Aric, on Feb 6 2004, 05:03 PM, said:
I seem to remember that from 2000, Bush won virtually all the southern states, but Gore was still within a couple of points from winning anyway. Does the south really matter if we're examining a Democrat's chances versus Bush?
Yes; the fact that they got close last time based mostly on other regions doesn't make a region they didn't win irrelevant. That reasoning is fundamentally flawed; using it, we could eliminate every single region as irrelevant based on one of the last few elections. Winning one southeastern state might have given Gore the win, but it didn't happen, so he lost. Then again, the same thing is true of a bunch of non-southeastern states he didn't win either. And, if Gore had won, we could say the same thing about Bush: If he had just gotten one or two more states, he could have won, and those states don't need to be in any particular region to have that impact. And someone might say "Well, they say the Northeast is important to Democrats, but they got it last time, and Bush still came close, so does it really matter?" Of course it does; without it, they wouldn't have done as well as they did.
Isn't there enough points to win in the north and west where Democrats traditionally fare well?
In those states alone, no. If that were the case, Democrats would always be winning, so, since they don't always win, you know that clearly the reliably Democrat states aren't enough.
I seem to remember political analysts describing 8-9 'battleground states' where elections are won and lost, and I don't remember aside from Florida, that any were even in the South.
That's not because the southeastern states don't matter. They do. They just don't count as "battleground" states if everybody presumes them unwinnable by one party and unlosable by the other. Battleground states are the ones that political strategists still think might go either way.