3. There is no “blue wall.” This is a common point pundits will make – the list of states that have not voted Republican since 1988 amounts to a “blue wall” for the president. Nonsense. It’s better to say that these states have Democratic tilts, some of them pretty minimal.
Take Pennsylvania, for instance. The Keystone State usually votes about 3 points more Democratic than the rest of the country. So, if Romney wins the nationwide vote by 3 points, then he will stand a very good chance of winning Pennsylvania. This is why the frame from the Babington article is wrong. Yes, the GOP has lost Pennsylvania every time since 1988, but it has not won a national presidential election by 3 points since then. That is a distinct possibility this year, meaning that Pennsylvania is up for grabs.
In fact, when we look at the electoral map from the perspective of each state’s partisan tilt, we see that the “blue wall” is simply insufficient. The states with a Republican tilt of at least 1 point total up to 253 Electoral Votes, based on the 2008 results. The states with a Democratic tilt of at least 1 percent total up to 257 electoral votes.