When it comes to politics, the United States is “united” in name only. The country has a lot of division in the way it votes.
The states elect the president. Each state has a certain number of “electoral” votes. The votes are the number of Congressional districts in the state plus two senators. For example, Florida has 27 districts plus two senators. That means it has 29 electoral votes. Of course, the people elect the “electors” by popular vote.
It takes 270 electoral votes to become president.
Eighteen states have 242 electoral votes. They tend to vote for Democrats. Of course, there is no guarantee they will in the next election. California and New York fall into this category of voting for the Democrats. It does make it hard for Republicans.
Election experts think five states will matter the most in November. They call them the “battleground” states. They are Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Arizona.
Florida. South Florida has a lot of voters. It also has a large Cuban population. Most of the Cubans do not like Trump. This is partly because of his insults to Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush. His comments about Latinos offended many.
North Carolina. This is a true toss-up state. But to reach the 270 electoral votes, Trump needs it more than Clinton. Neither of them is popular in the state.
Virginia. This state is somewhat to the left of North Carolina. But the result will be close.
Pennsylvania. Many mainstream Republicans feel Trump is not qualified to be president. There may not be enough blue-collar Trump voters.
Arizona. The state has a growing number of Hispanic voters. They may not be enough to decide the election. Voters who are Independents may join moderate Republicans. This can make the difference for Clinton.
In the end, voter turnout is the most important factor. There more registered Democrats than Republicans. There are more independents than people enrolled in a party.
This is how things look to experts today. Tomorrow may be different. There are five months of politics ahead.
Source: The Times in Plain English May 29, 2016