Editorial: States reflect partisan polarization
George Bush and Barack Obama won re-election by comparable margins. Bush did slightly better in the popular vote; Obama outperformed Bush in the Electoral College.
In his Commentary column today, The Times-Dispatch’s A. Barton Hinkle writes of political polarization. The 2004 and 2012 elections illustrate the trends. The number of competitive states declined dramatically from 2004 to 2012.
In 2004, 11 states qualified as close — i.e., the winner won by 5 points or fewer. Eight years later, only four came in as close.