Pundits Already Write Off 31 States in '08 Presidential Race
Political analyst Lou Jacobson today listed 19 battleground states for the 2008 presidential election. The remaining 31 states are listed as either "safely Democratic" or "safely Republican."
The complete article contains an interactive map.
In order from most Republican to most Democratic, the 19 battleground states for the 2008 presidential election are
2 Likely Republican
Virginia (13 electoral votes)
Nevada (5 electoral votes)
6 Lean Republican
Florida (27 electoral votes)
Arizona (10 electoral votes)
West Virginia (5 electoral votes)
Colorado (9 electoral votes)
Arkansas (6 electoral votes)
Missouri (11 electoral votes)
Ohio (20 electoral votes)
New Mexico (5 electoral votes)
Iowa (7 electoral votes)
5 Lean Democratic
Wisconsin (10 electoral votes)
Minnesota (10 electoral votes)
Michigan (17 electoral votes)
Maine (4 electoral votes)
Pennsylvania (21 electoral votes)
3 Likely Democratic
Oregon (7 electoral votes)
New Hampshire (4 electoral votes)
Washington state (11 electoral votes)
Forty-eight states currently use the winner-take-all rule that awards all of a state's electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in each state.
Under the winner-take-all rule, candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or worry about the concerns of voters of states that they cannot possibly win or lose. This means that voters in two thirds of the states are effectively disenfranchised in presidential elections because candidates concentrate their attention on a small handful of "battleground" states. In 2004, candidates concentrated over two-thirds of their money and campaign visits to win votes in just five states; over 80% in nine states; and over 99% of their money in just 16 states.
The spectator states in presidential elections include 12 of the 13 least populous states (all but New Hampshire); 9 of the nation's 13 most populous states (California, Texas, New York, Illinois, New Jersey, North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, and Massachusetts).
National Popular Vote -- Electoral college reform by direct election of the President