15 December 2011

Rank 38 / 14: West Virginia

West Virginia:
Kanawha“




Growth alert: 
less votes cast in WV in 2008 than from 1932-1984!!



Results of the last 6 presidential cycles:

Year
Rank
Winning %
% Margin
Part. Value
Swing“
National Swing
Trend
2008
38 / 14
55.60%
+13.09%
+20.35%
+0.23%
+9.72%
+9.95
2004
32 / 20
56.06%
+12.86%
+10.40%
+6.54%
+2.98%
+3.56
2000
30 / 22
51.92%
+6.32%
+6.84%
+21.07%
+8.00%
+13.07
1996
15 / 37
51.51%
+14.75%
+6.23%
+1.73%
+2.96%
+1.23
1992
10 / 42
48.41%
+13.02%
+7.46%
+8.28%
+13.29%
+5.01
1988
06 / 46
52.20%
+4.74%
+12.47%
+15.25%
-10.49%
+4.76

Blue shading = DEM pick-up over the cycle before.
Red shading = GOP pick-up over the cycle before.
West Virginia was an even split in the last 6 cycles: 3 cycles DEM, 3 cycles GOP.

West Virginia margin average, 1988-2008 (6 cycles): DEM +0.04% (statistical tie)


Within the summary is an analysis of the swings and trend values in WV over the last six cycles.


Trend: 
STRONG REPUBLICAN

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

The partisan rankings for Ranking 38 (WV) from 2008 backwards in history to 1964 in Table-format (highlighted in yellow). Notice the sharp drop down the partisan rankings, direction deep conservative territory, since 1988:

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%

Links



Helpful Info Links
Helpful Election Links
WV population 2008: 1,814,468
WV Population Density: 29.1 persons per sq. Km.
Electoral Vote Density: 362,894 persons per EV.
---

WV ELECTORAL DEVELOPMENT (electors through history) : 5 (1864-1880),  6 (1884-1900), 7 (1904-1908) 8 (1912-1960), 7 (1964-1968), 6 (1972-1988) 5 EV (1992-present)


SUMMARY




West Virginia is the 14th most conservative state and the 38th most liberal state, with a Republican winning margin of +13.09% and having voted 20.35% more Republican than the national margin in 2008. West Virginia was one of only five states to „swing“ toward the Republican Party in 2008 (OK, WV, TN, LA, AR).

West Virginia was the 20th most conservative state and the 32nd most liberal state in 2004, with a Republican winning margin of +12.86% and having voted 10.40% more Republican than the national margin in that year.

West Virginia was also the 22nd most conservative state and the 40th most liberal state in 2000, with a Republican winning margin of +6.32% and having voted 6.84% more Republican than the national margin in that year.


From 1904 - 2008, West Virginia went for the GOP
 12 timesfor the DEMS 15  times.

Since 1948, West Virginia went for the GOP 6 times, for the DEMS 10 times.

Since 1960, West Virginia went for the GOP 5 times, for the DEMS 8 times.


West Virginia, following the Wheeling Convention of 1861 (which repealed the Ordinance of Secession by Virginia), was carved out of, or better put, separated itself from Virginia and was admitted to the Union as the 35th state on June 20, 1863, in the middle of the Civil War. West Virginia is one of only two states that were admitted during the war, alongside Nevada (1864). Before admission, the Union recognized the newly forming state as „The Restored Government of Virginia“, but with its own constitutional convention, it first was proposed to be named „Kanawha“ (which is a tributary to the Ohio River) and in the referendum from October 24, 1861, the overwhelming vote was for the new state of Kanawha. It was also named as such on maps of the day:




However, the official name of „West Virginia“ was set at the first state convention. West Virginia is the only state of the Union that was formed be seceeding from a now former confederate state and was a critical border state in the Civil War. The split was overwhelmingly over the issue of slavery.


West Virginia, the 41st largest state in our Union by both land mass and the 37th and by population, has had stagnant population growth over 2000 of just 2.5%, well under the 9.7% national growth rate.


West Virginia first joined the Electoral College and participated in its first national election in 1864 and gave incumbent Abraham Lincoln a massive 
+31.76% winning margin over Democrat George McClellan. In 1868, it also gave Ulysses Grant a landslide win, but with a reduced margin of „just“ +17.66% (to compare: in 1984, Ronald Reagan won nationally with a +18.22% margin, which is considered practically a blowout margin). However, in 1872, WV went against the grain and gave incumbent Grant a lean +4.46%, in spite of a larger national landslide than in 1868. So, the first three cycles of its electoral history, WV was a Republican state, but already trending Democratic, and fast.


So fast that it gave James Tilden (D) a 
+14.60% landslide win in the hotly contested electoral backfire of 1876: WV would remain Democratic for the next four cycles, through 1892, but the margins in the so-called „gilded age“ in America were very lean margins, and they were also lean in WV. After a solid +9.90% win for Winfield Hancock (D) in 1880, WV then gave Grover Cleveland 3 narrow victories: +3.19% in 1884, +0.32% in 1888 and +2.44% in 1892.


From 1892 through 1908, WV swung to the GOP for 4 cycles and went both times for William McKinley. It was the first time in 28 years that WV had gone for the Republican 2-Termer (both times) and this phenomenon would not happen again for 104 in WV's electoral history. McKinley won WV with 
+5.40% and +9.52%, respectively and both margins were larger than the national average. In 1904, it gave Teddy Roosevelt the first Republican landslide victory in 36 years, of +13.24%The percentages and margins from 1904 come very, very close to John McCain's win from 2008. Taft held the state for the Republicans with +10.25%.


In 1912, with Teddy Roosevelt on the ballot as an independent in a three-man race, Woodrow Wilson returned WV to the Democratic column with 
+12.68% but with a 42.11% minority win. Teddy Roosevelt took second in WV with 29.43% and Taft took third with 21.11%. Wilson's victory was short-lived, however, as he lost the state to the Republicans by a razor-thin +0.94% margin in a 2-man race against Charles Hughes in 1916. There are many Republican states of today that went both times for Wilson, but WV is not one of them.


As with most of the states outside of the deep South, WV stayed Republican in 1920, 1924 and 1928, in two cases with margins under the national average:


Harding with 
+12.00% (1920)


Coolidge with 
+5.38% (1924); third party candidate Robert LaFollette took 6.29% in WV in that year and the Democratic candidate who lost was West Virginia's favorite-son, John Davis. This explains the narrow margin in spite of a +25 national margin for Coolidge.


Hoover 
+17.39% (1928, very close to the national average).


As with most states in the Union, WV flipped for FDR in 1932 and stayed with the Democratic Party through Truman in 1948, but the margins tell a story of their own: in 1932, FDR won the Mountain State with exactly 
+10.00%, 7 points under his national margin of +17.76%. In 1936, one of the two largest Democratic landslides in history, a 46 of 48 state sweep and a national +24.25% margin, WV jumped to a +21.35% margin, still under the national, but the largest Democratic landslide since 1864. The data gets interesting in 1940 and 1944: here FDR went above the national average in WV both times: +14.20% (1940), +9.78% (1944), both around 5 points higher than the national. And in 1948, WV swung heavily to President Truman, with a +15.08% margin, 11 points above the national.


WV had become so Democratic in orientation from the FDR years that Eisenhower was unable to peel the state off in his 1952 landslide: it stayed with Stevenson (D) with 
+3.85%. However, in 1956, WV rewarded incumbent Eisenhower with a GOP victory of +8.16%. The partisan swing of +12.01% that happened between 1952 and 1956 is close to 3 times the national swing in that time.


It should be noted that in 1952, West Virginia reached it's voter turnout peak in a presidential election: 873,548 votes were cast in 1952. By contrast, 714,868 votes were cast in 2008, more than 150,000 votes less than in 1952.


But Ike's victory in West Virginia was short lived: it returned to the Democratic column in 1960 and gave John F. Kennedy a 
+5.47% margin, thus eliminating the GOP swing from 1956 and rebuilding Democratic strength. Most notable about this margin is that it is way above Kennedy's +0.16% national margin, in spite of the fact that Kennedy was Catholic and West Virginia had a reputation for anti-catholicism. Go back and look at 1928: most of the reason why the margin in WV jumped so high for Hoover was because Al Smith (D), his challenger in that year, was the first catholic to run for President. But there was no sign of this in 1960 compared to the performance of WV in 1956. And considering that in the razor thin PV of 1960, WV, with 8 Electoral Votes at that time, was Kennedy's ninth strongest state (excluding MS, which cast electors for no one in that year) and in a year where 16 states (1/3 of the Union) were won with less than +2.5% margins.


In 1964, West Virginia gave Johnson a massive 
+35.87% landslide, which we would like to think is the record holder, but it is not. 1856 is still the record-holder. This margin in 1964 was way above Johnson's national margin and was a swing of 20 points for the Democrats. WV was the 7 th most Democratic state in 1964.


In 1968, WV voted against Nixon for a second time (1960, 1968) and gave Vice-President Hubert Humprey a 
+8.82% winning margin and a very high minority win of 49.60%. WV was the 8th most Democratic state in 1968.


But as with Ike in 1956, WV rewarded the incumbent Republican with a GOP record-setting win of 
+27.22%, the largest GOP landslide ever and the third largest overall in the Mountain State.


The Watergate Scandal, Nixon's resignation and Ford's pardon did not play well here in 1976. With a Southern Democrat running for President, WV flipped back to the Democratic party and gave Jimmy Carter a 
+16.14% win. Interesting fact: the partisan shift from 1972 to 1976 was GREATER than the partisan shift from 1928 to 1932. West Virginia was one of the 6 states that remained true to President Carter in his landslide defeat to Ronald Reagan, once again not going for a Republican in his first term. It was a lean +4.51% (high minority win for Carter, Independent Anderson was also on the ballot in WV) win and West Virginia was the 4th most Democratic state in both elections.


As with Eisenhower (1956) and Nixon (1972), WV rewarded the incumbent Republican with a 
+10.51% winning margin.


The period of the last 6 cycles has already been demonstrated in the graph at the top of the report: WV and IA are the only „3 and 3“states from 1988 to 2008 and WV is the only state to go 3 cycles straight for the Democratic Party and the last 3 cycles for the Republican Party.


In 1988, WV resisted the Bush 41 national tide and gave Michael Dukakis a 
+4.74% win. It is an interesting pattern to see what states went for the so-called „liberal from Massachusetts: WA and OR in the west, IA, WI and MN in the midwest, NY, MA, RI and DC in the Northeast and then, WV, which is officially part of the south. This was the first time that WV gave a non-Southern Democrat a victory over a Republican in 20 years. BTW, in 1988, one elector from WV reversed her ticket vote and cast her electoral vote for Bentson for President and Dukakis for Vice-President.


In 1992, the state swung very strongly to Bill Clinton, a Southern Democrat, with 
+13.02% and a high minority win; it selected Clinton again in 1996 with +14.75% and a majority win, which is critical, considering the 3-man nature of both races. In both cases, Clinton's margins here were well above his national average: in 1992, only 2 Clinton states were majority wins (DS, AR), but 5 states were high minority wins between 48-49%. Clinton won WV with 48.41% in 1992. No states were Bush majority wins in 1992. By contrast, in 1996, 19 states were Clinton majority wins, 6 were Dole majority states.


In light of the 90s, it is therefore a real surprise that WV did not choose a Southern Democrat, namely, Vice-President Al Gore, in 2000. George W. Bush, Jr. ran a very good campaign in WV and the coal vs. renewable energy issue was important to West Virginians. Bush won WV with 
+6.32% in 2000, but the real story behind the figures is that in the middle of an excruciatingly close national race (the 3rd closest in US history and an electoral backfire), WV experienced a partisan shift or „swing“ of +21.07% toward the Republican Party. This was the first time that WV had not gone for a Southern Democrat since 1924! Had Gore retained WV for the Democratic party, then he would have won in the Electoral College, but history does not have it this way.


In 2004, incumbent George W. Bush, Jr. jumped to a 
+12.86% landslide win in the Mountain State over John Kerry, who he branded as a „liberal from Massachusetts“. Remember, just 16 years before, WV went for a „liberal from Massachusetts“. This makes George W. Bush, Jr. the first Republican president in 104 years, since William McKinley, to win WV both times, and the third GOP president overall to win WV both times, alongside McKinley and Grant. Also interesting is to note that WV was the only state in the Union that George H. W. Bush, Sr. LOST in both 1988 and 1992, but which his son, George W. Bush, Jr. WON both times. So, WV made statewide electoral history in 2000 and 2004


As of 2008 here is where things get interesting, so it is worth it to look at the table from the top of the report again:

Year
Rank
Winning %
% Margin
Part. Value
Swing“
National Swing
Trend
2008
38 / 14
55.60%
+13.09%
+20.35%
+0.23%
+9.72%
+9.95
2004
32 / 20
56.06%
+12.86%
+10.40%
+6.54%
+2.98%
+3.56
2000
30 / 22
51.92%
+6.32%
+6.84%
+21.07%
+8.00%
+13.07
1996
15 / 37
51.51%
+14.75%
+6.23%
+1.73%
+2.96%
+1.23
1992
10 / 42
48.41%
+13.02%
+7.46%
+8.28%
+13.29%
+5.01
1988
06 / 46
52.20%
+4.74%
+12.47%
+15.25%
-10.49%
+4.76

The results from 2008, on the surface, look like a photocopy of 2004: both the percentages and the margins are extremely close to each other, but when you look at the partisan value over the last 3 cycles, they have been ever rising: WV went +6.84% ABOVE the national average for the Republicans in 2000, +10.40% above the national average in 2004 and a whalloping +20.35% ABOVE the national average in 2008. Also, the trend value of +9.95 is the largest republican trend value in a two-man race since 1984. While WV, based on its results from 2008, seemed to stand still, it still moved far to the right since the nationa as a whole shifted to the left.


John McCain's landslide win in WV in 2008 is:


-the sixth largest by margin of the 17 GOP wins in WV history, after Lincoln (1864), Nixon (1972), Hoover (1928), Grant (1868) and Roosevelt (1904).


-the largest Partisan Value (statewide margin minus national margin) since 1984.


-Was one of 5 states nationwide that shifted against the rest of the nation and shifted toward the Republican party. It is interesting to note that 3 of these 5 states are in the Appalachia region and all 5 are considered part of what is called the Bible-Belt.


-represented 
4 GOP county pick-ups over 2004: Brook, Fayette, Logan and Mingo counties. Obama picked up 2 counties: Jefferson and Monongalia.


-shows no statistical difference in voting between 2004 and 2008 based on the race of the candidate. Accusations were made that certain states would be absolute no-go's for Obama because of his race, but the figures in 2008 vis-a-vis are almost identical to each other (as they are also in OK) and the voter turnout in WV was actually LOWER than in 2004: VT growth rate of -5.43%. Those same states were also absolute no-gos for John Kerry, so the accusations cannot be proven by these statistics. Had there been a shift from 
+12.86% for Bush in 2004 to, say,  +30.00% for McCain in 2008 and 100,000 more voters had shown up, perhaps one could – at a stretch – make a claim that racism powered the results in WV, but this was not the case. Remember, WV just rejected a Southern Democrat in 2000 and a Northeastern „Liberal“ ala Dukakis in 2004, why would it not reject another Northern liberal, regardless of race?



Important details about WV:


Republicans:


-Only 3 Republican 2-term presidents have won WV both times: Grant, McKinley, Bush 43.

-3 Republican 2-term Presidents picked-up WV in their second term: Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan.

-2 1-term Republican Presidents won WV in their first term, but lost it with their re-election: Taft, Hoover.

-3 1-term Republicans lost WV both in their first term and in their re-election defeat the second time around: Harrison (1888, 1892), Bush 41 (1988, 1992).

-only one Republican challenger has taken WV away from a Democratic incumbent but lost the GE: Hughes (1916).

Democrats:


-four 2-or more -term Democratic Presidents won WV every time: Cleveland (1884, 1888, 1892), FDR (all four times), Carter, Clinton.

-Every Democratic President since 1884 up through Clinton won WV in his first term: Cleveland, Wilson, FDR, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Clinton.

-Only one Democratic President has lost WV in his second term: Wilson (1916).

-only 1 Democratic President has not won WV in his first term: Obama.


If Obama loses WV in 2012 (and this is likely) but wins the national election, then he will be the 2-term Democratic President in our history to lose WV both times. If he loses WV in 2012 and also loses re-election, he would also be the only Democratic candidate in our history to lose WV two times in a row. If Obama were to pick-up WV in 2012 and either lose or win the GE, he would be a new statistic all for itself.



Independents:


No independent candidate has won WV, but there have been spurts of large independent activity: James Weaver, first of the „Greenback“ Party in 1880 (
8.00%) and then on the „Peoples“ Populist Party ticket in 1892 (2.44%), Theodore Roosevelt took second place in 1912 with 29.43% of the PV, Taft (R-inc) got 21.11% and Eugene Debs of the Socialist Party was in a distant fourth place with 5.67%. Robert LaFollette of the Progressive Party (called „Farmer-Labor“ in WV) got 6.29% in 1924. Strom Thurmond (States Rights) was NOT on the ballot in WV in 1948, but George Wallace got 9.62% in 1968. John Anderson took 4.30% in 1980 (Carter still won the state). Ross Perot garnered 15.92% in 1992 (under his national percentage), but 11.26% in 1996 (well above his national average). On the whole, no major third party surprises in WV.


Based on its voting record, WV 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, and more recently, it has missed the Electoral College winner 4 times since 1960 and the PV winner 5 times since 1960.
Can WV become a battleground in 2012?


Most likely not. The continuing conservative trends in this state make it very unlikely that it could become a battleground. Perhaps in a 3-way race, but even that does not necessarily favor the Democratic Party in this case.


WV Superlatives
YEAR
Candidate
Winning %
Winning margin
GOP
1864
Lincoln
68.24%
 +36.47%
DEM
1964
Johnson
67.94%
+35.87% 
IND
1912
Roosevelt, T.
29.43%
Highest IND %, no win 
---------------------




All-time "squeaker"
1888
Cleveland
49.35%
+0.32% 


In West Virginia, the Governor, Lt. Governor, both Senators and 1 of 3 US Representatives are Democrats. The other US Representative is a Republican. In the West Virginia Legislature, the Democrats have a hypermajority in both Houses.

Facit: 
in 2007, I wrote: „WV is much less a solid republican state than is commonly thought. Statistically speaking, it is a very swing state. Bill Clinton was popular in this state and Hillary Clinton may profit from this. But Rudy Giuliani, should he be nominated, is moderate enough to attract WV democrats who have swung republican the last 8 years. This state will undoubtedly be a pick-up goal for the DEMS in 2008 and a major retain-goal for the GOP.  It’s 5 EV could be critical in case of a narrow election such as 2000. Expect to see an unusually large amount of advertising flow into this state. For now, this state stays in the solid-to-leaning GOP column, but can become a fiercely competitive battleground state. „
Facit 2011: the facit from 2007 was one of the few of mine that was way, way off. Clinton did not become the nominee and Obama lost the state in a landslide. The state is very obviously trending more and more Republican on the national level, and most of the state and local Democrats who are elected in WV are much more conservative than the rest of their party. The state also has a Democratic majority in voter registration, but again, those voters are by far more conservative than the Democratic Party as a whole and tend to support Republicans on the national level. Former Gov. Joe Manchin (D), now Senator (D) from WV, won a landslide over John Raese (R) in 2010 by campaigning against „Obamacare“. Only in the case of a major Republican meltdown on the ticket or a surprise third party entry into the race could this state become competitive in 2012. Otherwise, it is moving itself into core GOP territory.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Constructive comments and critique are always welcome. Please keep it polite and respectful.