Looking at your base map, a few quibbles. (1) Virginia has been trending purple, so I think you need to put it in the undecided camp, especially if Obama is the nominee. (2) The Democratic machine’s been taking a beating in Louisiana lately, but it’s still a purple state at best. (3) Are you sure about Florida? Especially with Castro’s retirement thrown into the mix?
At this early stage… I’m not sure about anything!
Crist remains popular in Florida. He’s no Jeb, but he inherited a great machine and hasn’t done it much harm.
This year I’m confident about Virginia, or at least confident enough to mark it red for now. Even with Obama as the nominee. But this is the last election I’ll say that. During the 2004 race, I wrote something about northern Virginia being little more than the “greater DC area,” or words to that effect. Come 2012, Virginia will be in play for sure.
To be blunt about poor Louisiana… until the Katrina refugees return, I think the Democrats are missing too many core presidential voters to turn the state blue. But if there’s an Obama-Breaux ticket (or something like it), then all bets are off.
Obama-Breaux… now that would be a tough ticket. Regionally and ideologically balanced… but would rank-and-file Democrats turn out for a blue dog like Breaux? As hungry to win as they are this year, I bet they would.
UPDATE: Good discussion going on at Outside the Beltway.
UPDATE: And even more from Karl at Protein Wisdom.