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Tags: Trump Administration | Barack Obama | Chris Cillizza | Democrats | 2016 | Republicans | electoral college

WashPost's Cillizza: Democrats Have Built-In Edge in 2016

By    |   Monday, 16 March 2015 12:03 PM

Regardless of who becomes the Republican nominee in 2016, Democrats will have the advantage going into the presidential election, and not because former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be the likely nominee, The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza said.

In a column for the newspaper, Cillizza said that the make-up of the electoral college gives Democrats a built-in advantage which was explained in a recent article by Nathan Gonzales of the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report.

Specifically, Gonzales said that if one adds up all of the states that are either "safe" for the eventual Democratic nominee or "favor" that nominee, the total is 217 electoral votes. The same exercise for Republicans produces just 191 electoral votes. A candidate needs a total of 270 to be elected president.

Democrats have an additional advantage if one takes into account the states that "lean" Democratic, bringing it to a total of 249 just 21 votes shy of winning the presidency for a third time in a row.

"Such a scenario is decidedly realistic given that President [Barack] Obama not only won all three of those 'lean' Democratic states in 2008 and 2012 but that he did so by an average of eight points in Iowa and nine points in Nevada. And, the last Republican presidential nominee to carry Pennsylvania was George H.W. Bush, way back in 1988," Cillizza wrote.

"Gonzales's analysis, which some will dismiss as premature but I applaud (it's never too early!), reaffirms one of the most important — and undercovered — story lines in presidential politics in the past decade: the increasing Democratic dominance in the electoral college."

Cillizza mentioned the near-ties of the 2000 and 2004 elections, saying Obama ushered in a new era of Democratic dominance. He said Democrats are hoping to prevail again by large margins in the electoral college in 2016, and all but one of the six states with the largest number of electoral votes are all safely Democratic.

"It's not all gloom and doom for Republicans, though," Cillizza wrote. "And that's because the one thing we definitely know about 2016 is that Obama won't be on the ballot. That's a very good development if you are a Republican interested in reclaiming the White House."

He said that Gonzales pointed out that while Democrats have expanded their advantages among Hispanic voters and younger voters it's unclear whether that's a permanent part of the Democrats' constituency or particular to Obama's personal appeal.

"In short, Republicans are likely to have more and better options on their map to get to 270 in 2016 than they did against Obama in either 2008 or 2012. But that doesn't mean the electoral college playing field starts out equal heading into this presidential race. It doesn't. Democrats start with an edge."

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Regardless of who becomes the Republican nominee in 2016, Democrats will have the advantage going into the presidential election, and not because former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be the likely nominee, The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza said.
Chris Cillizza, Democrats, 2016, Republicans, electoral college
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2015-03-16
Monday, 16 March 2015 12:03 PM
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