Six Days Left: Trump Has a Lot of Outs

When poker players are drawing to a straight or a flush, they will often talk about having a certain number of “outs” — i.e. how many cards are left in the deck that can make their hand, allowing them to win the pot.

Donald Trump doesn’t have a winning hand yet, but he has a lot of outs.

Last Thursday night, we wrote at Townhall about Donald Trump’s easier-than-you-think path to 270 electoral votes. We explained that Trump could get to 265 by winning Utah, Georgia, Iowa, Ohio, Arizona, Florida, Nevada, and North Carolina. At the time, this still seemed like a somewhat daunting task, albeit one that was within the realm of possibility.

But now? Well, Trump’s lot has improved significantly in these states since Thursday night, as Hillary Clinton’s lead appears to be fading fast:


  • RCP Average (10/27): Trump +5.8%
  • RCP Average (11/2): Trump +6.0%
  • 6 Day Swing: Trump +0.2%


  • RCP Average (10/27): Trump +2.8%
  • RCP Average (11/2): Trump +5.7%
  • 6 Day Swing: Trump +2.9%



  • RCP Average (10/27): Trump +1.1%
  • RCP Average (11/2): Trump +3.3%
  • 6 Day Swing: Trump +2.2%


  • RCP Average (10/27): Clinton +1.5%
  • RCP Average (11/2): Trump +3.0%
  • 6 Day Swing: Trump +4.5%


  • RCP Average (10/27): Clinton +1.6%
  • RCP Average (11/2): Trump +0.7%
  • 6 Day Swing: Trump +2.1%


  • RCP Average (10/27): Clinton +2.0%
  • RCP Average (11/2): Trump +1.6%
  • 6 Day Swing: Trump +3.6%

North Carolina

Obviously, these states are still too close to call, but Trump now is tied or enjoys small leads in all eight of them. Continue Reading

Trump’s Path to 270 Is Easier Than You Think

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

“It’s over. Trump can’t win.” That’s the narrative the Clinton campaign and the mainstream media have relentlessly promoted over the past several days. The problem with that narrative is that it is a bald-faced lie. This election is nowhere near over. Not even close!

Let’s take a look at the electoral map. Remember, to become the next president of the United States, Trump needs to win 270 electoral votes. Conversely, he needs to hold Hillary Clinton to 269 electoral votes because, with a Republican House of Representatives, a 269-269 tie is likely to also result in a Trump presidency.

Trump’s baseline amount of electoral votes is 158. Let’s assume Clinton’s baseline is 239 — we will generously cede her Virginia (13), Minnesota (10), Wisconsin (10), Michigan (16), New Mexico (5), and three of Maine’s four electoral votes.

If this is a fixed reality, Trump must win the following states to get to 265 electoral votes (ordered from easiest to win to most difficult):


Utah just became a battleground state as Independent candidate Evan McMullin has been surging recently. It truly is a three-way race at the present. The most recent poll, conducted on October 23 and 24 by Heat Street/Rasmussen, gave Trump a narrow 32-29-28 lead over McMullin and Clinton, respectively.



Read the full article at

Frank Cannon is the president of American Principles Project. Jon Schweppe is the Communications Director at American Principles Project. Continue Reading

Is Trump Giving Up on Pennsylvania? Is That a Bad Thing?

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

The Associated Press has a very cool interactive tool that allows you to see where Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump — and the various super PACs supporting or opposing them — are spending money on TV ads. Check it out here.

Using this tool, we gain a better understanding of the Trump campaign’s electoral strategy. While pro-Trump and anti-Clinton super PACs have been spending on TV ads for quite some time, the Trump campaign didn’t officially go on the air until the week of August 14.

Below is the Trump campaign’s TV ad spending by week:

  • August 7 – August 13 ($0)
  • August 14 – August 20 ($809,851)
  • August 21 – August 27 ($3,121,608)
  • August 28 – September 3 ($4,755,742)
  • September 4 – September 10 ($7,310,402)
  • September 11 – September 17 ($2,684,099)
  • September 18 – September 24 ($516,441)
  • September 25 – October 1 ($4,429,224)

Compare this to the Clinton campaign’s TV ad spending during the same time period:

  • August 7 – August 13 ($12,962,027)
  • August 14 – August 20 ($13,152,489)
  • August 21 – August 27 ($10,988,130)
  • August 28 – September 3 ($10,715,162)
  • September 4 – September 10 ($14,075,985)
  • September 11 – September 17 ($17,803,495)
  • September 18 – September 24 ($19,522,217)
  • September 25 – October 1 ($19,455,030)

Yikes. And remember, the Clinton campaign began spending on TV ads the week of May 15. All together, the Clinton campaign has spent $198.9 million on TV ads. The Trump campaign has spent just $23.6 million.

Additionally, the Associated Press tool allows you to see what spending has looked like in individual states. Continue Reading

New Polls Show Trump Needs Just One More State to Win

A new Florida poll from Suffolk University was released today showing Donald Trump with a slim, single-point lead over Hillary Clinton. But while this was only the latest poll showing a close race in the Sunshine State, it was enough to tip RealClearPolitics’ Florida polling average in the direction of Trump, who now leads by a slender 0.1-point margin. This means, going by RCP’s polling average in each state, Trump has closed to within six electoral votes of Clinton if the election were held today:

Map via


So, assuming all current polling is generally accurate, Trump still needs to see significant gains in one more state — as well as holding his leads in every current red state — in order to defeat Clinton. While this is admittedly a tall order, the electoral map does appear incredibly more favorable to Trump than it did only a month or two ago.

But which remaining blue state does Trump stand the best chance of flipping? The following are his most likely possibilities (in no particular order):


Not long ago, media outlets were writing the obituary for the Trump campaign in Colorado, as shifting demographics appeared to put the normally purple state out of play for Republicans. However, limited polling in the state since the beginning of September has shown a narrowing race. A survey from early this month showed Clinton’s lead down from double digits to just five points, while another more recent poll from Emerson gave Trump a four-point lead. Continue Reading

New State Polls Confirm Trump’s Upward Trend

On Friday, we broke down the Electoral College and proposed several different scenarios where Trump could win the presidency. He needs to perform well in 12 key battleground states.

Iowa and Virginia are two of those states. And according to a new pair of Emerson polls, Trump is winning in Iowa and virtually tied in Virginia.

  • Emerson (Iowa, 8/31 – 9/1): Trump 44, Clinton 39, Johnson 8 (Trump +5)
  • Emerson (Virginia, 8/31 – 9/1): Clinton 44, Trump 43, Johnson 11 (Clinton +1)

That being said, we should probably curb our enthusiasm. Trump still has a lot of work to do in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, according to a pair of CBS News/YouGov surveys.

  • CBS News/YouGov (Pennsylvania, 8/30 – 9/2): Clinton 45, Trump 37, Johnson 6 (Clinton +8)
  • CBS News/YouGov (North Carolina, 8/30 – 9/2): Clinton 46, Trump 42, Johnson 4 (Clinton +4)

But assuming Trump can manage a turnaround in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, the importance of also winning Virginia, a state many pundits have already written off for the GOP, can’t be overstated. If Trump manages to win these four states, that would put the Electoral College count at 214-208 in favor of Clinton with eight battleground states undecided: Nevada (6), Arizona (11), Missouri (10), Wisconsin (10), Michigan (16), Ohio (18), Georgia (16), Florida (29).

In that scenario, Trump would have to be seen as a favorite.

Jon Schweppe is the Communications Director at American Principles Project.



  Continue Reading

State-by-State Breakdown: Here’s How Hillary Could Lose

When trying to handicap the presidential race, it is tempting to rely on national polling. But ultimately the next president is not determined by the popular vote — he or she will be determined state-by-state via the electoral college.

We report on national polling at The Pulse 2016 all the time, so I don’t mean to suggest there isn’t use for it. Analytics outfits like FiveThirtyEight have found heavy correlations between national polling and election results at the state level.

Because of this correlation, it’s almost a mathematical certainty that, if Clinton wins the popular vote by ten points on Election Day, she would also win the electoral college. But what if she wins the popular vote by just one or two points? As we learned in 2000 with the election of George W. Bush, the results of the popular vote and the electoral college don’t always agree with each other.

And we shouldn’t expect a landslide. As we reported earlier this week, the race has tightened dramatically. Clinton and Trump are virtually tied as we head into Labor Day weekend.

So what can we expect from the electoral college? Let’s first look at the states we can predict with near certainty. These states serve as each candidate’s electoral vote floor.

Map via


SAFE RED: Alaska (3), Idaho (4), Montana (3), Wyoming (3), North Dakota (3), South Dakota (3), Nebraska (5), Kansas (6), Oklahoma (7), Texas (38), Arkansas (6), Louisiana (8), Kentucky (8), West Virginia (5), Tennessee (11), Mississippi (6), Alabama (9), South Carolina (9)

TRUMP: 137

SAFE BLUE: Washington (12), Oregon (7), California (55), New Mexico (5), Minnesota (10), Illinois (20), New York (29), Vermont (3), Maine (4), Massachusetts (11), Rhode Island (4), Connecticut (7), New Jersey (14), Delaware (3), Maryland (10), District of Columbia (3)


These results are basically preordained. Continue Reading

Good News for Trump: GOP Adds Droves of New Voters in Key States

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Donald Trump may be losing in the polls, but he is winning in an area that could tip the scales in November — new voters.

According to Politico, Republicans are picking up steam among voters in key battleground states, specifically Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Iowa. In Pennsylvania, for example, more than 85,000 voters have switched their registration from Democratic to Republican. And while Trump deserves some of the credit for this development, Charlie Gerow, a Pennsylvania GOP strategist, remarked, “My view is that a lot more of it is motivated by disgust that many Democrats have for the administration.”

The GOP also received good news from all-important Florida, where the Democratic Party’s lead in registered voters is less than half of what it was during the 2012 election. While voters don’t necessarily vote along the lines of their party registration, this is being rightly called a ray of hope for Trump. In 2012, President Obama won Florida by less than 100,000 votes. Now in 2016, Republicans have added about 70,000 more voters to their registration rolls than the Democrats have.

However, the Politico story was not all good news for Trump. According to Joe Henry, a representative of the League of United Latin American Citizens, the Republican candidate has helped drive up Democratic voter registration in many areas as well. Says Henry: “We’ve probably had a 20 percent increase [in voter registration] just because of concerns about the hate.”

Still, this surge in new voters should help buoy a Trump campaign trying to find new momentum heading into the fall. Continue Reading

Trump Leads in Key Swing States in New Quinnipiac Poll

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

According to the results of the latest Quinnipiac poll, Donald Trump may be surging in three key swing states. The poll, released this morning, covered Pennsylvania, Florida, and Ohio.

When the choices were limited to just Trump and Hillary Clinton, the results were:

  • Pennsylvania: Trump, 43 percent; Clinton, 41 percent
  • Ohio: Trump, 41 percent; Clinton, 41 percent
  • Florida: Trump, 42 percent; Clinton, 39 percent

When Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein are included, the results get even better for Trump:

  • Pennsylvania: Trump, 40 percent; Clinton, 34 percent; Johnson, 9 percent; Stein, 3 percent
  • Ohio: Trump, 37 percent; Clinton, 36 percent; Johnson, 7 percent; Stein, 6 percent
  • Florida: Trump, 41 percent; Clinton, 36 percent; Johnson, 7 percent; Stein, 4 percent

Remember, Trump does not need to win the popular vote to become president, so national polls ultimately don’t matter. He just needs to perform well on a state-by-state basis.

And Trump’s path to victory — reaching 270 electoral votes — becomes much easier if he wins all three of these swing states. Pennsylvania, worth 20 electoral votes, has not gone Republican since 1988, but it has been trending in that direction lately. Florida, which is worth 29 electoral votes, proved to be the decisive state in the 2000 race between George W. Bush and Al Gore. And in 2004, Bush won Ohio by the thinnest of margins, squeaking out a narrow victory in the electoral college.

Winning Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida would allow Trump to lose several battleground states, including Virginia, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Wisconsin, and Iowa, and still win the presidency. Continue Reading

For Trump’s Presidential Hopes, It’s Rust (Belt) or Bust

Donald Trump (photo credit: Darron Birgenheier via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Recent polling has not looked good for Donald Trump. While the presumptive GOP nominee had closed the gap with Hillary Clinton at the end of last month, June polling has shown her reopening the gap — up to nearly 6 points nationally by RealClearPolitics’ average. Seven of the past eight major national polls have shown Clinton with a lead of 5 points or greater. And numbers this week out of Florida — a vitally important swing state — were equally dismal, where Quinnipiac shows Clinton opening up a significant 5-point lead.

Given Clinton’s apparent momentum, however, it is interesting to note places where she hasn’t seen a major polling bump. Most notable is Pennsylvania, a Democratic-leaning state, where nevertheless Trump is still statistically tied with Clinton according to Quinnipiac. The same poll also shows both candidates tied in Ohio, another important swing state in the same region.

While the general election cycle is still early yet, these numbers may suggest Trump’s most likely — and perhaps only — winning strategy. If the Donald hopes to attain victory in November, he needs to focus his attention and resources on wresting one key area away from the Democrats: the Rust Belt.

Electorally, the likelihood of Trump making significant headway in other swing states is not looking great. As mentioned earlier, polling is showing Florida moving away from him. Trump’s documented difficulty in winning over Mormons — a key Republican voting constituency in many Western states — plus shifting demographics may push Western swing states such as Nevada and Colorado out of reach. Continue Reading

Poll: Clinton, Trump Deadlocked in Pennsylvania

From left: Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (credit: Gage Skidmore/Marc Nozell)

Donald Trump continues to gain ground on Hillary Clinton, particularly in states which have not gone Republican in a presidential election in many years. According to a new poll released by Public Policy Polling, Trump and Clinton are tied at 44 percent support each in Pennsylvania, a state in which Trump hopes that pro-worker economic message will resonate with working class voters.

While a generic Democrat and Bernie Sanders still enjoy leads in a general election scenario against Trump, concerns remain about Clinton’s popularity, even within the Democratic Party, and many are openly questioning whether enough Sanders supporters will back Clinton in the fall to turn the battleground state blue. As it stands currently, just 72 percent of those backing Sanders in a general election scenario versus Trump would support the former Secretary of State. Meanwhile, Sanders leads Trump 51 percent to 39 percent in Pennsylvania, and a generic Democrat leads the billionaire 45 percent to 41 percent in the state.

Still, such numbers represent a miraculous turnaround for Trump, who just less than two months ago was losing to Clinton by as many as fifteen points.  Perhaps the larger story, however, is how well Trump does even with Green Party candidate Jill Stein and Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson included in the polling. Though Clinton takes the lead in the state by one point, 41 percent to 40 percent, Trump is still well within the three point margin of error, with Johnson and Stein polling at six and three percent, respectively. Continue Reading