Interestingly, one of the major factors helping Bush in 2004 over 2000 wasn't a change in voting, but a shift in population. The 2000 census awarded seven additional electoral votes to the states he carried twice, with the same number being subtracted from those that went for Gore and Kerry. Among Bush's states, Arizona, Florida, Georgia and Texas each picked up two additional electoral votes. Colorado, Nevada and North Carolina gained one apiece. Indiana, Mississippi, Ohio and Oklahoma each lost a vote.
Looking at the Democrats, only California and the District of Columbia gained an electoral vote between 2000 and 2004. New York and Pennsylvania lost two votes each. Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin lost one apiece.
What this means is that if the population distribution in 2000 had been reflected in the Electoral College that year, Bush would have won 278 electoral votes instead of the 271 he was officially awarded, and Gore would have had 259 votes instead of the 266 he got. If the final electoral vote had been 278 to 259 instead of the actual 271 to 266, much of the rancor over the results might have been avoided.
The 2010 census is likely to accelerate the Republican advantage. According to preliminary estimates by Polidata.org, 13 electoral votes will probably shift before the 2012 election. States that Bush carried twice will gain another seven net electoral votes, and those carried by Gore and Kerry will lose six net seats.
States expected to gain electoral votes include Arizona (+2), Florida (+2), Georgia (+1), Nevada (+1), Oregon (+1), Texas (+4), Utah (+1) and Washington (+1). Losing states are Illinois (-1), Iowa (-1), Louisiana (-1), Massachusetts (-1), Michigan (-1), Minnesota (-1), Missouri (-1), New Jersey (-1), New York (-2), Ohio (-2) and Pennsylvania (-1). All the gaining states went for Bush twice except for Oregon and Washington. All of the losing states went for Gore and Kerry except Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri and Ohio.
Internet betting sites, such as Intrade.com, see the Democrats having about a 55 percent chance of winning in 2008. However, for him or her to win, they will have to get a good-sized state that went for Bush twice to switch. That may be hard.
Bruce Bartlett is a former senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis of Dallas, Texas. Bartlett is a prolific author, having published over 900 articles in national publications, and prominent magazines and published four books, including Reaganomics: Supply-Side Economics in Action.
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