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Telesom Dahabshiil
Published On: Wed, Sep 2nd, 2020

Is The Electoral Map Changing?

Araweelo News Network

 

We looked at how 16 battleground states have voted in the last five presidential elections to see how they might go in 2020

By Elena Mejia and Geoffrey Skelley

From one presidential election to the next, the battleground states that make — or break — the election remain largely the same. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t gradual (and sometimes, not so gradual) shifts underway. We zoomed in on how 16 battleground states have voted relative to the country as a whole since 2000 — or how much more Republican or Democratic they are relative to the nation1 — and we found an electoral map undergoing a series of changes, some steady and others abrupt.

Swing states that moved sharply to the right in 2016

How much more Republican- or Democratic-leaning a state’s popular vote was than the national popular vote in presidential elections, and how the state is forecasted to vote in 2020, as of Aug. 25

80% of outcomes fall in thisrange in our 2020 forecastAVERAGE PARTISAN LEAN

 

Iowa

200020042008201220162020D+100R+10R+20Iowa moved morethan 13 points to theright of the country —the most abrupt shiftin 2016Iowa moved morethan 13 points to theright of the country —the most abrupt shiftin 2016

Ohio

200020042008201220162020D+100R+10R+20

Maine

200020042008201220162020D+100R+10R+20Maine’s rightwardshift earned Trumpone electoral vote,breaking up thestate’s four electoralvotes for the first timeMaine’s rightwardshift earned Trumpone electoral vote,breaking up thestate’s four electoralvotes for the first time

Michigan

200020042008201220162020D+100R+10R+20

Take Iowa and Ohio, which went from uber-competitive states to near blowouts for President Trump in 2016. Or Maine and Michigan, which hadn’t been all that competitive in 2008 or 2012, but lurched to the right in 2016. In other words, 2016 marked a significant departure from how these states had voted in recent years; each state swung 7 points or more to the right, the biggest swings in that election.

One explanation for why these four states moved so suddenly to the right is that they each have a large share of voters (at least 55 percent2) who are non-Hispanic white with less than a bachelor’s degree, a bloc that moved sharply toward the GOP in 2016. Additionally, Iowa and Maine rank among the most rural states in the country, which is another predictor of GOP-leaning politics. FiveThirtyEight’s forecast currently expects these states to step slightly to the left in 2020, but there’s a lot of uncertainty here, especially in a state like Maine where the error bars are particularly large. The next five states also shifted to the right in 2016, but they didn’t veer quite as far as the previous four did.

States that moved just slightly to the right in 2016

How much more Republican- or Democratic-leaning a state’s popular vote was than the national popular vote in presidential elections, and how the state is forecasted to vote in 2020, as of Aug. 25

80% of outcomes fall in thisrange in our 2020 forecastAVERAGE PARTISAN LEAN

Minnesota

200020042008201220162020D+100R+10R+20

Nevada

200020042008201220162020D+100R+10R+20This was the onlytime Nevada votedover 5 points moreDemocratic than thenationThis was the onlytime Nevada votedover 5 points moreDemocratic than thenation

Pennsylvania

200020042008201220162020D+100R+10R+20Trump’s support inrural areas overcameDemocrats’advantage in citieslike Philadelphia andMilwaukeeTrump’s support inrural areas overcameDemocrats’advantage in citieslike Philadelphia andMilwaukee

New Hampshire

200020042008201220162020D+100R+10R+20

Wisconsin

200020042008201220162020D+100R+10R+20

One reason why these states didn’t lurch as far to the right is that four of them3 have at least one large metropolitan area that votes heavily Democratic. This offsets the rest of those states, which usually vote far more Republican. However, as was true in the first four states we looked at, there has been a slow yet noticeable move to the right in these four states over the last several elections. FiveThirtyEight’s forecast anticipates that some of these states, like New Hampshire and Wisconsin, might bounce back slightly to the left in 2020, but also that others, like Minnesota, may continue to shift to the right.

On the other end of the spectrum, some 2020 battleground states moved to the left — considerably so — in the last election. These states predominantly lie in the South and West, and the following trio of traditionally red states could all be up for grabs this November.

Republican-leaning states that shifted to the left in 2016

How much more Republican- or Democratic-leaning a state’s popular vote was than the national popular vote in presidential elections, and how the state is forecasted to vote in 2020, as of Aug. 25

80% of outcomes fall in thisrange in our 2020 forecastAVERAGE PARTISAN LEAN

Arizona

200020042008201220162020D+100R+10R+20

Georgia

200020042008201220162020D+100R+10R+20

Texas

200020042008201220162020D+100R+10R+20College-educatedvoters in metro areaslike Dallas andHouston are drivingTexas’s leftward shiftCollege-educatedvoters in metro areaslike Dallas andHouston are drivingTexas’s leftward shift

Arizona, Georgia and Texas all moved at least 4 points to the left in 2016, and it’s possible they’ll move even farther in 2020. After all, the 2018 midterm elections showed these states could elect Democrats statewide, or at least, come very close. Democrats won a U.S. Senate seat in Arizona for the first time since 1988, while Republicans only narrowly won Texas’s Senate race and Georgia’s gubernatorial contest.

What explains the leftward shift in these traditionally Republican states? For one thing, these states are more racially and ethnically diverse than most of the other states we’ve looked at — Arizona and Texas have large Hispanic populations, for instance, while Georgia has a sizable Black electorate — and people of color tend to vote more Democratic. But these fairly urban states have also seen their major metropolitan areas such as Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and Phoenix become increasingly Democratic because of the surge in college-educated voters. At present, the FiveThirtyEight forecast anticipates these states will lean similar to how they did 2016, although further shifts to the left are plausible.

For Democrats, the hope would be that those three states trend in ways similar to Colorado and Virginia, two formerly red states whose diverse and highly educated electorates have moved them to the left over the past two decades.

Former red states that increasingly vote blue

How much more Republican- or Democratic-leaning a state’s popular vote was than the national popular vote in presidential elections, and how the state is forecasted to vote in 2020, as of Aug. 25

80% of outcomes fall in thisrange in our 2020 forecastAVERAGE PARTISAN LEAN

Colorado

200020042008201220162020D+100R+10R+20White voters here areamong the likeliest inthe nation to have acollege degreeWhite voters here areamong the likeliest inthe nation to have acollege degree

Virginia

200020042008201220162020D+100R+10R+20

Colorado’s population is about one-fifth Hispanic and Virginia’s is about one-fifth Black, and both are only about two-thirds white. And white voters in these states are more likely to hold at least a four-year college degree than in the other states we’ve examined. Driven by increasingly Democratic vote shares in suburban and urban areas — especially around Denver and Washington, D.C. — Colorado and Virginia have moved far enough to the left that, in an environment in which Joe Biden leads by about 9 points nationally, they lie at the periphery of the competitive states.

That said, Florida and North Carolina are also racially diverse and home to a decent number of highly educated voters, but they haven’t become liberal bastions. Instead, they have tended to vote a bit to the right of the country with little variation in recent years.

Some states are just perennial swing states

How much more Republican- or Democratic-leaning a state’s popular vote was than the national popular vote in presidential elections, and how the state is forecasted to vote in 2020, as of Aug. 25

80% of outcomes fall in thisrange in our 2020 forecastAVERAGE PARTISAN LEAN

Florida

200020042008201220162020D+100R+10R+20A large share of theLatino vote is CubanAmerican, a moreRepublican-leaninggroupA large share of theLatino vote is CubanAmerican, a moreRepublican-leaninggroup

North Carolina

200020042008201220162020D+100R+10R+20

Florida is a hard state to categorize politically. It has an elderly population that usually leans toward the GOP, but it also has a large Hispanic and Black population that leans Democratic — with the caveat that a large share of its Latino vote is Cuban American, a group that has shifted toward Democrats over the last decade but remains far more Republican-leaning than other groups of Latinos. North Carolina is also a swing state, even though it has a fairly consistent Republican lean. North Carolina’s white college-educated population share isn’t that much smaller than Virginia’s, but it has a larger share of white voters who don’t have a four-year degree. Additionally, North Carolina’s white voters are somewhat more Republican-leaning, and the state tends to be more rural than Virginia. As things stand, the forecast model expects these states to vote more or less like they did in 2016 — so they’ll be as competitive as ever.

This is all to say that 2020 will be a pivotal year in understanding underlying trends within the Electoral College. Will states like Iowa or Ohio move further to the right? Georgia and Texas further to the left? Or should we expect more of a reversion to the mean? Suffice it to say that, with Trump on the ballot this November, many of the forces we saw in 2016 will be prevalent again in 2020. But those forces may also define the parties moving forward, which means this election could also tell us a great deal about how the electoral map will look beyond 2020.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Araweelo News Network.

 

This Report is originally was published by FiveThirtyEight, Aug. 26, 2020, By Elena Mejia & Geoffrey Skelley.

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About the Author

- Arraale Mohamoud Jaama Freelance Journalist and Human Rights Activist Arraale, is a 20 year experience as a professional Journalist and human rights activist Over the years, worked for the major News Papers in Somaliland as a reporter, editor and contributor. 2008 established website Araweelo News Network, he currently runs a web site based in Somaliland. who is the specializes in the investigation and reporting on issues relating to human rights, democracy, and good governance. contact: Info@araweelonews.com jaamac132@gmail.com Send an SMS or MMS to + 252 63 442 5380 WhatsApp + 252 65 910 7347.

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