Republicans Never Dreamed of Winning These States — Until Trump Came Along

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Much attention is being paid this election to the relatively small polling leads Donald Trump holds in many traditional Republican strongholds — states such as Texas, Utah, South Carolina, and Georgia to name a few. This led, especially during the summer, to speculation of a Hillary Clinton blow out, with both liberal pundits and staunch #NeverTrump’ers pushing the narrative that Clinton could be poised to flip many red states into the Democratic column.

What these pundits have ignored, however, is that while Trump’s leads in red states have indeed been unusually small, he has also been running much more competitively in blue states where Republican candidates normally don’t stand a chance.

Take the following states, for example:

Maine

  • Romney 2012 deficit: 15 points
  • Trump 2016 polling deficit: 7 points

Michigan

  • Romney 2012 deficit: 9 points
  • Trump 2016 polling deficit: 5 points

Nevada

  • Romney 2012 deficit: 5 points
  • Trump 2016 polling deficit: 1 point

New Jersey

  • Romney 2012 deficit: 17 points
  • Trump 2016 polling deficit: 5 points (The only poll taken in the last two months shows Trump down only 4 points)

Rhode Island

  • Romney 2012 deficit: 28 points
  • Trump 2016 polling deficit: 3 points (Based on one poll)

Wisconsin

  • Romney 2012 deficit: 7 points
  • Trump 2016 polling deficit: 5 points

So what does this all mean? As Trump moves into the high-40s and closes in on 50 percent in national polling, Republicans will find that they are competitive in states that no other recent GOP nominee — and probably no alternative candidate — would have had any hope of winning. Continue Reading

Flipping the Narrative: Can Trump Expand His Electoral Map?

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Last week, The Pulse’s own Jon Schweppe gave a detailed rundown of possible electoral strategies Donald Trump can take if he hopes to beat Hillary Clinton. As Schweppe pointed out, based on polling and past election results, Clinton and the Democrats have a significant, built-in electoral advantage, and it would take a very good showing for Trump in numerous swing states — especially Pennsylvania and/or Virginia — to soundly defeat her.

This has been the storyline in much of the mainstream media’s election coverage. Take, for example, the Politico story earlier this week, “Trump’s shrinking swing state map,” which suggested that Trump’s path to victory is growing slim and that Colorado, New Hampshire, and Virginia are already out of reach for Republicans – apparently not taking into account the two most recent Virginia polls showing a race within the margin of error. The Washington Post sounded a more upbeat note in an article yesterday, “Donald Trump finally seeing signs of life in key swing states,” though the story was still one of a serious uphill climb remaining for Trump.

All this analysis assumes, however, that the race will come down to the same dozen or so swing states, and that the unique dynamics of this election will still not serve to expand the electoral map beyond that. While this is not necessarily an unreasonable assumption, there are signs this could be changing.

Some attention is already being paid to the way in which Hillary Clinton could be putting traditionally red states into play for the Democrats, such as Georgia, Utah, Mississippi, and even (gasp!) Texas. Continue Reading