By Michael Bryan
I predicted an Obama Blowout as the most likely result of tonight's election.
"Blowout Obama (likelihood 69.9%):
I consider this to be the most likely final map for this election. Obama wins all the close swing states and blows Romney away decisively. I can forsee the possibility that Romney will take Florida through voter access manipulation and the sort of electoral corruption in close races that the GOP excels in, which takes Obama down to Nate Silver's predicted outcome of Obama at just over 300 electoral votes. I'm a little more optimistic than Nate. If it were legal to bet on election outcomes, my money would be on Obama with a 300 electoral vote floor. The race can be called as soon as the polls close on the East Coast."
The results have pretty much tracked that prediction perfectly. As I write, Obama's EV count is 303 and FL is still only 'unofficially' called for Obama. If you add FL's 29 EVs to the current 303 count, you get my predicted EV count of 332.
Now, let's look at my prediction for the electoral map of 2016! Of course, replace the names of the nominees, but here's what I'm dreaming of in the next election. This map only includes three more states – Arizona, Texas and North Carolina – and they will undoubtedly be closely fought, but the growing influence, size, and activation of Latino voters might place these state in play next time. Note that the Southwest is quickly becoming a Democratic stronghold.
Let's look at the numbers in these three states.
From the most likely, to the least likely:
North Carolina went for Obama in 2008 and was very close this year. There is a large and growing Latino population and the urban areas are growing. NC will continue as a swing state in future years, without a doubt.
Arizona was a reach to extend the map this year by the Obama campaign. It didn't happen, but just a 4-5 point swing will clearly put Arizona in play. We would have a much better chance in 2016 if we had a wonderful Latino leader like Carmona in the Senate for the next four years to rally and solidify the Latino vote, but I still believe that Arizona will be in play in 2016.
Texas seems like an impossibility at this distance, but consider the actual results in TX. It does not take much imagination to consider that an 8 point shift could occur in this rapidly growing state having several of the fastest-growing urban area in the country, and one of the fastest-growing Latino populations. The effects of the last redistricting linger, currently giving the GOP an unfair advantage, but I would not be surprised if TX voters demand a non-partisan process like AZ's that would rebalance the state by 2020. Texas might not come through for Dems until Hillary's re-election campaign, but it may be in the Dem column soon.
This map starts to look like a headlock on the Presidency, the Senate, and possibly the House by the Democratic Party. The new political reality is that the GOP will die on the vine if they don't pull their heads out of their asses and stop treating minority citizens like they are second class.