The 2008 Electoral Map

Most people here know that I don’t really follow National politics too closely. Sure, from time to time I will post some things — but there are enough bloggers out there following the candidates.

Today, Joy Reid at the ReidBlog posted a link to an interesting new site:

They have a cool interactive map with some interesting data. You can click on each state you think will be carried by the Republican or Democratic candidates to see how the electoral college will shake out.

Here is a screen-shot of my map. (It’s a Flash object, so I can’t embed it here on State of Sunshine):

2008 Electoral Map

I put the race at Democrats 264 – Republicans 254, with 270 needed to win. To me the race comes down to one state: Ohio and its 20 electoral votes.

The most recent Quinnipiac Poll shows the Democratic candidates beating the Republican candidates virtually across the board.

What about the “swing states?” You ask?

Well, 270ToWin has Ohio among its 12 states in its “2004 Very Close” configuration. Here is my analysis of each:

Florida – Although Florida will remain competitive, I give the edge to the Republicans here because of the popularity of Governor Charlie Crist. This could change if property insurance, property taxes, and other issues start to curtail his support. However, I don’t see such a significant downturn.

New Hampshire – It used to be a solid Republican state, but as more and more Massachusetts transplants move into the southern half of the state, it’s becoming more liberal. (And more libertarian as it was selected for the Free State Project, but I digress). Since 1988, the only time New Hampshire went Republican was the 2000 election (had it voted Democrat, Gore would have been president.) I’m giving the state to the Democrats this year.

Pennsylvania – Other than the three “Reagan era” elections, Pennsylvania has gone Democratic. It was also the home of some major gains by Democrats in Congress, and the ouster of former Senator Santorum is only more proof. Chalk this one up to the Democrats.

Michigan – From 1972 to 1988, Michigan voted Republican. From 1988 to 2004, Michigan voted Democratic. With a Democratic Governor and two Democratic Senator, I can’t see the trend changing this year.

Wisconsin – Since 1960, Wisconsin has voted for exactly two Republicans: Richard Nixon (who campaigned to end the Vietnam war) and Ronald Reagan (who campaigned to end the Cold War). Since the campaign will hinge on “ending” the Iraq war, a position espoused by the Democrats, that’s two strikes against the GOP. Wisconsin goes to the Democrats.

Minnesota – Quick, name the last Republican to win Minnesota. If you said Richard Nixon in 1972, you’d be right. How this could be on any list of “close” races is beyond me. The Dems will continue to win this state.

Iowa – Ah yes, one of 2004’s hinge states. Although, to be fair, this state voted Democratic from 1988 through 2000. It could, in theory, be close again… but I’m willing to bet the Democrats could win again.

New Mexico – This could be a swing state again in 2008, given a Democratic Governor and a split membership in the US Senate. The Hispanic vote will be big, and immigration will be a huge issue. It’s hard to tell for sure, but I think New Mexico goes to the Democrats.

Colorado – The last Democrat to carry Colorado: Lyndon Baines Johnson in 1964. This state is home to Focus on the Family, after all. The antithesis of Minnesota, this one should go the to GOP in a walk.

Oregon – I have extended family in Portland – great people – all Democrats. The state is an odd one, but it hasn’t gone Republican since the 1984 Reagan landslide. They do have a GOP Senator, but that’s probably not going to help. Give these votes to the Democrats as well.

So, that leaves us with Ohio.

The Battleground of all battlegrounds. The primary season won’t help much, as Ohio will vote on March 2nd, when the race could be over. The Democrats won several congressional seats here — and I would attribute their victories to fierce opposition to the Iraq war.

If the situation in Iraq doesn’t improve considerable, with troops starting to come home next summer with a plan for almost total withdrawal by early 2009, then the GOP can write off this state to the Democrats.

Bottom line: No turn around in Iraq = President Hillary Clinton.

About Jim Johnson

Editor and publisher of The State of Sunshine.
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31 Responses to The 2008 Electoral Map

  1. gatordem says:


    Something else about Ohio in the 2006 cycle – corruption. The Republican brand went right down the toilet with the crruption running through the former GOP Governor to disgraced Republican Rep. Bob Ney.

    So not only do you have the Iraq problem dragging Republicans down, you also have the lingering stigma of the effects of corruption of the Republican brand in Ohio (which Ted Stevens doesn’t seem to be helping).

  2. kate says:

    Don’t count Colorado for the Repubs “in a walk” anymore. Governor Bill Ritter and Senator Salazar would beg to differ.

    Plus local liberals here have a special super duper not so secret weapon that just pulled into town about two months ago…

  3. Jim Johnson says:

    Kate – If Colorado switches on my electoral map, then the race ends in a 269-269 tie, and we get Nancy Pelosi electing the next President.

    GatorDem – I understand how corruption was a big help in 2006, but those kinds of issues rarely last very long. It’s not like the Democrats have been able to do a heck of a lot on this subject. It’s also hard to portray someone from outside Washington (Romney or Giuliani for example) as part of the ‘culture of corruption.’

    Will it be a factor? Sure. But I’m not convinced that it would be that salient to most of the voters. With Iraq, it’s an easy argument to make.

  4. Jim,

    Some thoughts on Ohio:

    Democrats only won one Congressional seat in the state in 2006. That was Bob Ney’s open Congressional seat. You could probably chalk that one up to corruption.

    But Democrats did that while winning a Senate seat, the Governorship, and all of the statewide cabinet positions. Those victories were probably due to a combination of the Iraq war and general dissatisfaction with the GOP.

    Also, I think you’re a little off with your math with respect to Colorado.

    If Democrats win all of the Kerry states plus Iowa and New Mexico and then win Colorado that gives them 273 electoral votes and the Presidency. Perhaps you’re thinking of Nevada?

  5. Leslie says:

    You spelled Reagan wrong.

  6. Jim Johnson says:

    Thank you, Leslie. I have corrected it.

  7. Sean says:

    Um, Bill Clinton won Colorado in 1992, and it’s been REALLY close almost every election cycle. Hit that up with the fact that Obama’s been polling ahead of McCain in almost every single poll (and that the Dems have something up their sleeve by putting the DNC Convention in Denver) and I’d say you need to rethink Colorado hardcore.

  8. robert says:

    Look again. Michigan is red, red, red! You think they’re going for Obama after the DNC disenfranchised millions of voters there? Not once do you state voter preference for McCain rather than Obama. It’s just a fact. The more voters get to know Obama, the faster his poll numbers drop. Where’s his bounce?

  9. Priscilla says:

    The more voters get to know Obama, the more his numbers go up! They find that he is a man of proven character, he has been vetted by America for 19 months and he hasn’t fallen short. The difference between Obama and McCain is, Obama has the wisdom, judgment, heart for the working-class, and leadership skills to run this country. McCain is a rich man’s president. They may campaign okay, but they aren’t good leaders. Bush failed to lead this country and Mccain, voting for him 90% of the time, would fall into the same rut. McCain/Palin are out of touch with Americans. They are in a world all of their own. All they know is how to lash out and try to tear down people’s character when is essence, their lies are coming out. Obama/Biden ticket will lead very well and America wil be proud.

  10. Deb says:

    I have watched the Obama/Biden ticket and the McCain/Palain ticket and what astounds me is that Obama had a vetting committee to help select the best choice for his party ticket. On the other hand, McCain, who should have known better, and out of desperation, took a “gut” shot and selected Palin, a woman who has not been fully vetted, especially by the American public. We are a democracy and we have the right to ask questions, especially when things are “in your face.” It is not sexism to see that Palin doesn’t walk her talk. She talks tough but she can’t rule her own family. This pregnant daughter is not out on her own, she is a minor in Palin’s household. This says something about her parental skills and not having the time to parent because of her ambition. Women, this is NOT SEXIST, this is the truth! McCain/Palin can only get votes when they turn ugly, but NO MORE! America is tired of it. The only voters rooting for McCain/Palin are the elite few in the Republican Party. They may have some experience but they lack wisdom, they lie to make themselves look good, and they aren’t concerned about the American public, especially the working class. They are hell-bent on building their resumes. Jesus was a community leader, Pontius Pilate was governor, who was also a traitor!

  11. i.j. jenkins says:

    Colorado voted for Clinton in 1992, idiot.

  12. Jason says:

    NObama ’08!

  13. Kendra says:

    First of all, Clinton won Colorado in 1992. You need to get your facts straight. Second of all, a lot of transplants from California have moved to the state (especially western CO), making that part of the state more liberal. Eastern Colorado (where I’m originally from) is very conservative. I think CO will definitely be a toss-up this election.

  14. Mark says:

    Interesting opinions, except there was one error I noticed: The last Democrat to win Colorado was BILL CLINTON in 1992. Maybe its a bit more “swing” than you are giving it credit for being.

  15. Mark Hettesheimer says:

    I generally agree with the map with the exception of CT given the strong senate partnership he has in this state.

    My arguement:

    * Leiberman was stongly opposed by his own party in this state, and he won!

    * There is a huge insurance population and likely the residents of this state would find their jobs more important then a bigger gov’t role in healthcare. They are one of the few that agree that Medicare is broken and no need to expand it.

    Sorry, I am a California resident; not that my vote counts.

  16. Buhc says:


    You sound desperate to prove a point. Unfortunately, your “facts” are only liberal propoganda.

  17. WakeBoarder says:

    Obama Biden
    Osama Binladen
    There are no coincidences.
    You should be scared. I know it worries me.

  18. Jorgia says:

    People who say they are scared of Obama and Biden; after the last 8 years we have had, sound so ignorant to me. I live in Texas and there are a lot of people who will vote for McCain out of fear, not because they actually believe in his policies. There are also critical thinkers, like myself…who will vote for Obama.

  19. Robert says:

    Pass this on to your conservative friends who have lost touch with the reality of their vote!

  20. Brad Sullivan says:

    Kate –

    Don’t count out Colorado as total Democratic. I still believe that Colorado will still go Republican. Neighbors and co-workers are united to vote GOP and pull it through.

  21. Jim Piccillo says:

    Wakeboarder………………please do not vote!! People like you are what give the American citizens a really bad name in the eyes of each other and the world!

    Every CREDIBLE poll and news organization has Obama/Biden up by at least 6 points and possibly carrying every swing state. Right now with the actual electoral math Obama needs ANY ONE STATE (Nevada, Colorado, Missouri, Ohio, Florida or Virginia) to win the election…….btw- we, in Florida who volunteer for the campaign WILL Deliver President Obama!!!

  22. swampy says:

    I would say, I’ve never seen so many Democrats that are either blind, ignorant or just simply don’t let the facts get in the way. You have the nerve to talk about Republican corruption..Give me a break. There are some, but they can’t compare to the Democrats. Lets start with “Hick” “Burp” Chappaquiddick kid Kennedy, Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi Who never saw an illegal she didn’t like and who has made a killing on questionable Chinese deals. What about the liar Biden who wouldn’t know the truth if it hit him in the butt. How about your pal in Florida who has had two affairs and made bribery payouts. You know, the list just goes on and on. So don’t give me that crap about Republican corruption when the Democrats have plenty of their own house cleaning to do. You can’t pick any state that I can’t show you a Democrat that is either corrupt, or ethically challenged. Yep, your ACORN, “Community Organizers” are working over time as usual to steal an election and you have the nerve to talk about Republicans stealing an election. It was the Democrats that fouled up in Ohio last time, and it was the Democrats that tried to rig the Florida 2000 Election. Lie all you want to, but we know the truth.

  23. Patrick says:

    The media is in a sad state. So much bias and misreporting of facts. most Hawaii newspapers reporting Obama’s visit to Hawaii contain an article that says “In a statement Gibbs said: “Senator Obama’s grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, has always been one of the most important people in his life. Along with his mother and his grandfather, she raised him in Hawaii from the time he was born until the moment he left for college. As he said at the Democratic Convention, she poured everything she had into him…..didn’t he live in Indonesia for a while?

  24. Jon says:

    Maybe I just haven’t paid too much attention to the campaigns in the past, but this one is starting to bug me. This guy (Obama) has a list of faults a mile long. I will not name most of them, as we all know what I am talking about. Even his own running mate (before he was asked to run) said that Obama was not qualified to be Pres. Now conveniently, he has changed his stance of course. We all know now that he still beleives that from what he said about the generated crisis that should be expected if Obabma is elected Pres. Give me a break, I can’t beleive that anybody in thier right mind can justify a “change” for the worse. I just cannot see any benefit (to anyone) for having Obama as President. I guess if he does get elected there will be two good things that come out of it. The first would be that FINALLY we can put aside the reverse racism in this country. What can they say then, when the highest office in the world is being held by an “African American” (which he barely is). The next best thing to come of an Obama president is that we all know it will be a victory with an asterisk next to it. That asterisk being the current economic condition of our country. If it were better economic times, it wouldn’t even be close. Chaulk one up for good timing (or bad timing depending on where you stand).

  25. Kimberly says:

    I use to lean toward the Democratic side, now I am Republican. I don’t think the media coverage of this election has been fair, it’s one sided. That was one reason I took another look at McCain. Neither candidate can say they are perfect, haven’t made mistakes, or don’t have a lot to learn. If you are going to talk about the faults of one side, talk about the other. People keep saying McCain voted with Bush 90% of the time, well, how many votes was that exactly? And what for? At least he took a stand, instead of voting PRESENT more than he stood up for something important. No matter what party someone is for I do not understand how anyone can think that a man who served this country from military to Senate can say he he is out of touch. He has spent his whole life talking to us and what we want and need. How is that out of touch? Gov. Palin has the highest approval rating of any gov., obviously knowing what her people want had something to do with it, yet she is out of touch? I know some ideal mom and dads out there that did everything right and found their son/daughter is going to be a teenage parent. Parenting does help, but teens can find a way to get themselves into trouble. I think McCain and Palin have done more good for the people than harm, or mistakes. I am not willing to put my vote on a man who says he is for the middle class yet talks down to them.

  26. tammy says:

    People say McCain is out of touch because he did not know how many houses he owned.

    Why is VA red on the map? Why is NC red on the map? When was it last updated?

  27. tammy says:

    People say McCain is out of touch because he did not know how many houses he owned. Incidentally a property in CA has delinquent taxes on it- guess he has that on common with Joe the Plumber!

    Why is VA red on the map? Why is NC red on the map? When was it last updated?

  28. oli dop kia says:

    I think that obama is going to get assassinated!!!!!!!!

  29. Not so important says:

    I came across your page and I think you should keep it for historical reference. It is a very interesting analysis, but in retrospect, given the fact that we now have an Obama president, everything seems so interesting to ponder. 🙂

  30. political veiw says:

    I am from Michigan but there really were a lot of McCain supporters out here in Michigan. I don’t think you should have just labled us because of our senators and such. People have different veiws and different ideas. I personally am an Obama fan and a young democrat but if you travel in and out of Michigan you will notice that the signs rooting for Obama or equal to the amount of signs that say MCain should be president. We are not just one big glump og democrats out here.

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