# Optimizing electoral votes in a political simulation... 200,000+ possibilities, how to run through them?

So basically, in my government class, we are simulating a presidential election. Our grade comes from the presentation of our candidate, but as an added challenge our teacher has a running count of electoral votes garnered. How it works is like this:

1. there are only 18 states amounting to 286 delegates, so 144 needed to win

2. Candidates get a +1 'influence' in certain states (for example home state or somewhere they're popular) and -1, as do VP candidates.

3. Some states (CA and TX) have a pre-existing leaning of up to 2 'influences'.

4. You need to choose 4 issues you're against and 4 you're for, out of a list of 14. Each state has an issue they're against or for. As expected, being in agreement with a state nets you +1 in that state and disagreement nets you -1.

5. If you have more influence in the state, you win it. If it's tied at 0, then the popular vote (the class) gets to decide)

I'm trying to lock up the nomination without even needing to get the popular votes, and I'm trying to figure out what software I could use to do this. I know excel and python 3 at a basic level, but I'm wondering if there's some other way to do it.

Here is an image of what I'm talking about (as you can see, I'm playing as the republicans here). Also, the for and against positions formulas link to here. Now, if I need to choose 4 issues to be for and against, I think that's 14 choose 4 times 10 choose 4, which gives me 210,210 possible combinations. Is there a way to run through all of these to see which will give me the highest Net Electoral Vote count with the lowest closeness factor? Obviously, I don't know my opponents topics yet, but I'd like to have the largest margin of error possible to prevent them from flipping states.