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Friday, October 24, 2003

New Map & List

Posted by DavidNYC

Heeding the suggestions of several people, I've gone back and updated a few things.

First, I've updated the list of swing states. I've included Washington, and I've also split Maine into its two Congressional districts. (The overall winner in Maine gets two EVs, and then the winner of each CD gets one EV. It's a small distinction, but the election may very well be super-close once again.) The revised list is below.

Second, I've simplified the methodology - or at least, just removed any caveats. I am now including any state where (Gore + Nader) - (Bush + Buchanan) is plus or minus 10 points.

Third, I've switched to what I feel are a more accurate set of numbers, from Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. (Dave's site is totally awesome, by the way.) Previously, I had been using CNN's numbers, but I don't think they did as thorough a job as Dave did updating the numbers after election night. There were no dramatic changes using the new numbers, but MI looks about a point better for us than previously thought, while TN and VA are both about a point worse.

And lastly, I've produced a new (and I think better) map.

Map of 2004 Swing States

Revised list of swing states (blue went for Gore, red went for Bush):


Maine (2nd CD)


New Mexico



West Virginia

Posted at 04:11 PM in General | Technorati


doesn't NEBRASKA also split its electoral votes?

Check into that. And then check into gore's totals in the Omaha area.

This is gonna be a close one.

Also- what are the totals from maine last time and is Bush slated to win 1 from Maine?

Posted by: jgkojak at October 24, 2003 04:46 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

There is so little blue its scary...

Posted by: math geek at October 24, 2003 04:48 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Jgkojak: Yes, Nebraska splits its congressional distrcits, but all three voted for Bush by 10+ points.

Mathgeek: Landmass doesn't count; voters do. The blue states (including Maine's 1st CD) total 169 electoral votes versus the red states' 148.

Posted by: Brian J. at October 24, 2003 05:42 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Kojak - I did in fact already look into this, and Brian's right: Gore got beat everywhere in Nebraska. It's even worse than that:

CD1: 59/36
CD2: 57/39 (containing Omaha)
CD3: 71/25

And if you're ever curious about things like this, you can always check yourself at presidential atlas.

Posted by: DavidNYC at October 24, 2003 10:40 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Oh, and as for Maine's voting details, follow this link for info on every state.

And I couldn't tell you about Maine's 2nd CD because I don't think there have been polls lately in that state.

Posted by: DavidNYC at October 24, 2003 10:47 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I really wouldn't consider the Maine 2nd a swing district right now. It was for a while in the 2000 campaign, but with a lot of work, and convincing the large Indian populations to stay Democrat and not to go Green, we were able to pull out a 5,500 vote win for Gore. I was the outreach director/deputy field for the Gore/Coordinated campaign, so I'm pretty comfortable with the accuracy of these statements.

There's been a great deal of job loss (25% of Maine manufacturing jobs) in the past 3 years, and most people here blame it on NAFTA and Bush's trade/economic policies: I wouldn't say he's a very popular fellow around these parts right now. Even Senators Snowe and Collins have been dissin' him lately, first over Homeland Security, then Iraq loans, and now the Medicare bill. The only reason they're doing that is because they're hearing from their consituents, and it must be pretty deafening, as neither is up for re-election for another 3-5 years.

So I would feel very comfortable moving the 2nd into the "safe" column for the 2004 election, _unless_ the nominee is Dean. Then you'll see the tribes bolt to the Greens, taking their 13,156 (as of the 2000 census) members with them, shifting the 2nd CD back to swing status.

Posted by: MB at October 25, 2003 08:57 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

MB - Your knowledge of the facts on the ground in Maine is invaluable. Even though it sounds like ME's 2nd CD will definitely go Dem, I'm including it simply because my methodology requires that I do (the margin in 2000 was less than 10%). I don't really think VA, for example, will turn against Bush, but again, the methodology insists.

I don't mean to be a slave to that 10% cutoff. As I've said earlier, I just want to cast my net as widely as possible. After I've gone through all the swing states, I think then I'll go back and re-categorize all of them.

BTW, can you talk a little bit more about Dean and the tribes? There've been some comments about this on Kos, but the discussion always got so ugly so quickly that I never felt I had a good understanding of all the details.

Posted by: DavidNYC at October 25, 2003 02:59 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I first learned about the problem three years ago when I received a call late at night from the Swanton Band of Abenaki's chief, April Rushlow, that Dean was allowing bulldozers to plow through the largest known Abenaki burial ground in Vermont (this was documented, btw, by that bastion of radicalism, the journal Historic Preservation.) After contacting the Vermont State Archy (who I knew well, as I used to work for the CT state archy), I began to get more details about the terrible relationship between Dean and the Vermont Abenakis (and there are more than one tribe, though only one is pursuing federal recognition.)

The crux of the dispute is that the Vermont Abenaki have been seeking state and federal recognition, and as governor, Howard Dean did whatever he could to undermine that application, including hiring an outside firm and "borrowing" two members of the AG's office to try and prove the Abenakis were not a "tribe", in the sense of BIA reqirements. He rationalized this to the public initially by claiming that he was trying to prevent the tribe from building a casino in Vermont. When it was pointed out to him that Vermont doesn't have gambling, so the Federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (FIGRA) doesn't apply, hence no Indian gaming, he finally admitted it was land claims and tribal sovereignty he feared. Dean asserted that he wanted "equal rights" for all Vermonters, and the Abenaki, when seeking tribal sovereignty, wanted "special rights" (yes, that is the phrase that was used here.) This is quite in line with Dean's "state's rights" philosophy seen elsewhere, e.g., gun control, civil unions, etc. He is not comfortable with the nation to nation status federally recognized Indians hold, as it means that within states there are these separate entities which have not subordinated their rights to the states. He thinks it's just too messy, as it allows tribes to have their own laws and courts and police. And then there's the tax thing. State's can't collect taxes on FRIT (federally recognized Indian Tribe) income.

I've been hard on Dean, but I've also taken tremendous steps to try and allow he or his staff to clarify these issues. I've contacted the campaign, my state vice-chair (a Dean supporter) has contacted the campaign, Joe Trippi emailed me and assured me he would get an answer from the campaign, etc. This morning, I called the Vermont Abenaki's tribal historian, to make sure I had the latest, since, perhaps, who knows, they had resolved their issues with the former Governor.

Not at all. Things are actually worse than I imagined. They're so angry, Republicans are trying to get them to campaign against Dean, and I imagine many will if he should get the nomination. She told me some things which made the hackles on my neck rise, including how he was caught in the middle of the halls of the Legislature making offensive comments regarding Abenaki ethnicity (and this from a well-known writer and biographer.)

Since they are also members of the Wabanaki Confederacy, we are obliged by treaty and tradition to support them. For our part, this means we will be organizing letter writing campaigns to tribal members throughout the US, as well as taking out advertizing in tribal newspapers. Oklahoma, Arizona and New Mexico, all hold primaries on February 3rd, and have large Indian populations within the Democratic party, so we will be contacting them first.

I'll have the opportunity to bring this up with Dean personally, as he has confirmed that he will be attending Maine's JJ Dinner next month. I heartily look forward to it.

Posted by: MB at October 25, 2003 04:09 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Wow, this is particularly distressing to hear, especially since I am a Dean supporter. (And I've just been studying Indian land claims in my Property class, so I finally feel like I have a slightly informed perspective on this.)

If Dean's whole claim is that he wanted to avoid "messiness" - well, that's just unaccpetable in my book. I'm from New York, which has had the most contentious and long-simmering disputes over Indian land claims of any state (the Oneidas in western NY, which I'm sure you're familiar with) - and the state hasn't exactly fallen apart. And it seems that if Dean wants to be true to his whole "states rights" credo, now that he isn't Gov. anymore, he ought to support letting states and Indian tribes act as they see fit, because surely this is a state and not a federal issue.

I am looking forward to hearing your report when you get to talk to Dean about this. Of course, you may not get much face-time... but I hope you get something out of him.

Posted by: DavidNYC at October 25, 2003 04:27 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

And it seems that if Dean wants to be true to his whole "states rights" credo, now that he isn't Gov. anymore, he ought to support letting states and Indian tribes act as they see fit, because surely this is a state and not a federal issue.

Actually, the recognition process is purely a tribal and federal issue - the states have no place in trying to disrupt that process, for whatever reason, including whether or not they want casinos or tribal courts within their state boundaries. Dean's attempts to subvert the nation to nation relationship is not only anti-Abenaki, but goes against the US Constitution, which removed all rights to create and enforce treaties with sovereign entities from the states, and shifted those responsibilities exclusively to the federal government and the Senate.

Posted by: MB at October 26, 2003 05:58 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Take heart, math geek. Even with David's cautious map, the Dems start with a 171���148 "safe state" advantage. It means we have to fight for the other 99 electoral votes; so be it.

Posted by: KevStar at October 27, 2003 10:51 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I'm going to stick my neck out and say that while NC is rightfully listed as a saf R state, it's not a lost cause. Clinton lost in 1992 by less than 1%. We're consistent in electing D to statewide office. If the administration continues to walk all over veterans, we could take NC.

That or I'm incredibly naive and in for a hard fall.

Posted by: Esquilax at November 23, 2003 02:35 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

North Carolina has been hit *very hard* by Bush's economic policies etc.

It certainly is not "safe" for Bush and I doubt that his team treat it as such.

Posted by: A.E at November 23, 2003 08:55 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

This map is unfair to color blind people. Folks who can't see green well are totally confused by the yellow / Green contrast.

For future reference - use bright non green colors - like black and white - or stripes and a grid.


Posted by: robert from the Color blind state at July 29, 2004 06:35 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

i need to now how many swing votes are in Kentucky

Posted by: conny thin at October 25, 2004 08:15 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment