Gallup's analysis of political party affiliation at the state level in 2015 finds that 20 states are solidly Republican or leaning Republican, compared with 14 solidly Democratic or leaning Democratic states. The remaining 16 are competitive. This is the first time in Gallup's eight years of tracking partisanship by state that there have been more Republican than Democratic states. It also marks a dramatic shift from 2008, when Democratic strength nationally was its greatest in recent decades.Can you say "Pyrrhic victory?" On the other hand, the following are also true:
The 20 states that Gallup classifies as solidly Republican or leaning Republican account for 152 electoral votes, less than the 187 accounted for by the 14 solidly or leaning Democratic states plus the heavily Democratic District of Columbia.Each of the last two presidents has damaged his own party brand. Bush was responsible for "2008, when Democratic strength nationally was its greatest in recent decades." Now we see that Obama has accomplished the same debacle, driving people in the Republican direction.
Turnout is another key factor in determining the outcome, and it will especially be key in the 16 competitive states, which together account for 199 electoral votes. Republicans typically have an advantage in voter turnout in elections.
The question: how many loser "captains" can our ship of state survive? We won't know the answer until it's too late, until the ship founders.