Myra Adams recently posted a Diary in which she lamented the inevitability of a Hillary Clinton victory in the Presidential Elections of 2016. During her diary she made several decent points if scewed a little too much by her personal despair. She however put forward a DNC talking point suggesting that the GOP only has a lock on 111 electoral votes, whereas the Democrat Party has a solid lock on the magical number of 246 ( or 242 or 247, etc.). I’m sorry but that number is hogwash. Lets consider for the moment the Cook Partisan Voting Index of each individual state.
Wyoming and Utah are in the lead on the Republican side with a R+22 followed by Oklahoma which has a R+19. Next is Idaho with a R+18, followed by Alabama and Arkansas with R+14. Kentucky and West Virginia have R+13. Alaska, Kansas, Nebraska, Tennessee, and Louisiana are R+12. North Dakota, South Dakota, and Texas are R+10. Mississippi and South Carolina are R+9 and R+8 respectively, with Montana and Arizona being R+7. Georgia is R+6 while Missouri and Indiana are R+5. North Carolina is the only state lower than R+5 that Romney won with a Cook PVI R+3.
Assuming all R+5 or above will not be competitive for any Democrat at least in 2016. The GOP has a EC lock of 191, not 111. I also do not see a Republican losing any state Romney won. So it is likely that the GOP will be guaranteed at least 206 Electoral Votes.
Democrats have a D+5 or greater in the following states: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.
That totals an Electoral Lock on 186 votes. D+4 or lower should be considered no man’s land in the upcoming election, just as surely as R+4 or lower is considered competitive for them.
Three states in particular should break the Republican way in 2016, if my prediction of a GOP wave pans out. Florida, which was Romney’s narrowest defeat, has a Cook PVI of R+2 and Ohio, always the national bellwether, has a Cook PVI of R+1. Virginia, once a proud Redstate has faced numerous Demographic changes particularly in its Northern Counties, now has a Cook PVI of EVEN. All the other states should be competitive. Colorado, a former Redstate with a high latino population, has a Cook PVI of D+1. New Hampshire, a state Bush won in 2000, has a D+1 rating. Nevada, a purple state Bush won in 2000 and 04′, has a D+2 rating. Iowa, won by Bush in 04′, is D+1. Michigan, last won by George H. W. Bush in 88′, has a D+4 bent to it, but George Bush was always competitive. New Mexico, which Bush won in 04′ and will likely go Republican if Governor Martinez is anywhere near the ticket, is D+4. Wisconsin, last won by Reagan in 84′, has been competitive for the GOP and will likely be won if Scott Walker is the nominee, or if the actual nominee recruits his help with the ground game in the State. It has a D+2 rating. Minnesota, a state last won by Nixon in 72′, has been trending purplish for a few decades now. It has a Cook PVI rating of D+2. Should the GOP win all of the Republican leaning states, along with the directly EVEN Virginia, then all they need to do to get 270 is win one Democrat leaning state, and they have plenty to choose from.
Update: Wisconsin actually has a Cook PVI of D+2 not D+1, the diary has been edited to correct this mistake.