27 November 2011

Rank 4 / 48: Rhode Island

RHODE ISLAND



Results of the last 6 presidential cycles:

Year
Rank
Winning %
% Margin
Part. Value
Swing“
National Swing
Trend
2008
4 / 48
62.88%
+27.81%
20.55%
+7.06%
+9.72%
+2.66
2004
3 / 49
59.42%
+20.75%
23.21%
-8.33%
+2.98%
+5.35
2000
2 / 50
60.99%
+29.08%
28.56%
-3.81%
+8.00%
+4.19
1996
3 / 49
59.71%
+32.89%
+24.16%
+14.87%
+2.96%
+11.91
1992
3 / 49
47.04%
+18.02%
+12.46%
+6.31%
+13.29%
+6.98
1988
2 / 50
55.64%
+11.71%
+19.44%
+15.36%
-10.49%
+4.87

Rhode Island margin average, 1988-2008 (6 cycles): DEM+23.38%

Trend: STEADY DEMOCRATIC

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



The partisan rankings for Rankings 4 and 6 (Rhode Island and Massachusetts) from 2008 backwards in history to 1964 in Table-format (highlighted in yellow for RI , green for MA):


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%



Electoral Development (electors through history): 4 (1792-1908), 5 (1912-1928), 4 EV (1932-present)




Rhode Island is the 4th most liberal state and the 48th most conservative state, with a Democratic winning margin of +27.81% and having voted 20.55% more Democratic than the national margin in 2008.


Rhode Island was the 3rd most liberal state and the 49th most conservative state in 2004, with a Democratic winning margin of +20.75% and having voted 23.21% more democratic than the national margin in that year.


Rhode Island was the 2nd most liberal state and the 50th most conservative state in 2000, with a Democratic winning margin of +29.08% and having voted 28.56% more democratic than the national margin in that year.


From 1904-2008, Rhode Island went for the GOP 9 times, for the DEMS 18 times. (2:1 ratio)
From 1948-2008, Rhode Island went for the GOP 4 times, for the DEMS 12 times. (3:1 ratio)


SUMMARY


Rhode Island, one of the founding 13 colonies, was a staunch GOP state until 1928, where it like Massachusetts narrowly flipped for the DEMS in the Hoover (R) landslide. Sometimes unique and new events change the tilt of a state: in 1928, Al Smith, the Democratic candidate for President, was the first Roman-Catholic to be nominated in our history. Both Rhode Island and Massachusetts are very Catholic dominated states, and were even more so at that time. It is very likely that these two states changed their allegiances because of this issue.
Since FDR, Rhode Island has made a complete 180 turn and is solidly Democratic, having gone only for Eisenhower twice and for Nixon and Reagan by their re-elections, respectively.


Additionally, Rhode Island has tended to treat incumbents very well, regardless whether they won or lost. Explanation below the chart:


President - RI
Year / Margin
Year / Margin
State Shift
National Shift:
State minus Nat'l
FDR
1932 / +11.77
1936 / +12.92
+1.15
+6.49
-5.34
FDR
1936 / +12.92
1940 / +13.55
+0.63
-14.30
+14.93
FDR
1940 / +13.55
1944 / +17.33
+3.78
-2.46
+6.24
Eisenhower
1952 / +1.84
1956 / +16.52
+14.68
+4.55
+10.13
Nixon
1968 / -32.25
1972 / +6.19
+38.44
+22.98
+15.46
Carter
1976 / +11.28
1980 / +10.47
-0.81
-11.80
+10.99
Reagan
1980 / -10.47
1984 / +3.65
+14.12
+8.48
+5.64
Bush 41
1988 / -11.71
1992 / -18.02
-6.31
-13.29
+6.98
Clinton
1992 / +18.02
1996 / +32.89
+14.87
+2.96
+11.91
Bush 43
2000 / -29.08
2004 / -20.75
+8.33
+2.98
+5.35
Obama
2008 / +27.81
2012 / ???
???





Now, this all looks like gobble-di-gook until explained once, but the critical number is the number in the last column (shaded in light grey), and if it is a postive number, then regardless whether the candidate won or lost, it means that this state treated him BETTER than nationally.
Three very good examples: in 1932 / 1936, the first time EVER that a Democratic candidate won RI with a double-digit margin, the shift in margin from 1932 to 1936 was +1.15% in RI.

Longhand math:
FDR won RI by +12.92% in 1936, by +11.77% in 1932.
12.92 minus 11.77 = +1.15

The national shift between 1932 and 1936 was +6.49% (+24.45% in 1936 - +17.76% in 1932).
This means that the national shift was GREATER than the state shift, but this is the only time since FDR that that has been the case. In both 1940 and 1944, as FDR won his unprecedented 3rd and 4th terms with lesser and lesser margins, his margins in RI actually increased, especially 1936 to 1940.


In 1980, as Jimmy Carter lost his re-election campaign by -9.74%,causing a national shift of -11.80, his shift in RI was less than a tenth of that: -0.81%.


In 1996, Bill Clinton's national shift over 1992 was +2.96%, but his shift in RI was +11.91% over that.


George W. Bush, Jr. lost RI both times, but he was able to reduce the Democratic winning margin by +8.33 points in 2004: -20.75 - (-29.08) = +8.33, which was 5.33% better than the national shift.


This is proof postive that the state of RI disproportionately rewards incumbents (regardless of party) disproportionate to the national shift and lessens the blow in the case incumbents who lost the GE.
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In the partisan rankings themselves, RI, NY and MA have often switched between 2nd, 3rd and 4 th places, but usually the three states are next to each other in the rankings.


VOTER REGISTRATION: it is probably helpful to note that RI has the smallest percentage of registered Republicans (a little under 10%) in the USA. This, as in the case of WY on the Republican side, is a case where the VR edge is just so enormous that the chances for the other side, barring a massive catastrophe, are very slim.



VT - Superlatives
YEAR
Candidate
Winning %
% Margn
GOP
1872
Grant
71.94%
+43.89%
DEM
1964
Johnson
80.87%
+61.74%
IND
1992
Perot
23.16%
highest Ind showing
---------------------




All-time “squeaker”
1928
Smith
50.16%
+0.61%


The Governor of RI (Lincoln Chafee), a former liberal Republican, is an Independent. The Lt. Governor, both Senators, both Representatives and a hypermajority of both houses of the Rhode Island General Assembly is Democratic.


FACIT: Rhode Island is an “firewall” Democratic state.

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