Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Electoral Maps: Where We Stand Today

Their are any number of electoral maps you can refer to when attempting to horse race the 2012 Presidential Election. A generally good starting point for how things look can be found here.

Their are a couple of things interesting about this map.

Arizona is listed as a toss up. I don't actually believe Arizona is a toss up or, rather, I'll believe it when I see it. While it's true that the state is filled largely with Tea Party crazies in the state legislature from top to bottom, and has a governor with what could best be described as a tenuous grip on reality, this is a state with a significant retiree population and, no matter how charming Tuscon and Flagstaff may be, they aren't going to overcome the rest of the state's rural, elderly nature.

That said, the fact that we even have to have this conversation about Arizona speaks volumes about how much self inflicted damage the Republican brand has done to itself in pursuit of the elderly white xenophobes that keep it in business outside of the south.

South Carolina is listed as a toss up. This is the guy the Democrats managed to put up against one of the biggest idiots in the Senate.  And We're supposed to think this state is contestable. Nope.

New Hampshire is listed as a toss up. Live Free or Die. Whatever. You might swing the state to the R column if they pick Kelly Ayotte as a VP candidate but, like the rest of New England, this will be a Democratic state in 2012.

Virginia is listed as a toss up. Virginia is interesting in a lot of ways. There may not be a state that represents the swing state dichotomy better than the difference between the relatively affluent, and liberal, suburbs of DC and Charlottsville versus the rest of the state. Obama is up by eight, in Virginia at the moment and I would expect that that lead would narrow but hold. The Senate race, with Tim Kaine taking on George 'Macaca' Allen, is the one to watch there.

Iowa is listed as a toss up. I've never bought this. Like Minnesota and Wisconsin, though the rural Republican contingent can turn out during off election cycles, an acceptable Democratic candidate should win all three of what I call the DFL states. 

If you'd have a moment, I'd recommend digging into this analysis of Iowa. Like Virginia, President Obama is up by eight points. His lead among women voters is 20 points. He has a significant lead among young voters. But PPP really buries the lead:

Obama's running basically even with Romney among seniors.

No. Really. Take a moment and think about that. The Republicans aren't even winning Seniors in Iowa. This should set off alarm bells everywhere, if you're a Republican.
Missouri, Indiana and North Carolina are what they are. I would expect that Missouri and Indiana would regress to the mean and vote Republican. The fact that Missouri and Indiana were even close is a testament to a turnout effort that, frankly, I don't think can be duplicated. What little polling we have on Clare McCaskill's Senate race in Missouri is not promsing.

 I don't honestly know what to make of North Carolina, but I would expect that the financial crisis caused enough job losses around Charlotte to cause the state to narrowly vote Republican this time around. The anti-gay rights bigots are out in full force today to approve Amendment One, so that's already a bad sign.

Florida is a toss up but, unlike in previous elections, not one the Democrats are likely to need to win, thanks to inroads made in the Mountain West and in Virginia. But if you'd like a glimpse of future voting trends in Florida, I'd direct you here for some great background on how Hispanic in migration into the I-4 corridor is swinging that state ever so slowly toward the Democrats.

There's still a long way to go. But baring a significant change, the contest you're being told is close, won't actually be close. In fact, it'll look a lot like this

Now, the Senate on the other hand.....