Battle for 270: Trump faces uphill struggle

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump waves after speaking to the National Association of Home Builders, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016, in Miami Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)


Hillary Clinton 293   Donald Trump 148

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Editor’s Note: Media General Washington Bureau Chief Jim Osman on a weekly basis, until the election, will release his “Battle for 270” map predicting the electoral college outcome.

WASHINGTON (MEDIA GENERAL) — Hillary Clinton now has the necessary electoral votes to defeat Donald Trump in November based on our original reporting and analysis of the latest state and national polling.

Three states have moved from battleground neutral to Democrat blue: Pennsylvania, Florida, and New Hampshire. The internals of the polling in Pennsylvania show suburban women outside of Philadelphia have swung dramatically in Clinton’s direction.

Adding to existing concern within the Trump camp is that Missouri, Georgia and Utah, normally reliably Republican states, are now in the battleground category. Trump needs to secure those states if he is to have a chance. If we’re still talking about Georgia as a tossup in October, Clinton is almost certain to be the next president.

There is one state, Nevada, which has flipped from Democrat blue to a battleground state. The Reno area has boosted Trump in Nevada.

Trump’s problem at the moment is what to do. He needs to stop the bleeding but he may have damaged himself so much it will be hard to recover.

He is getting zero percent in some state polling among African-Americans. He needs to pull 15 percent of the African-American vote to really be viable in some states.

His percentage among Latinos is lower than Mitt Romney had in 2012 as is his standing amongst women.

The Khans. The Mexican judge. Building a wall.  It all has led some voting groups to reject Trump even if a particular issue isn’t targeted at their particular demographic. It’s just building a narrative that he isn’t tolerant and African-Americans, Latinos, women and the LGBT community have largely bailed.

There are two major issues Trump is facing: Questions about whether he is intolerant and questions about his judgment. Both issues play against him in places such as Bucks and Montgomery counties outside of Philadelphia, where suburban female voters are known to be risk averse and have been leaning Democrat in recent years.

With three months between now and Election Day, Trump could still theoretically turn things around. But at this point, the Republican nominee doesn’t seem the least bit inclined to embrace the discipline required to conquer the Herculean electoral task.

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