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How '06 Shake-up May Tilt Electoral College

LA Times columnist Ron Brownstein's article "The electoral college map is morphing" merits a read by Democrats interested in what the '06 election bodes for the 08 presidential contest. Among Brownstein's more encouraging observations:

More important, Colorado emerged next to Virginia as the top new target for Democrats. A party nominee who could hold all the states Kerry won in 2004 and add just those two states would obtain an electoral college majority.

In Colorado in 2004, Democrats captured both chambers of the Legislature and got Ken Salazar elected to the U.S. Senate. This year, Ritter won the governorship in a landslide helped by commanding margins in the vote-rich Denver suburbs that propelled Bush's two victories in the state.

Brownstein also suggests that Democratic wins in statewide races in Arkansas, Montana and Ohio offer additional hope. Brownstein doesn't discuss demographic changes underway in many states that could tip the balance in favor of Dems during the next two years. But it's clear that winning the states carried by Gore or Kerry, plus one or two others adds up to an electoral college majority.