​​Every voter ought not merely to vote, but to vote under the inspiration of a high purpose to serve a nation.

- President Calvin Coolidge  

The future of this republic is in the hands of the American voter.

- President Dwight Eisenhower  

Bringing Common Sense to Political Commentary Since 2004
David Bleidistel, Editor

DAVE'S PREDICTIONS FOR THE 2016 ELECTIONS

The Presidential Race

There will be much punditry to be heard between now and November 8, 2016 – Election Day – and each pundit will try to argue that their own issues and priorities will be the absolute determining factors in deciding the election. My advice is to take it all with a large grain of salt. No matter what they say, and no matter how well-known they are, these pundits will probably be wrong.

There is one – and only one – factor that will matter on Election Day, and that factor is the number 270.

Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution mandates that “Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress”. Since there are a total of 100 Senators and 435 Representatives, and the Constitution grants the District of Columbia 3 electoral votes (as per the 23rd Amendment), there are a total of 538 electoral votes available. Under this Constitutionally-mandated Electoral College system, established by the Founding Fathers more than 200 years ago, the candidate who wins a majority of the available electoral votes will be the next President*. With 538 total votes available, a majority means at least 270 votes. This is the magic number that all campaigns strive for, because they know that getting 270 votes is all that matters.

Period.

Many people mistakenly believe that the President is elected directly by the American people – in other words, by a nation-wide popular vote – but this is simply not true. The nation-wide popular vote actually doesn’t matter at all (If you don’t believe me, I suggest you ask President Al Gore how important it is to win the national popular vote!). This analysis, then, will be focused on each Party’s “Path to 270” – their chances of attaining that magic number of 270 electoral votes.

It should also be noted that all but two states – or, more specifically, “the Legislatures thereof” in all but two states – have decided to grant their entire slate of electoral votes to the popular vote winner within that state (the District of Columbia does the same). The two other states, Maine and Nebraska, both grant two of their electoral votes to the overall state-wide popular vote winner, and their remaining votes to the popular vote winners within each Congressional district (as an example, Barack Obama received one of Nebraska’s five votes in 2008, because he won a Congressional district in the Omaha area).

Let’s start this off with what I believe we can all agree on. The following are lists of states that each Party is certain to win:

The Democrats are certain to win 15 states and the District of Columbia for a starting point of 196 electoral votes: California (55), Connecticut (7), Delaware (3), the District of Columbia (3), Hawaii (4), Illinois (20), Maine (4), Maryland (10), Massachusetts (11), Minnesota (10), New Jersey (14), New York (29), Oregon (7), Rhode Island (4), Vermont (3), and Washington (12).

The Republicans are certain to win 24 states for a starting point of 206 electoral votes: Alabama (9), Alaska (3), Arizona (11), Arkansas (6), Georgia (16), Idaho (4), Indiana (11), Kansas (6), Kentucky (8), Louisiana (8), Mississippi (6), Missouri (10), Montana (3), Nebraska (5), North Carolina (15), North Dakota (3), Oklahoma (7), South Carolina (9), South Dakota (3), Tennessee (11), Texas (38), Utah (6), West Virginia (5), and Wyoming (3).

The remaining 11 states (representing 136 electoral votes) are generally regarded as “Toss-Ups”, and are therefore where the most attention will be focused:

These are the “Toss-Up” States: Colorado (9), Florida (29), Iowa (6), Michigan (16), Nevada (6), New Hampshire (4), New Mexico (5), Ohio (18), Pennsylvania (20), Virginia (13), and Wisconsin (10).

That is probably as far as we can go with everyone in agreement.

It is important to note that all eleven of these “Toss-Up” states – each and every one of them – went for the Democrats in both 2008 and 2012.  This is a key point, and illustrates why winning Presidential elections now presents a significant challenge for the Republicans – not just for 2016, but for the foreseeable future, regardless of who their candidate might be. If the GOP can’t turn at least some key states from this “Toss-Up” list around, they will never again win the White House – ever – because they simply cannot reach the magic number of 270.

There are, of course, varying degrees of “Toss-Up”-ness. As I see it, of the eleven “Toss-Up” states listed above, six of them – Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – aren’t really “Toss-Ups” at all. Three of these six – Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – are almost certain to go to the Democrats as all three have gone Democratic for each of the past six consecutive elections (seven consecutive elections in the case of Wisconsin).  Two more of these states – New Hampshire and New Mexico – have a strong likelihood of going for the Democrats as both have gone Democratic for five of the last six elections. The remaining state in this group – Nevada – has to be considered to be at least leaning towards the Democrats, having gone Democratic for two consecutive elections and four of the last six, and having undergone demographic shifts that will continue to heavily favor the Democrats (namely the huge growth in the Black and Hispanic populations in Clark County, which includes Las Vegas). Together these six states represent 61 electoral votes, which would give the Democrats an actual starting point of 257 electoral votes, rather than the 196 listed above. If these numbers are correct, and I’m right in predicting that the remaining 5 states – Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Ohio, and Virginia – are the true “Toss-Ups” and will ultimately decide the election, then in order to win the White House, the Democrats only need to add Florida, Ohio, or Virginia – any one of the three will do – or they could win both Colorado and Iowa. The Republicans, on the other hand, must add four out of the five to their starting point of 206 votes, and those four must include Florida, Ohio, and Virginia.  

Clearly, the Democrats have the easier path to 270, and the Republicans have the tougher road to hoe in this election.

What follows are Dave’s well-reasoned, exhaustively researched, extremely long-winded, and, of course, absolutely undoubtedly correct state-by-state predictions for the 2016 Presidential elections (for what it’s worth, I was 51 for 51 – correctly predicting all 50 states plus the District of Columbia – in 2012). Along with my analysis for each state, I have listed some basic information and historical trends.  The basic information includes the number of electoral votes the state will cast and the current politics in each state:  the Governor, Partisan State-Wide Offices (I have excluded “Non-Partisan” offices), U.S. Senators, Congressional Delegation, State Legislative houses, and voter registration percentages.  I have done this in an attempt to determine the current political leanings of each state.  The obvious caveat is that, by definition, battleground states are going to be fairly evenly split.  The historical trends are pretty straightforward – they are simply the margin (by percentage) by which the state was decided in 2012, the results (by party) of the last 13 Presidential elections (from 1964 through 2012, the elections that have taken place during my lifetime), and whether or not that state voted for the national winner in each election (designated by underlined bold type).  I have also provided maps to show the geographic location of each state, for those of you who never did well in Geography class. The current Real Clear Politics (RCP) status and links to the latest polls will be provided when RCP makes them available (probably not until after the conventions next summer, when the candidates have been officially nominated).

These state-by-state predictions can be summarized as follows:

The Democrats will win 25 states plus the District of Columbia, for a total of 303 electoral votes and the Presidency: California (55), Colorado (9), Connecticut (7), Delaware (3), the District of Columbia (3), Hawaii (4), Illinois (20), Iowa (6), Maine (4), Maryland (10), Massachusetts (11), Michigan (16), Minnesota (10), Nevada (6), New Hampshire (4), New Jersey (14), New Mexico (5), New York (29), Ohio (18), Oregon (7), Pennsylvania (20), Rhode Island (4), Vermont (3), Virginia (13), Washington (12), and Wisconsin (10).

The Republicans will win 25 states, for a total of 235 electoral votes: Alabama (9), Alaska (3), Arizona (11), Arkansas (6), Florida (29), Georgia (16), Idaho (4), Indiana (11), Kansas (6), Kentucky (8), Louisiana (8), Mississippi (6), Missouri (10), Montana (3), Nebraska (5), North Carolina (15), North Dakota (3), Oklahoma (7), South Carolina (9), South Dakota (3), Tennessee (11), Texas (38), Utah (6), West Virginia (5), and Wyoming (3).

OK, just for the sake of argument, let’s assume that I’m biased towards the Democrats and have engaged in some “wishful thinking” on some of my predictions for “toss-up” states (not an unreasonable assumption). I think it is still safe to say that my overall prediction will hold true, since the Democrats clearly have more leeway in their “Path to 270”. Given how chaotic the GOP seems to be this year, and how the current crop of candidates seem to be going out of their way to appear to be the most extreme conservative in the race, I don’t see the Republican ticket – regardless of who’s on it – overcoming the electoral math. President Hillary Clinton will therefore be inaugurated on January 20th, 2017.

You heard it here first!

* OK, there’s a caveat: if no candidate wins an outright majority – in a race with three or more candidates, for example – then the House chooses the President from among the top three candidates, with each state delegation having just one vote, and the Senate chooses the Vice President from among the top two candidates, with each Senator having one vote. And here’s the fun part: there is no requirement that the House and Senate chose candidates from the same party!

So, enough with the preamble; let’s get to Dave’s Predictions:
  
ALABAMA (9)
  
Governor:  Robert J. Bentley (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 10 Rep/0 Dem

Senators:  Richard Shelby (R); Jeff Sessions (R)

House Delegation:  6 Rep/1 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  48% Rep/34% Dem

State Legislature:      House:
72 Rep/33 Dem     Senate:  25 Rep/8 Dem

2012 Margin:             Romney +22.2%

  
Presidential Vote Since 1964 ( Underlined Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner)

1964
1968
1972
1976
1980
1984
1988
1992
1996
2000
2004
2008
2012
​​R
I
R
D​
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
R

Analysis:    Alabama is among the most conservative states in the Union, and there is no particular reason to think that would have changed in any way.  With the exception of 1968, when the state went for its favorite son and segregationist Governor, George Wallace (who ran as an Independent to the right of the GOP), and 1976, when it went for fellow southerner Jimmy Carter, Alabama has voted Republican in every other Presidential election since 1964. In fact, this was one of only 6 states to vote for Barry Goldwater that year.  I don’t think anybody out there believes Alabama doesn’t go for the Republican in 2016.
  

Dave’s Prediction:  Republican

Current RCP Status: 

Latest Alabama Polls



  
ALASKA (3)
  
Governor:    Bill Walker (I)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 1 Rep/1 Dem/1 Ind

Senators:  Lisa Murkowski (R); Dan Sullivan (R)

House Delegation:  Don Young (R)

Partisan Breakdown:  26% Rep/15% Dem

State Legislature:      House:
23 Rep/16 Dem/1 Ind Senate:  14 Rep/6 Dem


2012 Margin:             Romney +13.4%

  
Presidential Vote Since 1964 ( Underlined Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner)

1964
1968
1972
1976
1980
1984
1988
1992
1996
2000
2004
2008
2012
D
R
R
R​
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
R

Analysis:    Alaska has only voted for a Democratic President one time since becoming a state, and that was back in 1964 when Lyndon Johnson crushed Barry Goldwater.  There is absolutely no reason to think the Democrats stand a chance here.​
  

Dave’s Prediction:  Republican

Current RCP Status: 

Latest Alabama Polls
  
ARIZONA (11)
  
Governor:  Doug Ducey (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 10 Rep/0 Dem

Senators:  John McCain (R); Jeff Flake (R)

House Delegation:  5 Rep/4 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  36% Rep/32% Dem

State Legislature:      House:
38 Rep/22 Dem     Senate:  17 Rep/13 Dem


2012 Margin:             Romney +11.1%

  
Presidential Vote Since 1964 ( Underlined Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner)

1964
1968
1972
1976
1980
1984
1988
1992
1996
2000
2004
2008
2012
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
D
R
R
R
R

Analysis:    Arizona toyed with the idea of becoming something close to a swing state back in the 1990’s, even voting for Bill Clinton for President in 1996.  That didn’t last, however, and Arizona is back to acting like its old conservative self.  I don’t think there is any way the state goes Democratic in 2016.​
  

Dave’s Prediction:  Republican

Current RCP Status: 

Latest Alabama Polls
  
ARKANSAS (6)
  
Governor:   Asa Hutchinson (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 8 Rep/0 Dem 

Senators:  John Boozman (R); Tom Cotton (R) 

House Delegation:    4 Rep/0 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  41% Rep/31% Dem

State Legislature:      House:
63 Rep/36 Dem/1 Ind Senate:  21 Rep/14 Dem


2012 Margin:             Romney +23.7%
​​
  
Presidential Vote Since 1964 ( Underlined Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner)

1964
1968
1972
1976
1980
1984
1988
1992
1996
2000
2004
2008
2012
D
I
R
D​
R
R
R
D
D
R
R
R
R

Analysis:    Arkansas is more conservative than the above Presidential voting history would seem to indicate.  It has voted Democratic 4 times in the past 13 elections, but those 4 were in 1964, when LBJ won all but 6 states; 1976, when Jimmy Carter, a fellow southerner, was running; and in both 1992 and 1996, when favorite son Bill Clinton was on the ballot.  With those exceptions, along with 1968, when it went for segregationist George Wallace, this state always votes for Republicans for President.  Despite Hillary Clinton’s past as Arkansas’ First Lady, I believe Arkansas will once again end up in the Republican column.​
  

Dave’s Prediction:  Republican

Current RCP Status: 

Latest Alabama Polls
  
CALIFORNIA (55)
  
Governor:  Jerry Brown (D)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 0 Rep/7 Dem 

Senators:  Dianne Feinstein (D); Barbara Boxer (D) 

House Delegation:  15 Rep/38 

Partisan Breakdown:  31% Rep/44% Dem

State Legislature:      House:
28 Rep/52 Dem     Senate:  14 Rep/26 Dem 


2012 Margin:             Obama +20.5%

  
Presidential Vote Since 1964 ( Underlined Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner)

1964
1968
1972
1976
1980
1984
1988
1992
1996
2000
2004
2008
2012
D
R
R
R
R
R
R
D
D
D
D
D
D

Analysis:    California holds a treasure trove of 55 electoral votes – more than 20% of the 270 needed to with the Presidency – making it a key part of any candidate’s “path to 270”.  Republicans who make a show of campaigning in California like to point out that the state went Republican for six consecutive elections (1968-1988), but don’t be fooled; those six elections all involved a GOP candidate who was either a “Favorite Son” (Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan), or the Vice President who served under one of those Favorite Sons (Gerald Ford and George Bush). That won’t be the case this time around. Currently the Governor, both Senators, and every other office elected on a state-wide basis are all Democrats, and the State Legislature is just shy of veto-proof Democratic majorities in both Houses (1 seat away in the Assembly, 2 seats away in the State Senate). This is a solid Democratic state, and regardless of what the eventual GOP nominee tries to claim, there is no chance that the Republicans win here.​
  

Dave’s Prediction:  Democratic

Current RCP Status: 

Latest Alabama Polls
  
COLORADO (9)
  
Governor:  John Hickenlooper (D) 

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 3 Rep/2 Dem

Senators:  Michael Bennet (D); Cory Gardner (R)

House Delegation:  4 Rep/3 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  35% Rep/33% Dem

State Legislature:      House:
31 Rep/34 Dem     Senate:  18 Rep/17 Dem


2012 Margin:             Obama +4.7%


  
Presidential Vote Since 1964 ( Underlined Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner)

1964
1968
1972
1976
1980
1984
1988
1992
1996
2000
2004
2008
2012
D
R
R
R
R
R
R
D
R
R
R
D
D

Analysis:    For decades, Colorado was a reliable Republican state, only going for the Democratic ticket twice in 11 elections over 40 years from 1964 to 2004. Even those two exceptions lent credence to Colorado’s strong Republican leanings: in 1964, Lyndon Johnson won all but six states in the aftermath of the JFK assassination and GOP Candidate Barry Goldwater’s perceived extremism.  In 1992, Ross Perot was able to take enough votes away from President George Bush to give the state to Bill Clinton. These were recognized as exceptional situations, however, and Colorado’s “Reliably Republican” status went unchallenged. That status has now changed. In both 2008 and 2012, Colorado went for Democrat Barack Obama, serving as a key battleground state in both elections. I have no doubt that Colorado will be one of the hardest-fought states in the 2016 Presidential contest, but given the higher Democratic turnout in Presidential election years (as compared to mid-term elections), I think the Democrats pull out a victory here. It will be extremely close, but they’ll win it.
  

Dave’s Prediction:  Democratic

Current RCP Status: 

Latest Alabama Polls
  
CONNECTICUT (7)
  
Governor:  Dannel P. Malloy (D)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 0 Rep/6 Dem

Senators:  Richard Blumenthal (D); Christopher S. Murphy (D)

House Delegation:  0 Rep/5 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  20% Rep/37% Dem

State Legislature:      House:
64 Rep/87 Dem     Senate:  15 Rep/20 Dem/1 Ind


2012 Margin:             Obama +17.2%

  
Presidential Vote Since 1964 ( Underlined Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner)

1964
1968
1972
1976
1980
1984
1988
1992
1996
2000
2004
2008
2012
​D
D
R
R
R
R
R
D
D
D
D
D
D

Analysis:    For 5 straight elections (1972 – 1988), Connecticut went Republican. No more. This is about as solidly Democratic as a state can be (as are all but one of the New England states; the exception is New Hampshire). Connecticut has now gone for the Democrats for the last 6 elections, and I don’t see any reason to think that will change in 2016.
  

Dave’s Prediction:  Democratic

Current RCP Status: 

Latest Alabama Polls
  
DELAWARE (3)
  
Governor:  Jack Markell (D)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 2 Rep/4 Dem

Senators:  Tom Carper (D); Chris Coons (D)

House Delegation:  John Carney (D)

Partisan Breakdown:  29% Rep/47% Dem

State Legislature:      House:
64 Rep/87 Dem     Senate:  15 Rep/20 Dem/1 Ind


2012 Margin:             Obama +18.6%

  
Presidential Vote Since 1964 ( Underlined Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner)

1964
1968
1972
1976
1980
1984
1988
1992
1996
2000
2004
2008
2012
D
R
R
D​
R
R
R
D
D
D
D
D
D

Analysis:    Delaware was once more of a battleground, but not anymore. It voted for Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan twice each, and for George Bush once. However, it has now gone for the Democrats 6 consecutive times, and it will again in 2016.
  

Dave’s Prediction:  Democratic

Current RCP Status: 

Latest Alabama Polls
  
THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA (3)
  
Mayor:  Muriel Bowser (D)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 10 Rep/0 Dem

Shadow Senator:  Michael D. Brown (I)

Non-Voting Representative in the House:   Eleanor Holmes Norton (D)

Partisan Breakdown:  6% Rep/76% Dem

City Council:     
0 Rep/11 Dem/ 2 Ind


2012 Margin:             Obama +84.1%


  
Presidential Vote Since 1964 ( Underlined Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner)

1964
1968
1972
1976
1980
1984
1988
1992
1996
2000
2004
2008
2012
​D
D
D
D​
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D

Analysis:    The District of Columbia has only been able to cast Electoral Votes for President since the passage of the 23rd Amendment to the Constitution (ratified in 1961), meaning that 1964 was the first election in which those three votes were factored into a Presidential Election. Since then, the District of Columbia has never gone for the Republican candidate – ever – not even in 1972 and 1984, when the Republican candidates each won 49 states (Richard Nixon in ’72 and Ronald Reagan in ’84). In both of those years, the hapless Democratic candidates each managed to win just one state (George McGovern won Massachusetts in ’72 and Walter Mondale won Minnesota in ’84), but they both also managed to win the District of Columbia. The simple fact is that the District is overwhelmingly Democratic. Long story short: there is no way the Democrats lose here.
  

Dave’s Prediction:  Democratic

Current RCP Status: 

Latest Alabama Polls
  
FLORIDA (29)
  
Governor:  Rick Scott (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 6 Rep/0 Dem

Senators:  Bill Nelson (D); Marco Rubio (R)

House Delegation:  17 Rep/10 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  36% Rep/41% Dem

State Legislature:      House:
81 Rep/39 Dem     Senate:  26 Rep/14 Dem


2012 Margin:             Obama +0.6%


  
Presidential Vote Since 1964 ( Underlined Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner)

1964
1968
1972
1976
1980
1984
1988
1992
1996
2000
2004
2008
2012
D
R
R
D​
R
R
R
R
D
R
R
D
D

Analysis:    Florida. Just saying the word conjures up images of hanging chads, mandatory recounts, and all the rest of the mess from the 2000 election. While that is perhaps the first thing people think of when they think of elections in Florida, what has gone almost unnoticed is that Florida has replaced Missouri as a so-called “bellwether state”, having gone for the winning candidate every year since 1964 except 1992, when Ross Perot took enough votes away from President Bush to hand the election to Bill Clinton. This time around, Florida will again be one of the key battleground states, although two popular political figures from Florida were in the GOP Presidential race: former Governor Jeb Bush and current Senator Marco Rubio (both have dropped out). If either of these two are on the ticket as the running mate, that would skew the vote here strongly towards the Republicans. If neither Bush nor Rubio end up on the ticket, however, I assume they would both still endorse the Republican ticket (or perhaps not - if the nominee is Donald Trump), which would also skew the vote to some degree towards the GOP, which in a battleground state like Florida could make all the difference. I think Florida goes to the Republicans in 2016 regardless.
  

Dave’s Prediction:  Republican

Current RCP Status: 

Latest Alabama Polls
  
GEORGIA (16)
  
Governor:  Nathan Deal (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 13 Rep/0 Dem

Senators:  Johnny Isakson (R); David Perdue (R)

House Delegation:  10 Rep/4 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  44% Rep/32% Dem

State Legislature:      House:
120 Rep/59 Dem/1 Ind     Senate:  38 Rep/18 Dem


2012 Margin:             Romney +8.0%


  
Presidential Vote Since 1964 ( Underlined Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner)

1964
1968
1972
1976
1980
1984
1988
1992
1996
2000
2004
2008
2012
R
I
R
D​
D
R
R
D
R
R
R
R
R

Analysis:    Georgia is one of the most conservative states in the country. Georgia is so conservative it was one of only 6 states won by Barry Goldwater in 1964, and in 1968 it went for Alabama Governor George Wallace, who was running as an Independent to the right of the GOP candidate (Richard Nixon). In fact, other than in 1976 and 1980, when Georgia’s own Jimmy Carter was the Democratic nominee, and 1992, when Ross Perot took enough votes away from President Bush to hand the election to Bill Clinton, Georgia never goes for the Democrat. It won’t in 2016 either.
  

Dave’s Prediction:  Republican

Current RCP Status: 

Latest Alabama Polls
  
HAWAII (4)
  
Governor:  David Ige (D)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 0 Rep/3 Dem

Senators:  Brian Schatz (D); Mazie Hirono (D)

House Delegation:  0 Rep/2 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  23% Rep/40% Dem

State Legislature:      House:
7 Rep/44 Dem      Senate:  1 Rep/24 Dem


2012 Margin:             Obama +42.7%


  
Presidential Vote Since 1964 ( Underlined Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner)

1964
1968
1972
1976
1980
1984
1988
1992
1996
2000
2004
2008
2012
​D
D
R
D​
D
R
D
D
D
D
D
D
D

Analysis:    Hawaii became the 50th State of the Union in 1959, and has only cast votes for President since 1960. In that time, it has only gone Republican twice – in 1972 and 1984, the two years that the Republican candidates (Richard Nixon in 1972 and Ronald Reagan in 1984) each won 49 of the 50 states. 2016 will not end up as that kind of landslide, and absent those conditions, Hawaii will be reliably Democratic.
  

Dave’s Prediction:  Democratic

Current RCP Status: 

Latest Alabama Polls
  
Idaho (4)
  
Governor:  C. L. "Butch" Otter (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 7 Rep/0 Dem

Senators:  Mike Crapo (R); Jim Risch (R)

House Delegation:  2 Rep/0 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  50% Rep/22% Dem

State Legislature:      House:
56 Rep/14 Dem     Senate:  28 Rep/7 Dem


2012 Margin:             Romney +31.9%


  
Presidential Vote Since 1964 ( Underlined Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner)

1964
1968
1972
1976
1980
1984
1988
1992
1996
2000
2004
2008
2012
D
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
R

Analysis:    Idaho has only gone Democratic once in the last 13 elections, and that was back in 1964 when Lyndon Johnson trounced Barry Goldwater. The partisan breakdown of the voters in Idaho is overwhelmingly Republican. There is absolutely no reason to think that Idaho will change its stripes any time soon.
  

Dave’s Prediction:  Republican

Current RCP Status: 

Latest Alabama Polls
  
ILLINIOS (20)
  
Governor:  Bruce Rauner (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 5 Rep/6 Dem

Senators:  Dick Durbin (D); Mark Kirk (R)

House Delegation:  8 Rep/10 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  31% Rep/46% Dem

State Legislature:      House:
47 Rep/71 Dem     Senate:  20 Rep/39 Dem


2012 Margin:             Obama +16.2%


  
Presidential Vote Since 1964 ( Underlined Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner)

1964
1968
1972
1976
1980
1984
1988
1992
1996
2000
2004
2008
2012
D
R
R
R
R
R
R
D
D
D
D
D
D

Analysis:    Illinois was once a reliable Republican state in Presidential elections; from 1968 to 1988 it went for the Republican in all five elections. Since then, however, Illinois has become reliably Democratic. Given that history, along with the Democratic advantages in voter registration and in the State Legislature, I don’t see the Republicans pulling out a victory here.
  

Dave’s Prediction:  Democratic

Current RCP Status: 

Latest Alabama Polls
  
INDIANA (11)
  
Governor:  Mike Pence (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 6 Rep/1 Dem

Senators:  Dan Coats (R); Joe Donnelly (D)

House Delegation:  7 Rep/2 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  46% Rep/32% Dem

State Legislature:      House:
71 Rep/29 Dem     Senate:  40 Rep/10 Dem


2012 Margin:             Romney +10.5%


  
Presidential Vote Since 1964 ( Underlined Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner)

1964
1968
1972
1976
1980
1984
1988
1992
1996
2000
2004
2008
2012
D
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
D
R

Analysis:    Indiana surprised pretty much everybody by going for Barack Obama in 2008. This was the first time since 1964 that Indiana had gone for a Democratic Presidential candidate, and very few pundits saw it coming. Four years later, the State went back to its usual routine of voting Republican in Presidential races; Romney won here by a double digit margin. That routine will continue in 2016.
  

Dave’s Prediction:  Republican

Current RCP Status: 

Latest Alabama Polls
  
IOWA (6)
  
Governor:  Terry E. Branstad (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 5 Rep/2 Dem

Senators:  Chuck Grassley (R); Joni Ernst (R)

House Delegation:  3 Rep/1 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  32% Rep/31% Dem

State Legislature:      House:
57 Rep/43 Dem     Senate:  26 Rep/24 Dem


2012 Margin:             Obama +5.7%


  
Presidential Vote Since 1964 ( Underlined Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner)

1964
1968
1972
1976
1980
1984
1988
1992
1996
2000
2004
2008
2012
D
R
R
R
R
R
D
D
D
D
R
D
D

Analysis:    Iowa is one of the true battleground states when it comes to Presidential elections. Despite having gone for the Democratic candidate in 6 of the last 7 elections (prior to that, it went Republican for 5 straight elections), and despite the fact that President Obama won here by more than 5% in 2012, the simple fact is that Iowa will be close. Anyone who tells you different is kidding themselves. Look at the partisan breakdown of the voting population (32% - 31%). Look at the Representation in the State Senate (26 – 24). The House delegation is one seat away from becoming a 2-2 tie, and the State House of Representatives is only 7 seats away from a 50-50 split. This really is a true battleground state, but I am predicting that Iowa goes Democratic again in 2016. I can’t say I’m certain of that, but if it does, you heard it here first.
  

Dave’s Prediction:  Democratic

Current RCP Status: 

Latest Alabama Polls
  
KANSAS (6)
  
Governor:  Sam Brownback (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 7 Rep/0 Dem

Senators:  Pat Roberts (R); Jerry Moran (R)

House Delegation:  4 Rep/0 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  44% Rep/27% Dem

State Legislature:      House:
97 Rep/28 Dem     Senate:  32 Rep/8 Dem


2012 Margin:             Romney +22.2%


  
Presidential Vote Since 1964 ( Underlined Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner)

1964
1968
1972
1976
1980
1984
1988
1992
1996
2000
2004
2008
2012
D
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
R

Analysis:    Kansas is arguably the most Republican state in the union. It hasn’t gone for a Democrat since Lyndon Johnson in 1964, and it’s not about to in 2016 either.
  

Dave’s Prediction:  Republican

Current RCP Status: 

Latest Alabama Polls
  
KENTUCKY (8)
  
Governor:  Steve Beshear (D)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 1 Rep/5 Dem

Senators:  Mitch McConnell (R); Rand Paul (R)

House Delegation:  5 Rep/1 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  37% Rep/37% Dem

State Legislature:      House:
54 Rep/46 Dem     Senate:  27 Rep/11 Dem


2012 Margin:             Romney +22.7%


  
Presidential Vote Since 1964 ( Underlined Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner)

1964
1968
1972
1976
1980
1984
1988
1992
1996
2000
2004
2008
2012
D
R
R
D​
R
R
R
D
D
R
R
R
R

Analysis:    Kentucky had been on a long winning streak, voting for the overall winner in every election from 1964 to 2004, but over the years has grown more conservative – in fact, only 7 states went for Romney by higher margins than Kentucky in 2012. Other than voting for Bill Clinton (twice), Kentucky hasn’t gone for a Democrat since Jimmy Carter, and it’s not about to abandon the Republicans now.
  

Dave’s Prediction:  Republican

Current RCP Status: 

Latest Alabama Polls
  
LOUISIANA (8)
  
Governor:  Bobby Jindal (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 10 Rep/2 Dem

Senators:  David Vitter (R); Bill Cassidy (R)

House Delegation:  5 Rep/1 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  51% Rep/26% Dem

State Legislature:      House:
59 Rep/44 Dem/2 Ind     Senate:  26 Rep/13 Dem


2012 Margin:             Romney +17.3%


  
Presidential Vote Since 1964 ( Underlined Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner)

1964
1968
1972
1976
1980
1984
1988
1992
1996
2000
2004
2008
2012
R
I
R
D​
R
R
R
D
D
R
R
R
R

Analysis:    Louisiana has always supported Republicans – unless there was a Southern candidate on the ballot (Jimmy Carter in 1976, Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996, and George Wallace – an Independent, not a Democrat – in 1968). The only exception in the last 13 elections is 1964, when Louisiana stuck with Barry Goldwater, the Republican candidate, over southerner Lyndon Johnson (one of just 6 states to do so). The state has become even more conservative since Hurricane Katrina, which resulted in thousands of minority voters (primarily Democratic voters) moving out of the state permanently. There is no real chance for the Democrats here.
  

Dave’s Prediction:  Republican

Current RCP Status: 

Latest Alabama Polls
  
MAINE (4)
  
Governor:  Paul LePage (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 1 Rep/2 Dem/1 Ind

Senators:  Susan Collins (R); Angus King (I)

House Delegation:  1 Rep/1 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  28% Rep/33% Dem

State Legislature:      House:
67 Rep/78 Dem/4 Ind     Senate:  20 Rep/15 Dem


2012 Margin:             Obama +15.1%


  
Presidential Vote Since 1964 ( Underlined Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner)

1964
1968
1972
1976
1980
1984
1988
1992
1996
2000
2004
2008
2012
D
D
R
R
R
R
R
D
D
D
D
D
D

Analysis:    Maine is one of the more competitive of the New England states. It has gone for the Democrat in each of the past 6 elections, but went Republican in the 5 elections before that. Until recently, both US Senators were Republican (Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe), but former Governor Angus King has taken Senator Snowe’s seat as an Independent who caucuses with the Democrats. The House delegation is split, the State Legislature is split, and voter registration is fairly evenly split. Perhaps it is appropriate then that Maine can split its electoral vote, one of only two states that do so (the other is Nebraska). Two electoral votes go to the overall winner in the state, but the other two go to the winner within each Congressional district. Such a split is rare, but it does happen (Barack Obama won one of Nebraska’s votes in 2008, for example), but it won’t happen this time around. All four votes will go to the Democrats.
  

Dave’s Prediction:  Democratic

Current RCP Status: 

Latest Alabama Polls
  
MARYLAND (10)
  
Governor:  Larry Hogan (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 4 Rep/2 Dem

Senators:  Barbara Mikulski (D); Ben Cardin (D)

House Delegation:  1 Rep/7 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  27% Rep/56% Dem

State Legislature:      House:
50 Rep/91 Dem     Senate:  14 Rep/33 Dem


2012 Margin:             Obama +25.2%


  
Presidential Vote Since 1964 ( Underlined Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner)

1964
1968
1972
1976
1980
1984
1988
1992
1996
2000
2004
2008
2012
D
D
R
D
D
R
R
D
D
D
D
D
D

Analysis:    Maryland has been a reliable Democratic state since 1992, and with the overwhelming Democratic advantage in voter registration and in the State Legislature, there is no good reason to think things will be different in 2016.
  

Dave’s Prediction:  Democratic

Current RCP Status: 

Latest Alabama Polls
  
MASSACHUSETTS (11)
  
Governor:  Charlie Baker (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 2 Rep/4 Dem

Senators:  Elizabeth Warren (D); Ed Markey (D)

House Delegation:  0 Rep/9 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  11% Rep/37% Dem

State Legislature:      House:
35 Rep/125 Dem     Senate:  6 Rep/34 Dem


2012 Margin:             Obama +23.1%


  
Presidential Vote Since 1964 ( Underlined Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner)

1964
1968
1972
1976
1980
1984
1988
1992
1996
2000
2004
2008
2012
D
D
D
D
R
R
D
D
D
D
D
D
D

Analysis:    Massachusetts is one of the most reliably Democratic states in the country. In fact, it was the only state to vote for George McGovern in 1972; Richard Nixon won all 49 of the other states (McGovern also won the District of Columbia). This one’s a real no-brainer: the Democrats will win here again.
  

Dave’s Prediction:  Democratic

Current RCP Status: 

Latest Alabama Polls
  
MICHIGAN (16)
  
Governor:  Rick Snyder (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 4 Rep/0 Dem

Senators:  Debbie Stabenow (D); Gary Peters (D)

House Delegation:  5 Rep/9 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  33% Rep/40% Dem

State Legislature:      House:
61 Rep/46 Dem     Senate:  27 Rep/11 Dem


2012 Margin:             Obama +8.5%


  
Presidential Vote Since 1964 ( Underlined Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner)

1964
1968
1972
1976
1980
1984
1988
1992
1996
2000
2004
2008
2012
D
D
R
R
R
R
R
D
D
D
D
D
D

Analysis:   Michigan is on the list of Battleground states every election, but it has slowly become a reliable Democratic state. In each of the past 6 elections the state went Democratic, and despite some Republican successes here in recent years (they hold the Governorship and majorities in both Houses of the State Legislature), I think it is going to go to the Democrats again.
  

Dave’s Prediction:  Democratic

Current RCP Status: 

Latest Alabama Polls
  
MINNESOTA (10)
  
Governor:  Mark Dayton (DFL)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 0 Rep/6 Dem

Senators:  Amy Klobuchar (DFL); Al Franken (DFL))

House Delegation:  3 Rep/5 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  30% Rep/46% Dem

State Legislature:      House:
60 Rep/72 Dem     Senate:  28 Rep/39 Dem


2012 Margin:             Obama +7.6%


  
Presidential Vote Since 1964 ( Underlined Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner)

1964
1968
1972
1976
1980
1984
1988
1992
1996
2000
2004
2008
2012
D
D
R
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D
D

Analysis:   Every election Minnesota is considered to be a battleground, but every year it goes to the Democrats – even in 1984, when Ronald Reagan won all 49 of the other states. Over the past 13 elections, only in 1972 did it go to the Republican (Richard Nixon), the other year the Republicans won 49 of 50 states. There will be talk about Minnesota being in play again this year, but it will again go to the Democrats.
  

Dave’s Prediction:  Democratic

Current RCP Status: 

Latest Alabama Polls
  
MISSISSIPPI (6)
  
Governor:  Phil Bryant (R)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 8 Rep/2 Dem

Senators:  Thad Cochran (R); Roger Wicker (R))

House Delegation:  3 Rep/1 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  47% Rep/38% Dem

State Legislature:      House:
67 Rep/55 Dem     Senate:  31 Rep/20 Dem/1 Ind


2012 Margin:             Romney +11.8%


  
Presidential Vote Since 1964 ( Underlined Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner)

1964
1968
1972
1976
1980
1984
1988
1992
1996
2000
2004
2008
2012
R
I
R
D
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
R
R

Analysis:   Mississippi is one of the few states that can legitimately lay claim to the title of the most conservative state in the country. Since 1964, only fellow southerner Jimmy Carter – and Independent George Wallace, who was running to the right of the GOP – have been able to pry Mississippi’s vote away from the Republicans, and 2016 won’t be any different.
  

Dave’s Prediction:  Republican

Current RCP Status: 

Latest Alabama Polls
  
MISSOURI (10)
  
Governor:  Jay Nixon (D)

Partisan State-Wide Offices: 1 Rep/5 Dem

Senators:  Claire McCaskill (D); Roy Blunt (R)

House Delegation:  6 Rep/2 Dem

Partisan Breakdown:  39% Rep/37% Dem

State Legislature:      House:
116 Rep/44 Dem/1 Ind    Senate:  25 Rep/8 Dem


2012 Margin:             Romney +9.6%


  
Presidential Vote Since 1964 ( Underlined Bold Type indicates state voted for overall winner)

1964
1968
1972
1976
1980
1984
1988
1992
1996
2000
2004
2008
2012
D
R
R
D
R
R
R
D
D
R
R
R
R

Analysis:   Long known as “the Bellwether State” because it (almost) always has gone for the overall winner of the election, Missouri has undergone a shift to the right as of late. This state will certainly be considered a battleground again this time around, but I believe it will ultimately go for the Republicans.
  

Dave’s Prediction:  Republican

Current RCP Status: 

Latest Alabama Polls