The Washington Post (of all things) produced this apocalyptic opinion piece on the fate of the Democrats.
There is a double whammy that Herr Lane is referring to. It is the loss of Democratic electors in the Electoral College.
There's really no gentle way to say this, so I'm just going to be blunt: In some ways, the political situation post-Nov. 2 is even worse for the Democrats than it may appear. And I am not just referring to the colossal losses they experienced in state legislatures -- a 650+ seat swing in favor of the GOP that has left the Dems in control of the fewest state legislatures since 1928. The resulting pro-GOP gerrymandering may lastingly blunt the demographic advantage Democrats could otherwise expect to reap from population trends such as the growth of Hispanic America.
The Electoral College was established in Article II of the US Constitution and is now comprised of 538 "electors". Let's cut to the chase.
No, what's really bad for President Obama and his party is the likely impact of the 2010 Census and ensuing House of Representatives reapportionment on the distribution of votes in the 2012 Electoral College. We can talk all day about whether a majority of voters would support Obama for re-election or not, but what really counts in presidential elections is the Electoral College. Each state's electoral vote equals its number of representatives in the House plus two, for its Senate delegation. And since the U.S. population continues to flow South and West, reapportionment will probably add House seats in red states and subtract them in blue states. Thus, the Census looks like a setback for Democratic chances to win the 270 electoral votes necessary to become president.
As of January 2011, there will be seven fewer Blue State electors who will be picked up by Red States. Using the 2008 Presidential campaign where McCain (a weak candidate) grabbed 22 states for a total of 173 electoral votes, the Republican bottom line may be about to grow to 180. The magic number of 271 can be had by just holding on to six states that more often than not have swung Republican: Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Indiana, Virginia and Nevada.
[...] Removing Ohio, Florida and Nevada from the analysis, because they are too unpredictable, it looks like Republicans can pretty much count on an additional 7 electoral votes (Arizona, Georgia, South Carolina, 4 in Texas, and Utah, minus the loss of one vote in Louisiana) in 2012, while the Democrats can count on 7 fewer (losses in Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota, offset by a gain in Washington).
Get that fork ready. It may be that the Dems are finally done. And we can thank Obama, Reid and Pelosi for marinating their members, preheating the oven and selecting the spices. Even now they just can't figure out how to turn off the gas and cool the rheotric.
As it happens, all six of these states, except for North Carolina, will have Republican governors next year, and all six, except for Nevada, will have Republican state legislatures.