No, not the three everyone is talking about. Not the proverbial demolition of the "blue wall" of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin where less than 80,000 voters gave the presidency to the demagogue who was the big loser in the popular vote by what is now looking like 3 million votes.
Arizona, Texas, Georgia. With 11, 38 and 16 electoral votes respectively, these states represent 65 electoral votes. If Hillary Clinton had won them, she would be sitting at 297 electoral votes as the president-elect.
But she didn't. In fact, she lost all of those states. So why are we talking about them?
Because in each of these states, Hillary Clinton in 2016 cut the Republican advantage by 30% or more, and she gained on the actual vote totals.
In 2012, President Obama received 1.8 million votes in Georgia and lost the state to Mitt Romney by 7.5 points. Last month, Hillary Clinton received 1.9 million votes in Georgia and lost the state to Donald Trump by just 5 points. In Texas, Hillary Clinton received 3.8 million votes to just 3.3 million for Obama in 2012, and while she still lost the state by 9 points to Trump, the margin was almost cut in half from Mitt Romney's lopsided 16-point win in the state.
The state that is perhaps the closest harbinger of things to come is Arizona. Hillary Clinton got almost 20% more votes in Arizona than Obama did in 2012 (she received nearly 1.2 million votes to Obama's 1 million in 2012), and she cut the Republican margin from 9 points to just 3.6, or a whopping 60%.
These are all red states that are going through a demographic shift that will make them competitive in presidential elections before we know, and that's just one reason Democrats need to be on the ground winning local elections now to be prepared.
Between 2010 and 2015, the Asian population in Georgia has risen by a third to 4%, the Latino population has increased by 10% to making up almost one out of 10 Georgians, and the African American share of the population has edged up slightly from 30.5 to 31.7%. The white population has dipped 2 percentage points from 56 to 54 percent.
Texas is already a majority minority state in terms of population, with (non-Hispanic) whites making up just 43% of the population in 2015, down from 45.3% in 2010. Hispanics comprise almost 39% of the state's population, up from about 37.5% at the beginning of this decade. The thing that is holding Texas back is that while Hispanics are a big part of the population, whites still dominate the voting block, which can change quickly as young American born Latinos come of age.
That voting population of people of color is ascendant in Arizona, as Hillary Clinton's close showing indicates. Not only are the population of Latinos (29.6 to 30.7 percent between 2010 and 2015), Asians (2.8 to 3.4 percent), and African Americans (4.1 to 4.8 percent) rising in Arizona, of these three states, Arizona is the only one with a significant native American population, which rose from 4.6 to 5.3 percent between 2010 and 2015. Arizonans in Maricopa County also ended the career of racist Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Clinton also held two other rapidly diversifying states in a pretty good year for white supremacists: Nevada and Virginia.
These states responded to Hillary Clinton's message of a shared country with a shared economy, shared sacrifice and shared prosperity, her strong stand and open advocacy for civil rights and equal protection of the law, and her groundbreaking campaign of coalition building.
As I pointed out last week, while not a swing state, Hillary Clinton shot past Barack Obama's totals in California not just in 2012, but in 2008. Taken together with Hillary Clinton's sizable popular vote victory, this maps out where the new Democratic battlegrounds will be to secure the presidency. When these states go over the tipping point, it'll be game over for racism and for GOP.
Demographics are still destiny. Donald Trump's campaign of hate, racism, and xenophobia may have carried the day with white resentment in the rust belt, but there is another phenomenon that is being completely ignored in this election: the rise of the Obama-Clinton demographic coalition that is changing the game in what are now Republican strongholds. This rise of resistance against hate, combined with soon-to-disillusioned 'white working class' will be a potent weapon for Democrats in not-too-distant future.
We need to understand our advantages and lay the groundwork now.