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Author Topic: 2016 Battleground States?  (Read 5313 times)
Likely Voter
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« on: November 05, 2012, 06:36:13 pm »
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This year saw the number of battleground states shrink. NM, MN, MO and IN all pretty much left the list from 2008. MI and PA returned at the last minute. And WI was also a late entry after Paul Ryan was put on the ticket. There were no new states added in 2012.

So what about 2016? Will the battleground map continue to shrink? And are there some states that might join (or rejoin?) the club?  Obviously if certain candidates are running that changes things as they can use favorite son to push a state into the battleground, but what about the rest?
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« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2012, 06:40:14 pm »
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Depending on who is chosen, Texas & Arizona could come into play.
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« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2012, 06:59:40 pm »
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Georgia will join the club. I think it could pass Arizona as being more ripe for the picking - something that may even be demonstrated by the final results tomorrow night.

Depending on the candidate (Clinton?), Indiana and Missouri may come into play, although I wouldn't get too excited about this possibility just yet.

I might say that Minnesota and Michigan should no longer be considered 'swing states' in any capacity, but I imagine Republicans may begin to perform better here over the next cycle or two - if they abandon the creepy SoCon agenda.
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« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2012, 07:22:01 pm »
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Same as this year with Arizona, Georgia, Missouri and Indiana joining. Montana and Texas also possibilities
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« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2012, 08:27:54 pm »
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Indiana will be going back to her GOP ways for a very long time- in other words Indiana is not a swing state.
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« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2012, 10:41:22 pm »
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Hard to predict right now, it depends on the candidates, the demographics of the states and if Romney has a great 1st term or Obama wins tomorrow and does worse than his 1st term.
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« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2012, 04:45:08 pm »
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Of the nine 2012 battlegrounds and seeing how they voted last night and the trends, I think that NV will probably drop off the list in 2016. Maybe WI and NC too. MI, MN, and PA were not really battlegrounds this time and will probably remain off the list. But the GOP need to find some states where they can make some inroads of their own on Dem turf. But not sure I see room for new Dem targets. AZ still seems out of reach. Maybe GA?
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« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2012, 05:47:16 pm »
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Of the nine 2012 battlegrounds and seeing how they voted last night and the trends, I think that NV will probably drop off the list in 2016. Maybe WI and NC too. MI, MN, and PA were not really battlegrounds this time and will probably remain off the list. But the GOP need to find some states where they can make some inroads of their own on Dem turf. But not sure I see room for new Dem targets. AZ still seems out of reach. Maybe GA?

NV actually trended Romney.
MI, MN, PA were not really battlegrounds, so I don't expect them to be battlegrounds in four years either.
GA and AZ won’t become battlegrounds in 2016.


2016 battlegrounds: FL, VA, NC, OH, NH, IA, CO, NV. Maybe even NM.

To win the White House, a Republican candidate must run the table and win FL, OH, NC, VA and one other state.

The Republicans will be forced to promise a comprehensive immigration reform and nominate a reformist, or maybe even a Hispanic candidate.
To be able to successfully rebrand themselves as immigration reformers, they will have to first block all attempts by President Obama to do the same.
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Likely Voter
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« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2012, 07:04:47 pm »
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Well all the swing states trended GOP because 2008 was such a blowout, plus Nevada's economy is in the toilet and yet Obama still won by 6 (more than PA). I think NV is headed the way of NM, as in off the table. If not in 2016, then 2020.
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« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2012, 08:30:01 pm »
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Well all the swing states trended GOP because 2008 was such a blowout, plus Nevada's economy is in the toilet and yet Obama still won by 6 (more than PA). I think NV is headed the way of NM, as in off the table. If not in 2016, then 2020.

That is assuming the margins with Hispanics stay the same.
I think that the GOP will have to become the party of immigration reform if they wish to ever again compete in a presidential election.
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Likely Voter
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« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2012, 08:42:09 pm »
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After watching the 2012 GOP primaries where all of them tried to one up each other on how big of a wall they wanted to build, and if it should or should not contain crocodiles, I ind it hard to see how they will be seen as the party leading on this issue. At best they will be seen as the party who were brought into it kicking and screaming, because you know that in the House we are still going to see the Angry White Man Tea Party coalition demagogue on the issue because they have no fear of losing their gerrymandered districts.

Face it, the Latinos arent going to spin around and start voting GOP. Maybe better margins but no way winning that vote for a long time if ever.
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« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2012, 08:58:53 pm »

In this week's election, the ordering of the states closest to the national average from biggest Obama win to smallest were:

ia > nh > pa > co > va > oh > fl

with CO as the tipping point state.

If we assume that Obama got some boost in OH from the auto bailout, which'll fade somewhat by 2016, and if we assume that Hispanic growth in CO will cause it to trend a bit more towards the Dems, then I could see PA is the #1 battleground in 2016....the state that both campaigns end up focusing the most on.  Of course it depends on who the candidates are, and what the circumstances are in a few years.

In any case, I don't think there'll be enormous shifts in just one election cycle.  Romney won Texas by, what?  16 points?  Predictions about it becoming a swing state as early as 2016 are ridiculous.
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« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2012, 09:11:24 pm »
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That's all fine, but the GOP needs FL, OH, VA, NC (not a given) and one other, say CO.

However, if everything stays the same, CO will trend further D, so the GOP would need to win the popular vote by at least 2% to barely carry CO.

If nothing is done to court the Hispanics, FL may slip out of reach, and PA alone wouldn't be enough to substitute FL. PA + CO = FL, but then the GOP would need another state, say NH.

This is such a big problem.


What else is there then?
Running up margins with the whites?

Romney’s margin was already 20 points. That's Reagan's margin against Carter.
Can that margin go any higher?
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« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2012, 09:20:16 pm »
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With the right candidate, NM could be a toss-up. Wink
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« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2012, 09:50:19 pm »
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the GOP needs to nominate a conservative, no RINO bullcrap and the party has to change itself entirely so there are less battleground states.
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« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2012, 10:25:44 pm »
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The same they have been since 2008. (Give or take a state or two, IN or NE-2 for example)



Democrats: 257
Republicans: 179
Toss-Up: 102
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« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2012, 10:56:15 pm »
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The current ones:
-Ohio
-Virginia
-Florida
-Nevada

The current ones will become blue:
-Colorado
-Wisconsin
-Iowa

The current ones that will be red:
-North Carolina

The NEW possible battleground states:
-Arizona
-Texas
-Georgia
-Mississippi (YES this will be a swing state, stop laughing!)
-Minnesota
-Indiana
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« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2012, 12:15:13 am »
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the midwest.
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« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2012, 02:10:57 am »
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Elections 2000-2012 as a basis:

D 4 times
D 3 times R once

even split (white)
R 3 times D once
D 4 times



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« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2012, 02:37:48 am »
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It probably comes down to how well the nominees fit the culture as well as the relative strengths and weaknesses of the nominees. Barack Obama was an excellent fit for Virginia for a Democrat, having won it twice -- which is the sum of all other Democrats since FDR winning the state. Bill Clinton never won it, and neither did Carter. It is possible that Virginia has become demographically more like Pennsylvania than like Alabama. 

President Obama did worse than McGovern in 1972 and Mondale in 1984 in some states. 

Florida and Ohio have been swing states for a very long time and probably will be again.

New Mexico is now more solidly D than such states as Iowa, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and even Minnesota that have generally been considered part of the Blue Firewall. Colorado and Nevada may be going that way. I can imagine a Democratic nominee winning Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico yet losing Minnesota or Pennsylvania. Minnesota, the only state that voted for the late George McGovern? It was close this time.

The weakening of unions as a political force explains West Virginia going from a sure thing for Democrats in all elections other than blowouts (the state went for Carter in 1980 and Dukakis in 1988!) Coal executives have shown themselves political thugs, perhaps expecting that they would turn such coal miners who remain into pawns of a right-wing resurgence. I expect that the Obama presidency is going to try to undercut the power of mining tycoons who misbehaved politically. 

That said, Barack Obama was a horrible match, at least culturally, for the white South and almost all rural areas.  Too cosmopolitan? Too intellectual? Not connected to fundamentalist Christianity?     
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« Reply #20 on: November 08, 2012, 06:08:55 am »
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The first thing to consider is that a large portion of the Republican vote was not necessarily anti-Democratic, it was anti-Obama, with the majority of that anti-Obama coming from either Hillary supporters (2008), people who (wrongly) believe he is a socialist (2012), and just general racists (2008 and 2012). I think by 2012 those pro-Hillary (Hillary44?) people came around to the Dem side (although I doubt that most of them honestly voted for McCain ticket in 2008). Don't have to worry about changing their minds to vote Democratic. The socialist-believing people have been, for the most part, tea party-ers. Again, don't need to worry about changing their minds. Not too many of the center-left/center-right electorate crying "socialist" either. That leaves the racist crowd. I think there is a good number of people who would have voted Democratic if the candidate was white, just being racists...

Unless some dark horse black candidate takes the national lead in 3 years ahead of the primaries, the candidate will most assuredly be not-black (it is looking increasingly like it will be Hillary Clinton). I forget who said it, but some prominent Democratic person said well before the general election that if Obama was white that Obama's re-election would have been a safe bet (as opposed to the idea that it would be a squeaker or possible loss). Here is your current crop of possible Democratic candidates who are black (i.e. most well-known persons):
-Mayor Michael Nutter (Philadelphia, PA). Yeah, good luck.
-Mayor Cory Booker (Newark, NJ). Don't have too much hope for him in NJ-Gov, and proven losers don't make good candidates.
-Rep. James Clyburn (SC 6th). He will be 75yo come primary season.
-Rep. Chaka Fattah (PA 2nd). He is way too liberal, and not well known outside of PA.
-Rep. John Lewis (GA 2nd). He will be 75yo come primary season.
-Rep. Charlie Rangel (NY 15th). Mired in a scandal, forget it.

I just don't see a black candidate making a run for it. As a result, the candidate will be someone more favorable to the racists of this country who can't vote for a black man. So this will help make traditional states that could have become swing because of the unfavorable demographics (read: more likely to have racists) be more "swing"y by 2016 and beyond.

Second thing to consider is that the economy will be so much better in 3 years that Obama will look like a genius (I'm just quoting this article, which I agree with: http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2012/11/romney_obama_and_economics_the_economy_s_already_recovering_so_whoever_wins.html ). So you won't have that many center/center-right people blaming it on "Democrats" the same way center/center-left people were blaming "Republicans" in 2008.
This will help swing states which react to the economy to the Democrats more favorably (e.g. NH and IA).

Third thing to consider is the continued influence of Hispanics in states that have significant Hispanic populations. You have to believe that the next four years will bring certain reforms to allow Hispanics to achieve citizenship easier, which will result in a larger voting population of Hispanics. Here are the states currently considered "swing states" or those we will soon be considering "swing states" and their respective % population Hispanic (along with their rank out of the 50 states):
NM - #1 - 46.3% (swing)
TX - #3 - 37.6% (soon)
AZ - #4 - 29.6% (soon)
NV - #5 - 26.5% (swing)
FL - #6 - 22.5% (swing)
CO - #7 - 20.7% (swing)
GA - #24 - 8.8% (soon)
NC - #25 - 8.4% (swing)
VA - #28 - 7.9% (swing)
(every other state is under 7%...IN 6.0%, PA 5.7%, IA 5.0%, MO 3.5%, OH 3.1%, NH 2.8%)
Something to consider with NM and NV:
NM's margin of victory was greater than PA, MN and WI in both 2008 and 2012. And more than CT in 2012.
NV's margin of victory was greater than PA in both 2008 and 2012. MN in 2008, and CT in 2012.

Fourth thing to consider is Asian-American population. Asians saw a larger increase in population (percent-wise) than Hispanics. Do keep in mind that there are 50+ million Hispanics to 17+ million Asians. Both voting blocks, though, vote strongly with Democrats. Hispanics voted 71-27, while Asians bested them at 73-26. Here are the swing state rankings like above:
(Keep in mind, HI - #1 - 57.4%, CA - #2 - 14.9%, every other state is below 10%)
NV - #3 - 9.0% (swing)
VA - #8 - 6.5% (swing)
(every other "swing" state is below 4%...TX 4.4%, GA 3.8%, CO 3.7%, AZ 3.6%, PA 3.2%, FL 3.0%, NH 2.6%, NC 2.6%, IA 2.1%, MO 2.1%, IN 2.0%, NM 2.0%)

Fifth thing is African American population:
MS - #1 - 37.3%
LA - #2 - 32.0%
GA - #3 - 30.0%
MD - #4 - 29.4%
SC - #5 - 28.5%
AL - #6 - 26.4%
NC - #7 - 21.6%
DE - #8 - 21.0%
VA - #9 - 19.9%
TN - #10 - 16.8%
FL - #11 - 15.9%
...
MI - #16 - 14.2%
OH - #17 - 12.0%
TX - #18 - 11.9%
MO - #19 - 11.5%
PA - #20 - 10.8%
(every other state of note is less than 10%)
Something interesting to note: there are only three states where Obama's margin of victory in 2012 was BETTER than in 2008. They are AK and #1 and #2 on this list, MS and LA.

So all things considered...
You might as well take NV and NM off the table. Those are technically solid DEM when you consider the Hispanic populations, Asian population in NV, and that in both 2008 and 2012, their margins bested PA (which is considered a lean-DEM at this point).
PA, IA, MN and MI are off the table for 2016. A good portion of the votes in these states come from the racist vote (cling to their guns and religion as Obama put it), and that won't have an effect in 2016. Hell, just look at how Hillary did in the 2008 primary in PA (+10 points, 55/45).
You can take NH off the table. Besides going handily for Obama in 2008 and 2012, it went for Kerry in 2004. I think NH responds well to the economy and by 2016 this won't be an issue. IA, PA, and MI will also respond well with the economy since they are in the rust belt.

This leaves (in my mind): CO, AZ, TX, FL, VA, GA, NC.
CO, FL, VA, and NC are true swing states, at the moment.
GA is in the "very soon" category, maybe by 2016. The minority vote is just too big to ignore at this point. GA's margin of victory in these last two cycles were R+5.8 and R+8.0, respectively, both under 10 points.
AZ and TX are in the "soon, but not too soon" category. AZ's margin of victories were R+9.5 and R+11.5, respectively, but that Hispanic population is too hard to ignore. Unfortunately, Phoenix is not a traditional urban environment that goes 70+% for Democrats, so it'll probably be 2020 for it to be a swing state. Same deal for TX, which had a chance to be considered sooner than later, but it blew up this year. It was R+11.8 in 2008 but R+15.9 this year, which was more than MS (R+11.9), SC (R+10.9), and AK (R+13.4).


On one final note, I just saw Alaska's margin of victory...maybe it will be swing by 2016 and beyond? This is a trend, people! Haha!
2000 - R+30.95 (Bush @58.62%)
2004 - R+25.55 (Bush @61.07%)
2008 - R+21.53 (McCain @59.42%)
2012 - R+13.26 (Romney @54.51%) (99.8% precincts reporting...I think the missing precinct data is the absentee ballots because from the count as it stands now I am seeing a drop of 100,000+ votes, which seems unusual...so this margin might increase when it finally gets to 100%, we'll see.)
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« Reply #21 on: November 08, 2012, 06:32:02 am »
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This leaves (in my mind): CO, AZ, TX, FL, VA, GA, NC.
CO, FL, VA, and NC are true swing states, at the moment.


If those are the swing states, there's no point in having a presidential election. We may as well declare the Democratic Party candidate the winner since a Democrat wouldn't need a single one of those swing states to win.

I was talking about a more realistic scenario in which the GOP does not concede the presidential election.
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« Reply #22 on: November 08, 2012, 07:07:27 am »

"Battleground states" presume a competitive election, in which the two parties are close to parity, a la 2000, 2004, and 2012.  In elections where one candidate has a big national lead, what happens on a state-by-state level is irrelevant.  So these predictions in which a dozen states move towards the Dems and nothing moves back towards the GOP don't make much sense in the context of the question being asked.  If some states are moving towards the Dems relative to the national average, then other states have to be moving towards the GOP relative to the national average.
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« Reply #23 on: November 08, 2012, 09:45:56 am »
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could Julian Castro beat Christie in Texas?
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« Reply #24 on: November 08, 2012, 03:53:57 pm »
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This leaves (in my mind): CO, AZ, TX, FL, VA, GA, NC.
CO, FL, VA, and NC are true swing states, at the moment.


If those are the swing states, there's no point in having a presidential election. We may as well declare the Democratic Party candidate the winner since a Democrat wouldn't need a single one of those swing states to win.

I was talking about a more realistic scenario in which the GOP does not concede the presidential election.


@LJube: I understand what you are saying, I am just pointing the reality of things.

Now, obviously if the economy tanks, we are talking about a different story all together, but if things stay status-quo, or the economy improves (as most expect it to do), then honestly, can you tell me that PA, NV, NM, MN, WI, MI and IA are battlegrounds given their electoral history in the past 4 elections?

PA hasn't gone Republican since 1988 when GWBush was riding off Reagan, and even then the margin was small. In 1984's landslide year, it was 6th (!!!!) in terms of states for Reagan, better than more traditional blue states like NY, VT and DE (DC went D+71.6, MN went D+0.2, MA was R+2.8, RI was R+3.6, MD was R+5.5, and next up was PA at R+7.35, followed by IA at R+7.38)
1984 R+7.35
1988 R+2.3
1992 D+9
1996 D+9.9
2000 D+4.2
2004 D+2.5
2008 D+10.3
2012 D+6.2
And the Dem's have a 1,000,000 (you read that right, one million) registration advantage in the state. It has been and will continue to be fools gold for Republicans.

Same story in Michigan. No wins since 1988. Margins are much better for Dems than PA starting in 1996, too.
1992 D+7.4
1996 D+13.2
2000 D+5.1
2004 D+3.4
2008 D+16.5
2012 D+7.5
It is NOT a battleground state.

MN is even worse for Republicans. It has not gone Republican since 1972! I have no clue how anyone thought it was a battleground in 2012. It wasn't. Democrats cleaned up in all levels in Minnesota this year.

WI is a bit worse than PA for Republicans, having not gone Republican since 1984.
1988 D+3.6 (better than PA)
1992 D+4.4
1996 D+10.3 (better than PA)
2000 D+0.2
2004 D+0.4
2008 D+13.9 (better than PA)
2012 D+6.8 (better than PA, even with Ryan on the ticket)

It is important to note that MI, WI and PA admittedly have given problems for Dems in non-presidential years. But in Presidential years? Forget it, the turn out is there.

Starting in 1992, NV turned a corner. And now Dems are 4 for the last 6 elections, and it is getting worse:
1992 D+2.6
1996 D+1.0
2000 R+3.6
2004 R+2.6
2008 D+13.5
2012 D+6.6
The demographics are just not favorable for Republicans with the Latino vote, and for 3 straight election cycles the polling averages have underestimated Democratic performance. Polling average of D+5, R+5 (Harry Reid ended up winning) and D+4. I expect there to be immigration reform in the next 3 years, at which point it is all over in Nevada.

Same deal for New Mexico as with New Mexico. Hell, in 2012 NM was already declared to be solid Dem. NM has gone D in 5 of the last 6 elections, with a razor thin margin in 2004. It is off the table.
1992 D+8.6
1996 D+7.5
2000 D+0.06
2004 R+0.8
2008 D+15.2
2012 D+9.9

Iowa...similar story here. Dems are 6 for 7 in the last 7 elections. I really don't see how this could be in play with a candidate like Hillary on the ballot, especially with the state being pretty liberal, socially (gay marriage is legal here).
1984 R+7.38 (7th worst state/territory for Reagan as described above)
1988 D+10.2
1992 D+6.0
1996 D+10.3
2000 D+0.3
2004 R+0.7
2008 D+9.6
2012 D+5.5

NH same story as Iowa, going Dem in 5 of the last 6 elections, with a pretty slim margin in 2000:
1992 D+1.3
1996 D+10.0
2000 R+1.2
2004 D+1.4
2008 D+9.6
2012 D+5.8
Like IA, I don't see how this would be in play with a candidate like Hillary. It has been fools gold for Republicans the last two election cycles.

Basically, the reality is that the Republican Party, unless they change their tone on certain issues like immigration reform, tax reform, healthcare reform, etc. they will continuously be playing on the defensive as the Democratic map expands into states once expected to be solid Republican (GA, NC, VA, AZ, TX) due to unfavorable demographics.
Giving Democrats all the states I mentioned above (NH, IA, MI, PA, NV, NM, WI) gives them 263, still not 270. With battlegrounds in NC, VA, AZ, GA, FL, OH and CO, it gives Republicans 164, and to win they have to run the table with those states, which is 100% possible, but becoming difficult given the demographics in these states.




@LJube + Mr. Morden:
I get the question, just I am saying that even in a close election like we saw this year where the economy was "eh", unemployment is high, and the presidential favorables were barely passable, states like PA, IA, WI and MI were really not "battlegrounds".

There are just so many factors that you can't really say what would be a battleground and what wouldn't.
If you want to say that the economy will go into depression in 2015, it could put traditional blue states like New York in play!
If the Republicans embrace latinos and immigration reform in the next 3 years, it could make Nevada and New Mexico competitive again.
If Republicans stop this war on women in the next 3 years and embrace women's rights, it will close the gender gap and make states like WI, PA, MI and OR competitive again.

What I wrote above in my long post is based on status quo, but with a better economy (since that is the way things are pointing) in 2015-2016, no changes in platforms for Republicans on immigration or women's rights. And if that is the case, I just don't see how NM, NV, PA, MI, WI, IA, NH and MN could be "battlegrounds" considering they haven't been in a long time.



Edit:
A good example of what I speak of is the 1932 election, the result of the great depression.
The Republicans had won 3 straight elections by landslides, 1920 (404-127), 1924 (382-136), and 1928 (444-87). I guarantee that after they won in 1928 they were probably not thinking that any of their states were battlegrounds. The following states went Republican in those 3 years:
CA, OR, WA, NV, ID, MT, WY, UT, AZ, CO, NM, ND, SD, NE, KS, MN, IA, MO, IL, IN, MI, OH, WV, PA, MD, DE, NJ, NY, CT, VT, NH, ME
The following states went twice for Republicans out of the 3:
KY, TN, OK, MA, RI, WI
These went only once for Republicans:
TX, NC, VA, FL
These went 0 times:
SC, GA, AL, MS, AR, LA

Then of course, we had the depression and pretty much every state became a battleground.
If there was no depression, and it was status quo, the map would probably have looked similar to 1928...
« Last Edit: November 08, 2012, 04:09:12 pm by tokar »Logged
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