If President Donald Trump expects to win in 2020 the same way he did in 2016 — by losing the popular vote but winning enough states to secure an electoral victory — some new data from eight normally red states suggests this election will be a much tougher road for the incumbent.
CNBC reports that unemployment is rising in eight states that went for Trump in 2016: Mississippi, Arizona, North Carolina, Indiana, South Carolina, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In two of those states — Arizona and North Carolina — Trump’s poll numbers are now underwater:
Trump’s net approval rating remains high in most of these states. But more people in Arizona and North Carolina disapprove of his job as president than approve, according to the latest Morning Consult poll.
North Carolina has 15 electoral votes and Arizona has 11. Moreover, Trump pulled off somewhat narrow victories over Hillary Clinton in each state in the 2016 election — 3.6% in North Carolina and 3.5% in Arizona.
And the news is also bad for Trump in the three states that provided him with the electoral margin of victory over Hillary Clinton, who won the popular vote by nearly three million votes: Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan. Unemployment is also up in those states, which have been hit especially hard by Trump’s ongoing trade war.
Now consider this scenario: Trump falls short in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Arizona. That would be a total of 90 electoral votes that change from Republican to Democrat. 90 electoral votes in addition to the ones Clinton got in 2016 (227) would be 317 for Trump’s Democratic opponent, whoever that turns out to be. 270 electoral votes are needed to win the presidency.
Donald Trump could be looking at losing in a landslide come 2020, this time in the popular and electoral vote. Imagine what a blow that would be to his fragile ego.
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