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Sun Jun 12, 2016, 05:03 AM

Road to 270: Donald Trump faces uphill climb to White House

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/e692fe22419d452ead58fb0247eb4a49/road-270-donald-trump-faces-uphill-climb-white-house

Road to 270: Donald Trump faces uphill climb to White House

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There is a path for the billionaire real estate mogul and reality TV star to find his way to 270. But it's narrow, given the map's opening tilt toward the Democratic Party, and hinges on Trump's ability to continue to defy political norms.

Trump will need to turn out white voters in the Upper Midwest in numbers that far exceed those in past presidential elections. Even if that happens, he's still likely to need to convince women in swing-voting suburbs that he has the temperament to be commander in chief.

And he must stop his party from losing more ground among minorities, particularly Hispanics. That will be a particularly tough task against Clinton, who powered past Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side due in part to her overwhelming popularity among black voters, as well as Latinos a fast-growing voting group that is turning Southern and Western states into presidential battlegrounds.

Trump insists the rules that govern past elections don't apply to his untraditional candidacy, and he offers his victory against 16 candidates in the GOP primaries as proof. He says he will put reliably Democratic states such as New York and California in play.

But before Trump tries to expand the electoral map, he must make sure he can protect the safely Republican states the 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney won. "Trump can't even take the Romney map for granted," said Pennsylvania GOP strategist Ray Zaborney.
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