The Shrinking Battleground: It's Smaller Than You Think
Jacobson splits his battleground states into five categories: likely to vote democrat/republican, leaning towards democrat/republican, or tossup. While I admire Jacobson"s approach to speculating the 2008 partisan breakup, I'm convinced the reality is much worse than his data suggests.
For example, Maine is listed as "lean democrat" even though it has increased in Democratic partisanship since 2000, reaching 55.7% Democrat in 2004. I would classify this state as safe Democrat for 2008. Candidates will likely view Maine similarly and will ignore it as they campaign in the small handful of battleground states.
Maybe Jacobson is being careful not to speculate too early about which way states will go, but his current data gives the impression that nearly half of the states actually influence the elections. This analysis gives these states a false hope of having electoral power and potentially getting a scrap of campaign attention.
We should be mindful of America's Shrinking Battleground. Anything else sets us up for disappointment.