By Bonnie K. Goodman
Presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has a good chance of defeating rival presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump in the general election according to an Electoral College vote projection. According to a new NPR Electoral College battleground map published on Sunday, June 26, 2016, Clinton could easily win the election with a minimum of 279 Electoral College votes.
According to the revised map, Democrat Clinton would get 279 Electoral College votes; a candidate needs 270 votes to win the election. Clinton would reach that number from 201 Democratic safe states votes and 78 Democratic-leaning votes. Meanwhile, Republican Trump has 191 Electoral College votes, 163 that are solidly Republican, and 28 leaning Republican.
Certain states are solidly Democratic, especially in the Northeast, Midwest, and West. They include Northeast states of Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York. Additionally, Mid-Atlantic states including New Jersey, Maryland, Washington, D.C, and Delaware. Midwest, rustbelt states including Minnesota and Illinois. Western states including Washington, Oregon, California and the Southwest state of New Mexico along with Hawaii. The Democratic-leaning states include Nevada, Wisconsin, Michigan, Virginia, New Hampshire and now Florida with its 29 Electoral College votes.
On the Republican side, states in locations that traditionally and consistently voted Republican are in the solid column. They include states from the Great Plains, Midwest, and the Bible Belt; which includes most southern states from South Carolina to Texas. In the Bible Belt, West Virginia, South Carolina, Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.
The solidly GOP states in the Mid-West include Indiana, in the Great Plains, North and South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho, and also Utah. Alaska also is solidly Republican. The states leaning towards Republican are Georgia with its large minority population, Nebraska, and Arizona. Previously, Georgia and Nebraska were in the solidly Republican column; now they are just GOP-leaning.
There are now five tossup battleground states with 68 Electoral College votes up for grabs; Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio or Pennsylvania. What is new from last month’s NPR projection is Florida is now Democratic-leaning, and Pennsylvania with its 20 Electoral College votes is now a tossup state. Previously Florida was a battleground state, but now it is in the Democratic column. While Pennsylvania used to be Democratic-leaning now, it is a tossup.
In the past month, Trump has been losing ground in both polls and battle ground states. Trump’s decline is because of the racist remarks he made about the Hispanic judge presiding over the Trump University case. Trump has also had trouble with his campaign machinery he fired campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and has been having fundraising problems.
Trump often makes controversial remarks and policy positions that have led to a backlash within the Republican Party with Republican delegates again mounting a Never Trump movement hoping to change the rules at the convention to be able to vote for Trump. Trump’s biggest problem is a lack of party unity.
According to RealClearPolitics average of the polls, Clinton now leads Trump by 6 percent, although they were virtually tied just a month ago. Clinton since clinched the Democratic nomination and received a coveted endorsement from President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, even her rival Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders came close to endorsing her saying he would vote for her in November.
Trump, however, is gaining an advantage in a battleground and traditionally Democratic states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania because of his support from white voters and blue-collar workers. Florida is moving towards the Democrats because minority voters in the state support Clinton.