As tends to happen in any national election, we’re spending a lot of time talking about the states that are the closest. Here’s the thing, though. Many of the closest states are traditionally red states where Joe Biden shouldn’t even be competitive. He doesn’t even need to win them. The fact that they’re in play is a good thing for his overall national prospects, whether he wins those particular states or not.
We’ve all spent the past week wondering if Biden will win in Texas and Georgia, which are both basically tied. We’ve almost forgotten that they’re red states, and we’ve entirely forgotten that they might merely be the cherry on top if Biden wins them. We’ve somewhat lost track of the swing states where Biden is way ahead in the polls, and we’ve forgotten that those states alone can lead him to victory.
Put another way: if we win Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, and we don’t lose any states that we won in 2016, that’s the ballgame. We’d still win the election even if we then lost Florida, Georgia, Texas, Iowa, Arizona, and Ohio. The only way we’d need to win one of those states is if we lose a state we won in 2016 and have to make up for it. Biden has a huge number of paths to victory, and Donald Trump has very few paths to victory. Trump would basically have to win seven of the nine states mentioned in this paragraph – and he’s losing several of them rather badly.
Of course we want to win big, not only to shut down any of Trump’s post-election antics, but also to pick up the Senate. But let’s not forget that Joe Biden has an almost startlingly wide path to victory. Of all the things he’s looking to do electorally, only a few of them have to go his way. Trump’s path is exceedingly narrow, and nearly everything he’s trying to do has to work. Let’s keep that mindset in mind heading into election night.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report