Included in a Trump campaign fundraising email sent out to supporters yesterday was a questionable electoral map with some eyebrow-raising electoral college absurdity.
Most of the states in which Hillary Clinton is currently dominating Trump in the polls are colored grey, as in “too close to call.”
Like most of Trump’s campaign, this electoral map is a sham, one more about self-promotion than realistic electoral projections. Reality has always been a thorn in the Trump campaign’s side.
The map ignores all the scientific polling that clearly indicates states like Maine, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Colorado are virtually out of reach for Trump. They are all closer to solid blue than tossup, to the point that Trump would be better off spending his time and money in actually competitive states like Florida, Arizona, and Ohio. Unfortunately for Trump, even if he wins all three he will still lose… by a lot. But he needs them to avoid the partisan embarrassment of ceding typical red states to Hillary Clinton.
The Trumpian map also ignores Trump’s declining leads in traditionally red states, such as Missouri, Georgia, and, most importantly, Texas. These states are turning lighter shades of red, and the possibility that they could turn blue is an electoral death sentence for the Republican Party’s presidential hopes. Electorally gluttonous Texas’s flirtations with a Democratic defection alone is a heartbreak for the GOP.
Texas and its 38 electoral votes are absolutely irreplaceable. George W Bush barely won both his elections, receiving just 271 and 286 electoral votes in 2000 and 2004, respectively. On a fundamental level, Republican presidential candidates will have to continue being popular leaders from Texas in order to be competitive in the electoral college.
Democrats, in contrast, win big when they win. Bill Clinton won with 370 electoral votes in 1992, and 379 in 1996. Barack Obama won 365 in 2008, and 332 in 2012. Donald Trump would be extraordinarily lucky in this election if he got anywhere near 200 electoral votes.
As such, this mailer’s ridiculously optimistic electoral map is doing the Republican Party a disservice by lying so shamelessly about Trump’s chances in this election. It’s a repeat of the same invented “skewed polling” controversy Republicans believed in 2012 in order to convince themselves Mitt Romney would win in a landslide despite the scientific polling that anticipated another big Obama win.
This absurd campaign mailer also begs the question, why is Trump asking for money? He spent the entire GOP primary declaring that he was a self-funded candidate who could not be bought. Like a true con man, though, he’s now begging for money and offering a snake oil electoral map that has no basis in reality.