Can Donald Trump Rewrite The Electoral Map For The GOP?

Donald Trump is the GOP delegate leader and has the clearest path to the presidential nomination of any remaining candidate. But does he have an electoral path to 270 in November?

There's a basic math problem for any Republican nominee. 

In every one of the past six presidential elections, Democrats have won states that add up to about 240 electoral votes — pretty close to the majority needed to win.

Republicans have won about 103 electoral votes in each of the past six elections, so there's a big hill to climb. Any GOP nominee has little room for error and would have to win all the big battleground states — Ohio, Florida, Virginia — or else find some blue states they can flip to red.

That alternative route is what the controversial real estate magnate says he can bring to the table this fall. Trump claims he is bringing in so many new voters to the Republican fold that he can win traditionally blue states, like New Jersey, Michigan or even New York.

But there were contrarian voices. Even before Trump began his march, some GOP strategists were saying minority outreach is crucial in the long run but not necessarily right away.

"If we are not going to do that, there is a way to win the presidential election by goosing the white vote. The sky is not yet falling. We are on the brink, but we are not there yet," said GOP strategist Ford O'Connell.

Trump, with his hard-line stands on trade and immigration, might be just the candidate to eke out one more electoral college win thanks to a largely white vote.

"Trump could make the map larger. Because of where he's standing with white voters right now, he would have the Democrats on their heels particularly in the industrial Midwest," predicted O'Connell.

Read more from Marra Liasson at NPR

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Analysis & Political Strategy