How to Make Sure Trump Loses

Last week, we detailed Joe Biden’s current electoral college advantage in the upcoming presidential election (see Biden Surge and Trump Failures). In this article, we expand on the winning scenarios we briefly touched on before.

A recent Axios poll (see Axios, June 30), shows that only 19 percent of Republicans are happy with the direction of the country. Additionally, we are starting to see surprising cracks in traditional Trump base states like Montana.

Map of the US showing states that support Joe Biden, and their electoral vote totals.

1. Solidify positions in New Hampshire, Minnesota, and Nevada

These were semi-competitive states that Clinton won in 2016. Winning here secures 20 electoral votes, bringing Biden’s likely total to 232 (38 shy of the 270 votes needed to win).

2. Win in Michigan

Biden leads by up to 10 points or more in the state according to recent polls. Winning Michigan’s 16 electoral votes brings Biden’s likely total to 248 (22 less than 270).

3. Win in Pennsylvania

While Biden’s lead is narrower in Pennsylvania, he is ahead of Trump. Winning Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes would bring Biden’s total to 268 (2 votes shy of victory).

4. Win 2 electoral votes from the states below

2020 Toss-Up States: Rank Order of Best Biden Targets
StateElectoral Votes
North Carolina15
Nebraska 2nd Cong. District1
Maine 2nd Cong. District1

Arizona and Wisconsin are the two best Democratic opportunities among the 2020 toss-up states. Wisconsin was a high-profile loss for Democrats in 2016 and the party seems on the verge of winning it back this time. Conversely, Arizona is a Republican state where support for Trump is appearing to falter. Other states in this list have trended away from Democrats (Florida and North Carolina) but appear to show at least marginal support for Joe Biden at the moment. Similarly, Democrats have long viewed Georgia and Texas as eventual gains, but anti-Trump sentiment could be accelerating that process according to recent polls.

This is not to say Joe Biden can win all of these toss-up states. There is too much uncertainty around this contest to predict what will happen in states that have shown up reliably for Republicans in past years.

5. Leave nothing to chance

Trump, in the face of defeat, will fully try to steal this election through dirty tricks or foreign interference. It’s important that Democrats win as many swing states as possible—not just the minimum 270 electoral votes required for victory. In doing so, they can build a shield to counter attempts by Trump and anyone else to sabotage the outcome.