The Cook Political Report comes up with a piece of election trivia that illustrates the critical nature of three states in the presidential election.
1. Effectively 77,759 votes in three states (WI/PA/MI) determined the Presidency: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump won by:
22,748 votes in WI, 0.7 of a point (3rd party candidates received: 188,330)
44,307 votes in PA, 0.7 of a point, (3rd party candidates received: 218,228)
10,704 votes in MI, 0.2 of a point (3rd party candidates received: 250,902 votes)
2. Just three counties – Macomb County, MI; York County, PA and Waukesha County, WI – elected Donald Trump. If those three counties had cast zero votes, Trump would have lost all three states and the election.
OK. It is also true that both sides can play this game. Adds the Cook Report:
By the same logic, just three counties re-elected President Obama in 2012: Miami-Dade County, FL; Cuyahoga County, OH and Philadelphia, PA.
Just election trivia. And this one is more telling:
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton carried the popular vote by more than 2.8 million votes, and 2.1 percentage points. But while she narrowly improved on President Obama’s margin in non-swing states (4.1% vs. 4.0%), she vastly underperformed in the 13 swing states that actually mattered: Obama’s 3.6-percent margin in those states morphed into a 1.8-percent Trump lead.
Lots more interesting stuff, some that will challenge conventional wisdom. For example, polling was closer to the outcome in 2016 than in 2012.