Our interactive presidential election map is currently based on the consensus of the following forecasts and polling data:
To make your own forecast, click on the states to toggle them between Democrat, Republican and Tossup and watch the electoral map tallies change.
We’ll be updating this consensus map as more forecasts come in. Check back often or sign up for our mailing list.
It Takes 270 to Win
The winner of the presidential election must win the majority of the electoral votes — that is at least 270 out of the 538 available.
Because most states allocate their electoral votes on an “winner-take-all” basis — the exceptions being Maine and Nebraska, which split their electoral votes by congressional district — the candidate who wins enough states to reach 270 electoral votes becomes president.
There is actually one way to win the presidency without getting 270 electoral votes. If the election results in a 269 to 269 electoral vote tie, then the House of Representatives convenes to choose the president.
Rust Belt vs. Sun Belt?
The key to President Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election was that he carried three “Rust Belt” states that many expected Democrats to win: Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. He won these three states by less than a combined 80,000 votes, or just .06% of the 137 million votes cast. But that was still enough to get Trump to 270 electoral votes.
It’s obvious by playing with the interactive electoral map that if Democrats can flip all three states back to their column in 2020, then they can win the election (assuming they hold all of the other states Hillary Clinton won in 2016.)
But if Democrats lose all three states again, then they would need another path to the presidency. Some say Democrats could pursue a “Sun Belt” strategy and perhaps win Florida plus North Carolina, Arizona, Texas or Georgia. All of those states went to Trump in 2016, but there are some indications from early polling that at lease some might be battleground states in play in 2020.
2018 Was a Warning for Trump
For President Trump, the best path for re-election is the same one that handed him the presidency in 2016.
But Trump got a warning sign during the 2018 midterm elections when the three all-important Rust Belt states delivered big victories to Democrats.
Democrats in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan swept the races for Senate and governor, and picked up valuable House seats, defeating Trump-backed Republicans at all levels.
Whether this was a fleeting backlash or a preview of the 2020 electoral map remains to be seen, but the outcome in those key states will be important to watch as the campaign progresses.
2020 Presidential Election News
Here are the latest headlines on the 2020 presidential race from Political Wire:
- Trump Says Biden Is Lying About Obama Endorsement
- Senate Democrats Mimic 2018 House Takeover Strategy
- Retired General Will Challenge Shaheen
- The Electability Feedback Loop
- Debate Advice for Breaking Out of the Pack
- Trump Confirms He Wants Pence on Ticket Again
- Biden Proposes Immigration Plan
- Kamala Harris Still Looking for Her Niche
- Quote of the Day
- Your Social Media Isn’t Representative of Primary Voters
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