Elections always result in a winner and a loser. And then, when it’s all said and done, prognosticators follow up with speculation and what-ifs.
We’re going to play that role now.
And. Blow. Your. Mind.
We placed Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign against Donald Trump’s in 2016. Math shows, Trump could have, hypothetically, defeated Obama for the presidency.
National Review explains:
The math might seem impossible. After all, Obama won nearly 66 million votes in 2012; Trump is currently at 59.5 million and should finish around 60 million, which will actually be one million fewer votes than Mitt Romney won.
How, then, could Trump have topped Obama in the electoral college?
The answer: Republican turnout lagged in certain parts of the country but shot through the roof in the nation’s most critical battleground states.
Let’s look at them individually, in descending order by population, and do the electoral vote math. The 2016 totals aren’t yet final because not all precincts have reported.
FLORIDA — 29 EVs — 98 percent reporting Obama 2012: 4,235,270 Clinton 2016: 4,485,745 Romney 2012: 4,162,081 Trump 2016: 4,605,515
Conclusion: Trump beats Obama by some 370,000 votes and wins Florida. (Note: Clinton won 250,000 more votes in Florida than Obama did in 2012.)
PENNSYLVANIA — 20 EVs — 97 percent reporting Obama 2012: 2,907,448 Clinton 2016: 2,844,705 Romney 2012: 2,619,583 Trump 2016: 2,912,941
Conclusion: Trump squeezes past Obama by a margin of some 5,000 votes and wins Pennsylvania. (Note: Clinton runs about 60,000 votes behind Obama, but would’ve had more than enough to defeat Romney in 2012.)
OHIO — 18 EVs – 94 percent reporting Obama 2012: 2,697,260 Clinton 2016: 2,317,001 Romney 2012: 2,593,779 Trump 2016: 2,771,984
Conclusion: Trump edges Obama by roughly 75,000 votes and wins Ohio. (Note: Clinton’s worst battleground state showing was Ohio, winning 380,000 [!] fewer votes than Obama.)
Stop right there and crunch the numbers: Florida (29) + Pennsylvania (20) + Ohio (18) = 67 EVs. Romney finished with 206 EVs. By protecting all of those, and then taking 67 from Obama, Trump would hit 273 and win the presidency.
The question: Did Trump 2016 defeat Obama 2012 in all of the states Romney won? Yes. Here’s a look at the competitive ones: –
NORTH CAROLINA (98 percent reporting): Trump 2,339,603 … Obama 2,178,388 –
ARIZONA (73 percent reporting): Trump 947,284 … Obama 930,669 –
GEORGIA (93 percent reporting): Trump 2,068,623 … Obama 1,761,761 –
UTAH (78 percent reporting): Trump 360,634 … Obama 229,463 A review of the Romney 2012 states confirms that Trump, in this hypothetical match-up, would have carried every single one against Obama.
It doesn’t matter that Obama would have trounced Trump by nearly 300,000 votes in Michigan; by more than 200,000 in Wisconsin; by 175,000 in Virginia; and by 160,000 in Colorado.
It’s similarly meaningless that Obama would have narrowly defeated Trump in Iowa, Nevada, and New Hampshire.
The 44th president carried all of those states in 2012, and in this hypothetical contest, he would successfully defend all of them. But it wouldn’t be enough.
The electoral college would produce a razor-thin margin: Trump 273, Obama 265.
That was fun and just proved the right is likely always right.
Source: National Review