The Swing States of America And Super-Votes For RFK, Part 4

We showed in Part 3 that just 1.3 million RFK votes in five Swing States accounting for just 7% of the US electorate could result in a shift of 42 Electoral Votes (27 to Trump and 15 to Kennedy) from the 2020 outcome. In turn, these shifts would cause a hung jury in the Electoral College, thereby requiring a 12th Amendment based selection of the next President in the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time in 200 years.

2024 Electoral College Outcome With 42 Vote Shift In 5 Key Swing States:
  • Biden: 264 Electoral Votes.
  • Trump: 259 Electoral Votes.
  • Kennedy: 15 Electoral Votes.
  • Needed to Win: 270 Electoral Votes.

This hung jury scenario very plausibly assumed that neither the 191 Electoral Votes in the Blue Wall states that went to Biden nor the 163 Electoral Votes in the Red Wall states that went to Trump in 2020 would change. Alas, what was not addressed is the outlook for the 11 other Swing States that exhibit a purplish hue and ended in a dead heat in 2020.  

And we do mean dead heat.The 146 Electoral Votes in these 11 states split exactly 73 votes for Biden and 73 votes for Trump. And that was on the back of a popular vote outcome among the 49.5 million total votes cast in these states that was virtually tied with 24,481,800 votes for Trump and 24,252,998 votes for Biden. Our trusty hp12C renders the difference as just 228,802 votes or 0.46% in favor of Trump.

Given the uncertainty of the incidence by which RFK will draw votes from Biden versus Trump, there is a clear risk that Biden could pick up 6 more Electoral Votes or Trump 11 more Electoral Votes compared to the 2020 outcome. Either of these small shifts within the 146 Electoral Vote total for these 11 Swing States would result in a 270 vote Electoral College victory under the scenario outline above, thereby nullifying RFK's "hung jury" route to the White House.

Indeed, the potential for shifts of these modest magnitudes is more than evident in the contrast between the 2016 and 2020 outcomes in these state. In 2016 Trump won 120 Electoral Votes versus Clinton's 26 in these states. So the real danger is in the direction of votes reverting to Trump, not additional gains by Biden.

When analyzed on a state by state basis, however, it boils down to a very targeted risk in three states, which voted for Trump in 2016 and flipped to Biden in 2020. These include Michigan (16 Electoral Votes), Wisconsin (10 Electoral Votes) and Pennsylvania (20 Electoral Votes), along with the 2nd Congressional District of Nebraska, which flipped from Trump in 2016 to Biden in 2020 by a vote of 45% to 52%. The combination of the second district of Nebraska and any one of the three states in this group reverting to Trump in 2024 would put the Donald back in the White House.

In the final section below, therefore, we address how the RFK campaign might attempt to preclude this kind of Trump recidivism. But also it needs be mentioned that the other 7 states plus Nebraska's other 4 Electoral Votes are not likely to shift, especially if the Kennedy campaign gives these areas a hall pass in terms of focused local campaigning and and advertising.
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