No matter the 2016 presidential matchup after the primary campaigns, the Democratic nominee is likely to have an edge over the Republican candidate once the election turns toward the November race.
In the past six presidential elections, 32 states and the District of Columbia have voted solidly Democratic or solidly Republican. If none of that changes this year, presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton would start out with 242 electoral votes – just 28 shy of the 270 she needs to win.
The GOP candidate would start out with just 102, if that trend were to hold. And if presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump won Arizona, Montana and the seven Southern states that voted Democratic only when Bill Clinton was on the ballot, Trump would be up to only 180 electoral votes.
That leaves 116 votes in 10 states. As always, Florida becomes crucial.
If Trump can win nine of those 10, he still would lose, unless Florida is among his victories. Clinton can lose nine of those 10, but if she wins Florida, she would move into the White House come January.
To change that math, Trump needs to break through in one of the 19 states that have voted Democratic in every presidential election since 1992.
In subsequent weeks, The Associated Press will look at the national electoral map and how the states are leaning, based on political preference polls, demographic trends and the candidates’ performance on in the campaign.
A look at the starting line, based on how the 50 states have voted in the six presidential elections since 1992.
These states, in addition to the District of Columbia, have voted for the Democratic nominee in every election since 1992: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin.
___ALL DEMOCRATIC, BUT ONCE
These states have voted for the Democratic nominee in five of the six elections since 1992: Iowa, New Hampshire, New Mexico.
___MORE OFTEN DEMOCRATIC
These states have voted for the Democratic nominee in four of the six elections since 1992: Nevada, Ohio.
These states have voted for the Democratic nominee three times and the Republican nominee three times since 1992: Colorado, Florida.
___MORE OFTEN REPUBLICAN
These states have voted for the Republican nominee in four of the six elections since 1992: Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia.
___ALL REPUBLICAN, BUT ONCE
These states have voted for the Republican nominee in five of the six elections since 1992: Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Montana, North Carolina.
These states have voted for the Republican nominee in every election since 1992: Alabama, Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wyoming.