Looking back, 1988 was a turning point. It would be the last time any presidential candidate broke 400 votes in the electoral college, the last time California, New Jersey and Illinois went red. What was up until then viewed as the Republican lock would give way in four short years.
After that night, no non-incumbent Republican would again lead the popular vote. The Democratic party would capture a plurality in six of the next seven presidential elections. Flyover country would emerge as a contiguous Republican bastion, Democrats relegated mostly to the coasts. Another realignment was under way.
...No Republican has carried these states since Bush in 1988:
Back in the day, the president’s father was a senator from Connecticut and a golf partner to President Eisenhower. Now, the Nutmeg state’s entire congressional delegation is Democratic. Ned Lamont, governor-elect, played golf at the country club where George met Barbara Bush.
- New Jersey