That may not hold, but Trump needs national numbers (and, therefore, state numbers) to move more in his direction to open up more paths to 270 electoral votes. If the last few days of the campaign let Clinton claw back North Carolina (for example), game over.
But the narrative from the Trump campaign has been -- justifiably -- that they're on the comeback trail. That Trump is poised to achieve the victory that he and his supporters have felt was coming for a while. How could Trump go from down 12 points last week to tied this week -- and lose next week? The answer, as above, is that even when tied, Trump was unlikely to win given (among other things) the composition of the map.
A decent-sized chunk of Trump's supporters probably won't accept that -- the idea that Trump has been likely to lose for the entire election cycle. How do we know? The New York Times and CBS News asked them.
The pollsters asked Trump and Clinton supporters if they would accept the results of the election if their candidate lost. Eighty-six percent of Clinton backers said they would; more than a quarter of Trump backers said they probably wouldn't.
Part of that is certainly due to the fact that Clinton supporters are more confident they're not going to have to deal with their candidate losing. That said, the response from Trump voters clearly isn't only sour grapes.
Asked if they thought vote fraud was common, 85 percent of Trump backers said they thought it happened a lot or sometimes. The correct answer, not much, was chosen by only 12 percent of Trump's supporters -- and about half of Clinton's.
The pollsters also asked if respondents were confident that the votes would be counted properly. More than a third of Trump supporters said they had not much or no confidence that this would happen.
We've pointed out again and again and again and again and again that Trump's claims of rigging and rampant fraud are nonsense. They are now and always were nonsense, whipped up by a candidate who's unwilling to admit defeat.
But as with so many questionable things Trump says, his supporters are inclined to believe him. Meaning that we shouldn't be at all surprised to see the results of a Hillary Clinton victory angrily disputed.