• By The Financial District


President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden each has a path to the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House. Biden’s is appreciably wider, Thomas Beaumont and Aamer Madhani reported for the Associated Press (AP).

The former vice president is competitive in all the battleground states Trump carried in 2016 and has put a handful of traditional Republican states, including Georgia and Arizona, in play. That has Trump scrambling to defend a wide swath of territory and putting the incumbent’s hopes for reelection on two of the most populous swing states, Florida and Pennsylvania.

Biden can win an electoral majority most simply by carrying the three states where Trump stunned Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016: Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Those states were carried by Democrats for decades before 2016. They would give Biden 279 electoral votes, as long as he wins all the other states in Clinton’s column. Under this scenario, Biden would not need to win any other states Trump won in 2016. The three northern industrial states have been Biden’s sharpest target for advertising dollars. He spent almost $150 million — 30% of his total national ad spending since June — in the three, according to Kantar/CMAG’s review for AP.

The fiercest struggle among the three is in Pennsylvania. Biden has had a slight advantage in most polls, while some suggest Trump remains within striking distance. Biden, who was born in Scranton, claims some favorite-son status in the state. Trump’s hopes have been boosted by Biden’s recent call for phasing out fossil fuels, though Biden has said he would not ban fracking.