Trump’s Path to 270: Yes, He Can

From:,  by Michael Walsh,  on Oct 31, 2016



From my column yesterday in the Sunday New York Post:

Driving across the country last week, it seemed hard to believe an American presidential election is happening a week from Tuesday. Few campaign signs sprout from urban lawns; partisan billboards along the highways are scarce. Away from the coasts, the talk on the radio is largely of football and Jesus, not politics. It takes a moment, hearing a spot in North Carolina for a US Senate candidate, to realize the voice belongs to President Obama, interrupting some country music.Oh, there’s plenty of chatter about it in the raging echo chambers of talk radio and TV cable news, and in the cocksure journalists’ fun house known as Twitter, where in-the-tank reporters and dispossessed campaign consultants, smarting over their collective defeat in the primaries, smugly assure each other that Donald Trump will lose in a landslide.

But what if the widely swinging polls, turnout models and forecasting mechanisms are all wrong? What if the unique historical circumstances of this election — pitting the female half of a likely criminal family dynasty against a thin-skinned bull-in-a-china-shop businessman — have invalidated conventional wisdom? What if the ranks of shy voters storm the polls and, in the words of Michael Moore, deliver the biggest rebuke in history to the establishments of both parties?

What if, far from having a lock on 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. come January, Hillary Clinton’s margin-of-error lead — currently between 4 and 5 points in the RealClearPolitics average of multiple national polls — turns out to be a Potemkin village, dependent on high turnout among blacks and other minorities and on getting late deciders to turn her way?

What if, in fact, the opposite happens — that Trump’s appeal to the disaffected white working class (many of them Democrats) in coal-mining and Rust Belt states outweighs the Democrats’ traditional advantages in the big cities, flipping a state like Pennsylvania from blue to red?

Welcome to the hidden election, where those who say they know what’s going to happen don’t, and those who do know will make their voices heard on Nov. 8.

The key to this election, as it has been all along, is the battle in the Electoral College over four main swing states: Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. If Trump wins all four of those, he is the next president of the United States. After that, however, it’s tricky:

Despite the structural advantages in the Electoral College the Democrats currently enjoy — they start with New York (29), Illinois (20) and California (55) already in their pockets — the truth is that Trump need only retain the states Romney won in 2012 (including, critically, North Carolina) and then flip these three battleground states: Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida. That would give him a 273-265 victory.

Thanks to Mr. October Surprise himself, James Comey, the polls are either shifting radically in Trump’s favor today or not budging at all. Who knows? The propaganda war being fought via the media and their polls-a-day gaslighting strategy is still going on. Anyone who tells you he or she knows what’s going to happen a week from tomorrow is lying.

If Trump loses Pennsylvania, his next-best chance to close the deal comes from Virginia and Iowa/Nevada, where the combined 19 to 25 electoral votes would just squeak him over the line. But thanks to the metastasizing numbers of federal employees in the northern Virginia DC suburbs, the Old Dominion is no longer a sure thing for the Republicans; Hillary is currently up 8 points. Neither is Nevada, Harry Reid’s service-employees fiefdom, where Hillary leads by 2 points.Meanwhile, consider this: If Trump loses Pennsylvania and Virginia, but (in addition to Ohio and Florida) wins New Hampshire, Iowa and Nevada, the race ends in a 269-269 tie. Then it might come down to a single congressional district in Maine or Nebraska (neither a “winner take all” state) or even wind up in the House of Representatives.

And what fun that would be! My conclusion:

The truth is, this is an election not just between Clinton and Trump but a whole raft of political antagonists in Barack Obama’s “fundamentally transformed” America: urban vs. rural; old vs. young; makers vs. takers; taxpayers vs. recipients; white collar vs. blue collar; Harvard vs. the heartland; manipulative consultants and biased reporters vs. honest Americans who, however naively, believe that their vote really does matter.Many have felt apathetic or disenfranchised for decades.

The question is: How many of them are there and are there enough of them to hold the GOP line and deliver the three crucial states to Trump? We’ll soon find out.


I’m about to so something that I never thought I’d do – quote Michael Moore. As much as I dislike that slug of a man, he did make an astute comment when he forecast that the voters would, in this election, “deliver the biggest rebuke in history to the establishments of both parties.” How true.

If Donald Trump wins, it will illustrate that America’s voters are fed up with two of the country’s long-standing election nemeses: establishment Republicans who’ve been force-feeding us wimpy, malleable losing candidates and the democrat party’s criminal, socialist change-America candidates.

While this article is a couple of days old, and the polls are changing rapidly, it’s still too early to be sure of the outcome. BUT, Hillary’s campaign seems to be leaking support and Trump appears to be gaining, and interestingly, in the battleground states.

For what it’s worth, I am cautiously optimistic and I’ll readily admit that I’ll be gobsmacked if somehow Hillary pulls it off, but stranger things have happened, especially when we consider that the democrats are likely to throw caution to the wind and do anything and everything to win – even cheat!

If Trump wins, it will serve as a cathartic experience for the previously ignored American electorate just to know that our votes still count and finally, we have overcome the crooked politicians and beat them back.

I sincerely pray that next Tuesday night, we can all shout from the rooftops, HOORAY FOR US – WE DID IT!


Categories: Political


4 replies

  1. I was discussing this last night with my daughter. Like you, I have no idea how this very unique election’s going to turn out.

    However, if the Hildebeest DOES manage to pull it off, she’ll be walking into the White House in January as THE most crippled President in modern times, if not our entire history.

    She may be facing an immediate impeachment investigation. She’ll have zero political capital. At least half the country will believe she cheated her way into office, and won’t grant her any legitimacy. She won’t be able to get a damned thing done.

    I guess we’ll see, in less than a week.


    • So true, Brian. As I just said to CW, if Trump wins, we can be elated for about 30 seconds because we’ve beaten Hillary Clinton. But it won’t be long until we remember that we’ve also elected Donald Trump as our president. Perhaps a few moments of elation followed by four years of regret?


  2. “…partisan billboards along the highways are scarce.”

    This is something I’ll never understand. If I were running Trump’s campaign, I’d have billboards made with Hillary’s photo and a simple message such as “Crooked Hillary,” and I’d plant those in heavily trafficked, urban areas so that commuters are confronted with this sight every day when they’re inching along in stop and go traffic. Maybe on the way out of the city you have a billboard of Trump and the words, “Make America Great Again.” It’s like subliminal advertising and there’s no changing the channel.

    Watching this race change on an almost daily basis my husband and I both feel that the expansion of early voting is a big mistake. Even though I enjoy the convenience, I think it’s just one more factor that Democrats can manipulate to their own favor, and I’m not sure that the way someone voted a week ago is still the way they would vote today.

    This race is going to be a nail-biter. Any celebrating I do should HC lose will be bittersweet.


    • Let’s face it, CW, Trump has run the most dysfunctional campaign in my memory. Against practically any other reasonably qualified democrat candidate, he’d be toast. He ought to be ten points up in just about every state, but The Donald is so smart, he’s chosen to run a seat-of-the-pants campaign, believing that he knows best. He may still win, but if he does, it’ll be in spite of his activities, not because of them.

      I feel the same way about early voting. I do like the convenience, but we’ve lost something in the transition. A presidential election ought to be a monumental occasion, a serious decision and not to be taken lightly. We might take them more seriously if everyone voted in person on election day – the way it used to be.

      I also agree that our jubilation may be short-lived. Maybe we’ll beat Hillary, but then we’ve got Donald Trump in the Oval Office. I hope the joke’s not on us.


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