A look at the electoral map reveals just how narrow Trump’s possible paths are at this point. What Trump probably needs right now isn’t some magical map, but rather a fundamental shift across the board to move the environment in his direction.
But even if Trump won all of these states, he’d still be at only 260 electoral votes. Trump needs to somehow find more votes.
One potential path for Trump to win at least one of the Rust Belt (i.e. Great Lake) battleground states he won by less than a point in 2016. That is, win either Michigan (16 electoral votes), Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes) or Wisconsin (10 electoral votes).
A victory in any of these states gets him to at least 270 electoral votes.
An alternative path might be to try and win some of the electoral votes that went to Hillary Clinton in 2016. The two most likely suspects are Nevada and New Hampshire. Clinton won those by about 2 points or less last time around, and Trump has spent money on advertisements in both of those states.
If Trump won all the states where he won four years ago by 1.2 points or greater, Nevada and New Hampshire, he’d reach 270 electoral votes.
Indeed, in none of the states that Clinton won in 2016 is Biden’s lead less than 7 points.
For Trump to have a realistic shot of winning, his national deficit would have to be sliced by at least half in the final result. Most likely, Trump probably can afford to lose by 3 or 4 points nationally in order to replicate the popular vote/electoral college split that he did in 2016. In other words, he probably needs to do 6 to 7 points better nationally than he is currently doing.
(Not surprisingly, if Trump does 6 to 7 points better in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin than he currently is, then those states are about even.)
Now, Trump doesn’t need to gain back all 6 to 7 points before the election. If he can merely close Biden’s advantage by a few points, Trump could hope to get a polling miss that benefits him.
Trump, though, still needs to be doing better than he is right now for a polling error to be anything more than a true long shot to give him a second term.
Otherwise, Trump’s paths will be possible, but they won’t really be realistic.