So most states you can already predict if they will be red or blue. Vermont and California will be blue, Mississippi and Alabama will be red.
The way I see it, there are probably only 2 states that really matter. Ohio & Florida.
There are states that ‘could’ flip, but the problem is that if these states flip then the election was so lopsided that it didn’t matter. Example, in 2008, Obama won the exact same states he won in 2012 but he also won Indiana and North Carolina. That gave him 365 EVs. in 2012 he didn’t win those states because his margin was smaller, but it didn’t matter. He still won 332 EVs and you only need 270 to win. Indiana and NC may be swing states, but if they flip then the election was so lopsided that it didn’t matter.
States that are considered swing states like North Carolina, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Iowa, etc. to me seem to fit this bill. Yeah they could flip, but if they do flip then the election was so lopsided that it didn’t matter. If Iowa and Wisconsin go red then the GOP has so many EVs above 270 that they didn’t need Iowa or Wisconsin.
Could Virginia truly matter in 2016? Like, is there any realistic chance of a 2000 style showdown where Virginia is the state where everything hinges?
I know in 2004 when Kerry lost ohio by something like 120k votes, it was brought up that if Kerry had won those 120k votes distributed in New Mexico, Colorado and Nevada then he could’ve won in 2004 despite losing Ohio and Florida. New Mexico and Nevada aren’t as much of swing states, but Colorado only had about a 5 point margin for Obama (which again is still much larger than Ohio or Florida).
Anyway, unless Ohio & Florida flip one way or another, none of the other states matter.