Republican nominee Donald Trump’s message is reaching into some safe Democratic states, making this year’s presidential race more competitive than previous elections.
Trump originally told supporters he would compete in Democratic states like California, New York, and Washington. While those states still give Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton a strong lead, Trump fares better in Maine and Connecticut than former Gov. Mitt Romney did against President Barack Obama in 2012.
“As politics has become more polarized, the electoral map has changed very little from election to election. But because Trump is such an unusual candidate, it seemed possible there would be states in play this year that usually aren’t,” Harry Enten of statistics website FiveThirtyEight writes.
Clinton returned the favor, doing better than Obama did against Romney in safe Republican states like Utah, Arizona, and Georgia.
Obama won 365 electoral votes in 2008, and according to FiveThirtyEight, Clinton is on track to win 347 if she wins every state she is ahead in in current polls.
The election is much closer on a state basis than national poll numbers suggest. According to FiveThirtyEight, only six states were decided by a 5-point margin or lower. This election currently has 10 states within that range.
Although that increase represents a significant shakeup, the 1992 presidential election had a much larger shakeup in the national landscape. Seventeen states were within 5 percentage points.
According to FiveThirtyEight’s polls-only forecast, Clinton has an 85.4 percent chance of winning the general election — potentially earning 353.9 electoral votes. The statistics site gives Trump a 14.6 percent chance, and only 183.5 of the 270 needed to win the White House.
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