Destination 270

SMU Students Analyze the 2012 Presidential Election

A Demographic Shift causes and Electoral College Collapse for the GOP.

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Preliminary election results from last Tuesday show that the electoral college favors the democratic party under the recent shift of demographics. Nate Silver argues that even if Romney had won the popular vote, Obama would have sill clenched an Electoral College Victory. He continues to argue that such a victory would have been possible without Obama winning Ohio or Virginia.

How? Within the “battle ground states” the demographic shift in favor of the Democratic coalition reflected a larger discrepancy between Obama and Romney than the national, popular vote demonstrates. Colorado, for example, with a growing latino population, gave the President nearly a 5 point lead over Romney. Nationally, Romney only trailed Obama by 2.5.



Silver concludes his article with a look at 2016, and the future of the Electoral College

The Republican Party will have four years to adapt to the new reality. Republican gains among Hispanic voters could push Colorado and Nevada back toward the tipping point, for example.

States like Wisconsin, New Hampshire and Iowa are overwhelmingly white – but also highly educated, with fairly progressive views on social policy. If Republicans moderated their tone on social issues, they might be more competitive in these states, while regaining ground in Northern Virginia and in the Philadelphia suburbs.

Finally, some of the Democrats’ apparent advantage in the swing states may reflect Mr. Obama’s voter targeting and turnout operations – which were superior, by most accounts, to John McCain’s in 2008 and Mr. Romney’s in 2012.



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