04 December 2011

Rank 28 / 24: Indiana


Results of the last 6 presidential cycles:

YearRankWinning %% MarginPart. ValueSwing“National SwingTrend
200038 /1456.65%+15.63%+16.15%+10.05%+8.00%+2.05
199641 /1147.13%+5.58%+14.10-0.53%+2.96%+2.43
199242 /1042.91%+6.11%+11.67-14.05+13.29%+0.76
198838 / 1459.84%+20.16+12.43-3.86-10.49+6.63

Blue shading = DEM pick-up over the cycle before.Red shading = GOP pick-up over the cycle before.

Part.Value = state-wide margin minus national margin.
Swing“= statewide-margin minus statewide-margin from previous cycle.
NationalSwing“ = National margin minus National margin from previous cycle.
Trend= „Swing“ minus „National Swing“. Always a postive value.
margin average, 1988-2008 (6 cycles): GOP +11.19 %


This trend designation needs an expanation: mathematically, it was a +21.71% partisan shift to switch IN from the GOP to the Democratic party in 2008 (the largest cross-partisan shift of 2008 and the second largest partisan shift overall, behind Hawaii) – which is a good sign for the Democratic Party, but since 1992, the GOP margin value over the national margin (Part. Value) hasgrown from cycle to cycle:+11.67%over the national in 1992 to +18.22% over the national margin in 2004. Obama's win in IN is indeed pretty unique: only 2 other times in history has IN seen such a cross-partisan shift to the Democratic party: in 1964 over 1860 and in 1932 over 1928.

That being said, knowing the tendency of a state to „snap-back“ to its usual partisan configuration within a couple of cycles, the prudent methodfor classifying the trend of this state, which statistically would be„STRONG DEMOCRATIC“ after 2008, is STEADY/ NEUTRAL TO LEANDEMOCRATIC. Though there has yet to be polling data from IN vis-a-vis 2012, even the Obama team thinks that IN is the pick-up state from 2008 most likely to revert back to the GOP in 2012.

IN county-by-county EXCEL spreadsheet
(rawtotals for 2008 and 2004, margins, swings, % of state PV, county growth rate)
The partisan rankings for Ranking 28 (Indiana) 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
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%
35 - 17ND8,65%GA16,60%NC12,83%VA1,96%FL1,89%TN16,34%35 - 17VA25,19%FL17,02%WA3,88%TX32,96%VT9,22%IN12,42%
36 - 16SC8,98%SC17,08%AL14,88%MT2,88%AZ1,95%OK16,65%36 - 16SD26,47%NM18,18%NV4,36%LA36,97%FL9,60%NC12,30%
37 - 15TX11,76%MS19,69%KY15,13%SD3,46%TX3,48%AL19,30%37 - 15TX27,50%IN18,35%CT5,17%VA37,72%TN3,83%OK11,49%
38 - 14WV13,09%KY19,86%IN15,63%NC4,69%SD3,52%IN20,16%38 - 14SC27,99%CO24,00%MI5,39%TN37,95%NC8,25%SD11,22%
39 - 13MS13,17%MT20,50%SC15,93%TX4,93%VA4,37%GA20,25%39 - 13CO28,32%MT24,39%ND5,85%AR38,11%VA10,87%TN11,01%
40 - 12KS14,92%IN20,68%MS16,91%MS5,13%KS5,14%VA20,50%40 - 12FL30,66%KS24,56%MT7,44%KS38,15%SD11,31%UT9,73%
41 - 11NE14,93%SD21,47%KS20,80%IN5,58%WY5,60%MS20,82%41 - 11ND31,04%OK25,53%KS7,55%ID38,20%NM12,10%KS9,03%
42 - 10TN15,06%TX22,86%TX21,32%SC6,04%IN6,11%NV20,94%42 - 10KS33,67%AK27,94%IN7,62%WY38,54%IA12,19%VA7,36%
43 - 9KY16,22%KS25,38%OK21,88%ND6,81%AL6,77%NE20,96%43 - 9NV33,88%SD28,83%VT11,20%NC40,58%IN12,30%NE5,21%


IN Electoral Development
 (electors through history): 3 (1816-1820), 5 (1824-1828) 9 (1832-1840) 12 (1844-1848), 13 (1852-1868),15 (1872-1928), 14 (1932-1940), 13 (1944-1980), 12 (1984-2000), 11EV (2004-present)

Indiana is the 28th most liberal state and the 24th most conservative state, with a Democratic winning margin of +1.03% and having voted 6.23% 
less Democratic than the national margin in 2008. Indiana is one of the 9.25 Democratic „pick-up“ states from 2008, meaning it shifted from the Republican column to the Democratic column. Indiana is the 4th of 5 states in the Union where Obama's margin was UNDER the national margin.
IN was the 12th most conservative state in 2004, with a Republican winning margin of +20.68% and having voted 18.22% more Republican than the national margin in that year. 

IN was the 14th most conservative state in 2000, with a Republican winning margin of +15.63% and having voted 16.15% more Republican than the national margin in that year. 

From1904-2008, Indiana went for the GOP 
22 times, forthe DEMS times.

Since1948 Indiana went for the GOP 
14 times, for the DEMS 2 times

I already wrote an 
extensive county-by-county analysis of Indiana in 2009,in three parts.

In the analysis are:
-recent electoral statistics
-extensive background information
-county-for-county analysis (percentage, percentage margin, shift, pick-ups, tipping-point Counties)
-quick mega-county study

Go to these links to read the extensive report:

Indiana 2008 – County by County

Part I

Part II

Part III

raw data


Based on its voting record, IN 
is in no way a bellwether state in the Union, having missed the winner 9 times in the last 26 cycles, or 100 years, and more recently, 5 times since 1960. These statistics refer to the winner in the Electoral College. Referring to the winner in the popular vote, then it would be 10 misses in 100 years and 6 misses since 1960.

IN SuperlativesYEARCandidateWinning %Notes
DEM1936Roosevelt, FD56.63%
IND1912Roosevelt, T.24.75%
---------------------Winning Margin %
All-time “squeaker”1948Dewey+0.80%

In Indiana, as of 2010, the Governor, Lt. Governor, both Senators and 6 of 9 US House Representatives are Republican. The other 3 US House Representatives are Democrats. In the Indiana General Assembly, the Republican Party has a hypermajority in both houses.

FACIT: With Obama's absolute surprise win in Indiana, pundits are somewhat at a loss as to what to say. The ground really shifted in IN, but the statistical probability is very high that the Hoosier State will return to the GOP column in 2012, even if with reduced margins as compared to the last 30 years. However, up to this point in time, we have no hard data to go on, so technically, IN should just be one big question mark.

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