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This is probably just the first in a series of electoral maps that will grace this page until Nov. 8. 2016 – the day likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton will face off against likely Republican nominee Donald Trump.
Based on demographics, recent polling (which, admittedly, is suspect this far from Election Day), economic data and just the basic history of recent presidential elections, this is where I would say the race stands as we head into general election mode.
A quick glance may bring you to the conclusion that this is a bit friendly toward the Democratic candidate, but even a slight shift of a few points could push some of these states from slightly blue to slightly red.
For now, out of the 50 states, there are only six I can see as pure toss-ups – Ohio (of course), Florida (duh), Virginia, Iowa, Colorado and North Carolina.
If Trump wants to make a play in places that commonly vote for the Democrats, he will have to overcome what are often double-digit deficits, according to much of the polling. Not to mention the fact that his numbers are unsurprisingly terrible with minorities, millennials, and women – all key groups that helped Barack Obama win the White House twice. Among the general population, Trump has the highest unfavorability ratings ever recorded for a potential presidential nominee.
If this map holds up, which is a big if, it would only take a Clinton win in Ohio to give her the White House. Or Florida. Or Virginia. Or even a two-state combination of Colorado and Iowa. In other words, there are many more routes for the Democratic nominee to take to get to 270 electoral votes. For Trump, he basically needs a clean sweep to have a chance.
Again, this can and will change as we see more swing-state polling, but Hillary Clinton will start the general election season as the favorite to be the 45th President of the United States.