Advisers to Hillary Clinton’s campaign have identified so many paths to an Election Day victory they are now focusing not only on the one or two battlegrounds that would ensure a win but on opening up the possibility of an Electoral College landslide.
“Hillary Clinton has many paths to 270 electoral votes, more than any candidate in a generation,” said Jeff Berman, a paid consultant to her campaign.
Revealing a level of confidence Clinton’s inner circle has been eager to squash for weeks, outside advisers have now identified victories in Pennsylvania and New Hampshire as the path of least resistance, delivering for the Democratic nominee more than the 270 electoral votes needed to take the White House. And they are projecting increased confidence about her chances in Republican-leaning North Carolina, a state that could prove as critical as Ohio or Pennsylvania.
Those consultants said they see virtually no chance of Donald Trump winning Pennsylvania, a state with 20 electoral votes that tantalizes Republicans each cycle but has gone blue in the past six presidential elections. That confidence was boosted by a recent Monmouth University poll that put Clinton up 10 points over college-educated whites in that battleground state and tied with the Republican nominee among white women, a group of voters that Mitt Romney won by 9 points in 2012.
Democrats advising the campaign said they feel equally confident about her standing in New Hampshire, where Clinton was leading Trump by 15 points in a WBUR poll released in August.
Those two victories, coming on top of the 249 electoral votes that are part of the “blue wall” of states that vote firmly Democratic, would be enough to call the race for Clinton with 273 electoral votes in the bag.
But the Clinton campaign is not putting all its eggs in what looks like its sturdiest basket. A massive financial advantage over Trump has given the campaign an opportunity to keep its numerous paths to 270 open for now, aiming for a wide-open map, deep into the calendar