November 7th, 2012
11:50 AM ET
6 years ago

The shifting map of U.S. politics

Washington (CNN) - The electoral map is changing, and the 2012 presidential election is proof.

While many of the shifts favor the Democrats, some benefit the GOP.

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Four years ago then-Sen. Obama became the first Democratic candidate since 1964 to carry Virginia in a presidential election, and the first to win North Carolina since 1976. Tuesday's election results confirmed that the 2008 results were no fluke. Virginia, which was once a reliably red state in presidential elections, can now be shaded purple. And North Carolina may be headed that way in the future.

It's also safe to say that New Mexico, a swing state for cycles past, has turned blue. And Nevada may be following down the same path in the future. An increase of the Latino share of the electorate, as well as the edging up of participation by younger voters, are partially behind these shifts.

"The biggest geographic breakthrough of 2008 is now consolidated. Obama in his first win captured a series of Sunbelt states that had leaned strongly toward the GOP over the previous four decades: Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida in the southeast, and Nevada and Colorado in the southwest, plus New Mexico, where Democrats had done better," said CNN Senior Political Analyst and National Journal Editorial Director Ron Brownstein.

"The same forces brought all of these states into play-growing diversity and improving democratic performance among the growing population of college educated whites. The same factors allowed the president to win several of them Tuesday night, and to run almost step for step in the others, even in a year when his white performance substantially eroded," added Brownstein.

But not all the shifts favor the Democrats.

"There are some states that have gotten redder. Obama carried Indiana four years ago but lost by 10 points this year, indicating that Indiana may be reverting to its Republican DNA. Sen. John McCain carried Missouri by the thinnest of margins in 2008, but Mitt Romney won that state by ten points," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

The map has changed. And it will again.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    The right wing does not believe in social evolution. They will dismiss the article as MSM bias.

    November 7, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  2. TomInRochNY

    The map changed . . . for the better.

    November 7, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Old republican strongholds have now shifted towards democrats. wait until we start turning red states such as Georgia and Texas. Minorities are becoming the new majority.

    November 7, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  4. Wilson

    If there is any of it left to change, it will drastically change the next election when people realize how far in the hole this administration is driving us. The DOW is already dropping like a rock.

    November 7, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  5. Dave Jaipersaud

    Ha! Ha! – Romney/Ryan & the Republicans lost. What a bunch of losers. People saw through all the lies and nonsense they were selling. I hope the Republican learnt a lesson that the American people are not forgetful and stupid. We can remember clearly what happened when the Republicans were in charge of the White House.

    It was painful watching Fox News try to spin a major Republican loss into a major
    Republican win. All of their projections that Romney would win were dead wrong.
    It proves that Fox News has not credibility. Everyone of them. So for those folks who watch Fox News and listen to House and Senate Republicans and their surrogates spew
    their lies as gospel, this is a wake-up call. They are leading you down a losing

    Now we can continue to build and move this country forward

    November 7, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    Wilson wrote:

    ".... The DOW is already dropping like a rock."
    And, your explanation for this is an Obama victory, not the House remaining in GOTP hands.

    Wall Street is doing whatever it pleases, for whatever reasons it wants; both real and imagined. For all you know, the market might be falling because of the effects of Sandy and another storm hitting the city as I write. Your attitude is an endangered species.

    November 7, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    Wilson wrote:

    The DOW is already dropping like a rock.
    And, so, you attribute this to Obama getting re-elected.

    Why not the GOTP holding on to the House? Why not hurricane Sandy? Why not the next storm that is tearing up the East Coast right this minute? Why not someone's out of control trading bot wreaking havoc? Why not a thousand other reasons?

    Your attitude is becoming an endangered species.

    November 7, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  8. Expat American

    The DOW dropping is not connected directly to the Re-election of President Obama.
    Independent Wall Street experts have already been saying this all day.

    November 7, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  9. Forwarned

    Enjoy your victory democrats – your party, absent of any viable financial solutions, is about to take us over the cliff. You will soon sow what you have reaped with your misplaced loyalty to a failing politician.

    November 7, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  10. Tejana

    @Forwarned: Sounds like sour grapes to me.

    November 7, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  11. Clarke

    People, if you care to educate your selves, the dow is dropping because of Germany, not because of the election of Obama. Please just get the facts right before you speak. Thank you!

    November 7, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  12. Data Driven

    Confederacy loses again, film at 11, lol

    November 7, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  13. Dan

    The REPUBLICANS are to blame for putting this country in the "hole". Eroding the foundation of it by sending jobs overseas. For personal gain. MONEY!! At the expense of the working class. Putting this country in debt.

    November 7, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  14. rs

    It takes little for the Dow to get the willies, but let's be honest, they didn't get Mr. Romney and his promise to return to the deregulated days of Bush- much to our collective relief.

    November 7, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  15. rs


    Keep peddling fear. It worked really well last night for the GOP, right?

    November 7, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC


    Enjoy your victory democrats – your party, absent of any viable financial solutions, is about to take us over the cliff.
    I much rather enjoy savoring your loss. Romney ran on what solution? "Trust Me. Elect Me." I would imagine that is a solution to a few, but obviously not the majority.

    What ever has happened to the usual suspects around here? Cut and ran?

    November 7, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  17. Dan

    The middle class definitely dont REAP what they SOW if REPUBLICANS have their way!!

    November 7, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  18. Gregory M, Newbold

    WOMEN are the new "white people". The percentage of women in the electorate will always be a constant 50-50. The percentage of "whites" will continue to drop.

    The GOP needs to drop its obsession with abortion, contraception, Planned Parenthood, etc. They need to "man up" and say that pay discrimination is WRONG and not defend a business right to pay them differently from men. That is a piece of the "MAP" that can not be ignored. Balance the budget GOP and stay out of people`s difficult life decisions.

    November 7, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  19. gr8 usa

    Someone please go to Florida next election cycle to help them out. That state is such a mess. Folks, it's simple math. Count the ballots.

    November 7, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  20. rob

    Well, I was wrong. I really felt the country would have enough sense to not re-elect President Obama. He did not deserve to win, his record has been horrible and he never put out a specific plan for his new term. The Dems with the help of their partners in the liberal media. never had to explain their failures or the lack of any plan for the future. The President was never compelled to defend Obamacares skyrocketing costs, the Bengazi debacle or the answer to the fiscal cliff and future budgets as that would have made it harder to get re elected. The liberal media is the reason Obama was re elected.

    Now the Republicans will be forced to make consessions because of the reality of their positions but it is truely up to President Obama to LEAD this time.

    I hope he can.

    November 7, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  21. gr8 usa

    Just think of how cranky Sheldon Addleson, the Koch brothers and all the anonymous donors to the Super PACs must be this morning. They just spent billions for nothing, and my $65 donation to the Obama campaign yielded an amazing ROI.

    November 7, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  22. TS

    After reading Dave Jaipersaud post with all of its errors and poor English, I see why BO won.
    BO ran a campaign based on scare tactics, not performance, policy and platform. Look at his record, he has strapped a debt load to this country that will take decades to eliminate and done nothing to help businesses grow. This country is built on businesses putting people to work, not government putting people to work. He has been a primary cause of a stagnant economy and will continue to be a cause of a stagnant economy. Romney is a moderate that has proved he knows how to govern, breach party lines and run an effective government. Much like Bill Clinton, Romney would have governed from the middle and likely been successful. Get ready for 4 more years of minimal to no growth, few added primary jobs, higher taxes and dependence on foreign investment.
    By the way, did the middle class voters see that they can get ready for a $3,700 AMT tax hit next year! Good job BO.

    November 7, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  23. Wilson

    @Rudy,,,,Styx called it right when it comes to you and the left,,,"So Blind." Yeah, I know that isn't the exact name, but when I read your response that song popped into my head with the lyric change.

    November 7, 2012 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  24. Wilson

    @Expat American

    The DOW dropping is not connected directly to the Re-election of President Obama.
    Independent Wall Street experts have already been saying this all day.
    None so blind as those that choose not to see.

    November 7, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  25. Wheel Maker

    It really doesn't matter how they divide up the electoral college. This is such an old fashioned program it in no way represents the will of the people and should be destroyed. No electoral college. The only true will of the people is by the popular vote. I congratulate Obama. He ran a great race and deserves the win. But if his next four years are anything like the first people will be eating out of garbage can. Thieves will be mauling their neighbors for food and water. The government will be in complete control while all Doctors flee their clinics for lack of pay with the government in charge. Our security will fail to materialize simply because we will have the weakest Military in the world. Obama's dream. The only religion that can be worshiped will be Islam. The coalition of the Muslim Brotherhood will patrol our streets. Financially America will cease to exist. The eagle will not be the National Emblem nor will the Stars & Stripes fly over the capital ever again. Medicare will disappear. Death panels will materialize for old people for they must die for there will be no subsistence forthcoming for them medical or medical aid. No more millionaires in Obamaland except for him and a few of his friends. Women will be wearing veils over their faces or they will be stoned to death. Dreams of my father will rule. Now the beast has come.

    November 7, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |