When Hillary Clinton’s supporters left the Javits Center in Manhattan on Election Night 2016, several were shell shocked and in tears that Clinton, who was expected to win big, lost to Donald Trump in the the biggest political upset in history.
In the coming days and months later, several Democrats asked themselves the same question: “How did this happen?” Now four years later and Election Day in just over 72 hours, many Democrats and nervously wondering if lightning will strike twice for Mr. Trump.
Mr. Trump trails Democratic nominee Joe Biden by eight points nationally, according to FiveThirtyEight’s forecast while trailing in every swing state. However, if it seems possible that the President can be re-elected, it is because he did the impossible in 2016.
While the numbers are bleak, Mr. Trump’s campaign believes he can win again. Here are four reasons that Trump can win re-election.
Re-create the 2016 map
The most likely way the Trump campaign will try to win four more years is by creating the 2016 map. That starts with Mr. Trump winning the Sunshine State of Florida, where polls show Mr. Biden leading the President by just two points.
Florida is a battleground state every election cycle and recent reports say Mr. Biden’s campaign has expressed concern they are underperforming among Latino and African American support in the early voting numbers. While that may be true, statistics show those voting groups are more likely to vote on Election Day than early.
Both candidates were in Florida this week, proving just how important the state is. Mr. Trump cannot get to 270 electoral votes without winning the state while Mr. Biden is looking to deliver an early knockout blow.
If Mr. Trump wins Florida, he will try to win over the rust belt. He has spent time campaigning in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin this week as polls show him down by at least seven points in all three states. However, do not underestimate Mr. Trump’s chances. If he flips the rust belt and wins Florida, he gets four more years.
Expand the map
It is highly unlikely that the President can re-create his 2016 map, so the next option is to expand his current map. As mentioned above, Mr. Trump needs to win Florida to have any chance, so in this scenario I will be putting the Sunshine State in his column.
For this simulation, I put Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Nevada all in the President’s column and it would give him 278 electoral votes, only eight more than he needs to win re-election.
The campaign has been eyeing New Hampshire, Minnesota and Nevada as possible targets. Clinton won Minnesota by just 45,000 in 2016, which has led to Mr. Trump’s campaign putting up $1.2 million in TV advertising in Minnesota in the final week of the campaign.
Mr. Biden’s lead in Minnesota currently sits at eight points according to FiveThirtyEight’s forecast. Vice President Mike Pence held a rally in northern Minnesota on Monday, a sign the campaign believes they can do well or better than they did in 2016 in the state.
Getting Latino support
It is no secret that Mr. Biden is doing worse among Latino voters than Clinton did in 2016. Earlier this week, the former Vice President committed to signing an executive order on his first day in office to form a task force that will focus on reuniting the 545 immigrant children who have been separated from their families.
Trump’s campaign is targeting Latino voters in Arizona, Nevada, Texas, and Florida. As of this writing, the President has around 35 percent support among Latinos, up from the 29 percent he had four years ago. This time, he’s also focusing on the small Latino community in Pennsylvania. While small, it could make all the difference in a very close race.
In this scenario, I gave President Trump the states Florida, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Arizona. As you can see, that is enough to give Mr. Trump the narrow win over Mr. Biden.
How likely is this? Not very as polls show the former Vice President with leads in all four states but Mr. Trump has been making the arguments this week how he has done more for Latinos than former President Barack Obama. We’re days away from finding out if that message worked.
Cracking the “Blue Wall”
The last-ditch effort by Mr. Trump is cracking the leads in the rust belt, where the former Vice President is leading. This final week sees Mr. Trump campaigning in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. He won all three of these states by the narrowest of margins and he is hoping on a big turnout on Election Day to make it happen again.
For this scenario, I put Nevada, Arizona, North Carolina, and Minnesota all in Mr. Biden’s column. As you can see, I gave Mr. Trump Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, giving him enough to cross that 270 electoral vote mark.
It is this reason that both candidates are so focused on the rust belt this week. For the final week, Mr. Biden will be appearing with President Barack Obama in Michigan today and his entire team will be joining him in Pennsylvania on Monday, just 24 hours before Americans head to the polls.
Mr. Biden will also be giving remarks in Pennsylvania on Sunday as he appears with his wife. It is clear both men are working hard to win over voters but Mr. Trump needs to have a perfect sweep and only time will tell if it’s in the cards.
So what does this mean?
With Election Day just days away, Mr. Biden certainly does not have this race locked up, but it’s looking likely he will be the next President of the United States. President Trump has a chance for sure, but it may be too little, too late.