With less than three months left until election day, the media has amped up its coverage of polls. If you’re a Hillary supporter — or just someone who can’t fathom a Donald Trump presidency — you may be a little bit disturbed by what you’ve been seeing plastered all over cable news and social media.
There’s a reason the only hoopla you here about polls from the candidates comes from the Trump campaign, or more often than not, from Trump himself. The only place Donald Trump is winning anything is inside the world of polls.
First, there are Trump’s favorites: the social media polls. Trump loves those. He’s been going crazy over his YUGE victory at the Commander-in-chief forum because a Twitter poll by NBC he tweeted to his 13 million followers came back with him in the lead. He’s also a big fan of the polls that lean red no matter what and only seems to want to talk about states like Alaska and South Carolina that haven’t voted blue since Barry Goldwater.
Here’s just a small sampling of why people tend to think the race is so close, directly from Trump’s own Twitter feed:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 9, 2016
Those are “the results” of the forum. If you talk to the average American, the result of the forum was a poor review of NBC, Matt Lauer and the entire format. It was shoddy at best and the questions one-sided. Even then, Trump made some of the most ridiculous and unpatriotic statements ever heard from a presidential candidate, showing that when this thing comes down to a head-to-head debate, Clinton will mop the floor with him.
But that doesn’t matter because the polls say he “won.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 8, 2016
He tweeted and re-tweeted those results over and over again, because people who clicked his name on the internet, not registered American voters, are what matters if you’re a delusional narcissist. Here’s another one that CNN and Trump seem to love:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 6, 2016
Oh my. Trump has a 20 point lead from among independents? Well…that could be the deal-breaker, couldn’t it? Don’t independents decide presidential elections? No, not really. A majority of Americans identify as independent when questioned for polls, but the reality is, they make up about 12 percent of the electorate after you eliminate those who typically lean red or blue. Trump is therefore 20 points ahead in a demographic roughly the size of oh, say, the black community, where he trails by estimates as high as 90 points. The Latino community is even larger, and we know how he treats people he thinks are “Mexican criminals.”
But…what about those pesky national polls? If CNN, ABC, Fox and NBC all have this thing neck and neck, meaning within the margin of error, how could it not be a close race that Trump could run away with?
Because that’s not how presidential elections in America work. There’s this thing called the electoral college that the candidates are fighting for and if you look at the polls individually, state to state, rather than worrying who will win the popular vote, this is what you’ll see:
Click the map to create your own at 270toWin.com
That’s the NPR predictions for how the election will go based on their polling. You can see that from the get-go, Hillary Clinton has 273 electoral votes, enough to win, before the battleground states of Florida, Ohio and Nevada are even counted. That’s about average for the maps available at 270 to win, a nifty interactive site where you can play around and see just how narrow Trump’s path to victory really is. There are zero maps available on the site that have a Trump victory looking even remotely possible.
You see, it doesn’t matter if Trump wins Louisiana with a 40 point margin, he gets Louisiana’s electoral votes. That margin only matters for one thing: polls.
There is always the possibility that those states in light blue manage to pull off Donald Trump upsets and that every state in gold turns towards Trump, but as of now if you look at who is solid blue and likely to be blue, Hillary Clinton will be the 45th President of the United States.