12 June 2011

Partisan Rankings, 2008-1988, 1984-1964, with 2012 in mind

Partisan Rankings, 2008-1988, 1984-1964, with 2012 in mind.

I have created two tables going back 44 years in time, from 2008 to 1988 and from 1984-1964, showing the partisan rankings of all 50 states plus DC. It is possible to go back to 1964 as this was the general election in which DC participated in the Electoral College for the first time.

-The rankings are based according to the performance of each state in each GE by percentage margin (descending), from democratic wins to republican wins. This means that the democratic state win with the largest percentage margin is number 1 and the GOP state win with the largest percentage margin (which would be a negative margin for the democratic candidate), is number 51.

-The ranking numbers are therefore doubled, i.e. „3 / 49“ would read as follows for 2008:

Vermont was the 3rd most democratic state in the 2008 election, or the 49th most republican state.

Or in the case of „39 / 13“:

Mississippi was the 13th most republican state in the 2008 election, or the 39th most democratic state.

I selected Vermont and Mississippi as examples on purpose, for in the period between 1856 and 1980, their roles were reversed: Vermont was a core republican state at that time (it went 27 cycles straight for the GOP from 1856-1964), while Mississippi was a core democratic state. In 1924, 1932, 1936, 1948-1956, Vermont was the number 1 republican state in the partisan rankings. During that same time period, MS or SC were almost always the number 1 democratic states in presidential elections.

Note: some people use the terms „liberal“ and „conservative“ in partisan rankings, but this is very deceptive: in the past, before WWII, the republican party was the more liberal party and the democratic party was by far and large the more conservative party. For this reason, I keep with the terms „democratic“ and „republican“.

-After the ranking numbers the states and percentage margins are listed for each cycle.

Double margins are listed for the 5 „Wallace“ states in 1968: first, his margins in green, then in either blue or red the margin of the party that was second place in those contests.

-At the bottom of the chart is the national percentage margin and under it, the „swing“ (partisan shift) over the previous cycle, just for reference purposes.


Visual aid:

-The states won by the democratic candidate in each respective cycle have a light blue-gray background.
-The states won by the republican candidate in each respective cycle have a light orange background.

In this way, the eye can scan and see very clearly how many states each party won. For instance, in 1988, the blue-grey background ends at the state of WA, which is „11 / 41“, so Dukakis won 11 „states“ and Bush won 40 states.

Patterns:
Some states show incredible stability: since its inclusion in the Electoral College in 1964, DC has always gone for the democratic candidate, even in massive republican landslide years. It has held ranking „1 / 51“ since 1964. Conversely, UT has been the most republican state for 8 of the last 12 cycles, and that in a row, from 1976-2004. For four cycles in a row (92,96,00,04), RI and MA continually flip-flopped the 2nd and 3rd most democratic slots. If you take time to look at it, your eyes will begin to see discernable patterns for a number of states, like ID. OH has been in the vicinity of position 26 most all of the time, in other words, smack in the middle of the rankings. MO and OH have tended to be close to each other in the rankings.
Sometimes, a home state springs to the top of the list, for instance, GA (Jimmy Carter's home state) in 1976 (and 1980), HI (Barack Obama's birth state) in 2008,
The number of very narrow margins in an election cycle generally indicate the closeness of the election nationally. Example:
Obama won 21 states with landslide margins of +10% or more in 2008 and another four states with margins between +6% and +10% (solid wins). There were only five states where the margin was under +4% for either candidate. This indicates that the election was not very close at all.
In 1984, Ronald Reagan won 42 states with over +10% margin. In 1964, LBJ won 39 states with over +10% margin.
Conversely, in 2000, there were 12 states with margins under +4%, Gore won only 11 states with +10% landslide margins and Bush won 18 states with +10% landslide margins. The other 11 states were won with moderate margins – all signs of a close election nationally. In 2004, 9 states were won with under +4% margin. In 1976, 18 states were won with under +4% margin, and the majority of those states were won by incumbent Ford (R) : 11 states under +4%.
And though it is not in these tables, in 1960 (Kennedy vs. Nixon), as in 1976, 18 states were won with under +4% margin, but 16 of those 18 were under +2.50% margin!
I will be posting these tables often for other purposes, in conjunction with other projects And of course, in 2012, I will open up space for data from the 2012 to be added to these tables. The statistics are from Dave Leip's USELECTIONATLAS.ORG, most of which I have also doubly confirmed from the state SOS websites.

Rank 2008 Margin '08 2004 Margin - 04 2000 Margin '00 1996 Margin '96 1992 Margin '92 1988 Margin '88
1 / 51 DC
85.92%
DC
79.84%
DC
76.20%
DC
75.85%
DC
75.55%
DC
68.34%
2 / 50 HI
45.26%
MA
25.16%
RI
29.08%
MA
33.39%
MA
18.52%
RI
11.71%
3 / 49
VT
37.01%
RI
20.75%
MA
27.30%
RI
32.89%
RI
18.02%
IA
10.22%
4 / 48 RI
27.81%
VT
20.14%
NY
24.98%
NY
28.86%
AR
17.72%
HI
9.52%
5 / 47 NY
26.86%
NY
18.29%
HI
18.33%
HI
25.29%
NY
15.85%
MA
7.85%
6 / 46 MA
25.81%
MD
12.98%
CT
17.47%
VT
22.26%
VT
15.70%
MN
7.02%
7 / 45 MD
25.44%
CT
10.37%
MD
16.39%
ME
20.86%
IL
14.24%
WV
4.74%
8 / 44 IL
25.11%
IL
10.34%
NJ
15.83%
CT
18.14%
MD
14.18%
OR
4.67%
9 / 43 DE
24.98%
CA
9.95%
DE
13.06%
NJ
17.86%
CA
13.39%
NY
4.10%
10 / 42 CA
24.03%
ME
9.00%
IL
12.01%
IL
17.51%
WV
13.02%
WI
3.62%
11 / 41 CT
22.37%
HI
8.74%
CA
11.80%
AR
16.94%
MN
11.63%
WA
1.59%
12 / 40 ME
17.32%
DE
7.59%
VT
9.94%
MN
16.14%
WA
11.44%
IL
2.08%
13 / 39 WA
17.08%
WA
7.18%
WA
5.58%
MD
15.99%
HI
11.40%
PA
2.32%
14 / 38 MI
16.44%
NJ
6.68%
MI
5.13%
DE
15.25%
MO
10.15%
MD
2.91%
15 / 37 OR
16.35%
OR
4.16%
ME
5.11%
WV
14.75%
OR
9.95%
VT
3.52%
16 / 36 NJ
15.53%
MN
3.48%
PA
4.17%
MI
13.21%
PA
9.02%
CA
3.57%
17 / 35 NM
15.13%
MI
3.42%
MN
2.40%
CA
12.89%
NM
8.56%
MO
3.98%
18 / 34 WI
13.90%
PA
2.50%
OR
0.44%
WA
12.54%
ME
8.33%
NM
4.96%
19 / 33 NV
12.49%
NH
1.37%
IA
0.31%
LA
12.07%
DE
8.20%
CT
5.10%
20 / 32 PA
10.31%
WI
0.38%
WI
0.22%
IA
10.34%
MI
7.40%
MT
5.87%
21 / 31 MN
10.24%
IA
0.67%
NM
0.06%
WI
10.33%
CT
6.43%
SD
6.34%
22 /30 NH
9.61%
NM
0.79%
FL
0.01%
NH
9.95%
IA
6.01%
CO
7.78%
23 / 29 IA
9.53%
OH
2.11%
NH
1.27%
PA
9.20%
TN
4.65%
MI
7.90%
24 / 28 CO
8.95%
NV
2.59%
MO
3.34%
OR
8.09%
LA
4.61%
LA
10.21%
25 / 27 VA
6.30%
CO
4.67%
OH
3.51%
NM
7.33%
WI
4.35%
OH
10.85%
26 / 26 OH
4.58%
FL
5.01%
NV
3.55%
OH
6.36%
CO
4.26%
ME
11.45%
27 / 25 FL
2.81%
MO
7.20%
TN
3.86%
MO
6.30%
KY
3.21%
KY
11.64%
28 / 24 IN
1.03%
VA
8.20%
AR
5.44%
FL
5.70%
NV
2.63%
DE
12.40%
29 / 23 NC
0.33%
AR
9.76%
AZ
6.28%
TN
2.41%
MT
2.51%
TX
12.60%
30 / 22 MO
0.13%
AZ
10.47%
WV
6.32%
AZ
2.22%
NJ
2.37%
ND
13.06%
31 / 21 MT
2.38%
NC
12.43%
LA
7.68%
NV
1.02%
OH
1.83%
KS
13.23%
32 / 20 GA
5.20%
WV
12.86%
VA
8.04%
KY
0.96%
NH
1.22%
NJ
13.64%
33 / 19 SD
8.41%
TN
14.27%
CO
8.36%
GA
1.17%
GA
0.59%
AR
14.18%
34 / 18 AZ
8.48%
LA
14.51%
GA
11.69%
CO
1.37%
NC
0.79%
NC
16.26%
35 / 17 ND
8.65%
GA
16.60%
NC
12.83%
VA
1.96%
FL
1.89%
TN
16.34%
36 / 16 SC
8.98%
SC
17.08%
AL
14.88%
MT
2.88%
AZ
1.95%
OK
16.65%
37 / 15 TX
11.76%
MS
19.69%
KY
15.13%
SD
3.46%
TX
3.48%
AL
19.30%
38 / 14 WV
13.09%
KY
19.86%
IN
15.63%
NC
4.69%
SD
3.52%
IN
20.16%
39 / 13 MS
13.17%
MT
20.50%
SC
15.93%
TX
4.93%
VA
4.37%
GA
20.25%
40 / 12 KS
14.92%
IN
20.68%
MS
16.91%
MS
5.13%
KS
5.14%
VA
20.50%
41 / 11 NE
14.93%
SD
21.47%
KS
20.80%
IN
5.58%
WY
5.60%
MS
20.82%
42 / 10 TN
15.06%
TX
22.86%
TX
21.32%
SC
6.04%
IN
6.11%
NV
20.94%
43 / 9 KY
16.22%
KS
25.38%
OK
21.88%
ND
6.81%
AL
6.77%
NE
20.96%
44 / 8 LA
18.63%
AK
25.55%
SD
22.73%
AL
6.97%
SC
8.15%
AZ
21.21%
45 / 7 AR
19.85%
AL
25.62%
MT
25.07%
OK
7.81%
OK
8.62%
FL
22.36%
46 / 6 AK
21.54%
ND
27.36%
ND
27.60%
WY
12.98%
MS
8.92%
WY
22.52%
47 / 5 AL
21.58%
OK
31.14%
NE
28.99%
AK
17.53%
AK
9.17%
AK
23.32%
48 / 4 ID
25.30%
NE
33.22%
AK
30.95%
KS
18.21%
ND
12.03%
SC
23.92%
49 / 3 UT
28.02%
ID
38.12%
ID
39.53%
ID
18.54%
ID
13.61%
ID
26.07%
50 / 2 OK
31.29%
WY
39.79%
WY
40.06%
NE
18.70%
NE
17.18%
NH
26.16%
51 / 1 WY
32.24%
UT
45.54%
UT
40.49%
UT
21.07%
UT
16.03%
UT
34.17%
NATIONAL Obama
7.26%
Bush 43
2.46%
Bush 43
0.52%
Clinton
8.52%
Clinton
5.56%
Bush 41
7.73%
Nat. Swing
D +9.52%
R +2.98%
R +8.00%
D +2.96%
D +13.29%
DEM +10.49%

Rank 1984 Margin '84 1980 Margin '80 1976 Margin '76 1972 Margin '72 1968 Margin '68 1964 Margin '64
1 / 51 DC
71.66%
DC
61.49%
DC
65.12%
DC
56.54%
DC
63.64%
DC
71.00%
2 / 50 MN
0.18%
GA
14.81%
GA
33.78%
MA
8.97%
RI
32.25%
RI
61.74%
3 / 49 MA
2.79%
RI
10.47%
AR
30.01%
MN
5.51%
MA
30.12%
HI
57.52%
4 / 48 RI
3.65%
WV
4.51%
WV
16.14%
RI
6.19%
HI
21.12%
MA
52.74%
5 / 47 MD
5.49%
MN
3.94%
MA
15.67%
SD
8.63%
MN
12.53%
ME
37.68%
6 / 46 PA
7.35%
MD
2.96%
AL
13.11%
WI
9.67%
ME
12.23%
NY
37.25%
7 / 45 IA
7.39%
HI
1.90%
SC
13.04%
OR
10.12%
MS
40.44%
(9.50%)
WV
35.87%
8 / 44 NY
8.01%
MA
0.15%
TN
13.00%
CA
13.46%
WV
8.82%
CT
35.72%
9 / 43 WI
9.18%
TN
0.29%
MN
12.87%
MI
14.39%
MI
6.73%
MI
33.61%
10 / 42 WV
10.51%
AR
0.61%
RI
11.28%
IA
17.13%
NY
5.46%
VT
32.61%
11 / 41 HI
11.28%
AL
1.30%
NC
11.05%
NY
17.34%
CT
5.16%
AK
31.82%
12 / 40 OR
12.17%
MS
1.32%
KY
7.19%
WA
18.28%
LA
20.11%
(4.74%)
NJ
31.75%
13 / 39 IL
12.88%
KY
1.46%
MD
6.07%
CT
18.44%
AL
47.13%
(4.73%)
MD
30.94%
14 / 38 WA
12.97%
SC
1.53%
LA
5.78%
IL
18.52%
PA
3.57%
PA
30.22%
15 / 37 CA
16.25%
NC
2.12%
DE
5.41%
PA
19.98%
WA
2.11%
KY
28.36%
16 / 36 TN
16.27%
DE
2.33%
FL
5.28%
MT
20.08%
MD
1.64%
MO
28.10%
17 / 35 VT
17.11%
NY
2.67%
NY
4.43%
DE
20.41%
TX
1.27%
MN
27.76%
18 / 34 OH
18.76%
ME
3.36%
MO
3.63%
OH
21.56%
AR
7.64%
(0.68%)
OR
27.75%
19 / 33 MI
18.99%
WI
4.72%
TX
3.17%
ME
22.98%
MO
1.13%
NH
27.28%
20 / 32 DE
19.85%
LA
5.45%
PA
2.66%
AK
23.51%
NJ
2.13%
TX
26.82%
21 / 31 MO
20.05%
VT
5.96%
HI
2.53%
MD
23.90%
OH
2.28%
OH
25.89%
22 /30 GA
20.39%
MI
6.49%
MS
1.88%
NM
24.49%
AK
2.64%
WA
24.59%
23 / 29 NM
20.48%
MO
6.81%
WI
1.68%
MO
24.59%
IL
2.92%
WI
24.35%
24 / 28 KY
20.66%
PA
7.11%
OH
0.27%
NJ
24.80%
CA
3.08%
IA
23.97%
25 / 27 NJ
20.89%
IL
7.93%
OR
0.17%
HI
24.96%
DE
3.51%
CO
23.07%
26 / 26 CT
21.90%
CT
9.63%
ME
0.84%
VT
26.20%
WI
3.62%
DE
22.17%
27 / 25 ME
22.05%
OR
9.66%
IA
1.01%
ND
26.28%
GA
12.43%
(3.65%)
NM
18.98%
28 / 24 AR
22.18%
OH
10.60%
OK
1.21%
WV
27.22%
OR
6.05%
IL
18.94%
29 / 23 AL
22.26%
WA
12.34%
VA
1.34%
NV
27.36%
KY
6.14%
MT
18.38%
30 / 22 MT
22.30%
IA
12.70%
SD
1.48%
CO
28.01%
NV
8.16%
CA
18.32%
31 / 21 LA
22.60%
VA
12.72%
CA
1.78%
KY
28.60%
NH
8.18%
NV
17.16%
32 / 20 IN
23.99%
NJ
13.42%
IL
1.97%
NH
29.12%
SC
5.79%
ND
16.09%
33 / 19 NC
24.00%
TX
13.86%
NJ
2.16%
AZ
31.26%
MT
9.01%
WY
13.12%
34 / 18 MS
24.39%
CA
16.78%
NM
2.47%
IN
32.77%
CO
9.14%
AR
12.66%
35 / 17 VA
25.19%
FL
17.02%
WA
3.88%
TX
32.96%
VT
9.22%
IN
12.42%
36 / 16 SD
26.47%
NM
18.18%
NV
4.36%
LA
36.97%
FL
9.60%
NC
12.30%
37 / 15 TX
27.50%
IN
18.35%
CT
5.17%
VA
37.72%
TN
3.83%
OK
11.49%
38 / 14 SC
27.99%
CO
24.00%
MI
5.39%
TN
37.95%
NC
8.25%
SD
11.22%
39 / 13 CO
28.32%
MT
24.39%
ND
5.85%
AR
38.11%
VA
10.87%
TN
11.01%
40 / 12 FL
30.66%
KS
24.56%
MT
7.44%
KS
38.15%
SD
11.31%
UT
9.73%
41 / 11 ND
31.04%
OK
25.53%
KS
7.55%
ID
38.20%
NM
12.10%
KS
9.03%
42 / 10 KS
33.67%
AK
27.94%
IN
7.62%
WY
38.54%
IA
12.19%
VA
7.36%
43 / 9 NV
33.88%
SD
28.83%
VT
11.20%
NC
40.58%
IN
12.30%
NE
5.21%
44 / 8 AZ
33.88%
NH
29.39%
NH
11.28%
NE
41.00%
OK
15.70%
FL
2.30%
45 / 7 AK
36.79%
AZ
32.36%
CO
11.47%
UT
41.25%
ND
17.71%
ID
1.83%
46 / 6 NH
37.71%
WY
34.67%
AZ
16.57%
SC
42.66%
UT
19.42%
AZ
0.99%
47 / 5 OK
37.94%
NV
35.64%
WY
19.49%
FL
44.12%
AZ
19.76%
GA
8.25%
48 / 4 NE
41.74%
ND
37.97%
NE
20.74%
AL
46.89%
KS
20.13%
LA
13.63%
49 / 3 WY
42.27%
NE
39.49%
AK
22.25%
OK
49.70%
WY
20.25%
SC
17.79%
50 / 2 ID
45.97%
ID
41.27%
ID
22.76%
GA
50.39%
ID
26.13%
AL
38.90%
51 / 1 UT
49.83%
UT
52.20%
UT
28.79%
MS
58.57%
NE
28.01%
MS
74.28%
NATIONAL Reagan
18.22%
Reagan
9.74%
Carter
2.06%
Nixon
23.15%
Nixon
0.70%
Johnson
22.58%
Nat. Swing
GOP +8.48%
GOP +11.80%
DEM +25.21
GOP +22.45%
GOP +23.28%
DEM +22.42

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