With Donald Trump as the presumptive nominee, it’s time for him to make some decisions about where to start campaigning a little harder. 270ToWin is a great resource for everyone to simulate presidential elections. This year, there’s a setting that allows you to see which states are considered (at least according to this site) battleground states. From there, you can test out your strategy and see if winning certain states will help your candidate. I decided to have a little fun and do this myself. I’ve also done an analysis of what would be beneficial to Trump.
270ToWin’s 2016 Battleground States
Ohio and Florida are usually known for being battleground states. But there are a few others that may be a surprise to some. The battleground states, according to this site, are as follows from East to West: New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon.
Trump’s Best Strategy: Which States to Target
The most obvious choice is to target each of the listed states that have 10 or more electoral votes. If Trump were to win all of these states, he would have 322 electoral votes. Obviously, it’s not so black and white. According to the current available polling, the listed states that are favoring Trump over Clinton are Georgia and Colorado. This is sounds kind of hopeless since this only puts Trump at 189 electoral votes. However, there are other states where Trump is close to Clinton.
The states where Trump is close to Clinton are: North Carolina (Clinton +3.3), Ohio (Clinton +3), Iowa (Clinton +4), Florida (Clinton +4.3), Minnesota (Clinton +2.3), and Arizona (Clinton +1).
If Trump were to flip each of these states to vote for him in November, he would have 278 electoral votes. The significance here is that five of these states voted for Obama in 2012. However, there are states that I’m sure Trump would like to see flip. These states include, but are not limited to: New Hampshire, Michigan, and Oregon. The change in party votes in these three states would indicate that the nation is becoming more conservative.
The states he should definitely target a little more heavily are the ones that will take him to 270 for sure, starting with the states he’s polling close to Clinton with the most electoral votes. These states are: Florida (29), Ohio (18), North Carolina (15), Arizona (11), and Minnesota (10). The only one of these five states that would be considered miraculous is Minnesota since it has voted Democrat for the past four elections.
Trump’s Best Strategy in Specific States
Michigan (Clinton +10.5; 16 electoral votes)
First of all, Michigan is a state that has suffered greatly from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The mass exodus of manufacturing jobs makes a good reason for the state to have hope in Trump’s promise to bring some of the manufacturing jobs back. Hillary has not made a promise similar to this. Therefore, unless she has another point to argue and maintain hope in her campaign, Michigan’s flip shouldn’t be too unreasonable of a goal.
Trump’s Electoral Vote Count After Winning Michigan: 205
Ohio (Clinton +3; 18 electoral votes)
Ohio currently has a Republican governor, which indicates that the state is at least open to the idea of voting for a Republican in the general election. It seems like John Kasich may be a hindrance in this state. But if Trump can get even a little help from Kasich, he could gain more support from the state. Trump’s best attack on Hillary in this state, in my opinion, would be to point out that she stated that she would “put a lot of coal miners and companies out of business.” Like any other state, I’m sure Ohio does not want to see these coal miners and companies lose their jobs. Clinton claims that she has an idea for these people: Manufacturing solar panels.
Trump’s Electoral Vote Count After Winning Ohio: 223
Florida (Clinton +4.3; 29 electoral votes)
Illegal immigration will be a big issue for Trump to hit hard in Florida. Before anybody says this problem is nonexistent in Florida, the New York Times indicates that 45,000 Cubans have illegally immigrated to the United States over the past 12 months (from December 2015). It’s true that quite a few of these people don’t usually make it to Florida directly through Cuba since it’s relatively easy to get caught by the Coast Guard. But it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that many of them do wind up in Florida.
Trump’s Eleectoral Vote Count After Winning Florida: 252
North Carolina (Clinton +3.3, 15 electoral votes)
Unsurprisingly, North Carolina is a state that values religious freedom. In fact, it got a lot of negative attention for passing a bill to protect religious freedom earlier this year. If that wasn’t bad enough for the state, it also passed the infamous bathroom bill. While Trump disagrees with the bathroom bill, I doubt that he would make them repeal it. It would be wise of Trump to support the state’s religious freedom bill. Hillary most likely disagrees with the bathroom bill as well. However, she is probably just as against the religious freedom bill. If Trump can convince the voters in North Carolina that she would most likely force a repeal of their recently passed bills via executive order, I beleive he will capture the electoral votes in this state.
Trump’s Electoral Vote Count After Winning North Carolina: 267
Arizona (Clinton +1; 11 electoral votes)
Let’s be honest: Trump downplayed the fact that John McCain is a war hero. McCain is from Arizona. Therefore, many people down there are upset with what Trump said about the guy. Trump was endorsed by former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, so this could explain why support for him is so close in this state. Arizona also has a large Mormon population, which could prove to be harmful to his campaign. I would say that if Trump were to apologize, or make amends somehow, to John McCain, he would instantly win Arizona. I can’t think of a real reason for Hillary to be doing well in Arizona, to be honest.
Trump’s Electoral Vote Count After Winning Arizona: 278 (President Donald J. Trump)
Below is what Trump’s victory would look like if he won Michigan, Florida, Arizona, Ohio, and North Carolina. According to the most recent polling in Colorado, which is from November, Trump is ahead of Clinton.
Click the map to create your own at 270toWin.com