How Donald Trump blew up the US electoral map

Photo: Robyn Beck/ AFP/ Getty Images.

Hillary Clinton suffered a stunning loss in the presidential election against Donald Trump — and she can chalk it up to a handful of votes in surprising battleground states.

Just more than 227,000 votes split among a series of key swing states would have turned the loss into a massive Electoral College win. And breaking the numbers down even further, roughly 107,000 split between Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin — states that hadn’t gone red in decades — would have launched her to victory as well.

Within Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, just a 14 counties made the difference between a President-elect Clinton and reality — a President-elect Trump. Discounting Florida, that number drops to eight.

If she had swept the four, Clinton would have won a 307-to-231 victory in the Electoral College, and even without Florida, she would have secured a 278-to-260 win. Instead, Trump seems likely to secure more than 300 electoral votes (pending Michigan’s final results).

Here’s a look at where it went wrong for Clinton:


The Keystone state had voted for a Democratic presidential candidate in every election since 1988. That ended early Wednesday morning.

Four northeastern Pennsylvania counties played a monumental role in making that happen.

Northumberland, Schuylkill, Lackawana, and Luzerne counties saw a drastic change in their vote totals from 2012 to 2016. In 2012, they combined to provide President Barack Obama 18,561 more votes than Republican nominee Mitt Romney. This time around, voters in those four counties cast 63,917 more votes for Trump than Clinton. That was a difference of 82,478 votes between Clinton and Obama.

Clinton lost Pennsylvania by 68,236 votes, according to The New York Times.


Delegate-rich Florida, the third-largest prize on the map, saw a massive increase in voter turnout for the 2016 election in comparison with 2012 despite an overall national downturn in voters showing up to the polls.

Hurting Clinton was the vote in six west-central Florida counties. Pasco, Hernando, Citrus, Sumter, Pinellas, and Levy counties cast 38,685 more votes for Romney in 2012. In 2016, those counties cast 158,945 more votes for Trump — a difference of 120,260.

Clinton lost the state by 119,770 votes.


It just came down to one county.

Wayne County, the state’s most populous and home to Detroit, was the center of Clinton’s probable loss in the Wolverine State.

In 2012, Wayne County offered 595,846 votes for Obama and 213,814 for Romney. Trump received a few more votes than Romney, as he’s currently at 228,324, according to The Associated Press. But Clinton fell almost 80,000 votes behind Obama at 517,022. In total, the advantage she held over Trump in the county was 93,323 fewer votes than Obama enjoyed over Romney in 2012.

And she is currently losing the state by fewer than 12,000 votes.


No Republican had won at the presidential level in Wisconsin since 1984. Add another traditionally blue state to Trump’s belt.

Three counties played the biggest part in that result — and they’re all in the southeastern corner of the state.

Milwaukee, Racine, and Kenosha counties saw a dip in both the Republican and Democratic vote totals in 2016. But Clinton suffered more.

In 2012, those three counties offered 430,313 votes to Obama and 239,248 to Romney. By early Wednesday morning, votes in those counties totaled 367,262 for Clinton and 208,736 for Trump.

That led to a difference of 32,539 between Clinton’s and Obama’s advantages over their opponents in those counties.

Clinton lost Wisconsin by 27,257 votes.

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