Earlier today I wrote about the questions that will face Republican Congressional leaders if Hillary Clinton wins the presidency in November. Part of how they answer them will be determined by the margin of victory. While noting that things can change over the next few months, it is interesting to look at what a couple of election prognosticators are saying right now. Here is the most current electoral map from Benchmark Politics.
Click the map to create your own at 270toWin.com
In case you think that’s a fluke, here is what FiveThirtyEight’s Nowcast looked like yesterday.
The 538 Nowcast now has Mississippi within 4pts, Texas within 3, Missouri within 0.5. What +10 nationally looks like pic.twitter.com/kREd89a0CV
— Will Jordan (@williamjordann) August 9, 2016
What strikes me is that, while Trump only has about 77 electoral votes that are solidly red, Clinton is just 10 shy (260 electoral votes) of winning with solid blue states. The medium blue states are one’s that Obama won in 2008 and both prognosticators now show Georgia and Arizona leaning blue – perhaps even South Carolina. When a Republican candidate only gets a “lean” out of Texas and Mississippi at this point in the cycle, you are looking at a potential landslide from the electoral college. To get a picture of how possible that is – take a look at the two charts Josh Marshall put together comparing the current trends on this race to those from Obama/Romney in 2012.
I can hear the naysayers as I write suggesting that this kind of analysis is dangerous because it could spark complacency. But the truth is that – short of a 60+ Senate majority combined with taking back the House (neither of which are probable right now) – a landslide victory in the electoral college is the one outcome that at least holds the possibility of producing a change in positioning from Congressional Republicans. If there is any hope of ending the strategy of total obstruction and pushing the envelope back to a functioning government in the foreseeable future, this might be the way that happens.