Purple States — What Will Happen in 2016 & Beyond?

In 2012, President Obama won re-election, largely by holding on to every state he won in 2008, except for North Carolina and Indiana. North Carolina is one of nine purple states for both of those years. A purple state in the U.S. is one of those swing states that could go either way in Presidential elections that take place every four years. The other eight purple states for both those years are Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hamsphire, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Obama won all eight of these states in both 2008 and 2012. Out of these ten states plus New Mexico, George W. Bush won all of these, except for New Hampshire and Wisconsin, in getting re-elected in 2004.

All of this begs the question of whether or not these States are on the verge of becoming safe Democratic Blue Wall states in Presidential years. Wisconsin, having voted for a Democrat for President every four years since 1992, and both Nevada and New Mexico, with their surging Hispanic populations, now sit behind the Blue Wall. New Hampshire and Virginia now sit behind the Blue Wall, too, after re-electing their Democratic Senators in 2014. Which leaves Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, and Ohio left as purple states. Georgia also now appears to be a purple state for 2016, where as previously it was a red state.

There are many different factors causing these changes. They include demographics, urbanization, and changing views on religion. The electorate is becoming more diverse, as more blacks, hispanics, and asians show up at the polls on election day. The factors changing election results differ from state to state. In 2012, Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney received 93% of his votes from whites, and won 59% of all white votes. President Obama won re-election by getting only 56% of his votes from whites and won only 39% of the total white vote. But, he won 93% of blacks, 71% of Hispanics, and 73% of Asians. The diversity of Obama’s electorate propelled him to re-election. So it is clear that Republicans must diversify their voting base. It has shown in wide range of candidates that they currently have running for President. They have one black, two Hispanics, and a woman running for the nomination.

I will take a look at these states individually in write-ups in the next couple of months. When looking at these states, I will explain what it means for the Presidential election next year and control of the Senate. While gerrymandering most likely means that the House of Representatives will be controlled by Republicans, I will look at vulnerable seats that could affect the House’s balance of power.

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