In the 50 days leading up to tomorrow’s election, I profiled each of the 50 states and previewed what is on the ballot and how they are likely to vote. All of the posts can be found here
51. District of Columbia
Motto: Justita Omnibus
(Justice for All)
About the District
Article I Section 8 of the Constitution allows for the creation of a District, outside of any state, which could act as the seat of the Federal Government, but it does not specify where it should be located. On July 9th, 1790, the Residence Act was passed by Congress that approved the building of the national capital on the Potomac River, taking part of the land for it from Maryland, the rest from Virginia, which later received the territory back. Much of the work on the construction of Washington D.C. was performed by enslaved African-Americans, a fact that Congress commemorated with a plaque inside the U.S. Capitol in 2010.
In August of 1814, during the War of 1812, the British burned several public buildings, including the White House, Capitol and Treasury – most of which were reconstructed quickly, with the exception of the Capitol, which was not finished until 1868. President Lincoln created the Army of the Potomac during the Civil War to ensure that the Union’s capital was not captured by Confederate forces during the conflict. In 1862, Lincoln signed the Compensated Emancipation Act that ended slavery in the District, which resulted in many free black people moving there and it saw a sharp rise in population. Shortly after the Civil War had ended, on April 14th, 1865 President Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth in Ford’s Theatre in Washington, during a production of Our American Cousin.
The ratification of the Twenty-First Amendment in 1961 provided Washington D.C. with three votes in the Electoral College, providing its citizens – who have no Senators and only a non-voting at-large Representative in the House – with their first representation of any form in the Federal Government. The District of Columbia Home Rule Act, passed in 1973, provided the city with an elected Mayor and a 13-member council. Washington has four “Big Four” sports teams – the Washington Capitals (NHL); Wizards (NBA); Nationals (MLB) and the Washington Redskins (NFL), whose last home game has been indicative of the Presidential election result. Since they moved to the Capital in 1937, when the Redskins have won their last home contest prior to Election Day, the incumbent party have kept the Presidency, lose and the White House has shifted between the Democratic and Republican Parties. This has held true for 17 of the 18 ballots that have taken place in that time – the exception being President Bush’s re-election in 2004 after the ‘Skins had lost – which is bad news for President Obama, as the final score on Sunday was Carolina Panthers 21, Washington Redskins 13.
Electoral College Votes: 3
2008 Result: Obama 92.9% McCain 6.5%
Latest Poll: No Recent Polls
The District of Columbia has voted for the Democratic candidate in every single contest since it was granted Electoral College Votes in 1961. That will not change this time around, as President Obama will win the District’s 3 ECVs this time around.
Electoral College Prediction
The last few days, Fox News and their pundits have been pushing forth theories that early voting numbers for President Obama are far below what they were in 2008 and, even though he is behind right now, this is meant to be indicative that Mitt Romney will win as Republicans perform better on Election Day. I also have a fear that the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey could result in a low turnout and – given that the majority of the ongoing power outages are in areas of the state that were strongly Democratic in 2008 – a surprise win for Governor Romney. Plus, there have been reports from Miami of polling stations being closed to prevent people from being able to cast their ballots yesterday, obstruction that is likely to intensify on the actual day of the election.
However, for my predictions, I am going to try to stick to my feelings of how each state would go based on how the polls were moving – as well as some gut instinct – and the pessimism I have I will put down to my lifelong support for Tottenham Hotspur, who just instill that emotion in their fans…
Safe: Alabama; Mississippi; Georgia; Louisiana; Arkansas; South Carolina; Missouri; Tennessee; Kentucky; West Virginia; Oklahoma; Nebraska; Kansas; North Dakota; South Dakota; Arizona; Utah; Idaho; Wyoming; Montana; Texas; Indiana; Alaska.
Swing States: North Carolina; Florida; Colorado
Total Electoral College Votes: 244
Safe: Maine; Massachusetts; Connecticut; Rhode Island; Vermont; New York; New Jersey; Delaware; Maryland; District of Columbia; Illinois; Minnesota; New Mexico; California; Oregon; Washington; Hawai’i.
Swing: New Hampshire; Pennsylvania; Wisconsin; Michigan; Ohio; Virginia; Nevada; Iowa.
Total Electoral College Votes: 294