By Dan Balz
A recent conversation with a veteran of GOP presidential campaigns raised this question: Which, if any, of the recent battleground states are likely to become more Republican by 2016? The consensus: very few.
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That reality highlights one problem Republicans face as they seek to regain the White House after six years under President Obama. Lots of factors affect elections: the quality of the candidates, the state of the economy, the effectiveness of the campaigns. But in a country whose demographics continue to change, Republicans will begin this campaign with one significant disadvantage.
Over the past three decades, the political leanings of many states have shifted dramatically. What once was a sizable Republican advantage in the electoral college has become a decided Democratic advantage.
One way to look at this is by comparing two overlapping 20-year periods. In the first, 1980 through 2000, Republicans won four of six presidential elections. In the second, 1992 through 2012, Democrats won four of six.