Donald Trump lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes in the 2016 presidential election but won the presidency by securing enough electoral votes.
It’s quite possible that could happen again.
In one plausible scenario described by the Cook Political Report‘s David Wasserman, Trump could lose the popular vote by as much as 5 million votes but still manage to eak out a 270 to 268 electoral college win.
1. Democrats run up their vote margins in California and Texas — two states where the party did very well during the 2018 midterm elections — and take back Pennsylvania and Michigan, states won by Trump in 2016.
2. Trump then narrowly wins the electoral vote by holding Arizona, Ohio, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Florida.
A Nightmare Scenario for Democrats
Below is an interactive version of the map envisioned by Wasserman. Just click on the states to make your own electoral college assumptions.
A Few Additional Thoughts:
1. Of the states above, Wasserman thinks Arizona and Wisconsin seem to be the likeliest to be decisive “tipping point” states.
2. Wasserman says Florida has been trending poorly for Democrats, making Arizona and North Carolina likely to be riper targets.
3. If it comes down to one electoral vote, Wasserman thinks Nebraska’s second congressional district is probably more winnable for Democrats than Maine’s second congressional district.
4. If Democrats were to win Nebraska’s second congressional vote, the Electoral College would be tied at 269-269 and the House of Representatives would need to break the tie.
For more, check out the latest consensus electoral map based on the latest election forecasts.