Or, you could call this "What will a 50-state strategy buy?"
Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Alaska and Nebraska. That's it. And even Nebraska gave one of its electoral votes to Barack Obama.
According to the Gallup poll out today, only these 5 states have a statistically significant majority who self-identify as Republicans. Stunning, just stunning. As a former Republican myself, I could certainly see this coming as every rational, intelligent and moral person was pretty much driven screaming from the party.
Ten more states are toss-ups. So much for the permanent Republican majority, I guess!
The map pretty well says it all:
All told, 29 states and the District of Columbia had Democratic party affiliation advantages of 10 points or greater last year. This includes all of the states in the Northeast, and all but Indiana in the Great Lakes region. There are even several Southern states in this grouping, including Arkansas, North Carolina, and Kentucky.
What does that leave our Republican friends?
In contrast, only five states had solid or leaning Republican orientations in 2008, with Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, and Alaska in the former group, and Nebraska in the latter.
The most balanced political states in 2008 were Texas (+2 Democratic), South Dakota (+1), Mississippi (+1), North Dakota (+1), South Carolina (even), Arizona (even), Alabama (+1 Republican), and Kansas (+2 Republican).
Here's what Gallup, the most respected (or recognized, at least) pollster in the country has to say about the results:
The political landscape of the United States has clearly shifted in the Democratic direction, and in most states, a greater proportion of state residents identified as Democrats or said they leaned to the Democratic Party in 2008 than identified as Republicans or leaned Republican.
As recently as 2002, a majority of states were Republican in orientation. By 2005, movement in the Democratic direction was becoming apparent, and this continued in 2006. That dramatic turnaround is clearly an outgrowth of Americans' dissatisfaction with the way the Republicans (in particular, President George W. Bush) governed the country.
Sorry for the dearth of commentary, but the picture is worth a million words. Simply stunning!
Center-right country? Yeah, right!
And the required notices per Gallup policy:
Copyright © 2008 Gallup, Inc. All rights reserved. In addition, the date of the survey, margin of error, and sample size shall be reported.
Results are based on telephone interviews with 355,334 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted in 2008 as part of Gallup Poll Daily tracking. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±1 percentage point.
The margin of sampling error for most states is ±1 percentage point, but is as high as ±4 percentage points for the District of Columbia, Wyoming, and North Dakota.
Update: See Droogie's take on the topic and vote for the reddest state!
Update 2: Nate at fivethirtyeight.com says the five states represent 2% of America's population. There's your .02 cents worth!