How Trump could win the 2020 election through the Electoral College

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President Trump speaks at the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas on October 28. | Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

It’s not the most likely scenario. But it’s not impossible.

President Donald Trump is polling significantly worse than he was at this point in 2016, both nationally and in key states. His chances of victory in the FiveThirtyEight forecast model (11 percent) are lower than they ended up last time (28 percent), as of October 28.

But those chances aren’t zero. So what would it take for Trump to win?

The most likely victory scenario for the president is a bit of a stretch, but not that complicated.

First, he needs about a 3-point polling error or a late switch of votes in his favor in most swing states. Going off FiveThirtyEight’s polling averages, that would be enough to push Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, and Iowa — states Biden narrowly leads — into Trump’s column. But that on its own wouldn’t provide Trump enough electoral votes.

Trump also needs to win a big state or multiple smaller contests where Biden has a larger lead. His best prospect for that appears to be Pennsylvania, where Biden is up by a little over 5…


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