At least two scenarios could produce a 269-all tie – one being that all states vote the same as in 2016, with Trump surrendering Michigan and Pennsylvania while the Democratic nominee flips Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District, which barely went red in 2016 (Nebraska and Maine being the only two states that don’t allot electoral votes solely by statewide results).
The second scenario: The Democrat-to-be-determined flips Arizona, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, while Trump flips New Hampshire. Again, it’s a net loss of 37 electoral votes for Trump, down from the 306 he won back in 2016.
One problem with these scenarios: They assume volatility seldom seen in incumbent presidential elections.
In 2012, Barack Obama’s electoral vote count fell to 332, from the 365 he received in 2008 – the first such regression for a reelected incumbent since Franklin Roosevelt in 1944. Only two states flipped (both from blue to red): Indiana and North Carolina. In 2004, only three states flipped: New Hampshire turning blue; Iowa and New Mexico turning red.