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Yesterday, FHQ promised that it would be back today with a look at the impact the reapportionment changes would have had on the 2008 election. More importantly, though, it is instructive to dust off the Electoral College Spectrum and begin to visualize how the seat/electoral college vote shifts will impact the 2012 presidential election. The map above accomplishes the former without much explanation -- Obama would have lost six electoral votes overall in 2008 -- and below you will find the latter.
|The Electoral College Spectrum*|
|*Follow the link for a detailed explanation on how to read the Electoral College Spectrum.|
**The numbers in the parentheses refer to the number of electoral votes a candidate would have if he won all the states ranked prior to that state. If, for example, McCain won all the states up to and including Colorado (all Obama's toss up states plus Colorado), he would have 275 electoral votes. McCain's numbers are only totaled through the states he would have needed in order to get to 270. In those cases, Obama's number is on the left and McCain's is on the right in italics.
***Colorado is the state where Obama crossed the 270 electoral vote threshold to win the presidential election. That line is referred to as the victory line.
****Nebraska allocates electoral votes based on statewide results and the results within each of its congressional districts. Nebraska's 2nd district voted for Barack Obama in 2008.
Again, this graphic is helpful from the standpoint of ranking the states from most pro-Obama to most pro-GOP, but it also provides a glimpse into what each side has to do in the general election in 2012 to either maintain or win back the White House. President Obama had such a cushion in the 2008 election -- even under the newly reapportioned electoral college -- that the Democrat could lose next year all of the middle column states except the three on top and still win. In other words, the president could yield Florida, Ohio and North Carolina, among others, and still win re-election assuming that the Republican nominee is unable to advance into some of the other seemingly safer Obama states. It is hard not to see New Hampshire and Iowa -- two of the three states that flipped between the parties between the 2000 and 2004 elections -- as well as Colorado and Virginia as the major battlegrounds of the 2012 election. And in light of the announced layoffs at Organizing for America, these states are important enough that FHQ would be willing to wager that no OFA scale back will affect any of the states listed immediately above.