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Electoral College Strategy for 2008. Dirksen Congressional Center August 1, 2007. 2004 Electoral Map. 2004 Electoral Map. Electoral College Snapshot, 2004. Swing State Calculus. Solid Republican South and Mountain West, plus solid Democratic Northeast, makes Midwest & Southwest pivotal

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electoral college strategy for 2008

Electoral College Strategyfor 2008

Dirksen Congressional Center

August 1, 2007

swing state calculus
Swing State Calculus
  • Solid Republican South and Mountain West, plus solid Democratic Northeast, makes Midwest & Southwest pivotal
  • Swing state income and employment rates have had particularly negative effects among white, working-class Rustbelt voters
  • Growth of Hispanic voting-age population, surpassing African Americans in 2002 as nation’s largest minority
  • Voter dissatisfaction with Iraq war
  • Significance of white Catholic vote
median income decline 2000 2006
Median Income Decline, 2000-2006

Source: Detroit Free Press


Simon & Schuster

October 2006

the non southern strategy
The Non-Southern Strategy

Makes sense no matter how you slice it:

  • Ideology: Why would the more liberal and progressive of the two parties start to rebuild itself in the most conservative region of the country?
  • Demography: Why would a female-led, multi-racial, union-oriented, urban/inner-suburban, more secular party rebuild itself in the least gender-gapped, most racially-polarized, least unionized, most rural and evangelized region?
  • History: The Northeast and West outvoted the South from 1860-1932; the Northeast flipped and, along with the South, outvoted the West from 1932-1968; the South flipped and, along with the West, outvoted the Northeast from 1968 to today. The West is due to flip next, recreating the same map the GOP used to dominate politics from 1860-1932.
  • Numerics: The South has basically cast the same share of electors for 13 decades—between 27 percent and 31 percent.
countless factors complicate a democratic revival in the south
Countless factors complicate a Democratic revival in the South:
  • In the South, the Democratic-advantageous “gender gap” is smallest among whites.
  • South is most racially-polarized region, and Democratic-voting black populations are smaller in almost every southern state than they were in 1950.
  • As it has been for four generations, the South is the least-unionized region in the country.
  • It is the most rural region in America.
  • The South is the most culturally-conservative and most religious-evangelized region of the country.
  • Southerners don’t take kindly to third-party and insurgent candidates.
how republicans keep white house
How Republicans Keep White House
  • Obviously, they could just win the same 31 states and 286 electors again!
  • If they lose Florida (27) or Ohio (20), flip one or two Midwestern states (Michigan, Minnesota or Wisconsin), or maybe Pennsylvania? If they lose some Southwestern states, they’ll need to do both.
  • White, culture war and anti-terror voters will be crucial, particularly by suburban women and rural men for Midwest gains; while returning to 2004 levels among Hispanics is key to holding the Southwest.
how democrats take white house
How Democrats Take White House

If they hold Kerry’s 19 states and 252 electors, there are four routes:

  • Single-shot Florida (27)
  • Single-shot Ohio (20)
  • Southwest route: Flip two to four among Arizona (10, least likely), Colorado (9), Nevada (5), or New Mexico (5, most likely)
  • The “36th parallel” route: Turn either Virginia (13) + West Virginia (5), or Kentucky (8) + Missouri (11).
candidate effects
Candidate effects
  • Republicans
    • John McCain—locks Arizona, but could create unrest elsewhere because of immigration position
    • Rudy Giuliani—Could put some Northeast corridor states into play, including “Metro 3” where Bush gained
    • Mitt Romney—Similar but weaker effect in Northeast, Mormonism could jeopardize white evangelical-led states
    • Fred Thompson—Secures southern base, effect elsewhere unclear
  • Democrats
    • Hillary Clinton—Default Democrat who holds all Kerry-won states, but unclear which parts of map she opens up
    • Barack Obama—Forget the non-FL South, might have traction in “new West” states
    • John Edwards—Could put some Border and Rim South states into play
electoral college strategy for 20081

Electoral College Strategyfor 2008

Dirksen Congressional Center

August 1, 2007


asian americans
Asian Americans
  • Asian Americans were 4.2 percent of the national population in 2000, and account for a higher-than-average share in nine states…only one of which is southern:
    • Hawaii (58.0 percent)
    • California (12.0 percent)
    • Washington (6.7 percent)
    • New Jersey (6.2 percent)
    • New York (6.2 percent)
    • Nevada (5.6 percent)
    • Alaska (5.2 percent)
    • Maryland (4.5 percent)
    • Virginia (4.3 percent)