North Carolina will soon fall into the Republican column. For now, however, it reverts to "Toss Up".
Small change today. North Carolina moves from "Toss Up" to "Weak Republican". It should be several weeks before we see any more minor adjustments. A more significant change may come in November when some states have legislative and/or governor elections. For now, the Republican and Democratic candidates are in a dead heat.
An observation about the Gallup "State of the States" polls. Among the polls I watch is the %Republican and %Democrat. If you input these results in by state, you end up with exactly the same number of electoral votes as was cast in the 2012 election. This means to me that this may be one of the key dynamics to watch as we move toward 2016.
Gallup recently published new state of the states polls. Two of these are a part of my presidential forecast algorithm; presidential approval ratings and party affiliations. Reflecting these new numbers in my spreadsheet, a number of states changed their status. More states were "lost" by the Republican candidate than the Democratic candidate. As such, the Democratic candidate edged into the lead. A much greater number of states, however, moved into the "Toss Up" category. At this early stage it is "Advantage Democratic Candidate", but just barely. The new numbers are summarized below.
A few minor changes to states that were almost 100% for the Democrat or the Republican. As we get closer to the election, the bar gradually drops from 100% on November 6, 2012 to 90% on November 8, 2016. For example, the only non-Democratic item in the California average is the % of Democrats in the state. Per Gallup, California is a tossup. Since this was a year ago, it carried very little weight, but was enough to initially put California in the "At Risk" column. As the bar lowered, California is now "Currently Safe".
There will be similar minor adjustments as time marches on to the next election. Bigger changes will occur when: Gallup publishes its party affiliations as of the end of 2012, Gallup publishes its approval ratings at the end of 2012, and statehouse and Congressional elections in the interim.
At this point, this measurement is really a measure of the strength of the state party. One might conclude that some states do not focus on the presidential election as much as the local elections. Pennsylvania and West Virginia are good examples. Pennsylvania has a predominately Republican House delegation, governor, state senate, and state house. It's a tossup in the Senate, party affiliation, and approval rating. Yet, Pennsylvania went for Obama.
West Virginia has Democratic Senate delegation, governor, state senate, and state house. The House delegation is Republican and Obama's approval rating is negative. Party affiliations are a toss up. Still, West Virginia voted for Romney.
Iowa is exactly 50%. The governor and state house are Republican. The state senate is Democratic. The House delegation, the Senate delegation, Obama's approval rating, and party affiliations are all tossups. Add in the vote for Obama and you have exactly 50%. The Hawkeye State prefers to keep things balanced so that government can't accomplish much of anything. Some would say that is the preferred result.
This update reflects the final results posted in all the Congressional, legislative, and governor races. The biggest change was Michigan going from "Toss Up" to "Weak Republican". Only minor changes expected until the next elections.
My first status for the 2016. Of course, we don't even know who will be running. We just know that there will not be an incumbent, barring a change in the presidency before the term is over. As such, my initial work is based on the relative position of the parties in Congress, the legislatures, and the governor's offices. Starting in 2016, I will bring polling into my formulas. Until then, there will be only modest changes, with adjustments for each elections. For now, the Republicans have the edge. We will see if they will be better next time at taking it to the White House.
We have our first siting of presidential hopeful in Iowa. Marco Rubio will be here next week.
The Inside Beat
A behind-the-scenes look at the entertainers of Branson