Chris Cillizza’s latest Washington Post column drops an electoral bomb on the hopes of the Republican Party to take advantage of Hillary Clinton’s woes in the 2016 general election.
In the 2014 midterm elections, Republican candidates from Senator to dog-catcher were on the receiving end of an electoral wave that, on retrospect, was a combination of negative approval for the president and abysmally low turnout among Democrats.
But the 2016 landscape looks entirely different, and the electoral advantage for Democrats is stark. As we’ve already noted previously, the high turnout advantage for Republicans has historically disappeared in presidential elections.
And with President Obama no longer on the ballot, the down-ticket hit that many Democrat candidates would otherwise take will be non-existent. Further, a good Democrat nominee could actually boost their prospects.
But the most chilling reality for Republicans is a simple look at the historical breakdown of the states in the electoral college. One can reasonably project a likely result in the presidential contest by looking at the states that are considered ‘safe’ for both parties. In such an analysis, safe Democrat states quickly amount to 217 electoral votes to a mere 191 for Republican safe states.
What’s more concerning, however, is that when ‘leaning’ states are added to the mix the Democrat tally jumps to 249. The total electoral votes needed to win the White House is 270, which means the Democrat nominee only needs to win a few more states to take the presidency.