Sunday, January 2, 2011

The 2012-2020 Electoral College Map

[Click to Enlarge]

In view of the fact that the Census Bureau released its population numbers prior to the holidays, FHQ needs to issue a clerical change to its 2012 electoral college map; shifting from projection to reality. Not to beat a dead horse, but the take away is that the population in the purple to bluish states in the Rust Belt and northeast grew at a much slower rate (Michigan lost population) than red states in the southeast and purple to reddish states in the southwest. The seats in Congress shift accordingly. And while that appears to hypothetically swell the ranks of the GOP not only in the House but in the electoral college tally as well, that growth may be muted even in light of the gains the Republican Party made at the state legislative level in the 2010 midterm elections.

There was only a six electoral vote shift using the 2008 election results and the newly reapportioned map. Obama would have won 359-179 as opposed to 365-173. And the question remains whether Republicans at the state level will solidify through redistricting what they have in terms of current House districts or attempt to squeeze a few more seats out of the process while potentially opening the door to future electoral vulnerability in those races. We'll likely see a little bit of both strategies employed with the net effect that the GOP makes gains but not the extent that some of the doomsday scenarios that made the rounds following the 2010 "shellacking".

We'll have more tomorrow on the impact of these changes on the electoral college in 2012 and beyond, but for now the new map (especially in the sidebar for reference) will suffice.

UPDATE: Here's a look at the 2008 results using the 2012-2020 electoral college along with the electoral college spectrum and a look at the potential battleground states for 2012.

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