Well, since Democratic Presidential candidates are declaring right and left, it's time to thinking about how the 2020 electoral college might shape up. Cook Political Report is out with their first state by state ratings and they're quite interesting.
They put five states into their toss up column, the "Rustbelt three" of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin plus Arizona and Florida.
There are 21 states with a total of 232 EVs in lean to solid Democratic categories.They put four states into lean Democratic, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Nevada. And two states are put into the bluer column of likely Democratic: Colorado and Virginia.
It's worth dwelling on the designation for Virginia. It really has been a rapid shift for the state from reliably Republican to its ever-deepening shade of blue. Along these lines, Catalist's analysis of Virginia's 2018 Senate contest and comparison to other recent elections is worth looking at. They find:
"Kaine’s reelection to the US Senate in this still-purple state was never really close, with estimates from pollsters and pundits eventually converging on a predicted outcome of “Safe D” early in the election cycle. Kaine made good on that prediction, beating Republican challenger Corey Stewart by a margin of 16 points. Beyond statewide success in 2018, down-ballot Democrats flipped 3-out-of-4 targeted Red to Blue congressional districts (VA-02, VA-07, and VA-10, with VA-05 being the only near miss).
Kaine’s reelection, combined with additional Democratic victories across the state in 2018, illustrate three important dynamics about the current state of play in Virginia:
* Demographics have been moving the state from purple to blue
* Improvements in support among suburban voters have accelerated this movement — statewide and at the congressional level
* And the potential to establish progressive inroads with historically challenging groups such as rural voters and whites without a college degree."
More on the Rustbelt three soon.