My column for today at The Federalist is “President Trump Could Lose 5 Million Votes And Still Win In 2020.” It’s a synthesis of what a number of data analysts have been realizing about the effect of the Electoral College and the rural/urban split on the 2020 election.
Of course, it’s an unlikely scenario, as I note in the column. With more space, I would have emphasized this more. But the extreme example is useful to get the focus on the structural advantages President Trump currently enjoys (it’s a long, long way to Election Day, obviously).
Although I have written about Trump doing a round of the mainstream media as part of an appeal to more moderate voters, the current realities of the Electoral College are driving his re-elect campaign. Eventually, the tension between those two approaches will probably become more apparent. President Obama was the first since Washington to win his first re-elect with a smaller popular and electoral vote. Given how narrow Trump’s victory was in 2016, he probably cannot afford to lose those five million votes.
But for now, it looks like the campaign is very much thinking about another narrow win, ground out in probably ugly ways. Fortunately for Trump, he does not mind winning ugly.
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