You’ll have to go to FiveThirtyEight to play with this county-by-county map, the latest attempt to visualize the changing sentiment of the American voter.
It describes the potential shifts in voters from the 2012 election if one out of every five whites without a college degree who voted for Obama in 2012 defected to Trump and if one out of every five non-whites and college-educated whites who voted for Romney in 2012 switched to Clinton.
It’s an arbitrary number, FiveThirtyEight acknowledges, based on recent polls.
Under this hypothetical, red shows Obama supporters who would shift to Trump and the blue shows Romney voters who’d shift to Clinton.
In Minnesota, for instance, this shift would be most pronounced in Lake County. The only blue that appears in the state is Carver County, a Republican stronghold.
To get a handle on how these shifts could affect the electoral landscape, we modeled how many of Romney’s votes came from college-educated whites and minorities and how many of Obama’s votes came from non-college-educated whites in each state, county and congressional district. The difference between these two vote totals, shown in the map above, can tell us where Clinton and Trump have the most potential to build on 2012.
Then we went a step further: How would the 2016 map look if one out of every five whites without a college degree who voted for Obama in 2012 defected to Trump and if one out of every five non-whites and college-educated whites who voted for Romney in 2012 switched to Clinton? (Why one out of five? It’s a somewhat arbitrary number but represents a realistic shift of these groups, according to polls released over the past few months.)
Let’s call this scenario the “2016 Vote Swap.” In it, Clinton would win the election, and her share of the two-party vote would be 52.7 percent — 0.7 percentage points higher than Obama’s 2012 showing. However, we also estimate she would win 10 fewer electoral votes than Obama did in the Electoral College.