Nightmare scenario: Trump could lose by 5 million votes -- but still win re-election by one electoral vote
Drew Angerer, Getty Images, AFP | US President Donald Trump tosses a hat into the crowd as he arrives for a 'Make America Great Again' campaign rally in Montoursville, Pennsylvania, on May 20, 2019

President Donald Trump could potentially win re-election next year by a single electoral vote.

In that nightmare scenario for Democrats, the president could lose the popular vote -- again -- but still narrowly eke out an electoral win by holding onto four states he carried in 2016, reported Axios.

Even if Democrats flip Michigan and Pennsylvania, increase their vote totals in California and come close to winning Texas -- which could give them 5 million more votes than Trump -- their candidate could still lose if Trump narrowly wins Arizona, Florida, North Carolina and Wisconsin.

Trump lost the popular vote in 2016 by 3 million votes, but still won the electoral vote by 74.

That imbalance could be even more out of whack in 2020.

"We could be sitting on Election Day not knowing who will win," said Jim Messina, Barack Obama's campaign manager in 2012.