Missouri Trending Red

The Show Me State is often hailed as a bellwether of national political trends. If so, the Democrats may be headed for a rough spell. More than 1.8 Republicans went to the polls Tuesday in Missouri for every Democrat. In the 2008 presidential primaries, and the 2002, 2004 and 2006 party primaries, the Democrats outnumbered Republicans at the polls.

Steve Kraske who writes the Prime Buzz column on Missouri politics at the Kansas City Star points to the above chart that tracks the party preference of voters in Missouri primaries from 1944-2010 to demonstrate how Missouri, once a Democratic bastion, has been slowly trending Republican.

The McCain-Palin ticket edged the Obama-Biden ticket by 3,632 votes out of more than 2.9 million cast in the 2008 Presidential election - a margin of 0.12 percentage points - to claim Missouri's eleven electoral votes. In presidential elections since 1956, as Missouri has gone, so has gone the nation. And the 2008 miss was only the second time the Show Me State voted for the loser since 1900. 

After the election, Kevin Smith, a forty year veteran of Democratic presidential campaigns, said “Missouri has lost its status as a bellwether, it has established itself as a red state when it comes to national politics.”

Tuesday's results seem to confirm Mr. Smith's analysis. 

Tags: Missouri Politics (all tags)



RE: Missouri Trending Red

Missouri is becoming a red state because you have a lot of Chistian Conservatives in Southwestern Missouri.

by Alistair74 2010-08-09 09:08AM | 0 recs
It's The Definition Of A Swing State

     After the 2004 election, Missouri had a Republican governor and two Republican senators. In 2006 Claire McCaskill defeated Sen. Talent, and in 2008 the Democrats regained the governorship when the unpopular Republican incumbent didn't bother running for reelection.

     Last Tuesday, there was what appeared to be a serious contest for the Republican senate nomination between a Washington insider and a teabagger-backed candidate. There was no serious contest in the Democratic primary. The weather was brutally hot.

    As you point out, Missouri voted for the winner in every presidential election of the 20th century except for 1956. I don't see how that squares with the notion that it was "once a Democratic bastion". If anything, it was a Republican bastion in the 1980s, when it went for the Republican presidential and gubernatorial candidates three times, and the Republicans won three of four races for the U.S. Senate.

     It is possible that Missouri is trending Republican at this point, but it is equally possible that this is merely a short-term deviation attributable to the lack of a contested Democratic primary, the economic downturn, and the fact that President Obama seems to be less popular here than in other swing states.

by Ron Thompson 2010-08-09 12:14PM | 0 recs
Tuesday's result

Its hard to argue that it means anything in isolation. It may well be that states like OH and FL would fine 70% of primary voters going against the mandate to buy private insurance too.

There's a reason why Obama campaign against it-- he polled the results and saw this outcome.

But, MO as a swingstate seems to be a case of election by election. Gore in 2000 didn't think it was a swingstate at all. And at the time, OH wasn't seen as swing as it turned out to be in '04 and '08 either.

It seems very unlikley that MO will be much of a swing for Obama in '12.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-08-09 12:31PM | 0 recs
Old axioms die hard

People love to seek patterns in the world around them, but I don't see anything about MO that makes it more of a bellweather than OR, WI, MN, CO, FL, OH, PA, NH, or WA.  All of those states are typically hotly contested.  Twenty years from now, we may be saying TX or AZ are bellweather states too.

by the mollusk 2010-08-09 01:31PM | 0 recs
Missouri is still a swing state

But it's always been a conservative state especially in Southwestern Missouri. Obama's popularity is around 40%. He will still campaign in 2012 and should the economy turn he could win it barley if it's against Mitt Romney.

by Alistair74 2010-08-09 01:35PM | 0 recs

When one party has one or more competitive primaries and the other party has no competitive primaries, the only thing a turnout difference represents is the level of interest in the primaries. There were 175,000 voters in the Nevada Republican Senate primary where there was a meaningful contest and 116,000 voters in the Nevada Democratic Senate primary where Harry Reid was a foregone conclusion. And yet Sharron Angle hasn't led in a poll in Nevada for a month, and even Rasmussen has admitted that Sandoval's lead over Rory Reid has been cut in half since July in the governor's race. Primary turnout is a weak argument for state trends, and especially so when external factors like who has an interesting race influence turnout.

by realnrh 2010-08-09 06:00PM | 0 recs


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