Wednesday, May 11, 2016


JFK+50:  Volume 5, No. 1946


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) Last evening, CNN's John King, discussing the upcoming presidential general election for 2016, said that Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania would be key states in deciding the winner.

Mr. King pointed out that those four states were carried by Barack Obama in both 2008 and 2012 but if those same states could be "stolen" in 2016 by the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald J. Trump, while holding the states Governor Mitt Romney won in 2012, the final result would be 289 to 249 in the Electoral College.

This interesting information prompted me to take a look at how those four states have voted in presidential elections going back to John F. Kennedy's election in 1960.

In both Elections of 2004 and 2000, Republican George W. Bush won Florida and Ohio while the Democratic nominee won Michigan and Pennsylvania.

In 1996, Democrat William Jefferson Clinton swept the four key states while in 1992 he lost in Michigan.  In 1988, George Herbert Walker Bush swept all four while in 1984, Ronald Reagan won Florida and Ohio while the Democrats took Michigan and Pennsylvania.

In 1980, Ronald Reagan swept the four states while in 1976 Jimmy Carter won in Florida and Pennsylvania, but Gerald R. Ford carried his home state of Michigan along with Ohio.

In 1972, Richard M. Nixon swept the four states, but in 1968 he carried only Florida and Ohio while Hubert H. Humphrey won in Michigan and Pennsylvania.

In LBJ's 1964 landslide, the Democrats won the four states, while in 1960 John F. Kennedy won Michigan and Pennsylvania while Richard M. Nixon took Florida and Ohio.

Traditionally, then, Florida and Ohio tend to go Republican while Michigan and Pennsylvania are carried by the Democrats.

In one-sided election years, such as 1964, 1972, 1980, 1988, 1996, these four states may be swept by either political party.

So far, as everyone knows, this election year has been unique.  It is impossible to predict how these four states will vote in the 2016 general election, but what is clear, as John King and his Magic Wall demonstrated last night, they will play a key role in who the next President of the United States will be.

CNN Center Studios (2007)