past. The GOP has tried to rig the system for years. It’s not going to stop now.
Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of PoliticsNC.com. Before beginning PoliticsNC, Thomas spent twenty years as a political and public affairs consultant. Learn more >