Democrats' Electoral College Advantage Is Shrinking, Gallup Finds

The Democratic advantage in state-level partisanship was smaller in 2013 than in 2012, and a lot smaller than its 2008 high point, according to Gallup's yearly look at the political composition of the states.

According to Gallup's analysis of partisanship in the states in 2013, 17 states are now solid Democratic or leaning Democratic, and 14 states are solid Republican or leaning Republican, giving Democrats a three state advantage, which is four states lower than their seven state advantage in 2012. The remaining 19 states, where neither Republicans nor Democrats had a 10 percentage point advantage or greater, are labeled "competitive" states.

The Democratic advantage is way down from 2008 when they had a 30 state advantage. Their lowest point, though, came in 2011 when Democrats only had a one state advantage.

Gallup ranked the states based upon its polling data asking Americans their partisan affiliation. Those who identified as independents were placed into the Republican or Democratic camps if they said they mostly vote for one of those political parties.

Ohio and Pennsylvania moved from lean Democratic to competitive states. Tennessee moved from a competitive state to a lean Republican state, and South Dakota moved from a competitive state to a solid Republican state. Together, the states represent a swing of 52 electoral votes more in the Republican Party's direction.

The data comes from polling conducted throughout 2013, so only a small portion of it comes from polls taken during the government shutdown in October, which was unpopular and largely blamed on Republicans.

Even with the move in their favor, Gallup's report shows that Republicans still have an Electoral College disadvantage because they start with a smaller base of states solidly in their camp.

An analysis of Gallup's data conducted by The Christian Post suggests that Democrats have a base of 217 Electoral College votes and Republicans have a base of only 78 Electoral College votes; 270 Electoral College votes are needed to win a presidential election.

There is no presidential election in 2014, but there will be a number of statewide elections, including 36 U.S. Senate races and 36 gubernatorial races.