Trump’s Narrow Path to Victory

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As of today, the FiveThirtyEight projections give Joe Biden an 88% chance of winning the presidential election. He is projected to win 53% of the popular vote and 342 electoral votes to Trump’s 196. If as many as 150 million people vote, Biden could win by a margin of 10 million votes, more than three times Hillary Clinton’s popular vote margin.

If Biden wins Wisconsin and Michigan as expected, Donald Trump’s path to victory would probably require winning Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Arizona. His problem is that he does not have a comfortable lead in any of those states. One very plausible scenario is that Biden scores a knockout blow by winning one of these swing states on election night.

Unfortunately for Biden, another outcome remains possible. If Trump can win a number of the swing states, he may be able to make the election close enough that voter suppression of one kind or another determines the outcome, as I discussed in my previous post. Some combination of insufficient polling places and long lines in urban areas, insufficient drop boxes for mail-in ballots, late postal delivery of ballots, legal challenges to mailed ballots, or something else Republicans may think up, could create the kind of chaos that Trump is hoping for. The large Biden lead makes that more difficult, but hardly impossible. Be sure to vote!

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