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The Three-Step Plan to a Trump Comeback

Donald Trump is behind in the race to 270 electoral votes with less than two weeks to go; he has a path to victory, but it’s narrow.

Trump Colorado Polls

The polls look bad for Donald Trump right now: RealClearPolitics (RCP)’s two-way average has Clinton up 5.2% with 11 days to go.

Forecasters like FiveThirtyEight are bullish on Clinton; Nate Silver’s outfit gives Clinton an 81.2% chance of winning as of Friday morning.

Still, Trump cannot be counted out just yet. He has a path to 270 electoral votes, but it’s narrow. Here’s what Trump needs to do to win:

#1: LOCK DOWN THE WEST (Trump total: 203 EVs)

Colorado is probably out of reach for Trump right now, but he still has a chance of collecting 23 electoral votes from the western trifecta of Arizona, Nevada, and Utah.

Arizona and Utah, traditionally red states, are tight — Clinton has a 1.5% lead on RCP in Arizona, and Trump has a narrow lead over independent Evan McMullin in Utah.

If Trump can cross the finish line in both, and pick up Nevada (where the latest poll showed him tied with Clinton), then he can turn his focus to the East Coast.

#2: COME BACK IN THE SOUTH (Trump total: 260 EVs)

Trump also needs to hit a trifecta in the south: Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida. He’s within the margin of error in the latter two; North Carolina went for Romney in 2012, and Florida is a perennial battleground.

Virginia will be the tallest order, perhaps of any battleground state. Clinton’s average lead in a four-way race is eight points, and it helps that her running mate is a popular senator in the state.

If Trump can beat the odds in Virginia, though, he’ll be able to stage his last stand in America’s bellwether state.

#3: WIN OHIO (Trump total: 278 EVs)

It’s been a big year for Ohio: the Cleveland Cavaliers ended that city’s championship drought, and the Indians may give the city its second sports championship in one year.

Next, Ohio might pick our new president.

Trump holds the RCP lead in Ohio, but it’s slim — 1.1%. Trump has made a heavy protectionist pitch in one of the states most impacted by U.S. trade deals and the decline in America’s manufacturing industry.

Ohio has picked the eventual president in every election since 1964; why would 2016 be any different?