Dave’s 2016 Predictions

The Presidential Race

[UPDATE (7/13/2016):  These predictions were originally posted in September of 2015, long before the Primary Season began, so these predictions were made solely based on Political Party leanings and historical trends, rather than candidates. We now know who the Presidential candidates will be, and their selection has altered the electoral math somewhat.  The most significant changes have come as a result of Donald Trump winning the Republican nomination – Arizona, Georgia, and North Carolina are now widely regarded as toss-ups.  On the other hand, the long-expected nomination of Hillary Clinton has not changed the electoral math much – the only exception is that Maine’s 2nd District, worth a single electoral vote, is now considered a toss-up according to Real Clear Politics (Maine can split its electoral votes).  As far as these predictions go, however, I am only changing my prediction for one state: I am now predicting that North Carolina will go to Hillary Clinton. The original article – with the changes noted above included – appears below.]

There will be much punditry to be heard between now and November 8, 2016 – Election Day – and each pundit will try to argue that their own issues and priorities will be the absolute determining factors in deciding the election. My advice is to take it all with a large grain of salt. No matter what they say, and no matter how well-known they are, these pundits will probably be wrong.

There is one – and only one – factor that will matter on Election Day, and that factor is the number 270.

Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution mandates that “Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress”. Since there are a total of 100 Senators and 435 Representatives, and the Constitution grants the District of Columbia 3 electoral votes (as per the 23rd Amendment), there are a total of 538 electoral votes available. Under this Constitutionally-mandated Electoral College system, established by the Founding Fathers more than 200 years ago, the candidate who wins a majority of the available electoral votes will be the next President*. With 538 total votes available, a majority means at least 270 votes. This is the magic number that all campaigns strive for, because they know that getting 270 votes is all that matters.

Period.

Many people mistakenly believe that the President is elected directly by the American people – in other words, by a nation-wide popular vote – but this is simply not true. The nation-wide popular vote actually doesn’t matter at all (If you don’t believe me, I suggest you ask President Al Gore how important it is to win the nation-wide popular vote!), except as an indicator of how the electoral vote will probably go. For example, if the nation-wide popular vote is extremely close (as it was in the election of 2000), it is quite possible that the winner of the nation-wide popular vote could lose the electoral vote (see: Gore, Al). However, if the nation-wide popular vote winner wins by a wide margin, they are virtually certain (but still not guaranteed) to also win the electoral vote. The one way the popular vote truly matters is within each state, because this is how electoral votes are actually allocated. These predictions will therefore pay close attention to polling within each state.

It should also be noted that all but two states – or, more specifically, “the Legislatures thereof” in all but two states – have decided to grant their entire slate of electoral votes to the popular vote winner within that state (the District of Columbia does the same). The two other states, Maine and Nebraska, both grant two of their electoral votes to the overall state-wide popular vote winner, and their remaining votes to the popular vote winners within each Congressional district (as an example, Barack Obama received one of Nebraska’s five votes in 2008, because he won a Congressional district in the Omaha area).

This analysis, then, will be focused on each Party’s “Path to 270” – their chances of attaining that magic number of 270 electoral votes. Let’s start this off with what I believe we can all agree on. The following are lists of states that each Party is certain to win:

The Democrats are certain to win 14 states and the District of Columbia for a starting point of 186 electoral votes: California (55), Connecticut (7), Delaware (3), the District of Columbia (3), Hawaii (4), Illinois (20), Maine (4), Maryland (10), Massachusetts (11), New Jersey (14), New York (29), Oregon (7), Rhode Island (4), Vermont (3), and Washington (12).

The Republicans are certain to win 21 states for a starting point of 164 electoral votes: Alabama (9), Alaska (3), Arkansas (6), Idaho (4), Indiana (11), Kansas (6), Kentucky (8), Louisiana (8), Mississippi (6), Missouri (10), Montana (3), Nebraska (5), North Dakota (3), Oklahoma (7), South Carolina (9), South Dakota (3), Tennessee (11), Texas (38), Utah (6), West Virginia (5), and Wyoming (3).

NOTE: Regarding Maine and Nebraska, the two states that can split their electoral vote, Maine’s 2nd District and Nebraska’s 2nd District are the only ones that are really in play. I believe they will both go the same way as the rest of their respective states (Maine to the Democrats and Nebraska to the Republicans).

The remaining 15 states (representing 188 electoral votes) are generally regarded as “Toss-Ups”, and are therefore where the most attention will be focused: Arizona (11), Colorado (9), Florida (29), Georgia (16), Iowa (6), Michigan (16), Minnesota (10), Nevada (6), New Hampshire (4), New Mexico (5), North Carolina (15), Ohio (18), Pennsylvania (20), Virginia (13), and Wisconsin (10).

That is probably as far as we can go with everyone in agreement.

It is important to note that twelve of these fifteen “Toss-Up” states – all except Arizona, Georgia, and North Carolina – went for the Democrats in both 2008 and 2012, and North Carolina went Democratic in 2008.  This is a key point, and illustrates why winning Presidential elections now presents a significant challenge for the Republicans – not just for 2016, but for the foreseeable future, regardless of who their candidate might be. If the GOP can’t turn at least some of the key states from this “Toss-Up” list around, they will never again win the White House – ever – because they simply cannot reach the magic number of 270.

There are, of course, varying degrees of “Toss-Up”-ness. As I see it, of the fifteen “Toss-Up” states listed above, nine of them – Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – aren’t really “Toss-Ups” at all. Four of these nine – Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – are almost certain to go to the Democrats as all four have gone Democratic for each of the past six consecutive elections (seven consecutive elections in the case of Wisconsin), although Pennsylvania is looking closer than usual this year.  Two more of these states – New Hampshire and New Mexico – have a strong likelihood of going for the Democrats as both have gone Democratic for five of the last six elections. In addition, Nevada has to be considered to be at least leaning towards the Democrats, having gone Democratic for two consecutive elections and four of the last six, and having undergone demographic shifts that will continue to heavily favor the Democrats in Presidential elections (namely the huge growth in the Black and Hispanic populations in Clark County, which includes Las Vegas). The remaining two states out of these nine – Arizona and Georgia – have a strong likelihood of going for the Republicans, as both have gone Republican in five of the last six elections (in fact, other than 1996, Arizona hasn’t gone Democratic in any of the past 13 elections, and except for 1992, the only times Georgia has gone Democratic in the past 13 elections were the two years when Georgia’s own Jimmy Carter was on the ballot – 1976 and 1980).

If these numbers are correct, the Democrats would have an actual starting point of 257 electoral votes, and the Republicans would have an actual starting point of 191 electoral votes. The remaining six states – Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia – are the true “Toss-Ups” and will ultimately decide the election. In order to win the White House, the Democrats only need to add Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, or Virginia – any one of the four will do – or they could win both Colorado and Iowa. The Republicans, on the other hand, must win five out of the six, and those five must include Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia.

Clearly, the Democrats have the easier path to 270, and the Republicans have the tougher road to hoe in this election.

What follows are Dave’s well-reasoned, exhaustively researched, extremely long-winded, and, of course, absolutely undoubtedly correct state-by-state predictions for the 2016 Presidential elections (for what it’s worth, I was 51 for 51 – correctly predicting all 50 states plus the District of Columbia – in 2012). Along with my analysis for each state, I have listed some basic information and historical trends.  The basic information includes the number of electoral votes the state will cast and the current politics in each state:  the Governor, Partisan State-Wide Offices (I have excluded “Non-Partisan” offices), U.S. Senators, Congressional Delegation, State Legislative houses, and voter registration percentages.  I have done this in an attempt to determine the current political leanings of each state.  The obvious caveat is that, by definition, battleground states are going to be fairly evenly split.  The historical trends are pretty straightforward – they are simply the margin (by percentage) by which the state was decided in 2012, the results (by party) of the last 13 Presidential elections (from 1964 through 2012, the elections that have taken place during my lifetime), and whether or not that state voted for the national winner in each election (designated by bold type).  I have also provided maps to show the geographic location of each state, for those of you who never did well in Geography class. The current Real Clear Politics (RCP) status [Updated as of 9/8/16] and links to the latest polls have also been provided where available. Lastly, I have noted any change to each state’s status which has resulted from the selection of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as their respective party’s candidates.

These state-by-state predictions can be summarized as follows:

The Democrats will win 26 states plus the District of Columbia, for a total of 318 electoral votes and the Presidency: California (55), Colorado (9), Connecticut (7), Delaware (3), the District of Columbia (3), Hawaii (4), Illinois (20), Iowa (6), Maine (4), Maryland (10), Massachusetts (11), Michigan (16), Minnesota (10), Nevada (6), New Hampshire (4), New Jersey (14), New Mexico (5), New York (29), North Carolina (15), Ohio (18), Oregon (7), Pennsylvania (20), Rhode Island (4), Vermont (3), Virginia (13), Washington (12), and Wisconsin (10).

The Republicans will win 24 states, for a total of 220 electoral votes: Alabama (9), Alaska (3), Arizona (11), Arkansas (6), Florida (29), Georgia (16), Idaho (4), Indiana (11), Kansas (6), Kentucky (8), Louisiana (8), Mississippi (6), Missouri (10), Montana (3), Nebraska (5), North Dakota (3), Oklahoma (7), South Carolina (9), South Dakota (3), Tennessee (11), Texas (38), Utah (6), West Virginia (5), and Wyoming (3).

OK, just for the sake of argument, let’s assume that I’m biased towards the Democrats and have engaged in some “wishful thinking” on some of my predictions for “toss-up” states (not an unreasonable assumption). I think it is still safe to say that my overall prediction (a Democratic victory) will hold true, since the Democrats clearly have more leeway in their “Path to 270”. Given how chaotic the Trump campaign seems to be, I don’t see the Republican ticket overcoming the electoral math. President Hillary Clinton will therefore be inaugurated on January 20th, 2017.

You heard it here first!

 

* OK, there’s a caveat: if no candidate wins an outright majority – in a race with three or more candidates, for example – then the House chooses the President from among the top three candidates, with each state delegation having just one vote, and the Senate chooses the Vice President from among the top two candidates, with each Senator having one vote. And here’s the fun part: there is no requirement that the House and Senate chose candidates from the same party!

 

So, enough with the preamble; let’s get to Dave’s Predictions:

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ALABAMA (9)

Governor:  Robert J. Bentley (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 10 Rep/0 Dem

Senators:  Richard Shelby (R); Jeff Sessions (R)

House Delegation:  6 Rep/1 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  48% Rep/34% Dem

State Legislature:  House: 72 Rep/33 Dem;  Senate:  25 Rep/8 Dem

2012 Margin:  Romney +22.2%

 

Alabama_in_United_States.svg
Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

1964

1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012
R I R D R R R R R R R R

R

Analysis:    Alabama is among the most conservative states in the Union, and there is no particular reason to think that would have changed in any way.  With the exception of 1968, when the state went for its favorite son and segregationist Governor, George Wallace (who ran as an Independent to the right of the GOP), and 1976, when it went for fellow southerner Jimmy Carter, Alabama has voted Republican in every other Presidential election since 1964. In fact, this was one of only 6 states to vote for Barry Goldwater that year.  I don’t think anybody out there believes Alabama doesn’t go for the Republican in 2016.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Republican

Current RCP Status:  Solid Republican

Latest Alabama Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none

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ALASKA (3)

Governor:  Bill Walker (I)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 1 Rep/1 Dem/1 Ind

Senators:  Lisa Murkowski (R); Dan Sullivan (R)

House Delegation:  Don Young (R)

Partisan Breakdown:  26% Rep/15% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 23 Rep/16 Dem/1 Ind;  Senate:  14 Rep/6 Dem

2012 Margin:             Romney +13.4%

 

Alaska_in_United_States.svg
Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

1964

1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012
D R R R R R R R R R R R

R

Analysis:    Alaska has only voted for a Democratic President one time since becoming a state, and that was back in 1964 when Lyndon Johnson crushed Barry Goldwater.  There is absolutely no reason to think the Democrats stand a chance here.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Republican

Current RCP Status:  Solid Republican

Latest Alaska Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none

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ARIZONA (11)

Governor:  Doug Ducey (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 10 Rep/0 Dem

Senators:  John McCain (R); Jeff Flake (R)

House Delegation:  5 Rep/4 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  36% Rep/32% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 38 Rep/22 Dem;  Senate:  17 Rep/13 Dem

2012 Margin:             Romney +11.1%

Arizona_in_United_States.svg
Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

1964

1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012
R R R R R R R R D R R R

R

Analysis:  Arizona toyed with the idea of becoming something close to a swing state back in the 1990’s, even voting for Bill Clinton for President in 1996.  That didn’t last, however, and Arizona went back to acting like its old conservative self.  This year it seems to be toying with the idea of being a battleground again (largely due to Donald Trump’s rhetoric about Hispanics, which make up close to a third of Arizona voters), but I don’t think there is any way the state goes Democratic in 2016.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Republican

Current RCP Status:  Toss-Up

Latest Arizona Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  Arizona is now considered a Toss-Up on Real Clear Politics and elsewhere as a result of Donald Trump’s selection as the GOP candidate (especially his remarks about Hispanics), but the end result will remain that Arizona goes for the Republicans.

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ARKANSAS (6)

Governor:  Asa Hutchinson (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 8 Rep/0 Dem

Senators:  John Boozman (R); Tom Cotton (R)

House Delegation:  4 Rep/0 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  41% Rep/31% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 63 Rep/36 Dem/1 Ind;  Senate:  21 Rep/14 Dem

2012 Margin:             Romney +23.7%

 Arkansas_in_United_States.svg
Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

1964

1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012
D I R D R R R D D R R R

R

Analysis:  Arkansas is more conservative than the above Presidential voting history would seem to indicate.  It has voted Democratic 4 times in the past 13 elections, but those 4 were in 1964, when LBJ won all but 6 states; 1976, when Jimmy Carter, a fellow southerner, was running; and in both 1992 and 1996, when favorite son Bill Clinton was on the ballot.  With those exceptions, along with 1968, when it went for segregationist George Wallace, this state always votes for Republicans for President.  Despite Hillary Clinton’s past as Arkansas’ First Lady, I believe Arkansas will once again end up in the Republican column.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Republican

Current RCP Status:  Solid Republican

Latest Arkansas Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none

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California (55)

Governor:  Jerry Brown (D)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 0 Rep/7 Dem

Senators:  Dianne Feinstein (D); Barbara Boxer (D)

House Delegation:  15 Rep/38 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  31% Rep/44% Dem

State Legislature:      Assembly: 28 Rep/52 Dem;  Senate:  14 Rep/26 Dem

2012 Margin:             Obama +20.5%

California_in_United_States.svg
Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

1964

1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012
   D R R R R R R D D D D D

D

Analysis:  California holds a treasure trove of 55 electoral votes – more than 20% of the 270 needed to with the Presidency – making it a key part of any candidate’s “path to 270”.  Republicans who make a show of campaigning in California like to point out that the state went Republican for six consecutive elections (1968-1988), but don’t be fooled; those six elections all involved a GOP candidate who was either a “Favorite Son” (Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan), or the Vice President who served under one of those Favorite Sons (Gerald Ford and George Bush). That won’t be the case this time around. Currently the Governor, both Senators, and every other office elected on a state-wide basis are all Democrats, and the State Legislature is just shy of veto-proof Democratic majorities in both Houses (1 seat away in the Assembly, 2 seats away in the State Senate). This is a solid Democratic state, and regardless of what the eventual GOP nominee tries to claim, there is no chance that the Republicans win here.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Democratic

Current RCP Status:  Solid Democratic

Latest California Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none

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Colorado (9)

Governor:  John Hickenlooper (D)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 3 Rep/2 Dem

Senators:  Michael Bennet (D); Cory Gardner (R)

House Delegation:  4 Rep/3 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  35% Rep/33% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 31 Rep/34 Dem;  Senate:  18 Rep/17 Dem

2012 Margin:             Obama +4.7%

Colorado_in_United_States.svg
Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

1964

1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012
D R R R R R R D R R R D

D

Analysis:  For decades, Colorado was a reliable Republican state, only going for the Democratic ticket twice in 11 elections over 40 years from 1964 to 2004. Even those two exceptions lent credence to Colorado’s strong Republican leanings: in 1964, Lyndon Johnson won all but six states in the aftermath of the JFK assassination and GOP Candidate Barry Goldwater’s perceived extremism.  In 1992, Ross Perot was able to take enough votes away from President George Bush to give the state to Bill Clinton. These were recognized as exceptional situations, however, and Colorado’s “Reliably Republican” status went unchallenged. That status has now changed. In both 2008 and 2012, Colorado went for Democrat Barack Obama, serving as a key battleground state in both elections. I have no doubt that Colorado will be one of the hardest-fought states in the 2016 Presidential contest, but given the higher Democratic turnout in Presidential election years (as compared to mid-term elections), I think the Democrats pull out a victory here. It will be extremely close, but they’ll win it.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Democratic

Current RCP Status:  Leans Democratic

Latest Colorado Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none

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Connecticut (7)

Governor:  Dannel P. Malloy (D)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 0 Rep/6 Dem

Senators:  Richard Blumenthal (D); Christopher S. Murphy (D)

House Delegation:  0 Rep/5 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  20% Rep/37% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 64 Rep/87 Dem;  Senate:  15 Rep/20 Dem/1 Ind

2012 Margin:             Obama +17.2%

Connecticut_in_United_States_(zoom).svg
Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

1964

1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012
D D R R R R R D D D D D

D

Analysis:  For 5 straight elections (1972 – 1988), Connecticut went Republican. No more. This is about as solidly Democratic as a state can be (as are all but one of the New England states; the exception is New Hampshire). Connecticut has now gone for the Democrats for the last 6 elections, and I don’t see any reason to think that will change in 2016.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Democratic

Current RCP Status:  Likely Democratic

Latest Connecticut Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none

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Delaware (3)

Governor:  Jack Markell (D)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 2 Rep/4 Dem

Senators:  Tom Carper (D); Chris Coons (D)

House Delegation:  John Carney (D)

Partisan Breakdown:  29% Rep/47% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 64 Rep/87 Dem;  Senate:  15 Rep/20 Dem/1 Ind

2012 Margin:             Obama +18.6%

Delaware_in_United_States_(zoom).svg
Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

1964

1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012
D R R D R R R D D D D D

D

Analysis:  Delaware was once more of a battleground, but not anymore. It voted for Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan twice each, and for George Bush once. However, it has now gone for the Democrats 6 consecutive times, and it will again in 2016.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Democratic

Current RCP Status:  Likely Democratic

Latest Delaware Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none

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District of Columbia (3)

Mayor:  Muriel Bowser (D)

“Shadow” Senator:  Michael D. Brown (I)

Non-Voting Representative in the House:  Eleanor Holmes Norton (D)

Partisan Breakdown:  6% Rep/76% Dem

City Council: 0 Rep/11 Dem/ 2 Ind

2012 Margin:             Obama +84.1%

 

Washington,_D.C._locator_map.svg
Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

1964

1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012
D D D D D D D D D D D D

D

Analysis:  The District of Columbia has only been able to cast Electoral Votes for President since the passage of the 23rd Amendment to the Constitution (ratified in 1961), meaning that 1964 was the first election in which those three votes were factored into a Presidential Election. Since then, the District of Columbia has never gone for the Republican candidate – ever – not even in 1972 and 1984, when the Republican candidates each won 49 states (Richard Nixon in ’72 and Ronald Reagan in ’84). In both of those years, the hapless Democratic candidates each managed to win just one state (George McGovern won Massachusetts in ’72 and Walter Mondale won Minnesota in ’84), but they both also managed to win the District of Columbia. The simple fact is that the District is overwhelmingly Democratic. Long story short: there is no way the Democrats lose here.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Democratic

Current RCP Status:  Solid Democratic

Latest District of Columbia Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none

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Florida (29)

Governor:  Rick Scott (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 6 Rep/0 Dem

Senators:  Bill Nelson (D); Marco Rubio (R)

House Delegation:  17 Rep/10 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  36% Rep/41% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 81 Rep/39 Dem;  Senate:  26 Rep/14 Dem

2012 Margin:             Obama +0.6%

Florida_in_United_States.svg
Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

1964

1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012
D R R D R R R R D R R D

D

Analysis:  Florida. Just saying the word conjures up images of hanging chads, mandatory recounts, and all the rest of the mess from the 2000 election. While that is perhaps the first thing people think of when they think of elections in Florida, what has gone almost unnoticed is that Florida has replaced Missouri as a so-called “bellwether state”, having gone for the winning candidate every year since 1964 except 1992, when Ross Perot took enough votes away from President Bush to hand the election to Bill Clinton. Florida will once again be one of the key battleground states this year, but this time around it won’t end up going for the overall winner. Two popular political figures from Florida were in the GOP Presidential race: former Governor Jeb Bush and current Senator Marco Rubio. Neither of these two fared well in the Primaries, and both have made no secret of their disdain for Donald Trump. That being said, just the facts that every state-wide office (except for Bill Nelson’s Senate seat) is held by a Republican, and the Republicans have “super-majorities” of 2/3 in both Houses of the State Legislature could serve as an indication of how things will go in a battleground state like Florida.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Republican

Current RCP Status:  Toss-Up

Latest Florida Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none

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Georgia (16)

Governor:  Nathan Deal (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 13 Rep/0 Dem

Senators:  Johnny Isakson (R); David Perdue (R)

House Delegation:  10 Rep/4 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  44% Rep/32% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 120 Rep/59 Dem/1 Ind;  Senate:  38 Rep/18 Dem

2012 Margin:             Romney +8.0%

Georgia_in_United_States.svg
Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

1964

1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012
R I R D D R R D R R R R

R

Analysis:  Georgia is one of the most conservative states in the country. Georgia is so conservative it was one of only 6 states won by Barry Goldwater in 1964, and in 1968 it went for Alabama Governor George Wallace, who was running as an Independent to the right of the GOP candidate (Richard Nixon). In fact, other than in 1976 and 1980, when Georgia’s own Jimmy Carter was the Democratic nominee, and 1992, when Ross Perot took enough votes away from President Bush to hand the election to Bill Clinton, Georgia never goes for the Democrat. It won’t in 2016 either.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Republican

Current RCP Status:  Toss-Up

Latest Georgia Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  Georgia is now considered a Toss-Up on Real Clear Politics and elsewhere, but the end result will remain that Georgia goes for the Republicans.

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Hawaii (4)

Governor:  David Ige (D)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 0 Rep/3 Dem

Senators:  Brian Schatz (D); Mazie Hirono (D)

House Delegation:  0 Rep/2 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  23% Rep/40% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 7 Rep/44 Dem;  Senate:  1 Rep/24 Dem

2012 Margin:             Obama +42.7%

Hawaii_in_United_States_(zoom).svg
Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

1964

1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012
D D R D D R D D D D D D

D

Analysis:  Hawaii became the 50th State of the Union in 1959, and has only cast votes for President since 1960. In that time, it has only gone Republican twice – in 1972 and 1984, the two years that the Republican candidates (Richard Nixon in 1972 and Ronald Reagan in 1984) each won 49 of the 50 states. 2016 will not end up as that kind of landslide, and absent those conditions, Hawaii will be reliably Democratic.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Democratic

Current RCP Status:  Solid Democratic

Latest Hawaii Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none

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Idaho (4)

Governor:  C. L. “Butch” Otter (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 7 Rep/0 Dem

Senators:  Mike Crapo (R); Jim Risch (R)

House Delegation:  2 Rep/0 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  50% Rep/22% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 56 Rep/14 Dem;  Senate:  28 Rep/7 Dem

2012 Margin:             Romney +31.9%

Idaho_in_United_States.svg
Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

1964

1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012
D R R R R R R R R R R R

R

Analysis:  Idaho has only gone Democratic once in the last 13 elections, and that was back in 1964 when Lyndon Johnson trounced Barry Goldwater. The partisan breakdown of the voters in Idaho is overwhelmingly Republican. There is absolutely no reason to think that Idaho will change its stripes any time soon.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Republican

Current RCP Status:  Solid Republican

Latest Idaho Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none

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Illinois (20)

Governor:  Bruce Rauner (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 5 Rep/6 Dem

Senators:  Dick Durbin (D); Mark Kirk (R)

House Delegation:  8 Rep/10 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  31% Rep/46% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 47 Rep/71 Dem;  Senate:  20 Rep/39 Dem

2012 Margin:             Obama +16.2%

Illinois_in_United_States.svg
Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

1964

1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012
D R R R R R R D D D D D

D

Analysis:  Idaho has only gone Democratic once in the last 13 elections, and that was back in 1964 when Lyndon Johnson trounced Barry Goldwater. The partisan breakdown of the voters in Idaho is overwhelmingly Republican. There is absolutely no reason to think that Idaho will change its stripes any time soon.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Democratic

Current RCP Status:  Likely Democratic

Latest Illinois Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none

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Indiana (11)

Governor:  Mike Pence (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 6 Rep/1 Dem

Senators:  Dan Coats (R); Joe Donnelly (D)

House Delegation:  7 Rep/2 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  46% Rep/32% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 71 Rep/29 Dem;  Senate:  40 Rep/10 Dem

2012 Margin:             Romney +10.5%

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Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

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Analysis:  Indiana surprised pretty much everybody by going for Barack Obama in 2008. This was the first time since 1964 that Indiana had gone for a Democratic Presidential candidate, and very few pundits saw it coming. Four years later, the State went back to its usual routine of voting Republican in Presidential races; Romney won here by a double digit margin. That routine will continue in 2016.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Republican

Current RCP Status:  Leans Republican

Latest Indiana Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none; the selection of Mike Pence as Donald Trump’s running mate will only solidify Indiana for the GOP.

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Iowa (6)

Governor:  Terry E. Branstad (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 5 Rep/2 Dem

Senators:  Chuck Grassley (R); Joni Ernst (R)

House Delegation:  3 Rep/1 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  32% Rep/31% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 57 Rep/43 Dem;  Senate:  26 Rep/24 Dem

2012 Margin:             Obama +5.7%

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Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

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Analysis:  Iowa is one of the true battleground states when it comes to Presidential elections. Despite having gone for the Democratic candidate in 6 of the last 7 elections (prior to that, it went Republican for 5 straight elections), and despite the fact that President Obama won here by more than 5% in 2012, the simple fact is that Iowa will be close. Anyone who tells you different is kidding themselves. Look at the partisan breakdown of the voting population (32% – 31%). Look at the Representation in the State Senate (26 – 24). The House delegation is one seat away from becoming a 2-2 tie, and the State House of Representatives is only 7 seats away from a 50-50 split. This really is a true battleground state, but I am predicting that Iowa goes Democratic again in 2016. I can’t say I’m certain of that, but if it does, you heard it here first.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Democratic

Current RCP Status:  Toss-Up

Latest Iowa Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none

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Kansas (6)

Governor:  Sam Brownback (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 7 Rep/0 Dem

Senators:  Pat Roberts (R); Jerry Moran (R)

House Delegation:  4 Rep/0 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  44% Rep/27% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 97 Rep/28 Dem;  Senate:  32 Rep/8 Dem

2012 Margin:             Romney +22.2%

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Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

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Analysis:  Kansas is arguably the most Republican state in the union. It hasn’t gone for a Democrat since Lyndon Johnson in 1964, and it’s not about to in 2016 either.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Republican

Current RCP Status:  Likely Republican

Latest Kansas Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none

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Kentucky (8)

Governor:  Steve Beshear (D)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 1 Rep/5 Dem

Senators:  Mitch McConnell (R); Rand Paul (R)

House Delegation:  5 Rep/1 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  37% Rep/37% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 54 Rep/46 Dem;  Senate:  27 Rep/11 Dem

2012 Margin:             Romney +22.7%

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Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

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1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012
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Analysis:  Kentucky had been on a long winning streak, voting for the overall winner in every election from 1964 to 2004, but over the years has grown more conservative – in fact, only 7 states went for Romney by higher margins than Kentucky in 2012. Other than voting for Bill Clinton (twice), Kentucky hasn’t gone for a Democrat since Jimmy Carter, and it’s not about to abandon the Republicans now.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Republican

Current RCP Status:  Solid Republican

Latest Kentucky Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none

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Louisiana (8)

Governor:  Bobby Jindal (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 10 Rep/2 Dem

Senators:  David Vitter (R); Bill Cassidy (R)

House Delegation:  5 Rep/1 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  51% Rep/26% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 59 Rep/44 Dem/2 Ind;  Senate:  26 Rep/13 Dem

2012 Margin:             Romney +17.3%

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Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

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Analysis:  Louisiana has always supported Republicans – unless there was a Southern candidate on the ballot (Jimmy Carter in 1976, Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996, and George Wallace – an Independent, not a Democrat – in 1968). The only exception in the last 13 elections is 1964, when Louisiana stuck with Barry Goldwater, the Republican candidate, over southerner Lyndon Johnson (one of just 6 states to do so). The state has become even more conservative since Hurricane Katrina, which resulted in thousands of minority voters (primarily Democratic voters) moving out of the state permanently. There is no real chance for the Democrats here.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Republican

Current RCP Status:  Likely Republican

Latest Louisiana Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none

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Maine (4)

Governor:  Paul LePage (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 1 Rep/2 Dem/1 Ind

Senators:  Susan Collins (R); Angus King (I)

House Delegation:  1 Rep/1 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  28% Rep/33% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 67 Rep/78 Dem/4 Ind;  Senate:  20 Rep/15 Dem

2012 Margin:             Obama +15.1%

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Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

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Analysis:  Maine is one of the more competitive of the New England states. It has gone for the Democrat in each of the past 6 elections, but went Republican in the 5 elections before that. Until recently, both US Senators were Republican (Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe), but former Governor Angus King has taken Senator Snowe’s seat as an Independent who caucuses with the Democrats. The House delegation is split, the State Legislature is split, and voter registration is fairly evenly split. Perhaps it is appropriate then that Maine can split its electoral vote, one of only two states that do so (the other is Nebraska). Two electoral votes go to the overall winner in the state, but the other two go to the winner within each Congressional district. Such a split is rare, but it does happen (Barack Obama won one of Nebraska’s votes in 2008, for example), but it won’t happen this time around. All four votes will go to the Democrats.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Democratic

Current RCP Status:  Leans Democratic overall; 2nd District is a Toss-Up

Latest Maine Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none

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Maryland (10)

Governor:  Larry Hogan (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 4 Rep/2 Dem

Senators:  Barbara Mikulski (D); Ben Cardin (D)

House Delegation:  1 Rep/7 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  27% Rep/56% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 50 Rep/91 Dem;  Senate:  14 Rep/33 Dem

2012 Margin:             Obama +25.2%

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Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

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Analysis:  Maryland has been a reliable Democratic state since 1992, and with the overwhelming Democratic advantage in voter registration and in the State Legislature, there is no good reason to think things will be different in 2016.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Democratic

Current RCP Status:  Solid Democratic

Latest Maryland Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none

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Massachusetts (11)

Governor:  Charlie Baker (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 2 Rep/4 Dem

Senators:  Elizabeth Warren (D); Ed Markey (D)

House Delegation:  0 Rep/9 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  11% Rep/37% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 35 Rep/125 Dem;  Senate:  6 Rep/34 Dem

2012 Margin:             Obama +23.1%

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Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

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Analysis:  Other than going for Ronald Reagan twice, Massachusetts is one of the most reliably Democratic states in the country. In fact, it was the only state to vote for George McGovern in 1972; Richard Nixon won all 49 of the other states (McGovern also won the District of Columbia). This one’s a real no-brainer: the Democrats will win here again.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Democratic

Current RCP Status:  Solid Democratic

Latest Massachusetts Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none

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Michigan (16)

Governor:  Rick Snyder (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 4 Rep/0 Dem

Senators:  Debbie Stabenow (D); Gary Peters (D)

House Delegation:  5 Rep/9 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  33% Rep/40% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 61 Rep/46 Dem; Senate:  27 Rep/11 Dem

2012 Margin:             Obama +8.5%

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Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

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1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012
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Analysis:  Michigan is on the list of Battleground states every election, but it has slowly become a reliable Democratic state. In each of the past 6 elections the state went Democratic, and despite some Republican successes here in recent years (they hold the Governorship and majorities in both Houses of the State Legislature), I think the people of Michigan hold those Republicans (especially Governor Rick Snyder) responsible – as they should – for the disastrous water crisis in the city of Flint. Michigan is going to go to the Democrats again.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Democratic

Current RCP Status:  Leans Democratic

Latest Michigan Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  Michigan’s economic woes are often blamed on NAFTA and other free trade agreements signed by President Bill Clinton, which could make things a bit tougher for Hillary Clinton here, but not enough to change the end result.

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Minnesota (10)

Governor:  Mark Dayton (DFL)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 0 Rep/6 Dem

Senators:  Amy Klobuchar (DFL); Al Franken (DFL)

House Delegation:  3 Rep/5 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  30% Rep/46% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 60 Rep/72 Dem;  Senate:  28 Rep/39 Dem

2012 Margin:             Obama +7.6%

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Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

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1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012
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Analysis:  Every election Minnesota is considered to be a battleground, but every year it goes to the Democrats – even in 1984, when Ronald Reagan won all 49 of the other states. Over the past 13 elections, only in 1972 did it go to the Republican (Richard Nixon), the other year the Republicans won 49 of 50 states. There will be talk about Minnesota being in play again this year, but it will again go to the Democrats.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Democratic

Current RCP Status:  Leans Democratic

Latest Minnesota Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none

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Mississippi (6)

Governor:  Phil Bryant (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 8 Rep/2 Dem

Senators:  Thad Cochran (R); Roger Wicker (R)

House Delegation:  3 Rep/1 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  47% Rep/38% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 67 Rep/55 Dem;  Senate:  31 Rep/20 Dem/1 Ind

2012 Margin:             Romney +11.8%

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Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

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1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012
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Analysis: Mississippi is one of the few states that can legitimately lay claim to the title of the most conservative state in the country. Since 1964, only fellow southerner Jimmy Carter – and Independent George Wallace, who was running to the right of the GOP – have been able to pry Mississippi’s vote away from the Republicans, and 2016 won’t be any different.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Republican

Current RCP Status:  Likely Republican

Latest Mississippi Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none

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Missouri (10)

Governor:  Jay Nixon (D)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 1 Rep/5 Dem

Senators:  Claire McCaskill (D); Roy Blunt (R)

House Delegation:  6 Rep/2 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  39% Rep/37% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 116 Rep/44 Dem/1 Ind;  Senate:  25 Rep/8 Dem

2012 Margin:             Romney +9.6%

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Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

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1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012
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Analysis: Long known as “the Bellwether State” because it (almost) always had gone for the overall winner of the election, Missouri has undergone a shift to the right as of late. This state will certainly be considered a battleground again this time around, but I believe it will ultimately go for the Republicans.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Republican

Current RCP Status:  Toss-Up

Latest Missouri Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none

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Montana (3)

Governor:  Steve Bullock (D)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 6 Rep/5 Dem

Senators:  Jon Tester (D); Steve Daines (R)

House Delegation:  Ryan Zinke (R)

Partisan Breakdown:  39% Rep/32% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 59 Rep/41 Dem;  Senate:  29 Rep/21 Dem

2012 Margin:             Romney +13.5%

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Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

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Analysis: Montana is generally a reliable Republican state at the national level, although at the state level it has elected two consecutive Democrats to the Governor’s mansion (Brian Schweitzer and Steve Bullock). Other than going for Bill Clinton in 1992 (which many pundits regarded as a fluke), Montana hasn’t voted for a Democrat for President since Lyndon Johnson in 1964. I don’t think the Democrats have a prayer here – even if Brian Schweitzer is on the ticket.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Republican

Current RCP Status:  Likely Republican

Latest Montana Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none

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Nebraska (5)

Governor:  Pete Ricketts (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 10 Rep/1 Dem

Senators:  Deb Fischer (R); Ben Sasse (R)

House Delegation:  2 Rep/1 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  48% Rep/34% Dem

State Legislature:      Unicameral and Non-Partisan

2012 Margin:             Romney +22.7%

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Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

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1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012
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* In 2008, one of Nebraska’s electoral votes went to Democrat Barack Obama, because he won in the 2nd Congressional District (Omaha area).

Analysis: Nebraska hasn’t gone for a Democrat in more than 50 years (since voting for Lyndon Johnson in 1964), with the exception of 2008, when one of its five electoral votes went to Barack Obama. Nebraska is one of just two states (the other is Maine) that can split its vote – two elected at-large and one for each congressional district – and a district in the Omaha area went to Obama that year. That was a huge surprise, and is not likely to happen again. Nebraska (all 5 votes) will again go for the Republican candidate.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Republican

Current RCP Status:  Likely Republican Overall; 2nd District Leans Republican

Latest Nebraska Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none

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Nevada (6)

Governor:  Brian Sandoval (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 6 Rep/0 Dem

Senators:  Harry Reid (D); Dean Heller (R)

House Delegation:  3 Rep/1 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  37% Rep/42% Dem

State Legislature:      Assembly: 25 Rep/17 Dem;  Senate:  11 Rep/10 Dem

2012 Margin:             Obama +6.6%

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Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

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Analysis: Nevada has built up a strong record of voting for the overall winner of the Presidential election, having gone for every winner since 1964, with the exception of 1976 when it went for Gerald Ford (Ford barely lost to Jimmy Carter that year). The Democrats have a slight advantage in voter registration, while the Republicans have a slight advantage in state elections. Nevada has become a perennial battleground state, and will be a close one again in 2016. That being said, I believe that with the demographic changes (the Black and Hispanic populations have continued to grow significantly, especially in the Las Vegas/Henderson area), the Democrats will pull this one out.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Democratic

Current RCP Status:  Toss-Up

Latest Nevada Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none

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New Hampshire (4)

Governor:  Maggie Hassan (D)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 0 Rep/3 Dem

Senators:  Jeanne Shaheen (D); Kelly Ayotte (R)

House Delegation:  1 Rep/1 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  29% Rep/29% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 238 Rep/160 Dem/1 Ind;  Senate:  14 Rep/10 Dem

2012 Margin:             Obama +5.8%

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Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

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Analysis: New Hampshire has an independent streak a mile wide (its motto is “Live Free or Die”), and is generally regarded as a battleground state. However, it has gone Democratic in 5 of the past 6 elections, with the one exception being the year 2000 – when it could have made Florida irrelevant and given the victory to Al Gore (Reform Party candidate Pat Buchanan had one of his strongest showings here, probably denying Gore the state’s vote – and the Presidency). From 1968 to 1988, it went for the Republicans for 6 consecutive elections. The voter registration is actually tied between the two parties, but the Republicans have the advantage in the State Legislature. New Hampshire holds the distinction of being the only state to ever have an all-female congressional delegation (both Senators and all Representatives in the House). This was for the 113th Congress (January of 2013 to January of 2015), but in the 2014 midterms Frank Guinta regained the seat he had lost to Carol Shea-Porter in 2012. I believe that New Hampshire will again go Democratic in 2016.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Democratic

Current RCP Status:  Leans Democratic

Latest New Hampshire Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none

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New Jersey (14)

Governor:  Chris Christie (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 3 Rep/0 Dem

Senators:  Bob Menendez (D); Cory Booker (D)

House Delegation:  6 Rep/6 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  20% Rep/33% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 32 Rep/48 Dem;  Senate:  16 Rep/24 Dem

2012 Margin:             Obama +17.0%

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Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

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Analysis: New Jersey was reliably Republican at the national level from 1968 to 1988, but has been reliably Democratic ever since. Despite having elected Republican Chris Christie as Governor (twice), the Republicans really don’t have a chance here – even if Christie, who is running for President, somehow manages to end up on the ticket (which is improbable at best).

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Democratic

Current RCP Status:  Likely Democratic

Latest New Jersey Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none

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New Mexico (5)

Governor:  Susana Martínez (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 4 Rep/7 Dem

Senators:  Tom Udall (D); Martin Heinrich (D)

House Delegation:  1 Rep/2 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  32% Rep/48% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 37 Rep/33 Dem;  Senate:  18 Rep/24 Dem

2012 Margin:             Obama +9.9%

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Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

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Analysis: New Mexico is usually included in the list of battleground states, and will be again in 2016. It has leaned Democratic lately, going to the Democrats in 5 of the past 6 elections (prior to that, it went for the Republicans for 6 straight elections). The Democrats have a 3-2 advantage in voter registration, but the State Legislature is split. The current Republican Governor, Susana Martinez (a woman who is also Hispanic), would be an excellent – even logical – choice as a running mate for whoever eventually wins the Republican nomination, which probably means she won’t be selected. I believe the Democrats win here.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Democratic

Current RCP Status:  Leans Democratic

Latest New Mexico Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none

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New York (29)

Governor:  Andrew Cuomo (D)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 0 Rep/4 Dem

Senators:  Chuck Schumer (D); Kirsten Gillibrand (D)

House Delegation:  9 Rep/18 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  25% Rep/49% Dem

State Legislature:      Assembly: 42 Rep/102 Dem/3 Ind;  Senate:  32 Rep/31 Dem

2012 Margin:             Obama +26.8%

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Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

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Analysis: New York, like California and Illinois, is a strong Democratic state with a treasure trove of electoral votes (taken together, California, Illinois and New York account for more than 38% of the 270 electoral votes needed to win). It has gone Democratic for 7 straight elections, and will again in 2016.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Democratic

Current RCP Status:  Likely Democratic

Latest New York Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none

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North Carolina (15)

Governor:  Pat McCrory (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 4 Rep/6 Dem

Senators:  Richard Burr (R); Thom Tillis (R)

House Delegation:  10 Rep/3 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  32% Rep/45% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 74 Rep/45 Dem/1 Ind;  Senate:  34 Rep/16 Dem

2012 Margin:             Romney +2.2%

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Analysis: North Carolina has to be considered a strong Republican state; it has large majorities in its House delegation and in the State Legislature, both Senators and the Governor are Republicans, and it has gone for the Republican Presidential candidate in 10 of the last 13 elections. In 2008 it went for Barack Obama, but that was the first time a Democrat had won North Carolina since Jimmy Carter in 1976 and was considered a fluke. Sure enough, it was back in the Republican column in 2012. This year, Donald Trump has altered the playing field somewhat, and North Carolina is not just a battleground state – it will go Democratic again.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Democratic

Current RCP Status:  Toss-Up

Latest North Carolina Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  The selection of Donald Trump has caused North Carolina, already leaning towards Toss-Up status, to be more likely to go to the Democrats.

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North Dakota (3)

Governor:  Jack Dalrymple (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 11 Rep/0 Dem

Senators:  John Hoeven (R); Heidi Heitkamp (D)

House Delegation:  Kevin Cramer (R)

Partisan Breakdown:  38% Rep/29% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 71 Rep/23 Dem;  Senate:  33 Rep/14 Dem

2012 Margin:             Romney +19.7%

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Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

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Analysis: North Dakota hasn’t voted for a Democrat for President since Lyndon Johnson in 1964, and there is no reason to think it will start now.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Republican

Current RCP Status:  Solid Republican

Latest North Dakota Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none

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Ohio (18)

Governor:  John Kasich (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 6 Rep/0 Dem

Senators:  Sherrod Brown (D); Rob Portman (R)

House Delegation:  12 Rep/4 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  37% Rep/36% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 65 Rep/34 Dem;  Senate:  23 Rep/10 Dem

2012 Margin:             Obama +1.9%

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Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

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Analysis: Ohio has voted for the overall winner in every election since 1964, and is generally regarded as the ultimate battleground state. In other words, “As goes Ohio, so goes the nation”. It is much more critical for the Republicans, however. Barack Obama won Ohio twice, but it was icing on the cake both times – he didn’t actually need Ohio to surpass the 270 votes needed to win. The Republicans, on the other hand, simply cannot win the White House without winning Ohio. This is not a new development; no Republican candidate has ever won a Presidential election without winning Ohio – ever. Put another way, if there is a path to 270 electoral votes for the Republicans that does not include Ohio, no Republican candidate has ever found it. The current Governor, John Kasich, who was running for President in this year’s primaries, was re-elected Governor in 2014 by more than a 30-point margin, making him probably the GOP’s best chance of winning Ohio. Since he is not on the Republican ticket (either as the Presidential candidate or as the running mate), the Democrats will win here.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Democratic

Current RCP Status:  Toss-Up

Latest Ohio Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none

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Oklahoma (7)

Governor:  Mary Fallin (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 11 Rep/0 Dem

Senators:  Jim Inhofe (R); James Lankford (R)

House Delegation:  5 Rep/0 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  40% Rep/49% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 72 Rep/29 Dem;  Senate:  39 Rep/8 Dem

2012 Margin:             Romney +33.5%

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Analysis: Oklahoma hasn’t gone for a Democrat since Lyndon Johnson over 50 years ago, and isn’t about to change now.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Republican

Current RCP Status:  Solid Republican

Latest Oklahoma Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none

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Oregon (7)

Governor:  Kate Brown (D)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 0 Rep/4 Dem

Senators:  Ron Wyden (D); Jeff Merkley (D)

House Delegation:  1 Rep/4 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  32% Rep/42% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 25 Rep/35 Dem;  Senate:  12 Rep/18 Dem

2012 Margin:             Obama +10.5%

Oregon_in_United_States.svg
Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

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1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012
D R R R R R D D D D D D

D

Analysis: Oregon is usually considered to be “in play” in Presidential elections, but it has gone Democratic in each of the past 7 elections. The Democrats dominate state politics, and I see no reason to think the Democrats don’t win here.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Democratic

Current RCP Status:  Leans Democratic

Latest Oregon Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none

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Pennsylvania (20)

Governor:  Tom Wolf (D)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 0 Rep/5 Dem

Senators:  Bob Casey, Jr. (D); Pat Toomey (R)

House Delegation:  13 Rep/5 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  37% Rep/51% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 25 Rep/35 Dem;  Senate:  12 Rep/18 Dem

2012 Margin:             Obama +5.1%

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Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

1964

1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012
D D R D R R R D D D D D

D

Analysis: Pennsylvania is another of the perennial battleground states, and will be again in 2016. The Democrats have a clear advantage in voter registration, but the Republicans have a clear advantage in the state’s delegation to the US House of Representatives. It has gone Democratic for 6 consecutive elections, and I think it will again.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Democratic

Current RCP Status: Toss-Up

Latest Pennsylvania Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  Pennsylvania’s economic woes, like Michigan’s and other “rust-belt” states, are often blamed on NAFTA and other free trade agreements signed by President Bill Clinton, which could make things a bit tougher for Hillary Clinton here, but not enough to change the end result.

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Rhode Island (4)

Governor:  Gina Raimondo (D)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 0 Rep/5 Dem

Senators:  Jack Reed (D); Sheldon Whitehouse (D)

House Delegation:  0 Rep/2 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  11% Rep/38% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 11 Rep/63 Dem/1 Ind;  Senate:  5 Rep/32 Dem/1 Ind

2012 Margin:             Obama +27.9%

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Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

1964

1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012
D D R D D R D D D D D D

D

Analysis: Rhode Island has only gone for the Republican candidate for President twice in the past 13 elections, and both times were when the Republicans won 49-state landslides (Richard Nixon in 1972 and Ronald Reagan in 1984). In fact, no Republican since Ronald Reagan has even won a single county in Rhode Island. The Democrats dominate state politics, with overwhelming majorities in both Houses of the State Legislature and a clear advantage in voter registration. There is no good reason to think the Republicans have the slightest chance here.
Dave’s Prediction:  Democratic

Current RCP Status:  Likely Democratic

Latest Rhode Island Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none

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South Carolina (9)

Governor:  Nikki Haley (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 9 Rep/0 Dem

Senators:  Lindsey Graham (R); Tim Scott (R)

House Delegation:  6 Rep/1 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  44% Rep/33% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 78 Rep/46 Dem;  Senate:  28 Rep/17 Dem

2012 Margin:             Romney +10.6%

 

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Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):
1964 1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012
R R R D R R R R R R R R R
Analysis: Other than voting for fellow southerner Jimmy Carter from the neighboring state of Georgia in 1976, South Carolina has not voted for a Democrat for President in the last 13 elections. There is no good reason to think the Democrats have any chance at all here.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Republican

Current RCP Status:  Leans Republican

Latest South Carolina Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  South Carolina’s Senior Senator, Republican Lindsey Graham, has made no secret of his disdain for Donald Trump, which may be having an impact on South Carolina’s current status; usually “Solid Republican”, it is currently only “Leaning Republican”. It will not alter the end result, however.

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South Dakota (3)

Governor:  Dennis Daugaard (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 10 Rep/0 Dem

Senators:  John Thune (R); Mike Rounds (R)

House Delegation:  Kristi Noem (R)

Partisan Breakdown:  46% Rep/38% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 58 Rep/12 Dem;  Senate:  27 Rep/8 Dem

2012 Margin:             Romney +18.0%

 

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Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

1964

1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012
D R R R R R R R R R R R

R

Analysis: South Dakota hasn’t voted for a Democrat for President since Lyndon Johnson over 50 years ago, and isn’t about to start now.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Republican

Current RCP Status: Likely Republican

Latest South Dakota Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none

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Tennessee (11)

Governor:  Bill Haslam (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 5 Rep/0 Dem

Senators:  Lamar Alexander (R); Bob Corker (R)

House Delegation:  7 Rep/2 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  38% Rep/34% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 73 Rep/26 Dem;  Senate:  28 Rep/5 Dem

2012 Margin:             Romney +20.5%

 

Tennessee_in_United_States.svg
Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

1964

1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012
D R R D R R R D D R R R

R

Analysis: Tennessee had built up a 40-year record of voting for the overall winner in Presidential elections from 1964 to 2004, but that is misleading. During that time, the only Democrats who won here were southerners – Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton (Clinton’s wins may have been due in large part to the presence of favorite son Al Gore as the Vice Presidential candidate). The Republicans absolutely dominate state politics, and while Bill Clinton won twice here, the state has become more conservative since then, and there is no way Hillary Clinton wins Tennessee.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Republican

Current RCP Status:  Solid Republican

Latest Tennessee Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none

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Texas (38)

Governor:  Greg Abbott (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 7 Rep/0 Dem

Senators:  John Cornyn (R); Ted Cruz (R)

House Delegation:  25 Rep/11 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  45% Rep/21% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 98 Rep/52 Dem;  Senate:  20 Rep/11 Dem

2012 Margin:             Romney +15.8%

 

Texas_in_United_States.svg
Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

1964

1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012
D D R D R R R R R R R R

R

Analysis: Texas hasn’t voted for a Democratic Presidential candidate since Jimmy Carter in 1976, and despite demographic shifts (primarily the growth of the Hispanic population) that have caused some to predict Texas moving into the Democratic column in the near future, it sure as hell isn’t going to happen yet. The Republicans win here hands down.

Dave’s Prediction:  Republican

Current RCP Status:  Leans Republican

Latest Texas Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  Texas’s Junior Senator, Republican Ted Cruz, made no secret of his disdain for Donald Trump during his own Presidential run. That, along with the continuing demographic changes, may be having an impact on Texas’s current status; usually “Solid Republican”, it is currently only “Leaning Republican”. It will not alter the end result, however.

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Utah (6)

Governor:  Gary Herbert (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 5 Rep/0 Dem

Senators:  Orrin Hatch (R); Mike Lee (R)

House Delegation:  4 Rep/0 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  56% Rep/20% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 63 Rep/12 Dem;  Senate:  24 Rep/5 Dem

2012 Margin:             Romney +47.9%

 

Utah_in_United_States.svg
Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

1964

1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012
D R R R R R R R R R R R

R

Analysis: Utah is one of the most conservative states in the country, and hasn’t voted for a Democrat for President since Lyndon Johnson more than 5 decades ago. The Democrats have no chance here.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Republican

Current RCP Status:  Leans Republican

Latest Utah Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  Utah’s large Mormon majority has not exactly been enamored of Donald Trump – especially his proposal to ban another religious minority group (Muslims) from entering the country. This seems to be having an effect, and is the most likely reason Utah is only “Leaning” Republican. It will not be enough to change the end result, however.

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Vermont (3)

Governor:  Peter Shumlin (D)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 1 Rep/5 Dem

Senators:  Patrick Leahy (D); Bernie Sanders (I)

House Delegation:  Peter Welch (D)

Partisan Breakdown:  27% Rep/29% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 53 Rep/85 Dem/12 Ind;  Senate:  9 Rep/18 Dem/3 Ind

2012 Margin:             Obama +35.9%

Vermont_in_United_States_(zoom).svg
Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

1964

1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012
D R R R R R R D D D D D

D

Analysis: Vermont, along with most of New England, has become a reliable Democratic state. The Democrats win here easily.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Democratic

Current RCP Status:  Solid Democratic

Latest Vermont Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  In spite of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ impressive, but ultimately unsuccessful, run for the Democratic nomination, and the four week delay (from the end of the primaries) in his endorsement of Hillary Clinton, the selection of Clinton as the nominee has not had any effect here – Vermont would be solid for the Democrats regardless.

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Virginia (13)

Governor:  Terry McAuliffe (D)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 0 Rep/4 Dem

Senators:  Mark Warner (D); Tim Kaine (D)

House Delegation:  8 Rep/3 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  39% Rep/36% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 67 Rep/33 Dem;  Senate:  21 Rep/19 Dem

2012 Margin:             Obama +3.0%

Virginia_in_United_States.svg
Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

1964

1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012
D R R R R R R R R R R D

D

Analysis: Virginia has gone from being a reliable Republican state (voting for the GOP in every election from 1968 to 2004), to being the most critical of battleground states. President Obama won here by a margin of just 3% in 2012 – only three states (Ohio and Florida, which went for Obama, and North Carolina, which went for Mitt Romney) were decided by closer margins. In the 2013 Gubernatorial race, the Tea Party wing of the GOP pushed for – and got – a nominating convention (a format that tends to favor party activists) instead of a primary, and the result was the nomination of the more extreme Ken Cuccinelli instead of the more moderate Bill Bolling, the state’s then-Lieutenant Governor. The result was that the current Governor of Virginia is now a Democrat. If the Republican nominee (like Cuccinelli in 2013) is perceived as too extreme, then the Democrats win here. I think that is exactly what will happen.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Democratic

Current RCP Status:  Toss-Up

Latest Virginia Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none

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Washington (12)

Governor:  Jay Inslee (D)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 1 Rep/6 Dem

Senators:  Patty Murray (D); Maria Cantwell (D)

House Delegation:  4 Rep/6 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  29% Rep/39% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 47 Rep/51 Dem;  Senate:  23 Rep/25 Dem/1 Ind

2012 Margin:             Obama +12.6%

Washington_State_in_United_States.svg
Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

1964

1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012
D D R R R R D D D D D D

D

Analysis: The State of Washington has become a reliable Democratic state in Presidential elections, voting that way for the last 7 elections. Although the Republicans will try to argue that the state is “in play”, in reality there is little to no chance for the GOP here.  

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Democratic

Current RCP Status:  Likely Democratic

Latest Washington Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none

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West Virginia (12)

Governor:  Earl Ray Tomblin (D)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 1 Rep/5 Dem

Senators:  Joe Manchin (D); Shelley Moore Capito (R)

House Delegation:  3 Rep/0 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  29% Rep/54% Dem

State Legislature:      House: 64 Rep/36 Dem;  Senate:  18 Rep/16 Dem

2012 Margin:             Romney +26.8%

West_Virginia_in_United_States.svg
Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

1964

1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012
D D R D D R D D D R R R

R

Analysis: West Virginia has become more conservative over the past several elections. It had voted for Democratic candidates for President in 7 of the 9 elections from 1964 to 1996 (in fact, the only 2 elections it went for the Republican were the 49-state GOP landslides in 1972 and 1984), but has now gone for the GOP candidate in 4 straight elections – despite an overwhelming Democratic advantage in voter registration. Given the current disconnect between the Democrats and West Virginia in energy policy (West Virginia is a major coal mining state, and the Democrats are trying to move the country away from coal), I believe this trend will continue in 2016.  

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Republican

Current RCP Status:  Solid Republican

Latest West Virginia Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none

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Wisconsin (10)

Governor:  Scott Walker (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 4 Rep/1 Dem

Senators:  Ron Johnson (R); Tammy Baldwin (D)

House Delegation:  5 Rep/3 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  34% Rep/38% Dem

State Legislature:      Assembly: 62 Rep/36 Dem;  Senate:  19 Rep/14 Dem

2012 Margin:             Obama +6.7%

 

Wisconsin_in_United_States.svg
Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

1964

1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012
D R R D R R D D D D D D

D

Analysis: Wisconsin will be regarded as a battleground state, but that is not particularly realistic. Yes, the Congressional representation (in both Houses) is split, the voter registration is fairly even, and the Republicans control the Governorship and both Houses of the State Legislature, but in Presidential elections Wisconsin has become a reliable Democratic state, having gone for the Democratic candidate in 7 consecutive elections. That trend will continue this time around.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Democratic

Current RCP Status:  Toss-Up

Latest Wisconsin Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none

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Wyoming (3)

Governor:  Matt Mead (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 6 Rep/0 Dem

Senators:  Mike Enzi (R); John Barrasso (R)

House Delegation:  Cynthia Lummis (R)

Partisan Breakdown:  63% Rep/24% Dem

State Legislature:      Assembly: 51 Rep/9 Dem;  Senate:  26 Rep/4 Dem

2012 Margin:             Romney +41.3%

 

Wyoming_in_United_States.svg
Presidential Vote Since 1964 (Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner):

1964

1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012
D R R R R R R R R R R R

R

Analysis: Wyoming is the most Republican state in the country (in terms of voter registration), and the Republicans absolutely dominate Wyoming politics at all levels. The Democrats have absolutely no chance here.

 

Dave’s Prediction:  Republican

Current RCP Status:  Solid Republican

Latest Wyoming Polls

Change in status resulting from the selection of candidates:  none

 

© 2016 by David Bleidistel.  All rights reserved.