“This is about as bad as it could get for Democrats, and as good as it could get for Republicans. The next GOP presidential candidate gets six free electoral votes from South Carolina, Texas, Utah. The Democratic caucus in the House is about to see internal warfare in the rust belt and northeast, as their members are forced into Thunderdome battle for the diminished number of seats. Only in Illinois, I think, will the Democrats be able to create a map that hurts the GOP’s newly elected members and takes back a seat or two…
“It’s almost a fool’s errand to try and predict redistricting now, before incoming legislatures get control of it, but if there was no partisan gerrymandering, we’d see a lot of competitive or Democratic-leaning new districts in red states. Most of the growth in the past decade has happened in suburbs and exurbs that have been growing bluer — Travis and Harris County in Texas, Maricopa County in Arizona, Wake County in North Carolina, and so on. But Republicans can easily carve up red states after the Florida and Texas models, and pack non-whites in uncompetitive districts, shore up a few liberals, and make the rest of the districts too Republican-leaning to get into real danger.”
“Overall, this represents a continued shift in the Electoral College from blue-leaning states to red-leaning states. If the 2008 election had been held under these census numbers, President Obama’s 365-173 victory over John McCain would have become a 359-179 win. For 2004, the numbers are starker still: Bush’s 286-251 victory would become a 292-246 win, meaning that even if Kerry had won Ohio, he still would have lost (in 2004, flipping Ohio would have been sufficient to give Kerry the win).
“And finally, in 2000, rather than a 271-266 win (with one faithless Gore/Lieberman elector from DC abstaining), the changes of the past two decades would have resulted in a President Bush win of 285-252. While Florida would still would have been the difference-maker, Gore would not have to tell himself that, had he won New Hampshire, Tennessee or Arkansas, the whole Florida debacle would have been irrelevant.”
“Assume, for the sake of argument, that the 2012 Republican nominee wins a quartet of traditionally GOP-leaning states that Obama won in 2008: Virginia (13 electoral votes), Indiana (11 electoral votes), North Carolina (15 electoral votes) and Florida (now 29 electoral votes). Add in the one electoral vote in Nebraska that Obama won by 1.1 percent. Add in the six net votes from the 2008 McCain states, and that puts the Republican at 248 electoral votes, needing another 22.
“Those 22 votes could be won in a variety of ways, but the most likely scenario would appear to be Ohio (18 electoral votes) and any other state (Iowa, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania).”
“The Red States from 2004 with, plus the 6 new electoral votes after reapportionment leaves the Republicans with 253 electoral votes…
“Assuming they keep the red states, plus Virginia, the Republicans need to win only one of the following swing states:
“Colorado (Cook Partisan index 0), or
Nevada (D+1), or
Iowa (D+1), or
New Hampshire (D+2), or
New Mexico (D+2)”
“These numbers are an opportunity for Republicans, but also a challenge, since the main areas undergoing population growth are (with a few exceptions like Utah) growing mainly through a growing Latino population. Which explains why Democrats are so eager to try to divide off Latino voters to vote as a homogenous race-conscious bloc the way African-Americans do; it’s their only path to offset their shrinking deep-blue-state power base. There’s no future in being the party of the Northeast and the West Coast, and Democrats know this; liberal pundits and left-wing bloggers are quite open about the extent to which they bank on racial demographics as their salvation, and those demographics only benefit them if they can maintain very high rates of racial division in the voting patterns of Latino and African-American voters, far higher than you would find among white voters. Republicans don’t have to win the Latino vote outright to fend off that challenge, they only need individual Latinos to remain open enough to both sides that Republicans can persuade a decent percentage to vote GOP, as the Democrats still do among white voters. Frankly, it’s not a coincidence that the two states with the most population growth have had, for the past decade and a half, GOP governors starting with George W. and Jeb Bush who worked hard to cater to Latino voters and declined to join in the harshest anti-immigration (even anti-illegal-immigration) rhetoric or policies.
“Let’s look deeper at the map through the eyes of a Democrat, and you can see why the campaign of relentless racial division touted on a daily basis by left-leaning commentators and pursued by President Obama in some of his ugliest moments of the 2010 stretch run – calling Republicans the ‘enemies’ of Latinos who had to be ‘punished,’ asserting that Republicans were ‘counting on …black folks staying home’ – will only be exacerbated as Obama’s natural strategy for 2012, given how his performance in office has lost him much of the support among white voters (and some among Latino voters) that he enjoyed in 2008.”