Donald Trump’s challenge is to win the swing states

Donald Trump’s chances of walking into the Oval Office next year when the next US President takes oath of office will strongly depend on winning not one or two but all eight key swing states.

Written by Kanishka Singh | New Delhi | Published:October 20, 2016 7:47 pm
Donald Trump, Trump, US, United states, US elections, US polls, US presidential elections 2016, US presidential elections, Hillary clinton, clinton, Presidential debate, US presidential debate, Nevada, Elections campaign, Florida campaign, North carolina campaign, US news, world news, indian express news Trump’s approval rating has fallen sharply over the course of the three presidential debates. (Reuters photo)

The third US Presidential debate concluded on Wednesday in Nevada. Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump now enter the final phase of the US Presidential race. Popular surveys across multiple platforms show that Hillary Clinton maintains a clear advantage over Trump approaching the polling day on 8 November.

Donald Trump’s chances of walking into the Oval Office next year when the next US President takes oath of office will strongly depend on winning not one or two but all eight key swing states. He will also need to claim a major blue state from Hillary Clinton and turn it red to make the numbers count if current trends translate into results.

Swing states are those states where both parties enjoy similar support and the election results is never predictably tilted to one party’s candidates and they are important in deciding the outcome of elections. Swing states have historically been the deciding factor since the late 1800s. There are a total 535 Electoral College Votes from electors representing voters from their states. A candidate needs a 270 count to win the election.

Notably, Hillary has garnered support in Republican states and turned them from red to blue. Trump’s approval rating has fallen sharply over the course of the three presidential debates. On Wednesday, Trump ended the debate refusing to make a commitment that he will accept whatever result comes out of the elections and repeated his theory that the elections may be rigged.

Delving deeper into the swing state calculus, Ohio and Florida have been two of the most crucial swing states over the last six decades. If Trump wants to trump Hillary in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, he will need an exceptionally high mid-level educated white-voters’ turnout. The coloured and ethnic vote will concurrently need to go down. Trump has tried to lay the ground enough for that but that strategy has backfired massively.

It would be a monumental task to turn Washington D.C. from Red to Blue and if Trump achieves that, it would cascade to other states as well.

California and Wyoming are Democrat strongholds and definitely out of his reach owing to opposing demographic containing a huge amount of Hispanics, Asians, Blacks, immigrants and minorities.

Pennsylvania has swayed to and away from Hillary on multiple accounts but the state has never shown approval ratings climb much for Trump. Also, Hillary claims strong influence and affection in the state with her father hailing from the state.

The country is undergoing a massive flux in its demographic. Historically that has never been a beneficial thing for the GOP. Nevada is one of those states experiencing the flux. In the last elections, Republican contestant has tried to tap in on the max white male vote only and that turned out bitterly for them. Trump has gone a step further and has estranged previously devout Republican voters.

According to multiple trends, Hillary averages a lead of around 6 percent over Trump, beyond the margins of error provided by all of the major surveyors. Trump needs to win Arizona, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and at least one of Iowa and New Hampshire.

Hillary, on the other hand, needs to win any of the same state mentioned and last two if she loses others to make the numbers count. Virginia is tilting so strongly for Hillary that several watchers term it as safe now for the Democrat. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe is also a close friend of the Clintons and a major fundraiser for their poll campaign. The governor has gone all out to ensure maximum voter turnout to ensure the at present heavily Democrat leaning state votes largely for Clinton. Accounting latest conservative polls, Hillary sets ready to win at least 154 Electoral College Votes with at least 101 leaning to her while Trump claims 90 with 79 leaning to him. 114 are up in the air still. Virginia alone can take Hillary to victory.

Florida is also expected to be blue as out of all the polls conducted in the states since the start of this year, only once did Trump lead but that was also with only a minor 2 percentage point lead. This, when adjusted with house bias, gets nullified in actual sense. Hillary has shown a lead of 5-6 per cent throughout the year and with Libertarian candidate polling an impressive 6.3 per cent during the last 2 months, Trumps is short of numbers in trends here as well.

North Carolina has been a tossup since 2008 due to the fluctuating demographic. There have been lots of controversies where minorities and poor voters have alleged that there have been campaigns going on to ensure they get disenfranchised. That has caused a lot of confusion in the state.

At the end of third and last debate, the herculean task of claiming the swing states is what Trump needs to focus on more that the antics on show in the Presidential debates.