That’s the number of electoral votes in the states that Democrats have won in six straight presidential elections.
The tally includes 18 states and the District of Columbia. The total of 242 electoral votes is just 28 below the 270 needed to win the presidency. The grouping includes California, New York and Illinois, which together have 104 electoral votes. President Barack Obama won those three states on Nov. 6 by an average of 26 percentage points.
Republicans sought to put some of the Democratic-voting states in play late in the 2012 campaign, making limited television buys and some campaign visits in states like Minnesota, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
In the end, though, the only two states that shifted to Republican in 2012 from Democratic four years earlier were Indiana and North Carolina, which had voted Republican for president for decades prior to 2008.