Clinton leads Trump in ABC News' electoral ratings
Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, would enter the general election with a decided advantage in the electoral college this November. But the possibility of a scrambled map -- particularly tossups in Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia -- leaves supporters of presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump hopeful.
So ABC News dug through states’ voting history, demographic shifts and head-to-head polling to develop these electoral ratings. ABC News’ electoral map puts Clinton at 262 electoral votes and Trump at 191, when including both solid and lean states. Eighty-five electoral votes are in toss-up states.
Still, this nomination process has shown that this election cycle can be unpredictable, and Trump has vowed to shake up the traditional map and put several blue states in play. A candidate needs 270 to win the White House.
Despite Trump’s hopes of putting New York’s 29 electoral votes in play this election, the Empire State would be expected to pull for Clinton, along with other reliably liberal-leaning swaths of the mid-Atlantic. Most of the historically liberal Northeast would also likely remain solidly Democratic in November. In the Midwest, Minnesota and Illinois would likely deliver Clinton a combined 30 electoral votes.
California, which boasts the largest share of electoral votes at 55, has not voted Republican since George H.W. Bush in 1988. Recent polling there shows Clinton leading Trump by double digits, keeping the Golden State safely in the Democratic column, along with Oregon and Washington. New Mexico is predicted to vote Democratic for the third consecutive election.
Five more states across the Mountain West and Rust Belt would give Clinton another 61 electoral votes, but Trump is hopeful that he could pick at least of one them off. Colorado and Nevada both voted for President Obama in 2008 and 2012, and growing Hispanic populations in both states may keep these states in the blue column for good.
Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania are usually reliably Democratic states, but Trump’s popularity among working-class whites may put these states in play. But a win would be an upset for Trump: Democrats have won every presidential race in Michigan and Pennsylvania since 1992 and Wisconsin since 1988.
Six tossup states worth 85 electoral votes could tip the election Clinton’s way, as Trump would likely need to win nearly all these states in order to win the White House. Ohio will be one of the key states to watch: The Buckeye State has voted with the winner of the White House every year since 1960.
Other tossup states this year include large electoral vote prizes like Florida, North Carolina and Virginia, all of which were decided by less than 4 percentage points in the 2012 election. Iowa and New Hampshire, which kicked off the primary voting season, could also go either way in this year’s presidential race.
Georgia has voted for the Republican nominee in seven of the last eight presidential elections, but white voters are quickly making up a smaller proportion of active registered voters in the state.
White voters made up 68 percent of registered voters in 2004, but they now make up only 58 percent of registered voters, according to data from the Pew Research Center, which would give Clinton an opportunity to turn the state’s 16 electoral votes blue for the first time since 1992.
The bulk of Trump’s electoral votes would likely come from historically Republican portions of the Great Plains, West and Midwest, as well as the Bible Belt, which stretches from South Carolina to Texas and boasts large numbers of evangelical Christian and social conservative voters.
West Virginia, which has seen unemployment levels rise under President Obama, is expected to vote Republican for the fifth election in a row, as is Alaska, which has not voted for a Democrat since Lyndon Johnson in 1964.
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