All State Voting Trends Since 1976

I spent literally all day and most of the night on this chart, so please check it out. You will need to scroll down past the General Election Cattle Call stuff to view it.

The partisan index shows the relative standing of Democrats and Republicans in a given state by comparing the state popular vote of the two parties with the national popular vote of the two parties. For example, in New Jersey in 1992, Clinton won with 42.954% to Bush's 40.581%. However, in 1992 the partisan index favored the GOP by 3.2, since nationally Clinton had 43.007% of the vote and Bush had 37.448%.

1992 NJ
DNC  43.007-42.954 =  0.053
GOP  40.581-37.448 =  3.133
Total		    3.186 (3.2)

In theory, this means that Clinton would have won the state had he only won the national vote by 3.2, but lost it if he won by 3.1. In reality, local organization and targeting play a small, unquantifiable, but noticeable role in the partisan index. Further, for most candidates, being a "favorite son" makes a large impact on the race. Also, as a candidate rises of falls in the national polls, s/he does not do so across the board, evenly in all states.

While the primary use of this chart will be to better understand this election, it also has clear historical uses, and even goes a long way to answering some common questions. For example, I think it shows that broad trends are more powerful than local targeting. Also, I think the chart conclusively shows that Perot did not cost Bush the 1992 election. Considering that Bush lost nationally by 5.56%, where does he find the necessary 102 electoral votes? Colorado, Georgia, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Tennessee and maybe Kentucky are the only states it appears Perot may have handed to Clinton. Taken together, they are not even half of what Bush needed, as the final total would have been 319-219 instead of 370-168 (for a more detailed discussion on this matter, click here). In the other direction, Perot almost cost Clinton Connecticut and Ohio.

There will be a permanent link to this chart soon in a "Presidency 2004" section that will include lots of other goodies. There is some cool stuff happening at MyDD.

Tags: Demographics (all tags)



Out of complete boredom I fitted each set of data to a line.  I arbitrarily determined that slopes between 1%/election and 2%/election were "weak" trends and more than 3.5% was a "strong" trend.  A few states had no discernable trends (<1%/election).

Strong GOP: AL, GA, MS, NE, NC, SC
Weak GOP: AK, ID, KS, LA, MN, MO, MT, ND, OK, SD, WY
None: DC, FL, IA, MD, OH, OR, PA, UT, WI
Weak DNC: CO, DE, IL, ME, MI, NM, VA, WA
Strong DNC: RI

Obviously, some of the process is flawed but I just wanted to see if I would get any interesting results.  It's pretty clear from this that the deep south has changed the most drastically in the past 30 years or so with pretty much every state trending strongly towards the GOP.  The border states, the plains, and the upper Rockies also appear to have been trending towards the GOP, in that order.  The Dems look like they have a good trends in New England, the Southwest, and the West Coast.  Worrisome for the Dems is that there may be some truth to the rumor that Minnesota is becoming redder over time along with the Ohio and Mississippi river valleys.  According to this analysis though, there is a lot of good news for Dems as it appears that AZ and NV and even VA and CO may soon be blue states if trends continue.

So take this for what it's worth.  Just thought to share my results.

by asearchforreason 2004-05-29 12:33PM | 0 recs
Cool stuff
Although it is strange to think of Flroida having to trend. It started as a slight Dem lean, quickly rose to a strong GOP lean, then went back to a toss-up just as quickly. I suppose if you finiish a race where you started it, in the end you haven't echnically done any work.
by Chris Bowers 2004-05-29 01:13PM | 0 recs
I've done a little math
And your numbers actually point to some good new for Dems in the future. Strong GOP: 58 electoral votes. GOP: 75 electoral votes Weak GOP: 55 electoral votes; None: 105 electoral votes Weak DNC: 83 electoral votes DNC: 146 electoral votes Strong DNC: 4 electoral votes. That's 233 electoral votes trending toward Dems, and 188 trending toward the GOP. Looks to me like an Emerging Democratic majority.
by Chris Bowers 2004-05-29 01:21PM | 0 recs


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