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Why Clinton Beats Trump…In Pictures

Why Clinton Beats Trump…In Pictures

Today, instead of arguing the general election in words, let’s argue it in pictures. (And save me a thousand words.)

For every argument that Donald Trump can beat Hillary Clinton by turning out new, first-time white voters, there’s a picture that says, “No, he can’t.”

Start with the electoral map, where you need 270 to win. Let’s begin with the map 2012 map that gave Obama a 332 electoral vote landslide. But for argument sake, let’s give Trump the states of Iowa, Indiana, Missouri, and North Carolina – nice head start. Now, let’s also throw Ohio, Pennsylvania and Colorado into his column – basically a middle-America sweep. He still doesn’t win.
Trump wins OH-PA-CO_279

(click on map to enlarge)

This time, let’s give Trump Florida instead of Pennsylvania – an additional 9 electoral votes. Yet he still falls 2 electoral votes short of a win.

Trump wins OH-FL-CO_270

Heck, you could give Trump Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, AND New Hampshire…AND Maine. Guess what – Clinton still ekes out the win!

For Trump to win, you’d have to give him… are you ready?… Ohio, Florida, Iowa, Indiana, Missouri, Colorado, and either Pennsylvania or Wisconsin or New Hampshire to hit or surpass 270.

Trump wins

Why is that unlikely? Because it takes a lot to turn blue states red. When you look at the election by demographic turnout using this interactive tool, you see why. Here’s the electorate as it was in 2012.

2012 Demographic Map

(click on graphic to enlarge)

Experts say that Trump could win in 2016 by driving up turnout among white, non-college educated voters. But there just aren’t enough of them out there to tip the electoral college. Even if you pushed the white, non-college demo up to a 99% turnout – which of course is impossible – the Dem still gets 272 electoral votes.

Non-Col Whites_99%

But, you may counter, that assumes all the other minority demographic groups turnout and vote exactly the same way as they did for Obama. Fair point. It’s unlikely that Clinton (or Sanders) would do as well with blacks as Obama did.

So let’s drop Clinton’s share of the black vote from 93% to 85% and drop black turnout from 66% to 60% – very conservative estimates. Even then, if white non-college educated voter turnout spiked up from 57% to 90%, Clinton still wins.

Non-Col Whites 90%, Blacks 60%

In fact, only if you drop both black and Latino turnout by 10% and raise total white turnout by 10%, do you end up with a Trump victory. And those numbers would be unprecedented.

Whites up 10, Minorities down 10

Granted, these are models, and they don’t necessarily prove real world outcomes. But it seems fair to say, that even if Trump over-performs compared to Mitt Romney or John McCain, it is highly unlikely he can shift enough electoral votes to win a general election. That doesn’t mean Democrats should get complacent or Republicans should give up all hope.

But if you are planning on moving to Canada if Trump wins, I wouldn’t put a downpayment on an Alberta condo just yet.



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9 comments on Why Clinton Beats Trump…In Pictures

  1. Doug Payton says:

    Great analysis. The only thing I’d say is that you claim, “In fact, only if you drop both black and Latino turnout by 10% and raise total white turnout by 10%, do you end up with a Trump victory. And those numbers would be unprecedented.” However, turnout in Republican primaries / caucuses have indeed been unprecedented, so that’s not so much of a stretch.

    I’m *not* a Trump supporter (Cruz is my guy), and I agree that he (probably) wouldn’t win against Clinton. But this election cycle is one for the history books in terms of flying in the face of conventional wisdom. Pollster Nate Silver of has predicted that thesis papers in 2044 about elections will heavily feature the phrase, “With the exception of the 2016 election…” Prognosticators (including Silver) have been getting this election wrong for months. Approach any analysis with a grain (or pillar) of salt.

  2. Rick Trabona says:

    You assume all the people voting for Bernie in the blue and swing states will come out to vote for Hillary. Not gonna happen, pal! But all the people who hate her will be out to vote for Trump. Good luck with your theory. LOL

  3. Troy says:

    Cartogram, please. Square miles don’t vote, people do.

  4. DaveK says:

    Can you substitute Sanders for Clinton? Would Dems back a Sanders/Trump gen election with a similar outcome? Curious.

  5. Wonderful and colorful prediction. Thanks.

  6. Tom says:

    . Trump thinks he can take New York

  7. Nlacknmildsx says:

    President Obama will be viewed as one of the best presidents of modern times. He inherited an economy that was the worst since the Great Depression. More than 2 million jobs created. Created more jobs than GWB did on his eight years. Obama is leaving with the strongest economy in 15 years.

    Health care for all. He has achieved what no other president was able to do with the ACA. Hospital cost saved by over $12 billion , federal health care spending decreased by $600 billion.

    The auto industry saved and making millions in auto sales.

    Unemployment down to 4.9%.

    Stock market saved and making millions.

    Gave the approval to execute plan to capture and kill bin Laden and succeeded.

    President is a diplomat like no other president. He has visited more leaders around the world than the last five presidents. He repaired broken down relations GWB left. Reached peace deal with Iran and averted war. Made Iran nuclear free.

    Open door to Cuba. American flag flies over US embassy for first time in more than 54 years.

    Obama fought for veterans benefits despite Veteran’s Bills being blocked by the GOP. He has done more for veterans than any other president in modern times and most of it by Executive Order because uncooperative congress.

    The list goes on and on.. VOTE BLUE……

  8. Texas Bob says:

    Hmmm …. interesting that you have Texas going to the Dems.

  9. Valentin says: 2012 presidential was correct. I believe 2016 will go to Hillary. The methodology is right on.

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