The 2016 Results We Can Already Predict

The battleground states will give you déjà vu.

From:,  by: Larry J. Sabato, Kyle Kondik, and Geoffrey Skelly,  on: May 3, 2015,  see the article HERE.


As the country has become more divided and polarized, the number of swing states has steadily shrunk. Even in 2000, when 537 votes in Florida elected a president, just 12 states were decided by five points or less. That number contracted to just four states in 2012.

When Jimmy Carter defeated President Gerald Ford in 1976, every big state was competitive: California, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Illinois and Ohio all had at least 25 electoral votes, and each one was decided by less than five points. All told, 20 of 50 states were won by five points or less. This wasn’t unique; an earlier close election, the 1960 match-up between John Kennedy and Richard Nixon, produced razor-thin results in exactly the same number of states, with almost all the mega-states of that day recording tight margins.

We don’t really have elections like 1960 and 1976 anymore. In the current Electoral College battlefield, 40 of 50 states have voted for the same candidate in all four elections since 2000. And, of the 10 exceptions, three were fluky: New Mexico’s pluralities were wafer-thin in both 2000, when it went for Al Gore, and 2004, when George W. Bush took the state. It has now trended mainly Democratic. Indiana and North Carolina, meanwhile, narrowly went for Barack Obama in 2008, in part because Obama’s campaign invested heavily in field operations and advertising in those states while John McCain, out of necessity, neglected them. Overall, Hoosiers are still predominantly Republican and Tar Heels marginally so. That leaves just seven super-swingy states: Colorado, Florida, Nevada, Ohio, and Virginia, all of which backed Bush and Obama twice each, and Iowa and New Hampshire, which have voted Democratic in three of the last four elections.

So it’s no wonder that these special seven states start as the only obvious toss-ups on our first 2016 Electoral Map.

2016 Electoral Map 01

This map feels like déjà vu: It’s effectively the same map we featured for much of the 2012 cycle, and it unmistakably suggests the Democratic nominee should start the election as at least a marginal Electoral College favorite over his or (probably) her Republican rival. However, at the starting gate it is wiser to argue that the next election is basically a 50-50 proposition.

How can that be when Democrats are so much closer to the magic number of 270 than Republicans?

At heart, it’s because the past is often not a good guide to the future. With regularity in modern history, the Electoral College’s alleged lock for one party has been picked by the other party, usually at eight-year intervals. A few states that appear to be solidly in one party’s column can switch in any given year because of short-term (Indiana) or long-term (Virginia) forces. Other states that merely lean to one party require less of a push to change allegiances. North Carolina tilts to the GOP and Wisconsin to the Democrats, but it doesn’t require much imagination to foresee the winning party flipping one or the other.

For the Democrats, a victory in 2016 entails zero expansion of the blue map, merely the limiting of blue-to-red transformations. Assuming the lean, likely, and safe Democratic states remain loyal to the party, the nominee need only win 23 of the 85 toss-up electoral votes. And if a lean Democratic state such as Wisconsin turns red, it is relatively easy to replace those votes with one or two toss-ups.

On the other hand, Republicans must hold all their usual states plus find a way to stitch together an additional 64 electoral votes, or 79 if they can’t hold North Carolina. To do this, the GOP candidate will have to come close to sweeping the toss-ups under most scenarios—a difficult task unless the election year’s fundamentals (President Obama’s job approval, economic conditions, war and peace, and so on) are moving powerfully against the Democrats.

It is possible, maybe quite plausible, that any new Republican path to Electoral College victory will wend through the whiter-than-average industrial Midwest, but as of now it’s more likely to expect the GOP’s electoral map to look much like George W. Bush’s narrow route to the White House—a solid South, rural Midwest and Rocky Mountain majority.

One could argue that we’re giving the Democrats short shrift by not calling rapidly diversifying North Carolina a toss-up, or leaning Nevada to them because of its growing and largely Democratic Hispanic vote. But if one assumes that the 2016 outcome will be closer than Obama’s 2012 national victory margin of four percentage points—and that is a reasonable working assumption 18 months in advance of Election Day—then Nevada should be tight while North Carolina would take on a reddish hue.

That said, there are two predictions we can make at this point.

First, if Republicans lose either Florida or Ohio, the nominee has no realistic path to victory. Both states are typically at least slightly more Republican than the nation as a whole. If GOP voters are thinking strategically during the nominating process, they will pick a candidate with a profile appealing to Sunshine and Buckeye state residents.

Second, while there are credible Democratic paths to the White House without Virginia, anything other than a win or a loss by just a percent or two in the Old Dominion will signal the Democrat’s downfall. Virginia was (slightly) more Democratic than the nation in 2012 for the first time since Franklin Roosevelt’s era, and population trends that are increasingly favorable to Democrats are continuing.

We’ll expand on this analysis in this Thursday’s Crystal Ball newsletter. But, if you plan to go where the action will be, you can already safely book those autumn 2016 travel packages to Columbus, Denver, Des Moines, Las Vegas, Manchester, Richmond and Tampa.


I must confess that knowing that the democrats have a 41 electoral vote head start on us is discouraging. Of course, those forecast numbers are just that – forecasts. It doesn’t speak very highly of our electorate when votes can be forecast (with some certainty) for a candidate as flawed as Hillary Clinton. In fact, the word “flawed” doesn’t do justice to the crimes of which she is likely guilty. Yet some of our countrymen will just shrug off the accusations and vote for her – ’cause she’s a democrat – ’cause she’s a Clinton – ’cause she’s a woman – all sorry reasons to vote for the most powerful individual in our system of government.

With the failed Obama administration fresh in our minds, shouldn’t we want someone who’s committed to creating new jobs, repealing Obamacare, taking the politics out of the IRS and reducing taxes and government spending? Someone who will rekindle our friendship with our allies and strengthen our resolve to defend against our enemies. Someone who has a proven track record of doing what’s right, not just doing what’s politically expedient. Someone who will abide by the Constitution and work with Congress to fix the country’s ills. And someone who WILL NOT LIE to the American people.

That last item automatically disqualifies Hillary.






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20 Responses to The 2016 Results We Can Already Predict

  1. Hardnox says:

    Virginia was never a swing state until the northern part was overrun with mostly lefty government workers and other lefties escaping their former wrecked states. The rest of VA is predominantly dark red.

    It’s pretty sad that the outcome is so predictable. All the more reason why the GOP needs to field a true conservative. They would clean up… yet the likes of Rove and other so called consultants continue the moderate meme despite all the past failures.

    It’s no wonder why the left is flooding Texas with illegals. Once TX is lost, game over.

  2. Garnet92 says:

    The really disturbing thing is that a large percentage of the democrat base are functionally illiterate when it comes to issues and positions – they’re truly low/no information voters. If they only knew (or cared) what havoc their votes caused they might switch their vote – or stay home.

    I also agree with your Texas statement. If Texas “turns,” the country is lost. It’ll become a Europe-lite country and slowly devolve into France.

    • Hardnox says:

      It really is stunning that whenever I talk with people that vote dim, in all cases, they believe the same things we do yet vote against their own self interests only because they believe the barrage of lefty lies that are said about Conservatives and the principles that we hold dear.

  3. Kathy says:

    Yes it is discouraging, especially when you consider that the moves O has made and is still making with the illegal immigrants will take voter fraud to a whole new level which will pale 2012 in comparison.

    With her flip-flop on amnesty, right now Hillary is the candidate with the ice cream, so the GOP needs to keep her misdeeds up front and center. That will be hard to do without being portrayed as picking on a woman.

    • Garnet92 says:

      I just hope that her latest position on immigration will wake a few people up. Of course, the illegals and their sponsors will eat it up, but I think that much of the country is not enamored with the idea of granting “a path to” citizenship to all illegals.

  4. Clyde says:

    Same shit, different decade. If the moronic GOPe would just run as CONSERVATIVE, and STICK TO IT once elected, this map could easily have a lot more red splashed on it. Yet, as Nox alluded to, the GOPe flacks like Rove, and the morons pandering to the lamestream media trying to curry favor which they will NEVER get, will snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

    • Garnet92 says:

      Right on Clyde. Just think of how different our country would be if Gowdy or Gomert in the House and Cruz or Lee in the Senate were in charge. With those guys, we’d have principled, honest, strong leaders with both backbone and balls.

      If only ……

  5. Uriel says:

    So long as the Electorial College holds the reins rather than populace vote, there will Always be a major shift to the Democrat/Liberal agenda. Think Fixed votes. “On four occasions, most recently in 2000, the Electoral College system has resulted in the election of a candidate who did not receive the most popular votes in the election.” Electors come from the side with the most sway in a state so if state was basically Democrat then regardless of popular vote, (should it be another party) those electors would be casting a vote rarely across party lines or per populace winner but in the best interests of their party..

  6. Garnet92 says:

    Good comment Uriel. I confess to having mixed emotions on the electoral/popular vote issue. I’ve written on the issue before and still am uneasy with scrapping the electoral college and switching to a pure popular vote method. The problem there is that the biggest cities/metro areas are generally democrat while “flyover” country would be overwhelmed by the Northeast and West coasts. The dems are all for it and that’s one reason I’m suspicious.

    • Uriel says:

      Good point Garnet. Maybe a modifued colkege. But tgen again if illegals are brought in droves to vote then No change will work. Then it becomes Which pays them better.

  7. I would predict that the shrew Hillary will win the next election in 2016. The democrat populace stands firmly behind her no matter what she has done, how many crimes committed.

    And then of course we have the most illiterate and uninformed voters on the democrat side. Next the democrat voter fraud as become a living, moving machine. I predict the fraud will be as bad if not worse than 2012.

    The media is a shill for the establishment Jeb Bush. If he is the nominee there if a huge segment of conservatives who will not come out to vote for him. Bush is considered a light Obama. His stand on amnesty and Common Core will kill it.

    The smears by the media on any true conservative will be in full force more so than ever on any true conservative. Democrats and the media want the government to stay in the hands of democrats or commies as I like to refer to them.

    Any republican who debates Clinton will be called a woman hater no matter what.That lie will be a crucial part of this next election and the dummies in our country will believe it.

    We are now so divided and there seems to be more democrats in this country than conservatives. I could break it down further but that would take too long.

    In summary I have lost hope that the next president will be a true conservative. The country is being dumbed down faster than you can blink an eye. The plantation people will all vote for Hillary.

    • Uriel says:

      Hi peppermintfarm. Unfortunately unless true evidence and a trial are in the forecast I can see exactly that. One reason too many Republicans running and all the hiigh money backing her buys a Lot of votes. Still I suspect to see Omuppet make a move very soon that will create a massive problem. I think that info for the Cash Book was a deliberate move to hide his next major step from main view until it is too late. Then this country will for real see hard times.

      • Uriel, I can’t see anyone investigating the Clinton scandal. The AG isn’t going to do it. The FBI? Doubtful. And people will look at her felonies as just another right wing conspiracy.

        I don’t put anything past that ogre O. I think we are already doomed. I hate to sound so pessimistic but we have a fraud prez completely out of control now. It’s too late to try to impeach him. By the time that would get done he’d already be gone.

        If he tries to take a third term I can only pray somebody does something to stop him.

    • Garnet92 says:

      Good to hear from you Pepp. I hope that you’re ok – don’t hear much from you lately.

      I am (perhaps naively) still hopeful that we can elect a conservative – or at least a conservative-lite (NOT a RINO). You’re right, the plantation people are still ignorant about what’s “holding them down” and blindly elect the next group of democrat “Massas” without question. We undoubtedly have a tough fight ahead, but this election we have the best chance of electing a real conservative (like Ted Cruz) that we’ve had in many moons.

      Keep your fingers crossed!

      • Thank Garnet. No I’ve not been feeling OK lately, but not going to go into that here.

        I can understand you wanting to believe a true conservative will be elected. I hate being so pessimistic but I see the eGOP getting their way as usual and a nominee we won’t want.

        I would love to see Ted Cruz elected. I don’t have much hope in it.

  8. gunnyginalaska says:

    Mexifornia needs to be split up 5 ways. Better to simply secede and call it quits.

  9. tannngl says:

    If the Republicans would only have more babies! And home school! we could take this country back!
    Genesis 1:28