Michael Barone looks back at the November 6 state-by-state results and draws
two conclusions from these figures, one with some certainty and one tentatively.
One is that Democrats have a structural advantage in the Electoral College. An extra 2.46 points of the popular vote netted Obama 80 more electoral votes than Kerry. Obama won 58 percent or more in 11 states and D.C. with 163 electoral votes. He needed only 107 more to win.
In 2004, the 16 states Bush won with 58 percent or more had only 130 electoral votes. He needed 140 more to win and barely got them.
My tentative conclusion is that we may be back to the nearly even balance between the parties we saw between 1995 and 2005. Since then, we’ve been in a period of open-field politics, with big swings to the Democrats in 2006 and 2008 and a big swing to the Republicans in 2010.
He says we’re back to “trench warfare.” It feels like we never left.