What's the most plausible map for the Republican nominee to get to at least 269?

269 being, most likely, all they need since a tie would be settled in the House–and if they are losing the House, they are not coming within sniffing distance of 269 anyway.

I am comforted by looking at various scenarios, because they strike me as pretty tough sledding even if they had a good nominee (which looks unlikely). But if they did manage to eke out a win, it seems to me it would be by getting all the Romney states plus Florida, Virginia, Ohio, and Iowa. They might substitute Colorado or Nevada for Iowa, but Iowa seems to me like it would tip before the other two.

Anyone disagree?

(Apologies if this thread has been done before, as I figured it might have been; but I searched and couldn’t find anything.)

My approach was playing with the 538 app again. Modest increase in non-college educated White turnout with modest increase R share, slightly decreased R lean of college educated White, slightly less exuberant Black turnout and more historical norms of R share, slightly increased Hispanic turnout and D share. Gives a popular vote win to the Democrats by 0.1 to 0.2% but an EV loss of 272 to 266.

That’s GOP getting FL, VA, OH, and IA, as you posit. PA, MI, NH, and WI all stay on the D side but not by huge margins and any given Tuesday, who knows? Any of them could rotate into the R side and one of the others rotate out depending on turnout and share variations state by state. NV and NM a bit less likely to be flipping.

Not too comforting to me.

This page has a list of states sorted by the chance they will vote for the Democrat in November.

In order to get to 269, the Republican needs not only North Carolina (the state Romney barely won) and Florida and Ohio (the states Romney barely lost) but 16 more electoral votes chosen from this list (now sorted by Republican chance):

6 Nevada
13 Virginia
20 Pennsylvania
6 Iowa
10 Wisconsin
9 Colorado
4 New Hampshire

The GOP’s best chance is to win Pennsylvania; then they need no other swing state (except of course North Carolina, Florida and Ohio as mentioned).

The GOP’s 2nd-best chance is to win Virginia, along with any other swing state, e.g. Nevada.

If the GOP fails to take either Pennsylvania or Virginia, they still have a longshot chance: Win Wisconsin and any other swing state (except N.H.), e.g. Nevada or Iowa. (This gives them 269 e.v. exactly. Note that they fail if Colorado is substituted for Wisconsin, even though Colorado has only one fewer e.v.)

Finally, they can win with Colorado and two other swing states.

I’ll just say that this year could be very surprising with the way the Republican Party is split internally and picking up a lot of new voters at the same time. With Cruz as the most likely candidates we could see a landslide for the Democratic nominee with just a few states going for Cruz, though probably including Texas. With Trump it could turn into a patchwork we haven’t seen before.

Pennsylvania before Iowa? That doesn’t seem right to me. Iowa went Republican as recently as 2004; Pennsylvania hasn’t gone red since the 1980s, even though the GOP talks about targeting it year after year.

That list is derived from the betting-game sites, right? So it’s partly turning, not necessarily on the most accurate or most likely predictions of the whole picture of what will happen, but on fragments of the possible picture that people like to play games with. The idea that PA might go for a Republican Presidential candidate will be a perennially overstated feature in such games, precisely because of its high leverage.

PA stays Blue as a result of it’s population heavily concentrated in two cities. Outside of those cities it’s heavily Republican, though not as thoroughly as in the past. But anything that lowers turnout in the cities could still swing it Red. It appears the that possibility is diminishing over time though, many of the Republican strongholds are fading such as in the Scranton area where the age of GOP voters was rather old and the size of that group is shrinking as they die off. So this could be the last chance for PA to go Republican short of a disastrous Democratic candidate that loses most everywhere else as well.

Right, I’m not foreclosing the possibility altogether, just finding it doubtful that it would go in that order, before Iowa.

Is Kasich popular in Pennsylvania? That same webpage shows the Republicans’ chances as follows, where the final column is chance to win the nomination and middle column is chance to actually become POTUS.



Donald Trump      25 %       74 %
John Kasich        4 %        6 %
Ted Cruz           2 %       14 %
Marco Rubio        1 %        3 %



Note that Trump has (according to those oddsmakers) only 1/3 chance to win the election if he’s the nominee (and Cruz much lower chance still) but Kasich is *favored *to win in November if he’s the nominee.

I’m worried that Kasich plus Pennsylvania is one of the biggest threats to a Democratic White House.

I wouldn’t worry: he is considered unacceptable to a huge portion of the GOP electorate.

Really?? He’s very competent, very right-wing. Obviously he’s not the darling of the nutcases, evangelicals and racists, but I’d never heard he was “unacceptable.”

With Rubio’s star fading, and a brokered-convention in the cards, I think a Kasich nomination is likelier than the 6% Predictwise quote.

Take a look: as of January per NBC/WSJ, only Rand Paul and Rick Santorum were further underwater than Kasich in the “yes, could see self supporting” vs. “no, could not see self supporting” spread.

Only in that controlling the House and being able to elect a President from that body are two different things. The House vote would be state-by-state. (The Senate vote for VP, on the other hand, is by individual Senator, and I am assuming that the sitting VP would break the tie.)

In theory, it’s possible - if the three states that are evenly split and the three that have a Republican majority of 1 (not counting the ones with only one Representative; I don’t expect any of those to change) have one seat each change, and the four with a 3-seat Republican majority (again, not counting West Virginia, which only has three) have two change, the Republicans only have 26 states to the Democrats’ 24. It’s probably more likely that the Democrats get control of the House but the Republicans keep their “state count” advantage.

That same chart [from SlackerInc] shows Kasich leading, by a very wide margin, the “Don’t Know Name” category. I’ll guess some of that spills over into “Won’t support.” If we trust the oddsmakers he’s the GOP’s best chance at this point.

Lack of support, or lack of charisma, won’t matter except in key swing states like Ohio or Pennyslvania. Kasich won reelection in Ohio by a landslide 64-33 margin. And he was born in Pennsylvania.

But I agree that Kasich nomination may be a long-shot. I think we can thank Trump, Cruz, Carson, and Rubio for keeping attention on the kooks and leaving Kasich to dangle unnoticed.

Ref **septimus **post #3 it sounds like the election could be decided in the eastern time zone. If we assume all the safe states stay safe on both sides, there’s enough swing states in the East to deliver it to the Rs.

Which would make for some interesting formal media coverage and also big impacts on down-ticket races further west.

Kasich has charisma, and an impressive record. But he signed up for the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, and he says things like:

This earns him enmity from the “establishment” National Review, and also from Tea Party groups.

Eminence grise George Will even complained, way back in 1997, that Kasich

If the Presidential election is thrown to the House, they “shall choose immediately,” i.e., before the current Congress ends. No seat changes would come into play.

This is incorrect. Electoral votes are officially counted by the new session of Congress.

Huh. OK, I was wrong about that. I thought it would be the meeting of electors that counted, but I see the January date now. Ignorance fought.

Worrying about the electoral map is only really useful after Labor Day. Let’s say that Kasich is the nominee. He leads Clinton by 7.4 in the RCP average:

Now leaving aside the value of such polls this early, let’s assume for the sake of argument that Kasich has that 7.4 point lead in September. With that kind of lead, the electoral map is pretty meaningless. There is no plausible outcome where Kasich wins by 7 points and loses in the electoral college.

Now Cruz on the other hand, he leads by 0.8:

That’s where the GOP’s weaknesses on the map can be a problem. Cruz would have to identify the states he needs and invest a lot of resources there.