Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Are we headed for another 200+ vote swing in the Electoral College?

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Originally published on on Fri, 10/24/2008 – 10:10am

Here are the five most recent Electoral College vote spikes. The 1976 spike came after Watergate; the 1992 spike came after the horrible recession.

Winning Party Year Improved Margin New total-previous total
Republican 2000 112 271-159
Democratic 1992 259 370-111
Republican 1980 249 489-240
Democratic 1976 280 297-17
Republican 1968 249 301-52

There are 50 states, but for John McCain, there are only 3 states: Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

In reality, it feels like Pennsylvania will be McCain’s home for the remaining 12 days. The McCain campaign sees the 21 electoral votes as crucial to a possible win. Technically, this is true: A sweep of those major states is the only way McCain can pull it off.

McCain is smart to at least camp out in Pennsylvania: Kerry defeated Bush in the Keystone State by 128,869 votes out of 5.5 million in 2004. Though Al Gore won by 4 points in 2000, and Bill Clinton downed Bob Dole by 9 points in 1996. Not counting the last two disputed elections, the last time Pennsylvania didn’t vote for the winner was 1968.

Yes, the election is November 4, so things can change. But the electoral map looks good for Obama, regardless of how many cheesesteak sandwiches McCain eats in Philly or how many “Terrible Towels” he waves in Pittsburgh.

However, Barack Obama and his campaign see the whole country as being at least open to voting for a Democrat, and even in some areas, an African-American Democrat.

George W. Bush got 286 electoral votes in 2004, so McCain has 16 to lose to still be at 270. Gaining Pennsylvania’s 21 votes (42-vote swing) gives McCain a 58-vote margin.

But Colorado, Iowa, and New Mexico make up 21 electoral votes, so a 42-vote swing brings McCain back to being up by 16. And this is if Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia all magically go for McCain. This doesn’t factor in Missouri, West Virginia, Nevada, Georgia, and North Carolina, all red states in 2004.

The pundits are playing out scenarios, such as the one above, thinking it will be a close race. And perhaps it will be. But it seems that in difficult and turbulent times, this country makes bold choices.

True, in 2004, we have little if any job growth, two wars, and we were scared sh*tless. But this year feels different — a bold choice is coming. Don’t know whether that is Democratic or Republican, though. This year won’t be close.

Now, the Democrats got at least 251 Electoral College votes in 2004, so a 200+ spike would put in LBJ (486) or FDR (472 in 1932) territory. It’s certainly a possibility for Obama.

But the last spike was only 112 from 1996 to 2000. Adding 112 to 251 gives the Democrats 363 votes, just short of Bill Clinton in 1992 (370) and 1996 (379).

But what do you think? Do you feel a strong wind coming across the country? Will this race be close or is the MSM fooling us? Let us know what you think.


Written by democracysoup

October 24, 2008 at 10:10 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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