31 December 2011

Rank 51 / 1: Wyoming

Wyoming:


The number 1 conservative state of 2008






Results of the last 9 presidential cycles:



Year
Rank
Winning %
% Margin
Part. Value
Swing“
National Swing
Trend
2008
51 / 01
64.78%
+32.24%
+39.50%
-7.55%
+9.72%
+2.17
2004
50 / 02
68.86%
+39.79%
+37.33%
-0.27%
+2.98%
+3.25
2000
50 / 02
67.76%
+40.06%
+40.58%
+27.08%
+8.00%
+19.08
1996
46 / 06
49.81%
+12.98%
+21.50%
+7.38%
+2.96%
+10.34
1992
41 / 11
39.70%
+5.60%
+11.16%
-16.92%
+13.29%
+3.63
1988
46 / 06
60.53%
+22.52%
+14.79%
-19.75%
-10.49%
+9.26
1984
49 / 03
70.51%
+42.27%
+24.05%
+7.60%
+8.48%
+0.88
1980
46 / 06
62.64%
+34.67%
+24.93%
+15.18%
+11.80%
+3.38
1976
47 / 05
59.30%
+19.49%
+21.55%
-19.05%
+25.21%
+6.16

There were no pick-ups in Wyoming in this time-period.



Wyoming margin average, 1988-2008 (6 cycles): 
GOP +25.53% 
Wyoming margin average, 1980-2008 (8 cycles): 
GOP +27.74% 




Trend: 
REPUBLICAN

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


The partisan rankings for Rank 51 (WY) from 2008 backwards in history to 1964 in Table-format (highlighted in yellow) are HERE:


Links


Helpful Info Links
Helpful Election Links
WY population 2008: 532,668
WY election results (1996-2010)
WY Population Density: 2.1 persons per sq. Km.
---
Electoral Vote Density: 177,556 persons per EV.
---


WY ELECTORAL DEVELOPMENT (electors through history) :  3 EV (1892-present)



SUMMARY



Wyoming is the most conservative state and the 51st most liberal state, with a Republican winning margin of +32.24% and having voted 39.50% more Republican than the national margin in 2008.

Wyoming was the 2nd most conservative state and the 50th most liberal state in 2004, with a Republican winning margin of +39.79% and having voted 37.33% more Republican than the national margin in that year.

Wyoming was also the 2nd most conservative state and the 50th most liberal state 2000, with a Republican winning margin of +40.06% and having voted 40.58% more Republican than the national margin in that year.



In its entire electoral history, from 1892-present, Wyoming went went for the GOP 
19 times, for the DEMS  10  times and 1 time for an Independent candidate.

From 1904 - 2008, Wyoming went for the GOP 
19 times, for the DEMS 8  times.

Since 1948, Wyoming went for the GOP 
14 times, for the DEMS 2  times.

Since 1960, Wyoming went for the GOP 
12 timesfor the DEMS 1  time.


The area formerly known as the „
Wyoming Territory“ officially became the 44th state of the Union on July 10, 1890, just 10 days after Idaho became a state and five and one-half years before Utah would become a state.


The 10th largest state in the Union by area (Idaho is the 14th, Utah is the 13th), but the smallest in the entire USA by population (Idaho is the 39th, Utah is the 34th), Wyoming has shown parallel demographic and political growth in its history to the neighboring states of Utah and Idaho, but not much of a symbiotic electoral relationship with either. Whereas the partisan rankings of Utah and Idaho have more often lined up with each other, Wyoming's partisan rankings from cycle to cycle have been "all over the board".


Wyoming has had an overwhelmingly Republican voting record, having selected the Republican candidate for 19 of the 29 cycles in which Wyoming has voted. Though VT has gone Republican 33 times and holds the record for the longest GOP streak (27 cycles from 1856-1960), WY, along with 8 other states, has the longest current running Republican voting record: KS, NE, SD, ND, WY, ID, UT, OK and AK have all voted GOP for 11 consecutive cycles since 1968. Every single one of these states was captured in the Johnson (D) landslide of 1964 – had that not happened, then WY would have had 15 consecutive cycles, all the way back through 1952. I call these states that have gone 11 straight cycles for the GOP „The 11ers“ and most likely, every single one of those states will become a „12er“ after 2012. Two states are not on that list, but both were „10er“s from 2004: IN and VA, both of which Obama picked-up in 2008. Here is a table of those 9 states:

9 Conservative States: “The 11ers”.


Year
Kansas
Nebraska
South Dakota
North Dakota
Wyoming
Idaho
Utah
Oklahoma
Alaska
2008
14.92%
14.93%
8.41%
8.65%
32.24%
25.30%
28.02%
31.29%
21.54%
2004
25.38%
33.22%
21.47%
27.36%
39.79%
38.12%
45.54%
31.14%
25.55%
2000
20.80%
28.99%
22.73%
27.60%
40.06%
39.53%
40.49%
21.88%
30.95%
1996
18.21%
18.70%
3.46%
6.81%
12.98%
18.54%
21.07%
7.81%
17.53%
1992
5.14%
17.18%
3.52%
12.03%
5.60%
13.61%
16.03%
8.62%
9.17%
1988
13.23%
20.96%
6.34%
13.06%
22.52%
26.07%
34.17%
16.65%
23.32%
1984
33.67%
41.74%
26.47%
31.04%
42.27%
45.97%
49.83%
37.94%
36.79%
1980
24.56%
39.49%
28.83%
37.97%
34.67%
41.27%
52.20%
25.53%
27.94%
1976
7.55%
20.74%
1.48%
5.85%
19.49%
22.76%
28.79%
1.21%
22.25%
1972
38.15%
41.00%
8.63%
26.28%
38.54%
38.20%
41.25%
49.70%
23.51%
1968
20.13%
28.01%
11.31%
17.71%
20.25%
26.13%
19.42%
15.70%
2.64%
1964
9.03%
5.21%
11.22%
16.09%
13.12%
1.83%
9.73%
11.49%
31.82%
1960
21.35%
24.14%
16.43%
10.90%
10.03%
7.57%
9.64%
18.04%
1.88%
1956
31.23%
31.03%
16.77%
23.63%
20.16%
22.39%
29.12%
10.26%

1952
38.27%
38.31%
38.54%
42.58%
25.62%
31.00%
17.85%
9.18%

1948
9.02%
8.31%
4.80%
8.76%
4.35%
2.73%
8.96%
25.49%

1944
21.07%
17.16%
16.66%
8.35%
2.47%
3.49%
21.02%
11.36%

1940
14.47%
14.37%
14.82%
10.88%
5.93%
9.05%
24.67%
15.18%

1936
7.72%
16.40%
11.52%
33.03%
23.10%
29.77%
39.55%
34.14%

1932
9.43%
27.70%
29.23%
41.58%
15.25%
20.39%
15.47%
46.59%

1928
44.96%
27.01%
20.98%
10.34%
28.31%
29.30%
7.72%
28.28%

1924
37.94%
17.51%
12.73%
2.52%
20.88%
10.60%
19.32%
5.59%

1920
32.23%
33.41%
41.02%
59.60%
32.29%
31.26%
17.09%
5.50%

1916
5.86%
14.29%
3.90%
1.50%
12.77%
10.91%
20.96%
17.38%

1912
6.42%
14.56%
8.48%
4.42%
1.77%
1.05%
4.91%
11.18%

1908
9.58%
1.54%
23.76%
26.23%
15.76%
16.92%
16.97%
4.66%

1904
38.59%
37.94%
49.42%
54.73%
37.64%
40.37%
28.56%


1900
6.60%
3.24%
15.59%
15.60%
17.49%
3.83%
2.29%


1896
3.69%
5.35%
0.22%
11.92%
3.74%
56.79%
65.43%


1892
1.81%
2.04%
11.83%
0.50%
4.37%
9.90%



1888
24.21%
13.76%







1884
24.18%
16.78%







1880
30.68%
30.25%







1876
32.56%
29.40%







1872
33.66%
41.36%







1868
37.65%
27.81%







1864
61.41%
---







STATS
30 R/ 6 D / 1 Ind
29 R / 7 D
25 R / 4 D /
1 IND
24 R / 5 D /
1 IND
22 R / 8 D
19 R / 10 D / 1 IND
21 R / 8 D
16 R / 10 D
12 R / 1 D

Four of these GOP bastions have absolutely identical voting records from 1920 through 2008: KS, NE and both Dakotas. All four of these states have 20 R / 3 D voting records. UT, WY, ID and OK have more Democratic voting records in the 1940s. AK first participated in 1960, so no real comparison outside of the „11er“ category is possible.


Now, to Wyoming alone: the state jumped into the fray with the 1892 election between Republican Incumbent Benjamin Harrison and former Democratic incumbent Grover Cleveland, who had been elected to his first term in 1884, was unseated by Harrison in 1888 and came back to unseat the "unseater" in 1892, but in Wyoming, the state decided for the Republican for it's first time out to bat: Harrison 
+4.37% and a bare majority win of 50.52% over Populist Party candidate James Weaver: Cleveland (D) was not on the ballot in WY in 1892.

Quick math: In 1892, 16,735 votes were cast in WY, or 0.14% of all votes cast in that year. But with 3 EV, the new state had 0.67% of the Electoral College. Disparity: 4.8 to 1. Remember these numbers when we get to 2008.


In 1896, with well known westerner William Jennings Bryan (D) on the ballot, WY decided to try the other party and gave Bryan an equally lean 
+3.74% margin & also a bare minority win of 51.49%.


However, four years later, incumbent McKinley flipped Wyoming to the GOP, with a landslide 
+17.49% margin, the first landslide in WY's electoral history. Teddy Roosevelts set that trend forth and increased the GOP margin to +37.64% and a whalloping 66.72% of the popular vote, a record setter that would last for 68 years, until 1972. Starting in 1904, Eugene V. Debs (Socialist Party) also appeared on the ballot and his party would receive votes through 1924.

William Jennings Bryan (D), who won the Beehive State in 1896 and lost it in 1900, also had no such luck by his third try in 1908: Republican William Howard Taft bested him by 
+15.76% in margin (it was +16.97% in Utah and +16.92% margin in Idaho).

Democrat Woodrow Wilson flipped the state for his party in 1912 and would retain the state in 1916, but with a minority win of 
36.20% and a +1.77% margin over Taft: WY was one of the few states where Taft maintained second place and did not lose it to former President Teddy Roosevelt. WY was the second closest win for Wilson and the second closest of the election, after neighboring Idaho (Wilson +1.05%).

However, in 1916 and going against the national tide for the GOP in that year, incumbent Woodrow Wilson increased his Wyoming margin with a landslide 
+12.77%.


In the roaring 20s, WY went with the national GOP wave and rewarded Harding, Coolidge and Hoover with varying margins of 
+32.29% (1920), +20.88% (1924) and +28.31% (1928). However, buried within the 1924 race are some important details: Coolidge won WY with a smaller but still +20.88% landslide margin than his predecessor Harding, but his win in WY was a low majority win of 52.39%. Reason: Progressive Party candidate from Wisconsin took 31.51% in the Equality State. It was LaFollette's 10th strongest state in 1924 (Utah was his 15th, Idaho was his 6th).

Unlike VT and ME in the northeast, WY was not able to resist the FDR landslide in 1932, but it did not respond with the enormous margins that Roosevelt enjoyed in Idaho or Oklahoma: Roosevelt won with 
56.07% of the PV and a strong +15.25% margin (it was +20.39% in Idaho), slightly under his national +17.76% margin. In 1936, the margin swelled to a landslide +23.10% (it was +29.77% in Idaho and +39.55% in Utah!) and 60.58% of the popular vote for incumbent FDR, slightly below his national average, but nonetheless, it is the Democratic record-setter in this state.

However, in 1940, WY went for FDR a last time and gave him a reduced margin of 
+5.93%, again under his national +9.95% margin over Wendell Wilkie (R) in that year. In 1944, WY deserted FDR and was picked up by Republican John Dewey, with a lean +2.47% margin over the four-term President.


Whereas a slew of other western states fled the Democratic Party in 1948, WY returned to the Democratic party and gave incumbent Truman a 
+4.35% win over Thomas Dewey. There were a number of states that Dewey won in 1944 but lost in 1948, and WY was one of them. The margin in 1948 is very close to Truman's national margin; also, Strom Thurmond and his „States Rights Party“ was not on the ballot in Wyoming in that year.


Wyoming loved IKE! It have Eisenhower a crushing 
+25.62% win over Democratic Adlai Stevenson. In 1956, his margin was reduced but still a massive +20.16% landslide margin.


If Nixon had hoped to win WY with such margins in 1960, his hopes were dashed. The state showed some interest in John Kennedy, but at the end of the day, Nixon prevailed with a smaller landslide 
+10.03%, half of Eisenhower's 1956 showing.


The Johnson (D) pick-up of WY in 1964 looked like a rough mirror image of Nixon 1960: Johnson 
+13.12%. This is the last time thus far in WY's electoral history that a Democrat has won the state. WY was the 33rd of 45 Democratic states in 1964, which also means conservative ranking 16, which is the lowest conservative ranking for this state since 1916!


In 1968, in spite of a three-man race, Nixon won WY hands down, with 
55.76% (it was 56.49% in Utah, 56.79% in Idaho) of the PV and a landslide +20.16% margin (it was +19.42% in Utah, +26.13% in Idaho), WY was the 3rd most conservative state in the 1968 partisan rankings. In 1972, Nixon expanded his margin to a massive +38.54% (it was +38.20% in Idaho, +41.25% in Utah), breaking all GOP records to date in this state. WY was the 10th most conservative state in the 1972 partisan rankings.

As of 1976, WY moved to 6th in the conservative partisan rankings and, excepting 1996, would vascillate between Rank 6 and Rank 2 through 2004! 2008 is the first and only time thus far that Wyoming has been the number 1 conservative state in the Union.


Here once again the 9 cycle table from above:


Wyoming:

Year
Rank
Winning %
% Margin
Part. Value
Swing“
National Swing
Trend
2008
51 / 01
64.78%
+32.24%
+39.50%
-7.55%
+9.72%
+2.17
2004
50 / 02
68.86%
+39.79%
+37.33%
-0.27%
+2.98%
+3.25
2000
50 / 02
67.76%
+40.06%
+40.58%
+27.08%
+8.00%
+19.08
1996
46 / 06
49.81%
+12.98%
+21.50%
+7.38%
+2.96%
+10.34
1992
41 / 11
39.70%
+5.60%
+11.16%
-16.92%
+13.29%
+3.63
1988
46 / 06
60.53%
+22.52%
+14.79%
-19.75%
-10.49%
+9.26
1984
49 / 03
70.51%
+42.27%
+24.05%
+7.60%
+8.48%
+0.88
1980
46 / 06
62.64%
+34.67%
+24.93%
+15.18%
+11.80%
+3.38
1976
47 / 05
59.30%
+19.49%
+21.55%
-19.05%
+25.21%
+6.16

The table makes it very clear that from at least 1976, the Democratic Party has had no real chance in WY.


Ronald Reagan broke Richard Nixon's 1972 margin in 1984: Reagan 
+42.27% margin, 70.51% of the PV.


There have only been three minority wins in WY's electoral history: 1912, 1992 and 1996, and even in 1992, incumbent Bush, Sr. enjoyed an nominal 
+5.60% win over Democrat Bill Clinton.


George W. Bush, Jr.'s wins in 2000 and 2004 are worth note for the extreme margins and the stability in the state – very reminiscent of the Reagan elections of 1980 and 1984. He is also the second Republican to hit the 
+40% margin mark in this absolute core GOP state.


John McCain's landslide win in WY was with a slightly reduced but still massive landslide margin of 
+32.24% is the 8th largest or the 12th leanest of the 19 GOP wins in this state and also:

-is the fourth time in a row where the state suddenly went for the GOP with a lesser margin in what was or would have been a 3rd GOP term in office: 1960 (after 2 Term Eisenhower), 1976 (after 2 Term Nixon), 1988 (after 2 Term Reagan), 2008 (after 2 term Bush).

-is the fifth time in nine cycles where the Partisan Value (difference between the statewide margin and the national margin) went above 
+30%.

-statistically, McCain's win in Wyoming is nearly identical to Warren Harding's win against James Cox in 1920! Harding got 
64.15%, McCain got 64.78% (difference = 0.63%); Harding's margin was +32.29%, McCain's was +32.24% (difference = 0.05%).

-McCain's win is more notable in the extreme Partisan Value (state margin minus national margin), which was very close to 
+40% over the national average.


-Obama's losing percentage in WY (
32.54%) sets no records, but comes statistically close to Cox's loss in this state in 1920. Obama's percentage was marginally better than those of Kerry, Gore, Mondale, Carter and McGovern.


Back to the math from the very first cycle: 1892. In 1892, WY represented 0.14% of all votes cast, but had 0.67% representation in the electoral college.


In 2008, 254,658 votes were cast in WY. 131,463,122 votes were cast nationally.


254,658 / 131,463,122 = 0.19% of the national popular vote.


3 Electors / 538 = 0.56% of the Electoral College.  Disparity: 3 to 1.


It should be noted that more votes were cast in DC than in Wyoming in 2008.




Important details about WY:




Republicans:


-Since WY's entrance into the Electoral College in 1892, every Republican President has won WY: McKinley (1900 only) T. Roosevelt, Taft (1908) Harding, Coolidge, Hoover (1928, not 1932), Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush 41 and Bush 43.

-two 1-Term Republicans lost WY as a pick-up to the Democratic Party in their re-election attempts: Taft (1912), Hoover (1932)



Democrats:


-Only four Democratic Presidents in history have won WY: Wilson (1916), FDR (4 times), Truman and LBJ

-Only one Democratic challenger who lost the GE won WY: Bryan (1896)


Independents:


No independent candidate has ever won WY.




Based on its voting record, WY is not bellwether state, having missed the Electoral College winner in 6 of the last 27 cycles and having missed the PV winner in 7 of the last 27 cycles – all but one of these misses happened from 1960 onward.



Can WY become a battleground in 2012?

No. WY is in no way a battleground. Polling showing a Democratic within single digits of a Republican in WY indicate a certain Democratic landslide in the GE, plain and simple.



WY Superlatives
YEAR
Candidate
Winning %
Winning margin
GOP
1984
Reagan
70.51%
+42.27%
DEM
1936
FDR
63.58%
+23.10%
IND
1924
LaFollette
31.51%
Best Ind showing 
---------------------




All-time "squeaker"
1912
Wilson
36.20%
+1.77% 


In Wyoming, the Governor, Lt. Governor, both Senators and 2 of 3 US Representatives are all Republicans. One US Representative is a Democrat. In the 
Wyoming Legislature, the Republicans have hypermajorities of over 80%-20% in both Houses..

Facit: 
in 2007, I wrote: „WYOMING  is one the safest of the Republican "firewall"-states. Even if WY-AL should flip in 2008, the state is safe GOP in the GE. A GOP win with between 60-70% of the vote is to be expected in Wyoming. 


Facit 2011: Wyoming is the number 1 conservative state for the first time in it's history, but Utah has the longest and most consistent record of being the number 1 conservative state (8 cycles in a row, from 1976 through 2004) and if Mitt Romney becomes the GOP nominee, then the chances are extremely high that UT, with it's mormon-majority population, will once again become the number 1 conservative state. But Wyoming is an absolutely safe GOP state. Wyoming is the GOP equivalent to the Democrats' Rhode Island – roughly in size and in voter registration. President Obama need not campaign here in 2012.