Republicans: Democrats: Toss Up:

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.

If you prefer, you can also use the 2016 electoral map or the 2018 midterm election vote as the starting point for your own electoral forecast.


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.

Winning the national popular vote doesn’t matter, as we saw most recently in the 2000 and 2016 presidential elections where the winner of the popular vote actually lost the election.

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.



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