While much has been made in recent days over tightening polls heading into the final stretch of Decision ’16, electoral math dictates that Donald Trump’s path to the presidency is still precarious as only 16 states are safe for Republicans this fall.

It follows a pattern that’s been taking shape since the election of Bill Clinton, Hillary’s husband, all the way back in 1992.

While the blue wall dictates the Clintons should resume their residency at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., it is no sure bet.

Here’s how the states have voted in the past few elections:


1992 Electoral College. Source: 270toWin.com

Source: 270 to Win

For the Democrats, are 18 states (plus D.C.) that every one of their nominees has carried since 1992: California, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan, New Jersey, Washington, Massachusetts, Maryland, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Oregon, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Rhode Island, Delaware, and Vermont, as well as the District of Columbia. In political pop culture, it is known as the blue wall.


A shift in battleground states occurred following Bill Clinton’s second term, none other more important than the state of Florida. It is a must-win for Republicans, including this year, where Donald Trump holds a slight advantage.


A controversial 271-266 electoral victory by George Bush and the Republicans in Decision ’00 highlighted the importance of swing states such as Florida, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.



Changing demographics have given some populous states more electoral votes. Texas, for example, is growing at an unprecedented rate. It now has 38 electoral votes.




Information based on FiveThirtyEight's "polls-plus" model

Information based on FiveThirtyEight’s “polls-plus” model

In addition to states leaning (or solidly) red, for a Republican victory, their candidate would have to flip at least some of those that lean Democrat: Colorado (9), Maine 2nd district (1), Michigan (16), Minnesota (10), Nevada (6), New Hampshire (4), New Mexico (5), North Carolina (15), Pennsylvania (20), Virginia (13) and Wisconsin (10).

In addition, he would have secure many of the toss-up states: Arizona (11) Florida (29), Ohio (18) Utah (6).