2016 Presidential – The Path to 270 – part 1

The 2016 presidential campaigns are heating up quickly, and the path to 270 or victory for any presidential campaign is going to be very interesting.

This post starts a multi-part blog post on 2016 presidential politics and strategy.

The Basics of the Electoral College

As you know, there are 538 total electoral votes in the electoral college; therefore it takes 270 electoral college votes to become President of the United States.   (CLICK – If you would like to know more about the electoral college)

In all but two states (Maine and Nebraska), electoral college votes are assigned in a winner takes all manner.  (Maine and Nebraska do a congressional district proportion)

If no one person gets to an absolute majority of 270, then the House of Representatives selects the President. (If that were to happen, God help us all)

Therefore, the total popular vote means nothing in the mechanics of electing our President.

The entire campaign is about getting to 270.

The Electoral Strong Favors

While nothing in politics is guaranteed, there are some assumptions we can make.

As a starting point for this analysis, we will label “strong favor” as any state that a political party has won for the past 4 consecutive presidential elections.  (Double-click map for a larger view)

2016 Electoral College Strong Favors

We will later reconsider if all of these states are correctly labeled as “strong favor”, but for now this is our starting point.

The 2016 Starting Score Board

Party Strong Favor 270 Shortage
Republicans 175 95
Democrats 242 28

 

The Republican Electoral College Strong Favor Detail

State EV 2012 Margin 2008 Margin 2004 Margin 2000 Margin Average Margin Trend4 Trend2
MO 10 9.36% 0.13% 7.20% 3.34% 5.01% 6.02% 9.23%
AZ 11 9.04% 8.48% 10.45% 6.28% 8.56% 2.76% 0.56%
GA 16 7.80% 5.20% 16.59% 11.69% 10.32% -3.89% 2.60%
SC 9 10.47% 8.98% 17.08% 15.93% 13.12% -5.46% 1.49%
TN 11 20.38% 15.06% 14.30% 3.86% 13.40% 16.52% 5.32%
LA 8 17.21% 18.63% 14.51% 7.68% 14.51% 9.53% -1.42%
AR 6 23.69% 19.85% 9.76% 5.44% 14.69% 18.25% 3.84%
WV 5 26.69% 13.09% 12.86% 6.32% 14.74% 20.37% 13.60%
MS 6 11.50% 13.17% 19.69% 16.91% 15.32% -5.41% -1.67%
MT 3 13.64% 2.38% 20.50% 25.07% 15.40% -11.43% 11.26%
SD 3 18.02% 8.41% 21.47% 22.73% 17.66% -4.71% 9.61%
TX 38 15.77% 11.75% 22.86% 21.32% 17.93% -5.55% 4.02%
KY 8 22.68% 16.22% 19.86% 15.13% 18.47% 7.55% 6.46%
KS 6 21.61% 14.92% 25.38% 20.80% 20.68% 0.81% 6.69%
ND 3 19.63% 8.65% 27.36% 27.60% 20.81% -7.97% 10.98%
AL 9 22.19% 21.58% 25.62% 14.88% 21.07% 7.31% 0.61%
AK 3 13.99% 21.54% 25.55% 30.95% 23.01% -16.96% -7.55%
OK 7 33.54% 31.29% 31.14% 21.88% 29.46% 11.66% 2.25%
ID 4 31.69% 25.30% 38.12% 39.53% 33.66% -7.84% 6.39%
WY 3 40.82% 32.24% 39.79% 40.06% 38.23% 0.76% 8.58%
UT 6 47.88% 27.98% 45.54% 40.49% 40.47% 7.39% 19.90%
175 19.36% 1.89% 5.37%

 

The Democrat Electoral College Strong Favor Detail

State EV 2012 Margin 2008 Margin 2004 Margin 2000 Margin Average Margin Trend4 Trend2
WI 10 6.94% 13.90% 0.38% 0.22% 5.36% 6.72% -6.96%
PA 20 5.38% 10.31% 2.50% 4.17% 5.59% 1.21% -4.93%
MN 10 7.69% 10.24% 3.48% 2.40% 5.95% 5.29% -2.55%
OR 7 12.09% 16.35% 4.16% 0.44% 8.26% 11.65% -4.26%
MI 16 9.47% 16.44% 3.42% 5.13% 8.62% 4.34% -6.97%
WA 12 14.77% 17.08% 7.17% 5.58% 11.15% 9.19% -2.31%
ME 4 15.29% 17.32% 9.00% 5.11% 11.68% 10.18% -2.03%
NJ 14 17.74% 15.53% 6.68% 15.83% 13.95% 1.91% 2.21%
DE 3 18.63% 24.98% 7.59% 13.06% 16.07% 5.57% -6.35%
IL 20 16.84% 25.10% 10.34% 12.01% 16.07% 4.83% -8.26%
CT 7 17.33% 22.37% 10.37% 17.47% 16.89% -0.14% -5.04%
CA 55 23.09% 24.02% 9.95% 11.80% 17.22% 11.29% -0.93%
MD 10 26.08% 25.44% 12.98% 16.39% 20.22% 9.69% 0.64%
NY 29 28.18% 26.86% 18.29% 25.00% 24.58% 3.18% 1.32%
MA 11 23.15% 25.81% 25.16% 27.30% 25.36% -4.15% -2.66%
VT 3 35.60% 37.01% 20.14% 9.94% 25.67% 25.66% -1.41%
RI 4 27.46% 27.81% 20.75% 29.08% 26.28% -1.62% -0.35%
HI 4 42.71% 45.26% 8.74% 18.33% 28.76% 24.38% -2.55%
DC 3 83.63% 85.92% 79.84% 76.20% 81.40% 7.43% -2.29%
242 19.42% 7.19% -2.93%

Part 1 Conclusion(s)

It’s clear, the 2016 race to 270 starts with a more difficult path for Republicans than Democrats.

In tomorrow’s Part 2, we will look at the states that are not “Strong Favors.”

In Part 3, we will reconsider our “strong favors”, reconsider the so-called “Blue Wall” and look at possible paths to 270 for the GOP and the Democrats.

About Alex Patton

4 Responses to “2016 Presidential – The Path to 270 – part 1”

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  1. otto says:

    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the majority of Electoral College votes, and thus the presidency, to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the country, by replacing state winner-take-all laws for awarding electoral votes.

    Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps of pre-determined outcomes. There would no longer be a handful of ‘battleground’ states where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in 80% of the states that now are just ‘spectators’ and ignored after the conventions.

    From 1992- 2012
    13 states (with 102 electoral votes) voted Republican every time
    19 states (with 242 electoral votes) voted Democratic every time

    If this pattern continues,
    Democrats only would need a mere 28 electoral votes from other states.
    If Republicans lose Florida (29 electoral votes), they would lose.

    Some states have not been been competitive for more than a half-century and most states now have a degree of partisan imbalance that makes them highly unlikely to be in a swing state position. In a study before the 2012 election:
    • 41 States Won by Same Party, 2000-2008
    • 32 States Won by Same Party, 1992-2008
    • 13 States Won Only by Republican Party, 1980-2008
    • 19 States Won Only by Democratic Party, 1992-2008
    • 9 Democratic States Not Swing State since 1988
    • 15 GOP States Not Swing State since 1988

    The National Popular Vote bill would take effect when enacted by states with a majority of Electoral College votes—that is, enough to elect a President (270 of 538). The candidate receiving the most popular votes from all 50 states (and DC) would get all the 270+ electoral votes of the enacting states.

    The presidential election system, using the 48 state winner-take-all method or district winner method of awarding electoral votes, that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founders. It is the product of decades of change precipitated by the emergence of political parties and enactment by 48 states of winner-take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution.

    The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founders in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for President. States can, and have, changed their method of awarding electoral votes over the years. Historically, major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

    In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided).

    Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in every state surveyed recently. In the 39 states surveyed, overall support has been in the 67-83% range or higher. – in recent or past closely divided battleground states, in rural states, in small states, in Southern and border states, in big states, and in other states polled.
    Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.

    The bill has passed 33 state legislative chambers in 22 rural, small, medium, large, red, blue, and purple states with 250 electoral votes. The bill has been enacted by 11 jurisdictions with 165 electoral votes – 61% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.

    NationalPopularVote

    • Walt Boyer says:

      There is a reason we have an Electoral College and do not elect our POTUS by popular vote. # 1 reason is that the POTUS is not a representative of the people but is instead a figurehead for the national government. We were given a Constitutional Republic and if all our elected leaders are voted in by popular vote, we would cease to be a Republic and would become a Democracy (mob rules). We have already lost the Senate to popular vote (17th Amendment), which effectively removed the power of the State to control the federal government, and now have a 2 year House of Representatives and a 4 year House of Representatives (Senate).

Trackbacks

  1. […] in part 1 of the path to 270, we took a look at the starting electoral vote […]

  2. […] In part 1 of The Path to 270, we looked at a logical starting position or “Strong Favors” for each party’s electoral college map. […]