The PJ Tatler

Democracy in America, 2016: Only a Few States Matter

It’s a game of inches, played at the margins. And with California and New York already locked up, the Democrats have a huge structural advantage in the Electoral College:

The next U.S. presidential election is 18 months from tomorrow, but 43 of America’s 50 states are destined to watch the action from the sidelines, according to one of the best prognosticators in the business. Larry Sabato, whose University of Virginia Institute of Politics publishes the influential Crystal Ball newsletter, unveiled his initial predictions on Thursday, putting just a handful of states in play as hot contests to watch.

‘Of the 50 states, 40 or more are almost set in stone politically,’ Sabato told Daily Mail Online. ‘Just seven are true swing states.’ A Republican presidential nominee, he says, is favored in 24 states – by wide margins in 20 – and Democrats are already ahead in 19, plus the District of Columbia.

But because safe ‘blue’ states like California and New York are so populous, the Democratic Party starts out with a huge advantage of 41 extra electoral votes. It takes 270 to win, out of a total of 538.

Of course, those blue states are not really populous at all: their cities are populous, and stuffed with the dependency class, along with a few super-rich and super-guilty financial supporters. The states are largely empty elsewhere, meanwhile that the people who inhabit, say, 90 percent of the territory of California are effectively disenfranchised by the west side of Los Angeles and the city of San Francisco. Ditto for New York State, whose tail — New York City and Westchester — wags the Empire State dog.

The remaining battleground states – Ohio, Florida, Nevada, Colorado, Missouri, Virginia and New Hampshire – account for 85 votes – enough to ‘swing’ the contest in either direction. Two of those swing states, says Sabato, are must-win battles for the GOP. ‘If the Republicans want to win, they absolutely need a ticket that can carry Ohio and Florida,’ he told Daily Mail Online.

That puts three of the likely GOP candidates in enviable positions: Florida Senator Marco Rubio, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Ohio Governor John Kasich. ‘Rubio, Bush, and Kasich in some combination on a ticket would have a good chance’ to paint those two states red next year. The Republicans had Ohio in mind when they chose Cleveland as the site of their 2016 nominating convention.

On the Democratic side, Sabato’s map suggests, winning Florida alone could be enough for a victory, even if Republicans capture the other six battlegrounds.

Somewhere, de Tocqueville is weeping.