For Republicans to win the presidency in 2016, they will need to take Florida and Wisconsin, two states that have gone to the Democrats in most elections since 1992. Indeed, like in 2000, the presidential race could come down to how Florida turns.
Politico Magazine explains how fundamentals work in Hillary Clinton’s favor:
18 states and the District of Columbia have gone for Democrats in every presidential election since 1992, for a total of 242 electoral votes—only 28 shy of the required 270. By contrast, only 13 states have voted Republican in every presidential election since 1992, and they amount to only 102 electoral votes. So Democrats have many more paths to 270.
The map for Clinton, as with any Democrat, starts with D.C. and the 18 solidly blue states: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.
Next come the battlegrounds: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia.
In the 2012 presidential contest, the three most closely contested states were Florida and Ohio, which Obama won, and North Carolina, which Mitt Romney won. Together the three amount to 62 electoral votes. So Obama—who finished with 332 electoral votes—could have lost all three of those states and still have made it to 270. If Clinton held the 18 states that have voted Democratic since 1992, winning Florida and its 29 electoral votes would by itself seal a victory.