The focus is now turning to the electoral “college” vote – to win in November, a candidate needs 270 of the 538 electoral votes.
Refining my estimates, I’ve applied the latest nationwide polls where there is not a state one vs one poll, and narrowed the safe goalpost to 55%. Since Hillary currently has a +2 polling lead, that means states where Barack Obama won by more than 53% are safe for Hillary. Conversely, a state had to vote by 57% for Romney to still be safe Republican.
If you accept those sketchy assumptions, the safe electoral votes are
Hillary 248 Trump 173
However, the most recent Sanders vs Trump polls have Sanders +13 (admittedly before Trump clinched the nomination – nobody cares any more)
If you apply the same math – that any state that voted more than 42% for Obama (55-13) is safe for Sanders and only states that voted 68% for Romney (55+13) are still safe for Trump – you get
Sanders 416 Trump 38
The opposing argument is it doesn’t matter what the margin of victory is – 270 and you win.
Only slightly related, the vile John Fund over at National Review online telegraphed the #nevertrump strategy for the Convention. The “thinking” is that since 40% of the delegates are pledged to Trump, but oppose Trump – they will just refuse to vote on the first ballot. Paul Ryan is being coy for a reason – he will be the person to rule on the legality of pledged delegates refusing to vote.