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May 10, 2011


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The big story in Virginia is the growth of NoVa and Richmond. The urban, Democratic-leaning population in those areas has grown enough to counter the rural, Republican-leaning population in the western part of the state. Given the demographics (younger, more diverse, urban areas are growing more), Virginia has been trending blue and isnt showing any signs of stopping. Its similar to the trend that flipped Colorado, with Hispanic growth and the growth of Denver fuelling a Democratic conversion.And what has a lot of currently-being-ignored Republican strategists up at night is that the same pattern is showing in Texas, Hispanic growth and growing cities. Losing Virginia and Colorado puts Republicans just outside the line of being able to compete in a base-vs-base fight, but when Texas flips, thats a knockout punch for national aspirations.


Results seem plausible to me. Washington Post poll of Virginia released last week showed similar numbers for Obama.


Good news for Obama and for Dems like me. Two queries, though:1. To what do we attribute these numbers? Is it because Virginia, a state where much of the employment (either around Hampton Roads or in NoVa) is government, tech or defense, has done a lot better in the Great Recession than the Midwest, which got hammered? When I see surprisingly strong approval for Obama and for a GOP governor, I think, Hmmm, their economy must be OK.2. Didnt McCain do better in VA than much of the late 08 polling suggested? though I suppose PPP got it right.


If you take the states that have gone blue in the last three straight elections (2000, 2004, and 2008), and add Virginia and Colorado, then it doesnt matter what any swing or red state does; even with the shift in the Electoral College from redistricting, Team Blue draws over 270 EC votes.Even with a good candidate, Republicans in effect would need to completely sweep the table of all swing states, plus pick off a state that hasnt favored them lately. In 2000 and 2004, Bush managed to get all the swing states, but in both years had Colorado and Virginia gone blue, he would have lost.The net effect is that any Republican who wants to have any chance in the general election needs to start with the assumption that they can sweep the traditional swing states and then find a message that can play well in a Democratic state. They wont even look for something like that, though; theyll play to their nutter base all the way to the bitter end.


Actually an Obama win in Virginia potentially sets up a 269-269 tie if Romney is the nominee (carrying the McCain states + OH, FL, NC, NV, NH, IN and IA).The election would be thrown into the GOP controlled House.There are a few other permutations of the 269-269 map, but I think this is one of the most likely.

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Anonymous said... Slightly OT but did PPP poll the Presidential race in Missouri on the last go-round? I see discussion of the Senate and Gov races there, but none at the Presidential level. Since Missouri is one of only two states where Obama lost by less than 5 Percent in 2008, it would be interesting to see if it looks like it is within reach. May 10, 2011 3:02 PM--------------------------------------------------------Obama has a better chance of winning Arizona than Missouri .. That should tell you how much of a chance he has of winning MO in 2012 ... MO is no longer a Bellwether state .. PPP needs to poll Ohio .. If Obama is underwater there he is in trouble ..


Anonymous: I saw a poll on the Missouri Presidential a few months ago from another polling firm. It had Obama trailing all Republican candidates except Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin. Both Huckabee and Romney lead Obama in the single digits (I think Huckabee was ahead by 6%) and Obama tied Newt Gingrich in the poll. Missouri is going to be harder to win this time around because it has lost a lot of urban population and has likewise shifted to the right. Arizona and Georgia on the other hand look like they may end up becoming pick ups in 2012. Obama is improving upon his 2008 performance in both states.


Slightly OT but did PPP poll the Presidential race in Missouri on the last go-round? I see discussion of the Senate and Gov races there, but none at the Presidential level. Since Missouri is one of only two states where Obama lost by less than 5 Percent in 2008, it would be interesting to see if it looks like it is within reach.

I Am Iron Man

As a Virginian its great to think that my state could act as a firewall for Obama. Its difficult to see the Republicans winning the general election without taking Virginia... and right now Im feeling confident that we will make the right decision again in 2012! BLUE VIRGINIA!

I Am Iron Man

Yes, Texas could be in play in 2016. And if the Republicans manage to nominate a truly terrible candidate this year and Obamas approval rating is ~ 55% or above on Gallup... maybe he can win it next year.Lots of ifs... It would be nice to really destroy the Republicans at the Presidential level, not just for mandate purposes but because it would hopefully lead to congressional coattails... Obama needs a Democratic House to get anything done.

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