Next year only ten states will matter in deciding the outcome of Presidential Election. Virginia is among them. The other nine are Wisconsin, Nevada, Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Iowa, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Colorado. [read_more]Those ten states are the most likely to switch between the parties when voting for President. In 2012 those 10 had the closest percentages of votes between the two candidates. Of those ten, only North Carolina voted for Romney. According to Roll Call, the other 40 states that don’t make the Big Ten will matter much less in the Presidential Election. They lean too far toward one party or the other for their votes to matter in 2016.
Certainly, not all of the Big Ten states are equally competitive. But if you are putting together a list of the states that are competitive and could switch from one party to the other depending on the nominees and the political environment, all of the Big Ten states merit inclusion.
Of the 10 states, three — North Carolina, Florida and Ohio — were the tightest in 2012, with Virginia also very competitive but not quite as close.
Realistically then, Republicans must nominate someone who has the potential to carry North Carolina, Florida, Ohio and at least a couple of other states on the list — probably Virginia and Colorado.
Nate Silver has written an interesting piece on the disadvantage Republicans face in the Electoral College. He includes this chart showing how Obama got the 272 Electoral College votes he needed to win the Presidency. The chart makes it easy to see which states are in the middle and could change their allegiances in 2016.
The Bull Elephant has recently published two articles on HOW we will nominate our choice of a candidate in 2016, here and here. Because of the importance of the role that Virginia will play in next year’s Presidential Election, it is vitally important WHO we nominate. We need a candidate that those ten swing states can get behind. Before his recent conviction, former Governor Bob McDonnell might have been the perfect candidate for President or Vice President in 2016 because he could have helped carry Virginia and North Carolina for Republicans. Now he may be in jail during next year’s election and his conviction precludes him from even voting for President. Ah, “the saddest words of tongue or pen, what might have been”.