Swinging the states


Politics! Maps!! A new web toy from the folks at Opinion Journal gives you a clickable map to develop your own electoral college scenarios of the upcoming election. A click on a state rotates it from the Republican to the Democrat to the undecided column. (Alas, they insist on coloring Republican states red and Democrat states blue, following USA Today's 2000 county map, despite the fact that red, as the color of the socialist parties throughout the western world, properly belongs to the Democrats.) A shift-click on a state shows you the percentage outcomes for the last six presidential elections. You can use any of the last six elections as your starting point, or use their default, putting high-margin-of-victory states in one column or the other, and leaving the rest for you to sort out.

For more insight, you might want to read Slate's series on the swing states, which just began with a look at bellwether Missouri. See also Best of the Web Today from Thursday with a roundup of recent polls and Friday's edition, with the latest bookmakers' odds.

Larry Sabato has an interesting analysis, based on 2000 results plus trends apparent from mid-term elections.

There's a realistic scenario that could leave us deadlocked. (Click the image below to see the map.) If Kerry wins everything north of the Mason Dixon line, plus West Virginia, the upper Midwest (Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan, Illinois), the west coast and Hawaii, plus New Mexico and Bush wins everything else, it's a 269-269 tie.

If there's a tie and we have no faithless electors, it goes to the House of Representatives as a state-by-state vote. If the current House makeup holds, Bush gets the votes of 29 states: AL, AK, AZ, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MI, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NM, NC, OH, OK, PA, SC, UT, WY.

Four states are even-steven: MN, MS, TX, WI. Texas could go either way, as the new redistricting created several incumbent vs. incumbent battles. And several states have a one-congressman difference that could swing the other way. Note that several states are unlikely wins for Bush at the top of the ticket, but are heavily Republican in the Congressional delegation.

(My state-by-state evaluation of the partisan balance of each House delegation was done in a hurry, with info from Politics1 which features lists of likely candidates for each federal and state race, links to newspapers in each state, and images of buttons from campaigns past. (Oklahoma's entry has a picture of the Bud Wilkinson for Senate button. An article in Oklahoma Monthly suggested that if Bud hadn't run down the Rural Electric Administration during his campaign, he would have won that Senate race and would have been positioned to be Nixon's VP and ultimately President.)

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on June 5, 2004 1:15 AM.

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