27 November 2011

Rank 10 / 42: California

California


Results of the last 6 presidential cycles:

Year
Rank
Winning %
% Margin
Part. Value
Swing“
National Swing
Trend
2008
10 / 42
60.94%
+24.03%
+16.77%
+14.08%
+9.72%
+4.36
2004
09 / 43
54.31%
+9.95%
+12.41%
-1.85%
+2.98%
+1.13
2000
11 / 41
53.45%
+11.80%
+11.28%
-1.09%
+8.00%
+6.91
1996
17 / 35
51.10%
+12.89%
+4.37%
-0.50%
+2.96%
+3.46
1992
09 / 43
46.01%
+13.39%
+7.83%
+16.96%
+13.29%
+3.67
1988
16 / 36
51.13%
+3.57%
-4.16%
-12.86%
-10.49%
+2.19

blue shading = DEM pick-up



California margin average, 1988-2008 (6 cycles): DEM+11.42%

CA county-by-county EXCEL spreadsheet

(raw totals for 2008 and 2004, margins, swings, % of state PV, county growth rate)



Trend: STRONG DEMOCRATIC


The partisan rankings for Ranking 10 (California) from 2008 backwards in history to 1964 in Table-format (highlighted in yellow):


Rank2008Margin '082004Margin - 042000Margin '001996Margin '961992Margin '921988Margin '88Rank1984Margin '841980Margin '801976Margin '761972Margin '721968Margin '681964Margin '64
01 – 51DC85,92%DC79,84%DC76,20%DC75,85%DC75,55%DC68,34%01 – 51DC71,66%DC61,49%DC65,12%DC56,54%DC63,64%DC71,00%
02 – 50HI45,26%MA25,16%RI29,08%MA33,39%MA18,52%RI11,71%02 – 50MN0,18%GA14,81%GA33,78%MA8,97%RI32,25%RI61,74%
03 – 49VT37,01%RI20,75%MA27,30%RI32,89%RI18,02%IA10,22%03 – 49MA2,79%RI10,47%AR30,01%MN5,51%MA30,12%HI57,52%
04 – 48RI27,81%VT20,14%NY24,98%NY28,86%AR17,72%HI9,52%04 – 48RI3,65%WV4,51%WV16,14%RI6,19%HI21,12%MA52,74%
05 – 47NY26,86%NY18,29%HI18,33%HI25,29%NY15,85%MA7,85%05 – 47MD5,49%MN3,94%MA15,67%SD8,63%MN12,53%ME37,68%
06 – 46MA25,81%MD12,98%CT17,47%VT22,26%VT15,70%MN7,02%06 – 46PA7,35%MD2,96%AL13,11%WI9,67%ME12,23%NY37,25%
07 – 45MD25,44%CT10,37%MD16,39%ME20,86%IL14,24%WV4,74%07 – 45IA7,39%HI1,90%SC13,04%OR10,12%MS40.44%WV35,87%
08 – 44IL25,11%IL10,34%NJ15,83%CT18,14%MD14,18%OR4,67%08 – 44NY8,01%MA0,15%TN13,00%CA13,46%WV8,82%CT35,72%
09 – 43DE24,98%CA9,95%DE13,06%NJ17,86%CA13,39%NY4,10%09 – 43WI9,18%TN0,29%MN12,87%MI14,39%MI6,73%MI33,61%
10 – 42CA24,03%ME9,00%IL12,01%IL17,51%WV13,02%WI3,62%10 – 42WV10,51%AR0,61%RI11,28%IA17,13%NY5,46%VT32,61%
11 – 41CT22,37%HI8,74%CA11,80%AR16,94%MN11,63%WA1,59%11 – 41HI11,28%AL1,30%NC11,05%NY17,34%CT5,16%AK31,82%
12 – 40ME17,32%DE7,59%VT9,94%MN16,14%WA11,44%IL2,08%12 – 40OR12,17%MS1,32%KY7,19%WA18,28%LA20.11%NJ31,75%
13 - 39WA17,08%WA7,18%WA5,58%MD15,99%HI11,40%PA2,32%13 - 39IL12,88%KY1,46%MD6,07%CT18,44%AL47.13%MD30,94%
14 - 38MI16,44%NJ6,68%MI5,13%DE15,25%MO10,15%MD2,91%14 - 38WA12,97%SC1,53%LA5,78%IL18,52%PA3,57%PA30,22%
15 - 37OR16,35%OR4,16%ME5,11%WV14,75%OR9,95%VT3,52%15 - 37CA16,25%NC2,12%DE5,41%PA19,98%WA2,11%KY28,36%
16 - 36NJ15,53%MN3,48%PA4,17%MI13,21%PA9,02%CA3,57%16 - 36TN16,27%DE2,33%FL5,28%MT20,08%MD1,64%MO28,10%
17 - 35NM15,13%MI3,42%MN2,40%CA12,89%NM8,56%MO3,98%17 - 35VT17,11%NY2,67%NY4,43%DE20,41%TX1,27%MN27,76%
18 - 34WI13,90%PA2,50%OR0,44%WA12,54%ME8,33%NM4,96%18 - 34OH18,76%ME3,36%MO3,63%OH21,56%AR7.64%OR27,75%
19 - 33NV12,49%NH1,37%IA0,31%LA12,07%DE8,20%CT5,10%19 - 33MI18,99%WI4,72%TX3,17%ME22,98%MO1,13%NH27,28%
20 - 32PA10,31%WI0,38%WI0,22%IA10,34%MI7,40%MT5,87%20 - 32DE19,85%LA5,45%PA2,66%AK23,51%NJ2,13%TX26,82%
21 - 31MN10,24%IA0,67%NM0,06%WI10,33%CT6,43%SD6,34%21 - 31MO20,05%VT5,96%HI2,53%MD23,90%OH2,28%OH25,89%
22 -30NH9,61%NM0,79%FL0,01%NH9,95%IA6,01%CO7,78%22 -30GA20,39%MI6,49%MS1,88%NM24,49%AK2,64%WA24,59%
23 - 29IA9,53%OH2,11%NH1,27%PA9,20%TN4,65%MI7,90%23 - 29NM20,48%MO6,81%WI1,68%MO24,59%IL2,92%WI24,35%
24 - 28CO8,95%NV2,59%MO3,34%OR8,09%LA4,61%LA10,21%24 - 28KY20,66%PA7,11%OH0,27%NJ24,80%CA3,08%IA23,97%
25 - 27VA6,30%CO4,67%OH3,51%NM7,33%WI4,35%OH10,85%25 - 27NJ20,89%IL7,93%OR0,17%HI24,96%DE3,51%CO23,07%
26 - 26OH4,58%FL5,01%NV3,55%OH6,36%CO4,26%ME11,45%26 - 26CT21,90%CT9,63%ME0,84%VT26,20%WI3,62%DE22,17%
27 - 25FL2,81%MO7,20%TN3,86%MO6,30%KY3,21%KY11,64%27 - 25ME22,05%OR9,66%IA1,01%ND26,28%GA12.43%NM18,98%
28 - 24IN1,03%VA8,20%AR5,44%FL5,70%NV2,63%DE12,40%28 - 24AR22,18%OH10,60%OK1,21%WV27,22%OR6,05%IL18,94%
29 - 23NC0,33%AR9,76%AZ6,28%TN2,41%MT2,51%TX12,60%29 - 23AL22,26%WA12,34%VA1,34%NV27,36%KY6,14%MT18,38%
30 - 22MO0,13%AZ10,47%WV6,32%AZ2,22%NJ2,37%ND13,06%30 - 22MT22,30%IA12,70%SD1,48%CO28,01%NV8,16%CA18,32%
31 - 21MT2,38%NC12,43%LA7,68%NV1,02%OH1,83%KS13,23%31 - 21LA22,60%VA12,72%CA1,78%KY28,60%NH8,18%NV17,16%
32 - 20GA5,20%WV12,86%VA8,04%KY0,96%NH1,22%NJ13,64%32 - 20IN23,99%NJ13,42%IL1,97%NH29,12%SC5,79%ND16,09%
33 - 19SD8,41%TN14,27%CO8,36%GA1,17%GA0,59%AR14,18%33 - 19NC24,00%TX13,86%NJ2,16%AZ31,26%MT9,01%WY13,12%
34 - 18AZ8,48%LA14,51%GA11,69%CO1,37%NC0,79%NC16,26%34 - 18MS24,39%CA16,78%NM2,47%IN32,77%CO9,14%AR12,66%


Links



Helpful Info Links Helpful Election Links
CA WIKI CA county-by-county EXCEL spreadsheet 
CA Census Information Complete CA electoral raw data (Presidential)
CA Census Profile map CA VR/VP
CA Population 2008: 36,756,666 CA upcoming elections
CA Population CAnsity: 91.0 persons per sq Km.
CA election results archive (1990-present)
Electoral Vote CAnsity: 668,303 persons per EV. CA publications and resources


CA Electoral Development (electors through history): 4 (1852-1860), 5 (1864-1868), 6 (1872-1880), 8 (1884-1888), 9 (1892-1900), 10 (1904-1908), 13 (1912-1928), 22 (1932-1940), 25 (1944-1948), 32 (1952-1960), 40 (1964-1968), 45 (1972-1980), 47 (1984-1988), 54 (1992-2000), 55 EV (2004-present).


California is the 10th most liberal state and the 42th most conservative state, with a Democratic winning margin of +24.03% and having voted 16.77% more Democratic than the national margin in 2008. 

California was the 9th most liberal state and the 43rd most conservative state in 2004, with a Democratic winning margin of +9.95% and having voted 12.41% more Democratic than the national margin in that year.

California was the 11th most liberal state and the 41st most conservative state in 2000, with a Democratic winning margin of +11.80% and having voted 11.28% more Democratic than the national margin in that year.

For four of the last six presidential cycles, CA was ranked right around 10th place (9, 10, 11) and won with Democratic landslide margins for five of those six cycles.

From 1904-2008, CA went for the GOP 
15 times, for the DEMS 12 times.Since 1948 CA went for the GOP 9 times, for the DEMS 7 times.



Summary

California was admitted as the 31st state to the Union on September 9, 1850, closely following the Mexican Cession of 1848, and first participated in the National Election of 1852.


California, the largest state in the United States by population and the largest state in the continental USA by land-mass, is also larger than 201 nations on Earth, or smaller than the 33 largest nations on Earth, with a GDP that would make it economically the 8th largest nation on Earth, were it a nation. With its 55 EV, it is the largest prize in the Electoral College. The electoral "firepower" of this state has more than DOUBLED since the beginning of the Atomic Age. To illustrate: 

In 1948, CA had 25 Electors / 531 Electors total = 4.71% of the Electoral College at that time. 


Since 2004, CA has 55 Electors / 538 Electors total =10.22% of the Electoral College - or 20.37% of the Electors needed to get to 270 in each election. 


Obviously, the party that has this state as a „safe“ state has a better start toward 270 EV.

Since its entrance into the Electoral College, California was first mostly a Republican state, having gone for the GOP for 14 of 20 cycles between 1852-1928. However, five of those GOP wins were very lean single-digit margins, and three of those were under 1-point in margin:



Lincoln +0.61% in 1860, Grant +0.48% in 1868, Hayes +1.80% in 1876, Harrison +2.82% in 1888 and McKinley +0.64% in 1896. Notice a pattern here? Every two-term Republican President before the 20th century won CA with a less-than-1-point margin in his first election.


On the Democratic side, 3 of their 4 wins between 1852-1928 were also with a less-than-1-point margin:


Hancock +0.09% in 1880, Cleveland +0.05% in 1892 and Wilson +0.38% in 1916. CA was one of the few Wilson pick-ups of 1916, the only election cycle in the history of our Union where the incumbent won re-election with a decidedly lower national PV margin than his first election and a vastly reduced margin in the Electoral College as well. And just as interesting: Cleveland in 1892 was also a pick-up over 1888.


In the 3-way race of 1912, former GOP President and then-Bull-Moose candidate Teddy Roosevelt captured CA with a +0.03% margin, which is still the "squeaker" record-setter for this state.


Overall, that makes for seven of twenty cycles for all parties involved where CA was won by a "squeaker" margin. Excluding,1900, 1904 and 1908, which were all smashing GOP landslides, it is safe to classify CA as having been a major battleground state up till 1920.


In the roaring '20s, CA was a safe GOP state: Harding +41.93% (still the landslide record for CA), Coolidge +24.07% and Hoover +30.50%.


CA swung massively to the Democratic Party in FDR's landslide from 1932, giving Roosevelt a +21.00% margin, making for a +51.50% partisan-shift ("swing") between 1928 and 1932; in other words, more than half of the state switched sides in 1932. FDR's margin soared to +35.26% in 1936 and is the Democratic landslide record holder to-date. In 1940 and 1944, FDR still landslided in "The Golden State", with +16.10% and +13.51% margins, respectively. In all four cases, FDR's winning margins in CA were above his national margin.


CA was one of the few western states where Harry Truman did worse in 1948 than FDR in 1944, and it was the first "squeaker" election since 1916: Truman +0.44% over Thomas Dewey. However, we can clearly see the margins reducing themselves from 1936 through 1948, 4 cycles in a row.


In 1952, 1956 and 1960, both Eisenhower and Californian Richard Nixon (VP in 1952, 1956) won California also with steadily reducing margins: +14.56% and +11.11% for Eisenhower in 1952/1956, respectively, but only +0.55% for Nixon in 1960, which is noteworthy in that a Californian could only win his home state such such a "squeaker" margin. However, in 1960, many states in the Union, regardless of their expected tilt, were squeakers, but there is a fascinating piece of electoral trivia over California: many believe that the famous „false call“ in Florida on the TV networks in 2000 was the first time in history that such an error happened, but this is not true. California was the first „false call“ of Presidential elections in the age of TV: the networks called CA for Kennedy late in the morning hours after election day 1960 and then corrected the call later that day. Video and explanation of this can be found HERE.


In 1964, LBJ landslided here with +18.32% over Goldwater, under his national margin.


The next six cycles, through 1988, CA went Republican. Nixon won the state in both 1968 and 1972, with +3.08% and +13.46%, respectively. In this respect, Nixon joined the two-term presidents of the 19th century, each of whom won CA first with a single-digit margin and then with a double-digit margin in their re-election (Lincoln, Grant, McKinley). Nixon's 1972 margin was way under his national margin, which is noteworthy once again since Nixon himself was a Californian. From these statistics and Ford's win from 1976, we can see that California was still a very competitive state. Ford carried the state with a narrow +1.78%. It should be noted that Democrat Eugene McCarthy (from Minnesota, not California), received +0.74% as a write-in candidate in 1976 - this was a protest vote from the extreme left of the Democratic Party in CA against Jimmy Carter (D), who vanquished McCarthy in the 1976 primaries. Had there not been such a write-in vote, then most likely Ford's margin would have also been a less-than-1-pointer.


Ronald Reagan easily carried his home-state in both 1980 and 1984, with +16.78% and +16.25% margins, respectively. That margin shrunk to a very lean +3.57% margin for George W. Bush, Sr., in 1988. Interesting that he won a number of so-called "+2-3%" states, all of which now are absolute core Democratic states: IL (+2.08%), MD (+2.91%), VT (+3.52%), CA (+3.57%).


Since 1992, CA has gone reliably Democratic and with large margins. Bill Clinton won NY easily both times, with +13.39% in 1992 and +12.89% in 1996, a -0.50% change in margin, but interestingly enough, he is the second 2-term president in a row to win NY with a slightly lesser margin than in his first election. It happened to Reagan, too, and interestingly enough, his margin shift was -0.53%, almost identical to Clinton's.


Though Al Gore won CA with a slightly lesser margin (+11.80%) than Clinton from 1996, his winning percentage actually improved: 53.45% in 2000 over Clinton's 51.10% in 1996. Ditto John Kerry in 2004, whose 9.95%, the leanest Democratic win in the "Eureka State" since 1948, was less than Gore's, but in spite of that, his percentage was higher: 54.31% in 2004 over 53.45% from 2000. Reason: reduced 3rd and 4th party votes.

The 2008 Obama landslide in CA, with a whalloping 60.94% of the PV and a crushing +24.03% winning margin, brought a percentage margin almost 2.5 times larger than Kerry's margin from 2004. Alone, the raw vote margin in CA from 2008 (Obama +3,262,692) was larger than George W. Bush's national raw vote margin from 2004 (Bush +3,021,171). You have to go back 72 years in history - back to 1936 -to find a larger landslide in CA (FDR +35.26%). Obama's margin in CA is also considerably larger than both of Reagan's, all three of Nixon's (1960, 1968, 1972), LBJ's 1964 landslide, both of Eisenhower's and 3 of FDR's four landslides.


When we look at the last six cycles again:

Year
Rank
Winning %
% Margin
Part. Value
Swing“
National Swing
Trend
2008
10 / 42
60.94%
+24.03%
+16.77%
+14.08%
+9.72%
+4.36
2004
09 / 43
54.31%
+9.95%
+12.41%
-1.85%
+2.98%
+1.13
2000
11 / 41
53.45%
+11.80%
+11.28%
-1.09%
+8.00%
+6.91
1996
17 / 35
51.10%
+12.89%
+4.37%
-0.50%
+2.96%
+3.46
1992
09 / 43
46.01%
+13.39%
+7.83%
+16.96%
+13.29%
+3.67
1988
16 / 36
51.13%
+3.57%
-4.16%
-12.86%
-10.49%
+2.19


We see that the state was mostly around partisan ranking 10 for the Democratic Party, (1992, 2000, 2004, 2008) that 5 of 6 cycles had Democratic Trend values and that the partisan value (state margin over the national margin) has steadily risen since 1996. When we analyse the swings, however, it is 3 and 3: 3 negative swings for the Democratic party (1996, 2000, 2004) and three positive swings (1988 - a GOP negative swing is of course at the same time a postive Democratic swing -, 1992, 2008) and that Obama's first win in CA in 2008 is similar to Clinton's first CA win in 1992 in terms of swing. If the Reagan/Clinton pattern holds, then in spite of national results, it is entirely possibly that Obama will win CA with a lesser margin in 2012 than he did in 2008.



CA Superlatives YEAR Candidate Winning % % Margin
GOP
1920
Harding
66.20%
+41.93%
DEM
1936
FDR
66.95%
+35.26%
IND
1912
Roosevelt, T.
41.83%
+0.03%
---------------------



All-time “squeaker”
1912
Roosevelt, T.
41.83%
+0.03%



In California, the Governor, Lt. Governor and both Senators are Democrats.The US House delegation from CA (53) consists of 34 Democrats (64.15%) and 19 Republicans (35.18%). In the California State Legislature, both houses have Democratic hypermajorities. 

Facit: California,which itself is governed as a Republic and has a larger judiciary than the US Federal judiciary itself, is an absolute “firewall” state, and quite certain to go Democratic in the next cycles. Even a potential Republican national landslide in 2012, which is highly unlikely, could break this firewall.

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