For months now, the Trump campaign has been talking about what they refer to as their “Rust Belt Strategy.” It goes like this: Trump wins traditionally Republican states with big electoral vote counts–such as Texas–and then sweeps the states of Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. He also manages to win Florida. This would give him the 270 votes in the Electoral College that he needs to win the election.
But there’s one problem with the Rust Belt Strategy: It’s August and Trump is losing in every single state his campaign says he must win in order to secure a victory. Take a look:
Trump’s ground game in Florida lags far behind that of Hillary Clinton, and FiveThirtyEight.com now predicts that Clinton has a 67.6 percent chance of winning the state. Considering that Florida also has a large Hispanic population, it seems highly unlikely that Trump has a chance there.
In a four-way matchup which includes Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein, Clinton hasa 9-point lead over Trump, 41 to 32 percent. Johnson garners 7.5 percent and Stein 3.4 percent.
This is the most important state of them all to any Republican nominee, but it too appears to be a lost cause at this point in the campaign. FiveThirtyEight.com gives Clinton a 65 percent chance of winning the Buckeye State.
At one time, Pennsylvania was a close race. But new polling shows that Clinton has opened up a double-digit lead. Clinton has 49 percent in the poll among likely Pennsylvania voters while Trump has 38 percent. A race that was virtually tied at the conclusion of the Republican convention is quickly slipping away from the Trump team.
Thought not usually considered to be an important swing state, in a close race New Hampshire’s four electoral votes could be the margin of victory. But it too is turning into a blowout for Clinton. She has a 17-point lead in the Granite State. In a four-way matchup including Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein, the Democratic nominee’s lead is slightly smaller at 15 points, 47 to 32 percent.
All of this suggests that the Rust Belt Strategy is not going to provide the margin of victory Trump was hoping for. Instead, it could be a harbinger of just how badly he will lose on Election Day, leading to a historic win by Clinton and the Democrats.
This article was originally published by the same author at Liberal America.org