What is clear, though, is the importance of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan (although you could also add Minnesota to the mix). Win all three of them — let’s call them the Northern Path — and Democrats don’t need Florida, assuming they hold the other states. Lose all three, and even Florida wouldn’t be enough. Instead, they’d have to win Florida plus at least one of North Carolina, Arizona, Texas and Georgia as part of what you might call a Sunbelt Strategy.
Hillary Clinton’s problem was that Trump performed well in the Northern Path states — and she didn’t campaign in them enough — but at the same time, the Sunbelt Strategy wasn’t really ripe yet. She did much better than a typical Democratic candidate in Arizona and Texas, but not enough to actually pull off wins there.
Getting stuck in between the Northern Path and the Sunbelt Strategy is a big risk for Democrats: where their Electoral College problems become most acute. And although the potential addition of Texas to the Sunbelt Strategy group of states makes it more intriguing, Tuesday night’s results suggest that the Northern Path is still the path of least resistance for a Democrat hoping to win the Electoral College. If Trump has lost the benefit of the doubt from voters in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, he may not have so much of an Electoral College advantage in 2020.