The top ten states (listed from Obama’s best to worst)
|Senators Michael Bennet (L) & Cory Gardner|
• New Hampshire
• North Carolina
Similar to 2012, these are the most likely states to see the candidates and get the media attention in 2016.
There are always some surprises. States thought to be close may fall into one camp or the other during the year and new states become the final battlegrounds. If 2012 is the model, Republicans must carry North Carolina, Florida and Ohio and at least two more. Next in line is Virginia and Colorado.
It is not just Senator Michael Bennet that receives attention as a vice presidential nominee. Freshman Cory Gardner is also on VP lists of the “Great Mentioners,” both because of Colorado’s importance to assembling 270 electoral votes, but also Gardner’s 2014 win demonstrates the image and campaign savvy necessary for Republicans to win Big Ten states like Colorado.
“Successful Republicans in the Big Ten states tend to be conservatives who avoid the extremist label and can appeal to voters on both a personal and political level. They tend to be more optimistic and upbeat than some in their party, and they don’t make it easy for their opponents to demonize them.”