Electoral College Versus GOP

Most current speculation on a mismatch between the popular vote and the electoral college currently focuses, for various reasons, on the prospect of McCain winning the election with fewer votes than Obama gets. Nate at 538, however, points out a significant way in which the electoral college is disadvantaging the Republicans -- it's based on where people lived during the 2000 census rather than where they live today.

If you re-did the allocation based on 2007 Current Population Survey data you'd give three electoral votes to Texas and one each to Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, and Utah. Most of those are solid GOP states, and the two that aren't (Nevada and Florida) have a distinct GOP tilt. Meanwhile, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania would each lose one electoral vote and Ohio would lose two. So consider that a reason for conservatives to want to get behind the National Popular Vote movement.

Meanwhile, there's obviously a problem here for Democrats in 2012. The good news is that as some of these states gain population -- especially Arizona, Nevada, and Texas -- they seem to be becoming less solidly Republican. But we're probably still quite a ways from Texas being a competitive state. So you see further evidence that the Democrats' future (or lack thereof) is in the Southwest and the party's ability to start reliably getting electoral votes out of Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico to replace some of the ones that are going to be taken away from the Northeast.