Sunbelt States (Texas, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina) Will Make Rust Belt Mid West (Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Ohio) No Longer Factor In Future Presidential Elections By Mid 2020s And After

In the midst of constant rehashing of the 2016 Presidential Election results, one point is being lost by political observers.

The nation is changing demographically very rapidly.

What happened in Virginia on Election Day this year is a sign of the future. Suburbanites, women, minorities, white collar educated, those under 45, and Independents swung over massively to the Democratic Party.

Those trends are not temporary, but permanent, as the older generation, which tends to be more conservative, dies off over the next decade, and the percentage of more educated people grows, and as the percentages of Latinos and Asian Americans start to change Sun Belt states.

So the near future is clearly that the states of Texas, Arizona, Georgia and North Carolina will turn Blue, while the Rust Belt Mid West, not as populated with the groups that helped to make Virginia as Blue a state as it is (Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Ohio) may go back and forth from Red to Blue, but in the Electoral College, the Rust Belt Mid West will matter much less than it did in 2016, assisting the victory of Donald Trump.

So one can say with a great amount of assurance that by 2024 or 2028, the Democrats will have the electoral advantage in the Electoral College, and are unlikely to lose it, as the Republican Party continues to alienate even their base of less educated and rural voters, and as the Sun Belt turns Democratic long term.

Of course, as part of this transition, the Democratic Party needs to move to the Left, be more progressive and liberal,and not come across as a moderate alternative to the Democratic Party, as that is the future of the party, to act more like it is the time of Franklin D. Roosevelt or Lyndon B. Johnson. This is what the groups which helped the Virginia victory desire for the future.

4 comments on “Sunbelt States (Texas, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina) Will Make Rust Belt Mid West (Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Ohio) No Longer Factor In Future Presidential Elections By Mid 2020s And After

  1. D November 15, 2017 11:04 pm

    The one thing that is important is to not fool ourselves.

    In a presidential years that are Republican victories, that winning Republican—including a pickup-winning Republican—will string together victory in the Electoral College no matter which states make it happen.

    I can say much of this as well about Democratic victories in presidential elections.

    Something to keep in mind: They usually will carry at least six of the Top 10 most-populous states. Currently, the electoral votes from California, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina, and Michigan comprise 256 of the required 270 electoral votes for election/re-election to the presidency of the United States. 2012 Barack Obama and 2016 Donald Trump have in common the number seven. The four states involved were Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan. Their +83 electoral votes, added to the 2012 Mitt Romney/2016 Donald Trump states’ 206 electoral votes, were enough to elect Trump without looking further into his additional pickups of Wisconsin, Iowa, and the 2nd Congressional District of Maine.

    If the map, over the next 20 years, is still confined to a range of 26 to 32 carried states—for winning Republicans and Democrats—as they have been the case since after the 1980s, I think there about a dozen states which will have influence.

    I will provide a link to the map I have. Ones appearing in yellow are states that would be in play. Meaning, a Republican or a Democratic winner should end up carrying nearly or all of them.

    Please check it out.

    I will list the ones in order here:

    • The Rustbelt of Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan: Donald Trump’s average margin from his six pickup states, from 2016, which also included Florida and Iowa, was +3.39. In 2016, Wisconsin was the tipping point state, at +0.76. Then came Pennsylvania at +0.72 and Michigan at +0.22. So, their margins were lower. Ohio came in at +8.07. That number is uncommonly high. But, I figured it out. Carrying Ohio by a full point is done in increments of about every 55,000 votes. Michigan, the bluest of those flipped states, had about 45,000 votes being a full percentage point. (It used to be every 50,000.) Comparing the margins by which a 2012 re-elected Democrat Barack Obama won Michigan and Ohio—well, the former was about +449,000 and the latter was about 166,000. The spread was about +283,000 votes. There is no special, set amount. But, when Trump flipped Ohio, he carried it by about +447,000 votes. Michigan was flipped by +10,704 (I committed that number to memory!). The spread was about +437,000 votes. The point I am getting it is at the Trump campaign figured out that to flip Ohio with a raw-vote margin of 400,000 or more meant they would be in position to pull in Michigan. They didn’t need quite that level for Pennsylvania, and its +44,000, and Wisconsin, and its +23,000. But, getting to a certain level would do it. In 2008, the Democratic year for Barack Obama, Michigan was a stunning +823,000 vote margin, more than enough to flip Ohio as Obama carried it by about +263,000—at the time a 560,000 vote spread. Trump putting up a +447,000 margin in Ohio was what made it possible to flip all four of those Rust Belt states. They comprise +64 electoral votes. Added to Mitt Romney/Donald Trump states, and their 206 electoral votes, there was your winning 270. My guess is that Ohio’s bellwether days are still here. Donald Trump will, with what I’m thinking get re-elected, but carry Ohio by lower numbers. That will stabilize Ohio to being more within reach for a Democratic pickup winner in 2024 who ends up flipping all four of these states.

    • Florida: It is still a strong bellwether state. Its +1.19 margin, for Trump, came closest among his pickup states to matching his average +3.39 from all his six flipped states. Duval County (Jacksonville) went from spotting Republicans an extra +15 (2000), +10 (2004), +5 (2008 and 2012), to a near match (2016). In other words, it trended bellwether to the state as Duval County gave Trump a margin of +1.36, a spread of a mere 0.17 from the state number. This puts the county in position to flip for a Democratic pickup winner who is also flipping the state of Florida. The last winning Democrat to carry Duval County was 1976 Jimmy Carter.

    Those are five states which flipped to Trump. The sixth, Iowa, I think is gone. That a pickup winning Democrat will not flip it. I will say the same with the 2nd Congressional District of Maine. Since the 1980s, looking at party switching years 1980 (Republican), 1992 (Democratic), 2000 (Republican), and 2008 (Democratic), there were particular states which flipped but have since not flipped back to the party which lost them. This is where I think Iowa and Maine #02 will apply—that the Democrats have lost them over a long term. (Trump carried Iowa at +9.41 and Maine #02 at +10.28—even better margins than Texas and its +8.98.)

    A quick note about counties which voted GOP first time in decades. For 2016 Donald Trump, this applies to: Pennsylvania’s Erie (Erie) and Luzerne (Wilkes–Barre) Counties (Erie last carried GOP for 1984 Ronald Reagan. Wilkes–Barre last carried Republican for 1988 George Bush.); Michigan’s Saginaw County (Saginaw), last Republican in 1984; and Ohio’s Montgomery County (Dayton), previously it carried Republican for 1988 George Bush. In Iowa, Des Moines County (Burlington) carried Republican first time since 1972 Richard Nixon and, dating further back, Dubuque County (Dubuque) carried Republican first time since 1956 Dwight Eisenhower. In a state that Trump did not carry, as it was a Democratic hold, Colorado’s Pueblo County (Pueblo) carried Republican first time since 1972 Richard Nixon.

    • New Hampshire, Maine (statewide), and Minnesota: These three are vulnerable for a re-elected Trump who wins with stronger margins. Hillary Clinton carried 20 states. New Hampshire was her No. 20 best, at +0.36. Minnesota was +1.52. Maine was +2.96. Realistically, a 2020 Donald Trump cannot have a lower re-election margin (as Obama did in 2012), because the map would move away from him. With an initial electoral-vote score of 306, he can’t lose more than two states he flipped that came in at the backend of ranked states’ margins. (I’m referring to the 16 electoral votes from Michigan and the 20 electoral votes from Pennsylvania.) So, to win re-election, he would likely have an increase—going from his –2.09 to, say, +2.09—and this trio would be involved.

    Looking at it from what Ronald suggested—yes, all four of North Carolina, Arizona, Georgia, and Texas.

    • North Carolina: This was a 2008 Democratic pickup for Barack Obama which he wasn’t able to hold in 2012. But, when it carried for Trump by +3.66, to his average pickup states’ +3.39, that placed North Carolina more closer to bellwether. It really trails neighboring Virginia in margins—several points behind (usually no more than five; but in 2016, it was actually 9)—and a Democrat winning in the U.S. Popular Vote by the +5.56 to +8.52 range (that’s 1992 and 1996 Bill Clinton) will carry North Carolina. (A margin of +5, nationwide, may be enough.)

    • Arizona and Georgia: In 1992 and 1996, the two states voted differently. Bill Clinton carried the latter in 1992 but lost it to Republican challenger Bob Dole in 1996. Arizona gave him the opposite result—a narrow 1992 Republican hold for unseat George Bush but a narrow 1996 Democratic pickup for a re-elected Clinton. (1996 was the only year, after the 1940s, that Arizona carried for a Democrat. It backed all presidential winners its first four decades, 1912–1948, then transitioned to a Republican state as it flipped for Republican presidential pickup winner Dwight Eisenhower in 1952.) The margins in both states were under 5 points. So, it was a matter of officially carrying differently in 1992 and 1996. In 2004, George W. Bush’s margins spread between both was 6 points. In all other elections, going from 1992 to 2016, Arizona and Georgia have been closely connected. Arizona is in position to flip for a pickup winning Democrat especially due to Maricopa County (Phoenix), because it is trending away from the GOP and toward bellwether-to-the-state in margins. It spotted John McCain and Mitt Romney an extra 2 points. But, Donald Trump underperformed Maricopa County at +2.84 vs. his statewide +3.50. (Maricopa County is a good 60 or so percent of the Arizona’s overall population.) The state would have given a past Republican pickup winner more like +13.50. This is how much Arizona has moved. In Georgia, a 2016 Hillary Clinton became the first Democrat to flip and carry both Cobb (Marietta) and Gwinnett (Lawrenceville) Counties since 1976 Jimmy Carter. Hillary was also the first Democrat to carry Henry County (McDonough) since an unseated 1980 Jimmy Carter.

    • Texas: Look to Tarrant County (Fort Worth)! That county is matching the state incredibly closely lately. (It is often less than a half-percent in margins spread.) Also look to the fact that, in 2016, Bexar County (San Antonio) broke its bellwether streak (it voted for all presidential winners from 1972–2012) and gave Hillary Clinton a margin of +13 when Trump took the state by +9. Factor Ford Bend County (Richmond), which gave Hillary a margin of +6.63, and flipped and carried Democratic first time since Lyndon Johnson won it and his home state back in 1964. (That was also the last year Tarrant County carried Democratic.) So, Bexar County was +22 and Ford Bend County was +16 points more Democratic vs. Texas in 2016. Why is that good for Democrats? It is because Trump should have carried the state by more like +19, not +9, and the combined votes from both counties was north of 800,000—around 10 percent of all statewide votes cast for president of the United States. (Trump lost about –400,000 of the +åç1.2 million votes by which a 2012 Mitt Romney carried Texas.) There is the fact that, margins wise and vs. the state, Dallas (Dallas) and Harris (Houston) Counties continue to trend further Democratic. In 2008, Barack Obama became the first Democrat to carry those counties since 1964 LBJ.

    I also want to note the 2nd Congressional District of Nebraska. This is the area of Omaha. Barack Obama won it in a Democratic pickup in 2008 by a margin of +1.19. It flipped Republican for Mitt Romney, in 2012, by +7. In 2016, a Republican pickup year for Donald Trump, Nebraska #02 gave him a margin of only +2.24. In a Democratic presidential pickup year, what the map would look like would probably include Nebraska #02. Things are changing in a way, that a pickup winning Democrat will carry Nebraska #02 before Maine #02.

  2. Ronald November 15, 2017 11:17 pm

    Thanks, D, again for your wonderful and detailed analysis of the future potential for the Democrats!

  3. D November 18, 2017 1:22 am

    I was looking up “fastest growing states,” and came to this from It turns out, from 2010–2016, the fastest growing state in growth is North Dakota. No. 2 is Texas. One can have fun with viewing and reviewing it.

    Re-inforcing some of what was written by Ronald, these Rust Belt states—which were 2016 Republican pickups for Donald Trump—are ranked on the low side for their population growth. Wisconsin is at No. 38. That is the higher than the other three. Of ones which are really growing which were mentioned by Ronald, Georgia was the lowest in growth rank. And, yet, it is No. 12.

    What can also be fun, looking at this, is speculating about changes in 2020s allocations of U.S. House seats and electoral votes. For example: While I live in Michigan, I consider my second home state to be Colorado. That is because I visit there, and have a relative living there, annually. Over the last ten years, Colorado has become a really interesting state. My relative lives in Fort Collins. It is the county seat of Larimer County, Colorado. Every presidential candidate since 1952, who carried Colorado, won the state with carriage of Larimer County. Hillary Clinton carried Colorado by +4.91. She carried Larimer County by +4.94. It is a bellwether-to-the-state county. A latest, interesting political move was this: On Election Day 2017, the city voted to have its own broadband. This was in spite of the big money used to try to persuade residents to not vote in favor.

    Colorado has overtaken Minnesota in rank. Next decade, this means Elections 2012, 2016, and 2020, it will join the Top 21 ranked states to have a double-digit allocation of electoral votes, moving up from its current 9 to have 10 electoral votes. The population growth in Colorado, No. 4 in rank, is trending so much that it may be that is is not just supplanting Minnesota to rank No. 21 in population but it may also overtake Wisconsin to rank as the No. 20 state in population. That is impressive!

    I will provide the following links:

  4. Ronald November 18, 2017 7:21 am

    Thanks, D, again, for your detailed and fascinating analysis of state population trends, and it demonstrates how politics is always evolving, and no election determines the entire future of our government. Thank goodness!

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