28 December 2011

Rank 47 / 5: Alabama

Alabama






Results of the last 8 presidential cycles:






Year
Rank
Winning %
% Margin
Part. Value
Swing“
National Swing
Trend
2008
47 / 05
60.32%
+21.58%
+28.84%
-4.04%
+9.72%
+5.68
2004
45 / 07
62.46%
+25.62%
+23.16%
+10.74%
+2.98%
+7.76
2000
36 / 16
56.47%
+14.88%
+15.40%
+7.91%
+8.00%
+0.10
1996
44 / 08
50.12%
+6.97%
+15.47%
+0.20%
+2.96%
+3.16
1992
43 / 09
47.65%
+6.77%
+12.33%
-12.53%
+13.29%
+0.76
1988
37 / 15
59.17%
+19.30%
+11.57%
-2.96%
-10.49%
+6.53
1984
29 / 23
60.54%
+22.26%
+4.04%
+20.96%
+8.48%
+12.48
1980
11 / 41
48.75%
+1.30%
-8.44%
+14.41%
+11.80%
+2.61

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

Alabama margin average, 1988-2008 (6 cycles): GOP 
+12.64%
Alabama margin average, 1980-2008 (8 cycles): GOP 
+14.84%
AL county-by-county EXCEL spreadsheet
(raw totals, margins, percentages, percentages margins, shifts, county growth by %)

Trend: 
REPUBLICAN



The Partisan Rankings over 44 years


The partisan rankings for Rankings 47 (Alabama) and 50 (Oklahoma) from 2008 backwards in history to 1964 in Table-format (highlighted in yellow and green) are HERE.

Links



Helpful Info Links
Helpful Election Links
AL population 2008: 4,661,900
AL Population Density: 35.5 persons per sq Km.
Electoral Vote Density: 517,989 persons per EV.



AL ELECTORAL DEVELOPMENT
 (electors through history) :  3 (1820), 5 (1824-1828), 7 (1832-1840), 9 (1844-1860), did not vote in 1864, 8 (1868),10 (1872-1888), 11 (1892-1908), 12 (1912-1928), 11 (1932-1960) 10 (1964-1968), and 9 EV (1972-present).





SUMMARY



Alabama is the 5th most conservative state and the 47th most liberal state, with a Republican winning margin of +21.58% and having voted 28.84% more Republican than the national margin in 2008. 

Alabama was the 7th most conservative state and the 45th most liberal state in 2004, with a Republican winning margin of +25.62% and having voted 23.16% more Republican than the national margin in that year.

Alabama was the 16th most conservative state and the 36th most liberal state in 2000, with a Republican winning margin of +14.88% and having voted 15.40% more Republican than the national margin in that year.


From 1904 - 2008, Alabama went for the GOP 
10 times, for the DEMS 15  times, and for an Independent candidate 2 times.

Since 1948, Alabama went for the GOP 
10 timesfor the DEMS 4 times
and for an Independent candidate 2 times.


Since 1960, Alabama went for the GOP 
10 times, for the DEMS 2 times
and for an Independent candidate 1 time. (5:1 ratio)



Alabama, which was formed out of the „Mississippi Territory“ and had once belonged to the state of Georgia, officially became the 22nd state of the Union on December 14, 1819, just 11 days after Illinois had become a state in the North. This was the 2nd of 3 pairings of Northern vs. Southern states that were admitted to the Union very closely in interval to each other in order to maintain the political balance of slave states in the South to the slave-free states in the North.


The first pairing was Indiana and Mississippi (December 1816 and 1817, respectively), then Illinois and Alabama (December 1819), then Maine and Missouri (1820, 1821). Notice that the Northern state was admitted first and then the South responded by moving quickly to have a state carved out of the Mississippi Territory in response. In 1820, four of those paired states (IN, MS, IL, AL) 
had exactly 3 EV apiece. The outlier was Maine, which had belonged to Massachusetts, which had 22 EV in 1816. After the separation from Massachusetts and statehood, ME had 9 EV, MA had 15, making for 24 EV, which shifted the political balance far too far to the North, from the Southern viewpoint. It was this kind of jockeying that led to the „Missouri Compromise“ of 1820 and the admission of MO, but with only 3 EV, to begin with, which then led to so much acrimony in the US Congress that 15 years would go by before the next pairing of states, one Southern, one Northern, would be admitted to the Union (Arkansas, June 1836; Michigan, January 1837).

The 30th largest state in the Union by area , but the 23rd largest by population, Alabama has shown parallel demographic and political growth in its history to the neighboring states of MS, TN, GA and also to SC and AR.

With the introduction of the popular vote as a means for many states to decide their slate of electors in the very contentious election of 1824, in which there were four tickets all with the name „Democratic-Republican“, AL chose Andrew Jackson and for every cycle up to 1860, AL chose the Democratic candidate, so in the time before and including the appearance of the Republican Party on the national stage in 1856, AL had voted „Democratic“ for 9 cycles in a row and was the ONLY state to vote all 9 cycles for the Democrat (MO and AR also have perfect DEM voting records within this time-frame, but they started later, MO in 1826 and AR in 1840):




Year
Democratic Candidate
Winning Percentage
Winning margin
1824
Jackson
69.32%
+29.97%
1828
Jackson
89.89%
+79.80%
1832
Jackson
99.97%
+99.94%
1836
Van Buren
55.34%
+10.68%
1840
Van Buren
54.38%
+8.76%
1844
Polk
58.99%
+17.88%
1848
Cass
50.56%
+1.12%
1852
Pierce
60.89%

+26.77%
1856
Bryan
62.08%
+24.16%



In 1860, as was the case in all of the Deep South, the Northern Democratic party picked up very little of the vote in AL (
15.11%). Southern Democrat John Breckinridge won AL with 54.00% and a +23.12% margin. The GOP was not on the ballot in AL in 1860.


Because of the Civil War, AL did not participate in the election of 1864.


Grant was without a doubt the most popular figure of the post-civil war USA. There were no special promises made to the defeated Southern States and Grant was the highest General in the US military at that time, in charge of the occupation of the South and ensuring that black citizens would be given the rights that the North fought for. In spite of this, Grant acheived a narrow 
+2.50% win in AL, which then grew to a lean +6.38% margin in AL in 1872. Through the „Amnesty Act of 1872“, amnesty was granted to former confederate soldiers, and through this act, Grant won a massive groundswell of new support throughout the South, but it hardly showed in AL. 1872 was the last time a Republican would win AL for 92 years, until Goldwater 1964!


From 1876 through 1944, 18 consecutive cycles, AL chose the Democratic candidate, but it was 22 consecutive cycles in which the GOP did not win, due to Strom Thurmond's third-party win in 1948. This state has the third longest contiguous Democratic voting record in the USA, after GA and AR. Though the margins were almost as sky-high as in states like SC or MS. AL was an incredibly reliable Democratic state. Here a table of all those wins:


Year
Democratic Candidate
Winning Percentage
Winning margin
1876
Tilden
59.98%
+19.17%
1880
Hancock
59.99%
+22.90%
1884
Cleveland
60.37%
+21.67%
1888
Cleveland
67.00%
+34.35%
1892
Cleveland
59.40%
+22.86%
1896
Bryan
66.98%
+38.35%
1900
Bryan
60.82%
+26.00%
1904
Parker
73.35%
+52.70%
1908
Bryan
70.75%
+46.44%
1912
Wilson
69.89%
+50.66%
1916
Wilson
76.04%
+54.12%
1920
Cox
67.31%
+35.94%
1924
Davis
61.81%
+40.79%
1928
Smith
51.33%
+2.84%
1932
FDR
84.74%
+70.61%
1936
FDR
86.38%
+73.56%
1940
FDR
85.22%
+70.88%
1944
FDR
81.28%
+63.08%
1948
Thurmond
79.75%
+60.71%
1952
Stevenson
64.55%
+29.53%
1956
Stevenson
56.54%
+17.14%
1960
Kennedy
56.39%
+14.23%


From the table above and from the stats between 1836-1960, following observations: for the 120 years where the Democratic Party won, it won in double digit margins (26 cycles). The first single-digit Democratic win in AL since the addition of the GOP to the ballot was in 1928. Hoover almost flipped this state in 1928. AL was strongly protestant (Baptist) and virulently anti-catholic at that time and the Democratic candidate for President, Al Smith, was a Catholic.


From 1896-1924, we see an 8-cycle period of blowout 
+25% or more margins. FDR won this state all four times with over 80% of the popular vote. The huge shift toward Thurmond can only be explained in the light of the burgeoning Civil Rights Movement: Thurmond, with only 2.41% of the national popular vote, picked up 4 Southern states (SC, AL, MS and LA), but AL was the only state where Truman and the Democratic Party were not even on the ballot. Interestingly enough, Republican John Dewey did the best in AL out of these four states, with 19.04%. In SC, he only got 3.78%, so it is logical to assume that some Truman Democrats who just couldn't stomach Thurmond chose the lesser of two evils, in their eyes, and picked Dewey.


The downward trend for the Democratic Party is clear to see in the statistics from 1952 through 1960: Stevenson (D) lost 
8.01% on percentage and 12.39% in margin in 1956 over 1952.


Kennedy's statistic from 1960 appears pretty identical to Stevenson's from 1956, but under the surface, enormous tensions were broiling in the „Heart of Dixie“: in reality, AL had a plurality of votes for „unpledged electors“ just as MS did, but recorded them differently. This requires some explaining. In the primaries, 5 of the Democratic electors were loyalists pledged to Kennedy, should the Democrat win the state in the fall. 6 were unpledged electors and those six free electors gave their votes to Henry Byrd (D-WV) for President and Strom Thurmond (D, then „States Rights“, then R) for Vice President. In the actual balloting of 1960, voters got to vote for individual electors instead of a slate of Electors for the candidate of one party. For instance, there were 
324,050 votes (the most votes for any elector) for Gov. Frank M. Dixon, who was one of the 6 unpledged electors assigned based on the primary results in the spring, and Dixon gave his vote accordingly for Byrd and Thurmond. At some point in time, however, AL had to release an official canvass and took a mean value for the votes for the Presidential candidates themselves, where Kennedy either got 324,050 votes (which was the most votes cast for the most popular Democratic Elector), but he also got as little as 318,303 votes (which was the most votes for an elector pledged exclusively to Kennedy). In the canvass, Kennedy officially got the 318,303 votes. Similarly, Nixon got either 230,951 votes (votes for Elector George Witcher) or 237,981 votes (votes for Elector Cecil Durham). In the end, AL recorded Nixon with the 237,981, in other words, AL recorded Kennedy on the low end, Nixon on the high end. Had AL recorded it the other way around, with Kennedy on the high-end and Nixon on the low end, then the official total in AL would have been 561,395 votes including scatter and write-in votes (instead of the 564,478 in the canvass) and Kennedy would have won with 57.72% of the vote instead of the recorded 56.39% and his margin would have been +16.58%. But this is how history has it and I have not seen such a complicated case of GE elector-splitting based on contentious primary results ever before. In fact, due to the murky nature of the voting, Kennedy only won 7 of 67 counties outright: Franklin, Winston, Jefferson, Chilton, Dallas, Montgomery and Houston counties.


In 1964, enraged over the passage of the Civil Rights act, AL swung wildly to extreme right-wing Republican Barry Goldwater, giving him 
69.45% of the PV and a crushing +38.90% margin, still the second largest in GOP history in this state. The Democratic party was not even on the ballot in 1964, for the second time in 16 years. Instead „unpledged electors“ was still on the ballot.


In 1968, the situation looked just as bad for the Democratic party: in a three man-race between former Vice-President Richard Nixon, then current Vice-President Hubert Humphrey and Independent George Wallace, who was the current Governor of Alabama, Wallace tromped with 
65.86% of the vote and an even more crushing +47.13% margin, even larger than Nixon's from four years later. The only consolation for the Democratic party is that it still got more votes in 1968 than the GOP: 18.77% to 13.19%.


However, after four years of Nixon, Alabama rewarded the incumbent with 
72.43% of the PV and a GOP record-setting +46.89% winning margin. In 1972, AL was the 4th most conservative state in the Union, and, with MS, GA and OK (all states from the South), unseated the usual conservative ranking kingpins like UT, ID, WY and NE for the top four rankings in that year!


So, within 24 years, we saw four wild partisan swings in AL: in 1948 (Thurmond Shift 
123.79%), in 1964 (Goldwater Shift +53.13%) in 1968 (Wallace Shift +86.03%) and in 1972 (Nixon). Technically, the partisan shift from Wallace in 1968 to Nixon in 1972 is an astounding 94.02%One more massive shift to go.


In 1976, AL was willing to try a Democrat one last time, namely, a Southern Democrat named Jimmy Carter. Carter picked up the Cotton State with 
55.73% and a +13.11% winning margin, which makes for a partisan shift of 60.00% of the population. It was the first Democratic win in 16 years and the last in AL history to date. It was also the leanest win for a Democrat since 1928 and one of three states in the +13% margin range, alongside SC (Carter +13.04%) and TN (Carter +13.00%). So, yes, Carter recaptured the South in 1976, but with margins that paled in comparison to the period between 1896-1952.


Here again the results of the last 8 cycles, from the beginning of the report:


Year
Rank
Winning %
% Margin
Part. Value
Swing“
National Swing
Trend
2008
47 / 05
60.32%
+21.58%
+28.84%
-4.04%
+9.72%
+5.68
2004
45 / 07
62.46%
+25.62%
+23.16%
+10.74%
+2.98%
+7.76
2000
36 / 16
56.47%
+14.88%
+15.40%
+7.91%
+8.00%
+0.10
1996
44 / 08
50.12%
+6.97%
+15.47%
+0.20%
+2.96%
+3.16
1992
43 / 09
47.65%
+6.77%
+12.33%
-12.53%
+13.29%
+0.76
1988
37 / 15
59.17%
+19.30%
+11.57%
-2.96%
-10.49%
+6.53
1984
29 / 23
60.54%
+22.26%
+4.04%
+20.96%
+8.48%
+12.48
1980
11 / 41
48.75%
+1.30%
-8.44%
+14.41%
+11.80%
+2.61

With a +14.41% swing, Ronald Reagan flipped the Yellowhammer State for the GOP and since then, AL has not looked back. It gave Reagan a squeaker +1.30% margin in 1980, the smallest win in the state's history (similar to Obama's +1.03% margin in IN in 2008), but in 1984, AL rewarded the incumbent with a rich +22.26% margin and 60.54% of the PV.


Looking at the last six cycles, we note that both Southern Democrats, Bill Clinton and Al Gore, were unable to pick-up this state in either 1992, 1996 or 2000, though their losing percentages (
40.88%43.16%41.59% respectively) are still better than those of Kerry or Obama.


George W. Bush, Jr.'s 2004 re-election win is the best statistic for the GOP since 1972 and the third highest GOP landslide of the 10 GOP wins.


Though McCain's win in AL in 2008 looks slightly less impressive, the Partisan Values from 1980 onward tell a different story: the state has been progressively voting more Republican over the national margin in every election since 1980. Yes, it backslide by 
0.07% in 2000, but that is statistically insignificant in a state with massive landslide winning margins. So, the state may have swung 4.04% away from McCain in 2008, but it's Partisan Value (also Trend, the values are always identical) was +5.68% FOR the GOP.

The geography of the GOP win in 2008 in AL is interesting:



Source. The color coding is reversed: the red counties are the Democratic counties, the blue counties are the Republican counties from the 2008 GE.

Here is a county map of Alabama, population by race. The darker the shading, the more black Americans live there:


Source. See a correspondence? The swath of counties where Obama won in AL are all the counties with black majority populations. Correspondingly, generally - the lighter the county, the richer the McCain win from 2008. It is not supposed to be about race, but there is no doubt that in AL, voting patterns are strongly based on race.


Here is a table comparing the MARGINS of the states within the deep South from 1856 to the present. Notice the time frame from 1896 through 1944:


Voting Record – the DEEP SOUTH


Year
AL - Margin
GA - Margin
AL - Margin
MS -Margin
LA -Margin
AR-Margin
TX-Margin
FL -Margin
2008
8.98%
5.20%
21.58%
13.17%
18.63%
19.85%
11.76%
2.81%
2004
17.08%
16.60%
25.62%
19.69%
14.51%
9.76%
22.86%
5.01%
2000
15.93%
11.69%
14.88%
16.91%
7.68%
5.44%
21.32%
0.01%
1996
6.04%
1.17%
6.97%
5.13%
12.07%
16.94%
4.93%
5.70%
1992
8.15%
0.59%
6.77%
8.92%
4.61%
17.72%
3.48%
1.89%
1988
23.92%
20.25%
19.30%
20.82%
10.21%
14.18%
12.60%
22.36%
1984
27.99%
20.39%
22.26%
24.39%
22.60%
22.18%
27.50%
30.66%
1980
1.53%
14.81%
1.30%
1.32%
5.45%
0.61%
13.86%
17.02%
1976
13.04%
33.78%
13.11%
1.88%
5.78%
30.01%
3.17%
5.28%
1972
42.66%
50.39%
46.89%
58.57%
36.97%
38.11%
32.96%
44.12%
1968
5.79%
12.43%
47.13%
40.44%
20.11%
7.64%
1.27%
9.60%
1964
17.79%
8.25%
38.90%
74.28%
13.63%
12.66%
26.82%
2.30%
1960
2.48%
25.11%
14.23%
2.64%
21.83%
7.13%
2.00%
3.03%
1956
15.92%
33.83%
17.14%
33.78%
13.78%
6.64%
11.28%
14.54%
1952
1.44%
39.32%
29.53%
20.87%
5.84%
12.14%
6.44%
10.02%
1948
47.82%
40.50%
60.71%
77.09%
16.32%
40.71%
41.68%
15.18%
1944
80.10%
63.49%
63.08%
87.12%
61.20%
40.11%
54.78%
40.65%
1940
91.26%
70.02%
70.88%
91.51%
71.80%
58.03%
62.01%
48.03%
1936
97.15%
74.50%
73.56%
94.31%
77.66%
63.94%
74.76%
52.20%
1932
96.13%
83.83%
70.61%
92.44%
85.77%
73.06%
76.72%
49.64%
1928
82.85%
13.19%
2.84%
64.20%
52.58%
20.96%
3.67%
16.72%
1924
94.35%
55.77%
40.79%
81.79%
56.21%
31.93%
53.93%
28.81%
1920
92.14%
44.57%
35.94%
69.95%
38.75%
19.76%
35.80%
31.34%
1916
94.28%
66.63%
54.12%
87.87%
78.95%
37.23%
59.47%
51.25%
1912
93.37%
58.53%
50.66%
83.39%
65.10%
34.55%
63.17%
60.07%
1908
87.89%
23.39%
46.44%
83.59%
72.70%
20.02%
51.62%
41.43%
1904
90.73%
45.40%
52.70%
85.49%
78.84%
15.10%
49.55%
46.85%
1900
85.91%
38.65%
26.00%
77.89%
58.07%
28.42%
32.28%
52.76%
1896
71.79%
21.23%
38.35%
84.11%
54.57%
48.61%
37.25%
46.16%
1892
58.63%
36.32%
22.86%
56.95%
53.06%
27.52%
33.04%
71.35%
1888
65.11%
41.97%
34.35%
47.81%
46.92%
16.75%
40.97%
19.59%
1884
51.84%
32.08%
21.67%
28.68%
14.85%
17.12%
40.63%
6.23%
1880
31.38%
30.81%
22.90%
34.94%
24.96%
17.47%
40.76%
8.35%
1876
0.49%
44.07%
19.97%
36.15%
3.30%
20.05%
40.09%
1.97%
1872
51.95%
9.94%
6.38%
26.95%
11.37%
4.35%
16.36%
7.04%
1868
15.87%
28.53%
2.50%
N/A
41.38%
7.37%
N/A
N/A
1864
Civil War
Civil War
Civil War
Civil War
Civil War
Civil War
Civil War
Civil War
1860
N/A
8.64%
23.12%
22.76%
4.90%
16.01%
50.98%
26.13%
1856
N/A
14.28%
24.16%
18.89%
3.39%
34.24%
33.18%
13.63%



The color-coding in the „year“ column shows which party won the White House.
Every margin of +80% or more is in bold.


The differences in color for the margins themselves (this time without a „+“ symbol in front of every percentage) show clearly when a state was picked-up, but all the pick-ups from 1948 (Strom Thurmond) onward to 2008 are higlighted in their respective colors.




Important details about AL:




Republicans:


-No Republican between Grant (1872) and Goldwater (1964) won AL, or 92 years,

-Since 1964, every Republican candidate other than Gerald Ford (1976) has won AL, and in the case of 2-term Republicans since Reagan, both times.

Democrats:


-Every Democratic President from 1824-1944 won AL (120 years), and every time: Jackson, Van Buren, Polk, Pierce, Buchanan, Cleveland, Wilson, FDR.

-Since 1948, two Democratic Presidents have won AL: Kennedy and Carter.

-Every Democratic candidate who lost the GE between 1880-1956 won AL: Hancock (1880), Cleveland (1888), Bryan (1892, 1896, 1908), Parker (1904), Cox (1920), Davis (1924), Smith (1928), Stevenson (1952, 1956)

-Only two Democratic incumbents in AL's electoral histoy have lost AL in their election or re-election bid: Truman and Carter


-Only one Democratic 2-term President in history has lost AL both times: Clinton


-Were President Obama to lose AL in 2012, then he will join Bill Clinton in the statistic above. Should he pick-up AL in 2012, then he would be a brand new statistic for this state.

Independents:


-Two independent candidates have won AL:
 Strom Thurmond (1948), „favorite son“ George Wallace (1968)


-The unpledged elector activity of 1960 and 1964 was already mentioned above.



Based on its voting record, AL is not bellwether state, having missed the Electoral College winner in 12 of the last 27 cycles and having missed the PV winner in 13 of the last 27 cycles, and more recently, it has missed the Electoral College winner 5 times since 1960 and the PV winner 6 times since 1960.


Can AL become a battleground in 2012?



No. Even in the case of a massive Democratic landslide, which is unlikely, a "flip" in AL is highly improbably. AL has become very much like the DE of the Republicans.



AL Superlatives
YEAR
Candidate
Winning %
Winning margin
GOP
1972
Nixon
72.43%
+46.98%
DEM
1936
FDR
86.38%
+73.56%
IND
1948
Thurmond
79.75%
+47.13%
---------------------




All-time "squeaker"
1980
Reagan
48.75%
+1.30%




In Alabama, the Governor, Lt. Governor, both Senators and 6 of 7 US Representatives are Republicans. The other 1 US Representative is a Democrat. In the 
Alabama Legislature, the Republicans have a hypermajority in both Houses..

Facit:
 in 2007, I wrote: „ Alabama is one of the safer of the republican “firewall”-states but a charismatic southern democrat or southern independent could sway this state in the future. . „

Facit 2011: the assessment from 2007 could still happen, at least in the case of a Southern Independent. But the state has moved the deepest of all the Southern states into core GOP territory. For 5 of the last 6 cycles, AL has had a higher conservative partisan ranking than Kansas! AL is „firewall“-GOP for 2012.

No comments:

Post a Comment

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