The liberal-leaning bloggers at Swing State Project are doing us all a service by crunching the numbers for the presidential race from every congressional district. Remember that great factoid from 2004—George W. Bush carried 255 of the 435 congressional districts? Remember how that meant Democrats had an impossible uphill climb back to the majority?
Well… the good news for Republicans is that their chances of gaining power again are about as good as the Democrats after the 2004 drubbing. With only 32 states counted so far (not including California, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas and New York), Obama has won at least 34 districts that went for Bush in 2004. Some standouts:
– The Eighth District of Wisconsin, which covers Green Bay, and which Republicans fought like dogs to win back this year (unsucessfully), went 54-45 for Obama. It had voted 55-44 for Bush.
– The Third District of Kentucky, which covers Louisville, had been a marginal district: Al Gore only carried it 50-48 and Kerry carried it 51-49. Obama won it 56-43 even as he was losing the state in a rout. John Yarmuth, the liberal newspaper publisher elected in a 2006 upset, is safe as milk now.
– The Eighth District of Illinois, represented by Republican Phil Crane for decades until Democrat Melissa Bean won it in 2004, went 57-42 for Obama over McCain. Bush carried it over Kerry 56-44.
Keep in mind, many these are districts that were gerrymandered by Republican governors or legislatures in 2001 to elect a maximum number of Republicans. For all of that work, it looks like Obama carried 17 of 19 districts in Illinois, 13 of 15 districts in Michigan, seven of eight districts in Wisconsin, and six of 11 districts in Virginia. Marginal seats in Kentucky, Nevada, New Mexico, and Colorado went for Obama by landslides. Factor this in when you get overly optimistic about something like Joseph Cao’s win in Louisiana.