CNN’s inaugural Road to 270 shows Trump in a position to win the White House | CNN Politics (2024)


CNN’s inaugural “Road to 270” electoral map shows PresidentJoeBiden struggling to recreate his Electoral College majority from his successful 2020 run and formerPresident Donald Trump with enough states solidly in his corner or leaning in his direction to put him in a position to win the presidency again.

This first look at a potential Biden vs. Trump rematch – and the electoral math each would need to capture 270 electoral votes – captures the dynamics at play10 months from Election Day. Bidenis an incumbent president withstubbornlylow approval ratings, persistent questions and concerns about his ability to serve another term, and diminished support from some key components of his winning coalition from 2020.

Trump is a seriously flawed candidate who has promised to govern in undemocratic ways and who has already been rejected once by the American people after serving one term as president. He faces four criminal indictments consisting of 91 charges related to his attempts to overturn the legitimate 2020 election results, hismishandlingof classified documentsafter leaving officeand allegedly obstructing law enforcement’s attempts to retrieve them, and his falsifying of business records to conceal a hush payment to keep an adult film star from going public with claims of an extramarital affair, which he denies, in the weeks leading up to the 2016 election.He’s pleaded not guilty to all charges against him and maintained no wrongdoing.

We should be very clear about what this electoral outlook is and, more importantly, what it is not.It is the first snapshot of the Electoral College landscape in what will likely prove to be another very close and extraordinarily consequential presidential election.It is not a prediction of how things will turn out in November.It’s not even a prediction of what things may look like when the parties gather for their nominating conventions this summer.

This is an exercisedesigned to capture where the race stands today.If we have learned anything in recent American political history, it is to expect the unexpected.We don’t even know for certain ifBiden andTrump will be the two major party nominees in the fall.However, since that appears to be the likeliest choice at this point, we have explored this initial outlook through the lens of a Biden vs. Trump race.Future versions of this outlook will similarly reflect the realities of the race, as best we can assess them at the time.

It is critical to remember that in the last two presidential contests, the loser and the winner were separated by fewer than a combined 80,000 votes acrossthree battleground states out of more than 130–155 million votes cast nationwide.

There will be endless fixation on national polls in the months to come, but it is the state-by-state battle for 270 electoral votes that will determine who sits in the Oval Office next year.

And it is that path to 270 that we attempt to explore here.We base this current outlook on public and private polling,conversations with campaign advisers, Republican and Democratic political operatives, members of Congress, and political professionals involved with outside groups poised to be active in the race.

The map will undoubtedly change as the race formally takes shape and campaigns place their strategic bets on where to spend tens of millions of dollars on advertising, build organizations on the ground, and dedicate candidate and surrogate time on the trail.It will also shift as the issue set evolves for Americans over the course of the election year. How will Americans perceive the state of the economy several months from now?What will the situation look like on the southern US border in the summer and the fall? How many voters will be motivated to show up at the polls because of perceived and real threats to democracy?What impact will Biden’s decisions and actions in Ukraine and Israel have on voters?

We also wait to see where abortion rights – a proven motivating issue for supporters (which recent elections have shown goes beyond just Democrats) – qualifies to be on the ballot in some of the key contested states.

There are far more unknowable factors than knowable ones at this point.Those unknowns include the potential impact of several third-party candidates that could scramble the math for the major party nominees in some of the critical battleground states in the fall and, perhaps, prove decisive.

While the year ahead is filled with uncertainties, one dynamic that has become increasingly entrenched in American politics is the polarization of the electorate, accelerated by Trump’s arrival on the political scene. That means the 2024 campaign, at least at its outset, is likely to be waged on an electoral map largely unchanged from the 2020 and 2016 elections.

Build your own road to 270 map

In this initial electoral map outlook, Trump has 28 states (and one congressional district in Maine) either solidly in his corner or leaning in his direction that total up to 272 electoral votes – two more than what is required to win the presidency.

For his part, Biden has 19 states plus the District of Columbia either solidly in his favor or leaning in his direction, which brings his total electoral vote count to 225 – 45 votes short of the 270 required to win.

We rate three states (and one Nebraska congressional district) totaling 41 electoral votes as true toss-ups at the start of this 2024 election year.If Biden were to win all the current toss-ups, he’d still need to claw back at least one of the three states he won in 2020 (Georgia, Michigan, and Nevada) that are currently slightly leaning Trump’s way.It is not difficult to imagine all three of those battleground states moving into the toss-up category once the campaign becomes more engaged.

Solid Republican: (TOTAL: 188 Electoral Votes)

Alabama (9), Alaska (3), Arkansas (6), Idaho (4), Indiana (11), Iowa (6), Kansas (6), Kentucky (8), Louisiana (8), Mississippi (6), Missouri (10), Montana (4), Nebraska (4), North Dakota (3), Ohio (17), Oklahoma (7), South Carolina (9), South Dakota (3), Tennessee (11), Texas (40), Utah (6), West Virginia (4), Wyoming (3)

Leans Republican: (TOTAL: 84 Electoral Votes)

Florida (30), Georgia (16), Maine 2nd Congressional District (1), Michigan (15), Nevada (6), North Carolina (16)

Toss-ups: (TOTAL: 41 Electoral Votes)

Arizona (11), Nebraska 2nd Congressional District (1), Pennsylvania (19), Wisconsin (10)

Leans Democratic: (TOTAL: 50 Electoral Votes)

Colorado (10), Minnesota (10), New Hampshire (4), New Mexico (5), Oregon (8), Virginia (13)

Solid Democratic: (TOTAL: 175 Electoral Votes)

California (54), Connecticut (7), Delaware (3), DC (3), Hawaii (4), Illinois (19), Maine (3), Maryland (10), Massachusetts (11), New Jersey (14), New York (28), Rhode Island (4),

Vermont (3), Washington (12)

CNN’s inaugural Road to 270 shows Trump in a position to win the White House | CNN Politics (2024)
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