So a few months ago, Nick aired Resch Strategies’ dirty laundry and I’ve been silent on the matter ever since. It’s true. I, Joseph Becsey, am a Donald Trump supporter.
Not a fervent supporter, mind you. In fact, not even a tepid one. Really, I just like antagonizing Nick, who is without a doubt the most ardent #NeverTrump Republican I know. Trust me, casually suggesting Donald can exceed expectations and be competitive in November makes for great fun in this office.
Unfortunately for Nick, the good-natured ribbing has backed him into a bet he can’t possibly win.
I don’t have to make the case that Trump can win in November. I don’t even have to make the argument that it will be close. All I need to do is find 150 Electoral College votes for Trump. If Donald can clear that exceptionally low bar on November 8, lunch is on Nick.
150 out of 538. Piece of cake.
Let’s start here.
Alaska (not shown), Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma.
You know what these nine states have in common? Well… probably a lot. But the answer I was looking for is this collection of states ALWAYS goes red in presidential elections. Since 1976, Republicans are a perfect 10/10 in these states. Expect that to continue this November.
And just like that, I can already hear Nick De Leeuw protesting the map.
He’s going to want to tell you that Utah is in play. That after over 50 years, the Beehive State (what’s that about?) is going to shock the world and go blue.
Don’t believe him.
Granted, things don’t look nearly as rosy as they typically do for Republicans in this deep red state. Donald’s unfavorables are absurdly high and Utah is one of the few states where that fact has actually had consequences - Trump finished a disappointing third in the state’s caucus behind Ted Cruz and John Kasich.
Yeah… I’m not worried.
At the end of the day, Gary Johnson is just too boring to ever really catch fire, and there’s only one candidate Utahans hate as much as Donald – Hillary.
Utah stays red.
40 down. 110 to go. More than a fourth of the way to the finish line.
To be fair, we should probably view the map through the same lens for Nick/Hillary. There are states that are just as blue over the same period of time.
Well, actually just one.
Minnesota is the lone state to have gone blue in every presidential election since 1976, and the District of Columbia has been its trusty sidekick along the way.
Let’s take them off the map.
Montana, Arizona, Indiana, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina
For all intents and purposes, these states are just as red as the first batch. They have gone to the Republicans in 9 out of the last 10 elections. Again, expect Nick to protest.
I imagine Mr. De Leeuw will begrudgingly cede most of this lot, but Arizona will certainly be a point of contention.
Again, I’m not that worried.
In general, the Mountain States seems to be trending blue. And it’s possible to envision once hardline Republicans states like Utah and Arizona being transformed into new battlegrounds a few cycles down the road.
But for now, Republicans still hold a sizable advantage in Arizona. For Hillary to have a chance, she’ll have inspire/mobilize thousands to register and subsequently vote – not an impossible task, but certainly an expensive one. And it wouldn’t be hard to make the argument that the required time and money would be better spent elsewhere.
At the end of the day, I think Trump keeps Arizona in the Republican column.
Following this pattern, I need to take Rhode Island and Hawaii (not shown) off the map and put them in Clinton’s pocket. Both states have gone blue in 9 out of the last 10 races. They’ll stay blue in 2016.
Alright, I’m being unfair. There are plenty of solid Democratic states I need to take off the map.
Ronald Reagan was simply the right candidate at the right time. The charismatic cowboy essentially swept the nation. Twice. Had it not been for that aberration, Washington, Oregon, California, Illinois, New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Maryland would have all likely already come off this map.
I’ll have to find my remaining 61 votes for Trump elsewhere.
Luckily, I don’t have to look that hard just yet. Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and West Virginia are all on the #TrumpTrain. No doubt about it.
And just like that, I’m only 4 Electoral College votes away from a free lunch. 4 votes out of 213 still on the board. This looks good.
But first, let’s give a few more votes to Nick/Hillary before I cherry pick my winner. Hillary will pick up Colorado, New Mexico, Vermont, Connecticut, and Delaware.
And just to be generous, I’m even going to give away Maine. Though I will say I think Trump’s blustery nature and outsider status has appeal in a few New England states and that could bear some fruit. That’s probably just wishful thinking though.
And without even reaching, I’m going to put Tennessee and Kentucky in the Trump column.
BOOM. It’s over. Even if Hillary sweeps the remaining 12 states (unlikely) and flips Arizona, this comfortable 15 point cushion will still be enough to ensure victory.
Nick better start saving his money because you better believe I’m ordering a meal fit for a winner. I’m thinking surf and turf with an extra side of turf.
I think I’m going to leave my map suspended here for now. Not because all of these remaining 12 states represent true toss-ups, but because I like living in a world where I manage to win my bet and both Trump and Clinton fall short of 270.
That’s a nice reality.
Although, something isn’t quite right.
Your move, Nick.