27 November 2011

Rank 14 / 38: Michigan


Michigan



Results of the last 6 presidential cycles:

Year
Rank
Winning %
% Margin
Part. Value
Swing“
National Swing
Trend
2008
14 / 38
57.33%
+16.44%
+9.18%
+13.02%
+9.72%
+3.30
2004
17 / 35
51.23%
+3.42%
+5.88%
-1.71
+2.98%
+1.27
2000
14 / 38
51.28%
+5.13%
+4.61%
-8.08%
+8.00%
+0.08
1996
16 / 36
51.69%
+13.21%
+4.69%
+5.81%
+2.96%
+2.85
1992
16 / 32
43.77%
+7.40%
+1.84%
+15.30%
+13.29%
+2.01
1988
23 / 29
53.57%
+7.90%
+0.17%
-11.09%
-10.49%
+0.60

blue shading = DEM pick-up



Michigan margin average, 1988-2008 (6 cycles): DEM+6.28%
Trend: STRONG DEMOCRATIC



MI county-by-county EXCEL spreadsheet 
(raw totals for 2008 and 2004, margins, swings, % of state PV, county growth rate)



The partisan rankings for Ranking 14 (Michigan) from 2008 backwards in history to 1964 in Table-format (highlighted in yellow), in two tables:


Rank2008Margin '082004Margin - 042000Margin '001996Margin '961992Margin '921988Margin '88Rank1984Margin '841980Margin '80
13 - 39WA17,08%WA7,18%WA5,58%MD15,99%HI11,40%PA2,32%13 - 39IL12,88%KY1,46%
14 - 38MI16,44%NJ6,68%MI5,13%DE15,25%MO10,15%MD2,91%14 - 38WA12,97%SC1,53%
15 - 37OR16,35%OR4,16%ME5,11%WV14,75%OR9,95%VT3,52%15 - 37CA16,25%NC2,12%
16 - 36NJ15,53%MN3,48%PA4,17%MI13,21%PA9,02%CA3,57%16 - 36TN16,27%DE2,33%
17 - 35NM15,13%MI3,42%MN2,40%CA12,89%NM8,56%MO3,98%17 - 35VT17,11%NY2,67%
18 - 34WI13,90%PA2,50%OR0,44%WA12,54%ME8,33%NM4,96%18 - 34OH18,76%ME3,36%
19 - 33NV12,49%NH1,37%IA0,31%LA12,07%DE8,20%CT5,10%19 - 33MI18,99%WI4,72%
20 - 32PA10,31%WI0,38%WI0,22%IA10,34%MI7,40%MT5,87%20 - 32DE19,85%LA5,45%
21 - 31MN10,24%IA0,67%NM0,06%WI10,33%CT6,43%SD6,34%21 - 31MO20,05%VT5,96%
22 -30NH9,61%NM0,79%FL0,01%NH9,95%IA6,01%CO7,78%22 -30GA20,39%MI6,49%
23 - 29IA9,53%OH2,11%NH1,27%PA9,20%TN4,65%MI7,90%23 - 29NM20,48%MO6,81%
24 - 28CO8,95%NV2,59%MO3,34%OR8,09%LA4,61%LA10,21%24 - 28KY20,66%PA7,11%



Rank1976Margin '761972Margin '721968Margin '681964Margin '64
08 – 44TN13,00%CA13,46%WV8,82%CT35,72%
09 – 43MN12,87%MI14,39%MI6,73%MI33,61%
10 – 42RI11,28%IA17,13%NY5,46%VT32,61%
11 – 41NC11,05%NY17,34%CT5,16%AK31,82%
12 – 40KY7,19%WA18,28%LA20.11%NJ31,75%
13 - 39MD6,07%CT18,44%AL47.13%MD30,94%
14 - 38LA5,78%IL18,52%PA3,57%PA30,22%
15 - 37DE5,41%PA19,98%WA2,11%KY28,36%
16 - 36FL5,28%MT20,08%MD1,64%MO28,10%
17 - 35NY4,43%DE20,41%TX1,27%MN27,76%
18 - 34MO3,63%OH21,56%AR7.64%OR27,75%
19 - 33TX3,17%ME22,98%MO1,13%NH27,28%
20 - 32PA2,66%AK23,51%NJ2,13%TX26,82%
21 - 31HI2,53%MD23,90%OH2,28%OH25,89%
22 -30MS1,88%NM24,49%AK2,64%WA24,59%
23 - 29WI1,68%MO24,59%IL2,92%WI24,35%
24 - 28OH0,27%NJ24,80%CA3,08%IA23,97%
25 - 27OR0,17%HI24,96%DE3,51%CO23,07%
26 - 26ME0,84%VT26,20%WI3,62%DE22,17%
27 - 25IA1,01%ND26,28%GA12.43%NM18,98%
28 - 24OK1,21%WV27,22%OR6,05%IL18,94%
29 - 23VA1,34%NV27,36%KY6,14%MT18,38%
30 - 22SD1,48%CO28,01%NV8,16%CA18,32%
31 - 21CA1,78%KY28,60%NH8,18%NV17,16%
32 - 20IL1,97%NH29,12%SC5,79%ND16,09%
33 - 19NJ2,16%AZ31,26%MT9,01%WY13,12%
34 - 18NM2,47%IN32,77%CO9,14%AR12,66%
35 - 17WA3,88%TX32,96%VT9,22%IN12,42%
36 - 16NV4,36%LA36,97%FL9,60%NC12,30%
37 - 15CT5,17%VA37,72%TN3,83%OK11,49%
38 - 14MI5,39%TN37,95%NC8,25%SD11,22%
39 - 13ND5,85%AR38,11%VA10,87%TN11,01%

For the last four cycles, MI has held between (14 / 38) and (17 / 35) in the partisan rankings. From 1992 back to 1980, it held between (19 / 33) and (23 / 29) in the partisan rankings. 1976 is the large outlier in the rankings,with MI at Republican (14 38), MI being Gerald Ford's home-state. And even more fascinating: as the state of WA has held the partisan ranking position of (1339)for three cycles in a row (2008, 2004, 2000), MI held place (43) in the rankings 3 times in a row, from 1972 back to 1968 back to 1964. We can visually see that MI has worked it's way from the low to mid-twenties position in the rankings up to the mid-teen positions inthe rankings, yet another sign that the Wolverine State has trended Democratic longer than most voters realize.



Links



Helpful Info Links Helpful Election Links
MI county-by-county EXCEL spreadsheet 
MI VR / VT - GE
MI Population 2008: 10,003,422 MI VR / VT - Primaries
MI Population Density: 68.0 persons per sq Km.
MI Election results - 1998-present
Electoral Vote Density: 588,437 persons per EV. ---


MI Electoral Development (electors through history): 3 (1836-1840), 5 (1844-1848), 6 (1852-1860), 8 (1860-1868), 11 (1872-1880), 13 (1884-1888), 14 (1892-1908), 15 (1912-1928), 19 (1932-1949), 20 (1952-1960), 21 (1964-1980), 18 (1984-1988), 17 (1992-2008),16EV (2012- ).


Michigan is the 14th most liberal state and the 38th most conservative state, with a Democratic winning margin of +16.44% and having voted 9.18% more Democratic than the national margin in 2008. 

Michigan was the 17th most liberal state and the 35th most conservative state in 2004, with a Democratic winning margin of +3.42% and having voted 5.88% more Democratic than the national margin in that year.

Michigan was the 14th most liberal state and the 38th most conservative state in 2000, with a Democratic winning margin of +5.13% and having voted 4.61% more Democratic than the national margin in that year.
From 1904-2008, Michigan went for the GOP 16 times, for the DEMS 11 times.
Since1948 Michigan went for the GOP 8 times, for the DEMS 8 times. (1:1 ratio)


Summary

One would look at a map of the USA and probably never think that Michigan and Arkansas, being geographically unrelated to each other, would have a common electoral history in some way, but they do: both Michigan and Arkansas had been settled and ready for statehood long before they were finally admitted to the Union, but the „Missouri Compromise“ of 1820, which prohibited slavery north of the 36th parallel, caused such bitter entrenchment in the US Congress that no one was willing to admit any more new states until both sides were sure that each side would get a new state of equal electoral value: one slave state and one slave-free state. In this way, neither side would gain a sudden electoral advantage simply through the quick addition of new states on it's side of the 36th parallel.

This is why Arkansas (the 25th state, below the 36th parallel, admitted to the Union on June 25, 1836) and Michigan (the 26th state, above the 36th parallel, admitted to the Union on January 26, 1837) achieved statehood in such close time-proximity to each other, Arkansas as a slave-state and Michigan as a slave-free state, and in their first election of 1840, both states had 3 EV a piece. In other words, the balance of power in the US Congress, the "status-quo", was maintained. But it took 16 years after the Missouri Compromise for the two bitterly opposing sides in Congress to agree just to these two states.

On an important side-note: a similar "pairing" happened between 1845-1848: 4 new states were admitted to the Union, 2 slave states and 2 slave-free states: FL and TX (both below the 36th parallel), IA and WI (both above the 36th parallel). In a show of defiance, FL was admitted to the Union on March 3, 1845, one day before the inauguration of the new President, James Polk. Imagine something like that happening in the 21st century! In the 1848 election, those 4 new states added 15 electoral votes to the Electoral College: 7 for the South and 8 for the North, and thus, the status quo was maintained.
From 1856-1928, or 19 cycles in a row, Michigan was one of the staunchest GOP states in the Union and voted only for the GOP from 1856-1928, including Teddy Roosevelt as an Independent in 1912. 13 of those winning margins were double-digit margins, but only one of the five remaining margins was a true "squeaker" margin:

1884: Blain, 48.02%, +0.82% margin (Cleveland won the national election by +0.57%)

And in that time, there are some superlatives worth mentioning:

1872, Grant re-election, 62.66%, +27.19% margin.
1904, T. Roosevelt, 69.51%, +43.72% margin.
1920, Harding, 72.76%, +50.50% margin.
1924, Coolidge, 75.27%, +62.24% margin and still the record-holder for all parties in MI's history.
1928, Hoover, 70.36%, +41.44% margin.

In other words, MI was a "no-go" zone for the Democrats for 72 years.


FDR was the first Democratic candidate to win MI in a GE, and it went for FDR for 3 of his 4 landslides (1932,1936,1944). It is the only state in the Union that he lost in 1940 and then regained in 1944, giving Michigan a unique FDR electoral history.

The partisan shift that got FDR to his first win in 1932 was enormous. Here all five FDR/Truman cycles:

1932: FDR 52.36%, +7.92%, swing = +49.36% over 1928, 9.84% UNDER the national average for 1932.
1936: FDR 56.33%, +17.56%, swing = +9.64% over 1932, 6.69% UNDER the national average for 1936.
1940: Willkie 49.85%, +0.33%, swing = +9.97% (GOP) over 1936, 10.28% over the national average (GOP) for 1940.
1940 is still the "squeaker" record-holder for Michigan.
1944: FDR 50.19%, +1.02%, swing = +1.35% (DEM) over 1940, 6.47% UNDER the national average (DEM) for 1944.
1948: Dewey 49.23%, +1.67%, swing = +2.69% (GOP) over 1944, 6.15% over the national average (GOP) for 1948.

So, within 8 years, or 3 cycles total, we see two candidates who each win and lose MI one time apiece: FDR lost in 1940, won again in 1944. Dewey lost in 1944, won in 1948.

We also see, based on the enormous percentages and margins from the pre-Great-Depression past in Michigan and the lean margins to follow in the late 20th century, that these three very narrow cycles (1940, 1944, 1948) were a period of ideological adjustment for the Wolverine State, if you will. The number of votes cast in MI in 1940 were nearly double the number of votes cast just 20 years before, in 1920. And apparently, many of those newer voters were or became Democrats.


As of this time in electoral history, we see exactly the same phenomenon that we saw in CT:

1948-1956: 3 cycles GOP
1960-1968: 
3 cycles DEM 
1972-1988: 
5 cycles GOP
1992-2008: 
5 cycles DEM 

If Obama wins MI in 2012, and the statistical probability is high that he will, then this will be the longest consecutive Democratic winning streak in MI's history. 



Also,similar to the situation in 
RI, MI tends to treat most but not all incumbents very well. Explanation below the chart:
President - MI Year / Margin Year / Margin State Shift National Shift: State minus Nat'l
(Trend)
FDR
1932 / +7.92
1936 / +17.56
+9.64
+6.49
+3.15
FDR
1936 / +17.56
1940 / -0.33
-17.89
-14.30
-3.59
FDR
1940 / -0.33
1944 / +1.02
+1.55
-2.46
+4.01
Eisenhower
1952 / +11.47
1956 / +11.48
+0.01
+4.55
-4.54
Nixon
1968 / -6.73
1972 / +14.39
+21.12
+22.98
+1.86
Carter
1976 / -5.39
1980 / -6.49
-1.11
-11.80
+10.69
Reagan
1980 / +6.49
1984 / +18.99
+12.50
+8.48
+4.02
Bush 41
1988 / +7.90
1992 / -7.40
-15.30
-13.29
-2.01
Clinton
1992 / +7.40
1996 / +13.21
+5.81
+2.96
+2.85
Bush 43
2000 / -5.13
2004 / -3.42
+1.71
+2.98
-1.27
Obama
2008 / +16.44
2012 / ???
???
???
???

To explain this gobbledygook, the most important value to understand is the TREND value, shaded in grey. If it is a positive number, then this is good for that incumbent.

How to get to this value. Let's use Bill Clinton as an example. In 1992,Clinton won Michigan with a +7.20% margin (as usual, everything is color coded according to party). Clinton again won Michigan in 1996, this time with a +13.21% margin, which is 5.81% greater in margin than in 1992, in other words, a solid improvement. On the national level, Clinton's NATIONAL MARGIN from 1996 over 1992 improved by +2.96%. The difference in these two margins (5.81 minus 2.96) shows that Clinton's MI margin shift was 2.85% better than the national shift, which is then a TREND VALUE of 2.85. In other words, MI was one of the states that “powered” Clintons larger win over Bob Dole in 1992 as compared to his win over George W. Bush, Sr. in 1992.

Another example: Eisenhower, 1956 over 1952. Michigan looked literally like a carbon copy of itself in 1956 compared to 1952. The margin shifted just 
+0.01%, which is considered statistical noise. We rarely see such minimal shifts in elections when comparing one cycle to the previous cycle, but sometimes it happens. It happened in OK in 2008 over 2004. However, Eisenhower's NATIONAL margin improved by +4.55% over 1952, meaning that MI did not keep pace with Eisenhower's national improvement, giving a -4.54 value when comparing the state shift to the national shift.

Now, take a good look at that table and sort out Jimmy Carter 1980 over 1976 for a second. All other values are low single digit values, 6 of them are positive values, 3 are negative values. Of the 6 DEM cycles shown, 5 of the 6 show a positive value, meaning that MI was more generous to that incumbent. Of the five GOP cycles shown, 2 values are positive, 3 are negative, meaning that MI has been less generous to GOP incumbents than to Democratic incumbents since 1932.

Now, go back to Jimmy Carter, 1980 over 1976. As was the case in Rhode Island, the state-wide shift was around one-tenth of the national shift –
 that is an EXTREME value. How can this be in a cycle where Jimmy Carter lost by 9.74% to Ronald Reagan? Two words: THE SOUTH. Reagan's Southern Revolution changed the chess board completely, and Jimmy Carter won only two states from the South in 1980: his home state of Georgia and West Virginia. The rest of the south fell to Reagan, which means that the shifts that were necessary to get there were, in some cases, extreme. Example: Carter won Arkansaswith a +30.01%margin in 1976. He lost Arkansas in 1980 by -0.61%, a state-wide partisan shift of +30.61% for Reagan in a year where the national margin shift was +11.80% for Reagan. In other words, an entire region of the country underwent a major tectonic shift in 1980, which is explains why the North remained relatively stabile in margins from 1980 over 1976. Reagan won 14 states with under +6% margin in 1980, 8 of the from the South:TN, AR, AL, MS, KY, SC, NC, LA.

Incidentally, in 2004, MI shifted 
1.71% away in margin from the Democrats, but in reality, Kerry's winning percentage (51.23%) was almost identical to Gore's from 2000 (51.28%,shift = -0.05%). This is due to the change in the third party vote in 2004.

2008 was the real break-away year for MI, and it awarded President Obama with one of the most unsung landslides of the election: +16.44%,a +13.02% shift in margin over 2004, the second highest Democratic winning percentage of all time in MI (behind 1964), the second largest raw vote margin in the state's history (behind 1964) and the third highest Democratic percentage margin of all time (behind 1964, 1936).

Based on its voting record, MI is in absolutely no way a bellwether state, having missed the winner in 8 of the last 26 cycles (100 years) and in more recent history, MI has missed the winner in 4 of the last 13 cycles, going back to 1960. It has missed the winner from both parties pretty much equally.



MI Superlatives YEAR Candidate Winning % % margin
GOP
1924
Coolidge
75.37%
+62.24%
DEM
1964
Johnson
66.70%
+33.61%
IND
1912
Roosevelt,T.
38.95%
+11.31%
---------------------



All-time “squeaker”
1940
Willkie
49.85%
+0.33%

In Michigan, the Governor and Lt. Governor are Republican. Both Senators are Democrats. The US House Delegation from MI is comprised of 9 Republicans and 6 Democrats. In the Michigan Legislature, there is a solid Republican majority in the House and a Republican hypermajority in the Senate. 

Facit: 
Michigan has become a solid Democratic state at the presidential level, but could become competitive in 2012 if Mitt Romney is the candidate. Otherwise, according to polling, it remains a rock-solid Democratic state.

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