This is in response to the diary by midwestconservative refuting Myra Adam's calculations (http://www.redstate.com/midwestconservative/2013/08/22/myra-adams-fuzzy-math/). That diary seems too optimistic. I am not a debbie downer - but trying to look at the scenario realistically. Clearly, all bets are off in a wave election - but if we are in a repeat of 2012 or 2004 like situation where things can go either ways - here are the states I think will make a difference:
1. Battlegrounds remain the same: VA, NC, FL, NH, OH, WI, IA, CO, NV. States that should be brought into play for better Republican chances: MI, PA. These 11 states will decide everything, at least in 2016. Everything else is not competitive. NM is lost and Martinez on the ticket will not change anything, just as Christie will not convert NJ. WI is close enough for a Walker ticket to have better odds on carrying it. MN is quite lost too in the near term if recent results are any indication.
2. At the baseline above (11 states as battlegrounds): we have D 201, R 191, 146 left on board. Things certainly don't look too bad at this stage. However, problems arise when we start thinking of likelihoods and trends.
3. First, MI and PA are suffering from unpopular Republican Governors. In MI labor will fight against the RTW and PA is too expensive to wage a battle unless it is close enough to pull. Romney campaign tried in both and failed. If we are not finding traction in these two - then things look bleak. If we go by default and chalk these two as blue - then get to 9 battlegrounds with a dem advantage: D 237, R 191, 110 left. This is the scenario that gives Dems their strength - from here getting to 270 is too easy. For GOP to have any chance, they have to make sure that this scenario does not happen - than MI and PA stay in contention until election day.
4. If MI and PA are not in play, then brace yourself. This probably means that NV and NH are off too. Once they are gone, we have D 247, R 191, 100 left in 7 states.
5. The next domino is FL - this is the state where immigration fallout will be killer. FL Latino population origin is evenly divided between Cuba, Puerto Rico and Mexico/Central/South America. Of these, the last two are the growing segments and hold largely negative views of the GOP. If current trends of Latino indifference to GOP persists, then considering the population trends, I am doubtful of our ability to pull FL. If you see the trend, Dems are increasing their strength in FL. In 2008, FL was 4.45% below Dem's national margin. This improved to only 2.98% below Dem's national margin in 2012. The trend here is against us. Its game over once FL is lost.
6. Dems have a safety valve in VA in case something went awry above. Here the issue is the highly educated crowd, the Asian vote and the Federal govt workforce. All are trending against GOP. VA went from 0.97% below national margin in 2008 to 0.01% ABOVE national margin in 2012. By now, we have lost and have even given cover to Dems for any contingencies.
7. WI, IA, OH, NC, CO - Don't matter. For the record, GOP is on the rise in NC and CO, and can strike in WI with the right candidate. OH and IA are unpredictable at this point - but can be converted. So GOP can win all of these - but will mean nothing since we are done by now.
I know it makes for a depressing reading. I hope by the time 2016 arrives, we are dealing with a red wave so all the calculations above go by the window. Otherwise, in a normal, partisan election - I don't see a way out given the current conditions.
Of course, this is one man's opinion - and circumstances do change. A lot will also depend upon the candidates and the campaigns. So hoping for the best, despite the gloomy tone of this diary.