Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Visual Aid Day: Showing that they know at least one thing more than Dennis Kucinich, both Viking Pundit and VodkaPundit trot out the charts, graphs, maps. Take a look at Mr. Green's contribution first. As I mentioned in the post below, it doesn't take much to make a landslide. If Dems have to fight for states they carried in 2000, the Upper Midwest becomes very significant, as Green's maps show.

Obviously, if you're the Democratic strategist, you're going to look at states Bush carried by a small margin in 2000 (Florida, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, Tennessee, West Virginia), and that's where you will plant your battle flag. Likewise, if you're Bush's strategist, you'll pick those states in which Gore just edged out a victory (Iowa, Wisconsin, Oregon, maybe Washington, definitely Pennsylvania and Michigan, New Mexico, Minnesota). Notice that many of the big prizes went marginally for Gore, whereas small states went marginally to Bush. That is, the Dems could pick up all of the marginally-Bush states except Florida, adding 36 electoral votes. Bush, meanwhile, can pick up 38 by adding just two states, Pennsylvania and Michigan, with as many as 50 more to pick up from the other battleground states. That is to say, any move to the right by the electorate (the most likely change since 2000, and illustrated in Green's first map) is more significant for Bush than a voter shift to the left (rather unlikely, and -- as illustrated in Green's second map -- still a very close race) is for the Democrat. Depressed turnout, another possibility, shifts things a bit. My bet would be, though, that in 9 of 10 depressed-turnout scenarios, Bush benefits.

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