How Trump wins
1. Florida, Florida, Florida (+ Southern states + a little more)

Presenting: Trump’s most logical path to victory.

I know we’ve been here before, but Florida is very clearly emerging as the most pivotal state in this presidential election — thanks both to its 29 electoral votes (second only among the swing states to Texas) and to its consistent razor-thin margins (it has been decided by about 1 percentage point in many recent elections and is a virtual tie right now).

One of the big new developments in the 2020 race is the competitiveness of some red states in the southern half of the country. Democrats have high hopes that their efforts to at last turn Arizona, Georgia and Texas blue could arrive sooner than expected. But what if it’s a bust? And what if Trump holds all of them and nips Florida?…

Were Trump to win Florida and hold his 2016 ground across the southern half of the country, Democrats’ path to victory would be significantly narrowed, though hardly prohibitive. From there, if Trump also holds the two closely polling Midwestern states he won by eight-plus points in 2016 (Iowa and Ohio), adding just Michigan or Pennsylvania alone would deliver Trump a win. Adding Minnesota or Wisconsin alone would also put him at 269 electoral college votes — enough for a tie.