Turners

The following is not predictive, but presented as a reference.

I’d like you to take a mental walk with me, to explore the Electoral map from the historical perspective. The reason for it will become self-evident, I believe.

The race to the White House is actually 51 separate races, each of which awards between 1 and 55 electoral votes (the 1 comes from Nebraska and Maine, which award individual electoral votes according to results from the state’s precincts. As Mister Gore found out in 2000, it is entirely possible for a candidate to lose the popular vote yet win the election, although because of the way states line up it is almost impossible for Obama to win the election without also winning the popular vote. Anyway, the finish line is set at 270 electoral votes, and the goal therefore is to reach or pass that line.

We’ve heard so much for so long about “blue” states and “red” states, that we start to miss the significance of those tags. First off, some states get tagged “red” or “blue” just because they went one way in the last election. But in some cases, the name is valid. What I want to do here, is separate the states which do not shift much, from the ones which truly are possible losses or gains, what I call “turners”. Any state can be had, of course, under the right circumstances, but the history gives us a good look at how likely that really is to happen. Looking at the election results, we see the following:

“Locks” for Obama:

District of Columbia: Since 1960 D 51%+ 100.0%, R 51%+ 0.0%, Democrat last 12 elections, avg since 1960 83.2-13.8 D, 89-09 D in 2004. For McCain to win, would require a 92-point swing from 2004. [92.0% chance Obama]

Hawaii: Since 1960 D 51%+ 58.3%, R 51%+ 16.7%, Democrat last 5 elections, avg since 1960 53.2-43.0 D, 54-45 D in 2004. For McCain to win would require an 11-point swing from 2004. [73.4% chance Obama]

Massachusetts: Since 1948 D 51%+ 66.7%, R 51%+ 20.0%, Democrat last 5 elections, avg since 1948 55.1-48.2 R, 62-37 D in 2004. For McCain to win would require an 27-point swing from 2004. [70.1% chance Obama]

Minnesota: Since 1948 D 51%+ 53.3%, R 51%+ 20.0%, Democrat last 8 elections, avg since 1948 47.8-44.7 R, 51-48 D in 2004. For McCain to win would require a 5-point swing from 2004. [70.5% chance Obama]

– continued –

“Locks” for McCain:

Alaska: Since 1960 D 51%+ 8.3%, R 51%+ 75.0%, Republican last 10 elections, avg since 1960 56.0-40.7 R, 61-36 R in 2004. For Obama to win would require a 27-point swing from 2004. [80.0% chance McCain]

Arizona: Since 1948 D 51%+ 6.7%, R 51%+ 80.0%, Republican last 2 elections, avg since 1948 54.8-40.6 R, 55-44 R in 2004. For Obama to win would require a 12-point swing from 2004. [82.8% chance McCain]

Colorado: Since 1948 D 51%+ 13.3%, R 51%+ 73.3%, Republican last 3 elections, avg since 1948 52.3-42.7 R, 52-47 R in 2004. For Obama to win would require a 7-point swing from 2004. [75.0% chance McCain]

Florida: Since 1948 D 51%+ 13.3%, R 51%+ 53.3%, Republican last 2 elections, avg since 1948 51.5-42.9 R, 52-47 R in 2004. For Obama to win would require a 7-point swing from 2004. [70.6% chance McCain]

Idaho: Since 1948 D 51%+ 6.7%, R 51%+ 80.0%, Republican last 10 elections, avg since 1948 59.1-34.7 R, 68-30 R in 2004. For Obama to win would require a 40-point swing from 2004. [77.7% chance McCain]

Indiana: Since 1948 D 51%+ 6.7%, R 51%+ 60.0%, Republican last 10 elections, avg since 1948 54.8-41.6 R, 60-40 R in 2004. For Obama to win would require a 22-point swing from 2004. [80.9% chance McCain]

Kansas: Since 1948 D 51%+ 6.7%, R 51%+ 86.7%, Republican last 10 elections, avg since 1948 57.5-37.8 R, 62-37 R in 2004. For Obama to win would require a 27-point swing from 2004. [81.7% chance McCain]

Montana: Since 1948 D 51%+ 13.3%, R 51%+ 73.3%, Republican last 3 elections, avg since 1948 52.7-42.5 R, 59-39 R in 2004. For Obama to win would require a 22-point swing from 2004. [73.6% chance McCain]

Nebraska: Since 1948 D 51%+ 6.7%, R 51%+ 86.7%, Republican last 10 elections, avg since 1948 60.9-35.2 R, 66-33 R in 2004. For Obama to win would require a 35-point swing from 2004. [80.9% chance McCain]

New Hampshire: Since 1948 D 51%+ 6.7%, R 51%+ 66.7%, Democrat last 1 election, avg since 1948 53.5-42.3 R, 50-49 D in 2004. For McCain to win would require a 2-point swing from 2004. [75.5% chance McCain]

North Dakota: Since 1948 D 51%+ 6.7%, R 51%+ 80.0%, Republican last 10 elections, avg since 1948 56.8-38.3 R, 63-35 R in 2004. For Obama to win would require a 30-point swing from 2004. [81.2% chance McCain]

Ohio: Since 1948 D 51%+ 6.7%, R 51%+ 53.3%, Republican last 2 elections, avg since 1948 50.5-45.1 R, 50-46 R in 2004. For Obama to win would require a 6-point swing from 2004. [71.7% chance McCain]

Oklahoma: Since 1948 D 51%+ 13.3%, R 51%+ 60.3%, Republican last 10 elections, avg since 1948 55.1-40.7 R, 66-34 R in 2004. For Obama to win would require a 34-point swing from 2004. [74.0% chance McCain]

South Dakota: Since 1948 D 51%+ 6.7%, R 51%+ 73.3%, Republican last 10 elections, avg since 1948 54.9-41.5 R, 60-38 R in 2004. For Obama to win would require a 24-point swing from 2004. [81.5% chance McCain]

Utah: Since 1948 D 51%+ 13.3%, R 51%+ 80.0%, Republican last 10 elections, avg since 1948 60.5-34.4 R, 72-26 R in 2004. For Obama to win would require a 48-point swing from 2004. [74.2% chance McCain]

Virginia: Since 1948 D 51%+ 6.7%, R 51%+ 60.0%, Republican last 10 elections, avg since 1948 52.3-42.1 R, 54-45 R in 2004. For Obama to win would require an 11-point swing from 2004. [79.4% chance McCain]

Wyoming: Since 1948 D 51%+ 13.3%, R 51%+ 73.3%, Republican last 10 elections, avg since 1948 58.3-37.2 R, 69-29 R in 2004. For Obama to win would require a 42-point swing from 2004. [74.4% chance McCain]

States leaning Obama

California: Since 1948 D 51%+ 26.7%, R 51%+ 40.0%, Democrat last 4 elections, avg since 1948 48.1-47.3 R, 54-44 D in 2004. For McCain to win, would require an 11-point swing from 2004. [56.2% chance Obama]

Connecticut: Since 1948 D 51%+ 33.3%, R 51%+ 40.0%, Democrat last 4 elections, avg since 1948 47.9-47.9 tie, 54-44 D in 2004. For McCain to win, would require an 11-point swing from 2004. [55.0% chance Obama]

Delaware: Since 1948 D 51%+ 40.0%, R 51%+ 33.3%, Democrat last 4 elections, avg since 1948 48.0-47.9 D, 53-45 D in 2004. For McCain to win, would require a 10-point swing from 2004. [54.7% chance Obama]

Illinois: Since 1948 D 51%+ 26.7%, R 51%+ 33.3%, Democrat last 4 elections, avg since 1948 48.5-48.3 R, 55-45 D in 2004. For McCain to win would require a 12-point swing from 2004. [54.4% chance Obama]

Maryland: Since 1948 D 51%+ 40.0%, R 51%+ 33.3%, Democrat last 4 elections, avg since 1948 49.6-46.8 D, 56-43 D in 2004. For McCain to win would require a 15-point swing from 2004. [57.2% chance Obama]

New York: Since 1948 D 51%+ 46.7%, R 51%+ 26.7%, Democrat last 5 elections, avg since 1948 50.9-45.5 D, 58-40 D in 2004. For McCain to win would require a 19-point swing from 2004. [57.7% chance Obama]

Rhode Island: Since 1948 D 51%+ 53.3%, R 51%+ 26.7%, Democrat last 5 elections, avg since 1948 54.8-39.6 D, 59-39 D in 2004. For McCain to win would require a 22-point swing from 2004. [61.3% chance Obama]

Vermont: Since 1948 D 51%+ 26.7%, R 51%+ 60.0%, Democrat last 4 elections, avg since 1948 50.9-44.2 D, 59-39 D in 2004. For McCain to win would require a 22-point swing from 2004. [66.2% chance Obama]

Washington: Since 1948 D 51%+ 46.7%, R 51%+ 20.0%, Democrat last 5 elections, avg since 1948 50.9-45.3 D, 53-46 D in 2004. For McCain to win would require a 9-point swing from 2004. [69.1% chance Obama]

States leaning McCain:

Alabama: Since 1948 D 51%+ 26.7%, R 51%+ 46.7%, Republican last 7 elections, avg since 1948 56.8-33.5 R, 63-37 R in 2004. For Obama to win would require a 28-point swing from 2004. [56.8% chance McCain]

Arkansas: Since 1948 D 51%+ 46.7%, R 51%+ 33.3%, Republican last 2 elections, avg since 1948 48.6-45.1 D, 54-44 R in 2004. For Obama to win would require a 12-point swing from 2004. [55.4% chance McCain]

Georgia: Since 1948 D 51%+ 40.0%, R 51%+ 40.0%, Republican last 3 elections, avg since 1948 49.0-45.7 D, 57-41 R in 2004. For Obama to win would require an 18-point swing from 2004. [54.7% chance McCain]

Iowa: Since 1948 D 51%+ 13.3%, R 51%+ 46.7%, Republican last 1 election, avg since 1948 50.1-46.3 R, 50-49 R in 2004. For Obama to win would require a 3-point swing from 2004. [67.4% chance McCain]

Kentucky: Since 1948 D 51%+ 20.0%, R 51%+ 46.7%, Republican last 2 elections, avg since 1948 50.4-46.1 R, 60-40 R in 2004. For Obama to win would require a 22-point swing from 2004. [62.5% chance McCain]

Louisiana: Since 1948 D 51%+ 20.0%, R 51%+ 53.3%, Republican last 2 elections, avg since 1948 46.4-42.6 R, 57-42 R in 2004. For Obama to win would require a 17-point swing from 2004. [58.8% chance McCain]

Mississippi: Since 1948 D 51%+ 13.3%, R 51%+ 40.0%, Republican last 7 elections, avg since 1948 47.2-37.3 R, 59-40 R in 2004. For Obama to win would require a 20-point swing from 2004. [61.9% chance McCain]

Missouri: Since 1948 D 51%+ 20.0%, R 51%+ 73.3%, Republican last 2 elections, avg since 1948 49.1-48.1 R, 53-46 R in 2004. For Obama to win would require a 9-point swing from 2004. [59.8% chance McCain]

Nevada: Since 1948 D 51%+ 13.3%, R 51%+ 40.0%, Republican last 2 elections, avg since 1948 52.3-42.4 R, 50-48 R in 2004. For Obama to win would require a 3-point swing from 2004. [69.0% chance McCain]

New Jersey: Since 1948 D 51%+ 26.7%, R 51%+ 40.0%, Democrat last 4 elections, avg since 1948 49.7-46.3 R, 53-46 D in 2004. For McCain to win would require an 8-point swing from 2004. [56.2% chance McCain]

New Mexico: Since 1948 D 51%+ 20.0%, R 51%+ 53.3%, Republican last 1 election, avg since 1948 50.3-46.2 R, 50-49 R in 2004. For Obama to win would require a 2-point swing from 2004. [62.8% chance McCain]

South Carolina: Since 1948 D 51%+ 20.0%, R 51%+ 40.0%, Republican last 7 elections, avg since 1948 48.4-41.5 R, 58-41 R in 2004. For Obama to win would require a 19-point swing from 2004. [61.5% chance McCain]

Tennessee: Since 1948 D 51%+ 13.3%, R 51%+ 33.3%, Republican last 2 elections, avg since 1948 49.6-45.4 R, 57-43 R in 2004. For Obama to win would require a 16-point swing from 2004. [66.3% chance McCain]

Texas: Since 1948 D 51%+ 26.7%, R 51%+ 46.7%, Republican last 7 elections, avg since 1948 50.5-44.9 R, 61-38 R in 2004. For Obama to win would require a 25-point swing from 2004. [59.7% chance McCain]

West Virginia: Since 1948 D 51%+ 26.7%, R 51%+ 46.7%, Republican last 2 elections, avg since 1948 48.3-47.1 R, 56-43 R in 2004. For Obama to win would require a 15-point swing from 2004. [58.1% chance McCain]

Toss-up States:

Maine: Since 1948 D 51%+ 26.7%, R 51%+ 40.0%, Democrat last 4 elections, avg since 1948 49.8-45.5 R, 56-43 D in 2004. For McCain to win would require a 25-point swing from 2004. [51.6% chance Obama]

Michigan: Since 1948 D 51%+ 33.3%, R 51%+ 40.0%, Democrat last 4 elections, avg since 1948 48.2-47.8 R, 51-48 D in 2004. For McCain to win would require a 5-point swing from 2004. [53.3% chance McCain]

North Carolina: Since 1948 D 51%+ 40.0%, R 51%+ 33.3%, Republican last 7 elections, avg since 1948 49.8-45.7 R, 56-44 R in 2004. For Obama to win would require a 14-point swing from 2004. [51.6% chance Obama]

Oregon: Since 1948 D 51%+ 13.3%, R 51%+ 33.3%, Democrat last 5 elections, avg since 1948 53.3-46.7 R, 51-47 D in 2004. For McCain to win would require a 6-point swing from 2004. [50.2% chance Obama]

Pennsylvania: Since 1948 D 51%+ 26.7%, R 51%+ 33.3%, Democrat last 4 elections, avg since 1948 48.8-48.0 D, 51-48 D in 2004. For McCain to win would require a 5-point swing from 2004. [51.5% chance Obama]

Wisconsin: Since 1948 D 51%+ 20.0%, R 51%+ 33.3%, Democrat last 5 elections, avg since 1948 48.7-46.9 R, 50-49 D in 2004. For McCain to win would require a 2-point swing from 2004. [52.3% chance McCain]

The percentage chance of a candidate taking a state is a formula incorporating the percentage of wins by a party in a state since 1948, the percentage of elections where a party candidate claims 51% or more of the vote, the average support for a party in a state since 1948, the lowest and highest support levels for a party in a state since 1948, the RCP average polling for each candidate, and the 2004 results by party.

Please note that these are historical patterns only, and do not take into account demographic changes. But it does lend some historical perspective on the situation. Take it as you will.

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