No state can be overlooked, whether the motivation for ranking is legislative or political. This is a complicated exercise because there is political power almost everywhere on the map. Yes, Michigan has the power on significant committees and is the political equivalent of the Big East. But Maine and Delaware have two centrist senators, without whom no issue coalition can get a majority. New Mexico has a Republican Hispanic woman governor. Hawaii has an open Senate seat. Every state can argue its role in achieving victory on our cornerstone issues.
Typically, BIPAC’s Prosperity Fund will select about a dozen states for top tier status in the first quarter of the new Congress. That designation entitles our working partner, state business-based organization to apply for grants to assist them in hiring dedicated staff to work with local business to increase workplace communication on issues, to upgrade their technology infrastructure, and to enhance their messaging tools to engage public officials. Over 40 states are involved in our network, usually through the state manufacturing or chamber leadership. Every state in this network has measurable goals of lives touched, messages delivered, voter registration and early voting downloads through BIPAC’s Prosperity Project tools.
In the parlance of the season, here are a few brackets and the final four emerging from the spreadsheet. Every one of you ought to set up your own decision data points and create your own rankings. You may be surprised at where your process leads.
- Presidential: Bush 2004/Obama 2008 by Closest Margins: Florida, Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio. These states had 73 Electoral College votes in 2008 and will have 72 in 2012.
- Governors: Switched Parties in 2010 by Closest Margins: Connecticut, Minnesota, Ohio, Vermont
- Governors: Expected Competition 2011/2012: Missouri, North Carolina, Washington, West Virginia
- Senate: 2008 or 2010 Switched Parties by Closest Margins: Illinois, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin
- Senate: Expected Competition 2012: Florida, Nevada, Ohio, Virginia
- House: Large Delegations at Least 20% Switched Parties: Illinois, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania
- House: Reapportionment Gain or Lose Two or More Seats: Florida, New York, Ohio, Texas
- State Legislature: Both Houses Switched Party Control 2010: Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Wisconsin
- Delegations: Newbie-O-Meter: Colorado, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Virginia
- 112th Congress: Great Committee Assignments: Michigan, New Jersey, Texas, Washington
- 112th Congress: Centrist Delegations: Delaware, Maine, North Carolina, Virginia
- Overall: Based on All 20+ Categories: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin