Nate Silver, the FiveThirtyEight.com/New York Times statistician-blogger renowned for the accuracy of his predictions in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, thinks Alaska might someday become a swing state. A big factor, he says: rapid population growth fed significantly by people from liberal states on the West Coast.
The state where Barack Obama most improved his performance from 2008 was Alaska. He lost it by “only” 14 percentage points this year, considerably less than his 22-point margin of defeat in 2008.
Part of the reason is that the former governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, was on the Republican ticket in 2008 but was not this year. That probably doesn’t explain all of the shift, however.
Consider that in 2000 — also without Ms. Palin on the ballot — the Democratic nominee, Al Gore, lost Alaska by 31 points.
Read more: Alaska: Future swing state?
After you've read Silver, click here: A conservative Fairbanks election watcher responds to Silver's points one by one and concludes Alaska is in no danger of swinging significantly to the left.