Category Archives: On Living Here Now

On Voting 13: State Alignment Data

How red and blue are the states?

Here’s some data comparing overall voting 64 years apart. The “PART” column is the voting participation from the best turnout of the prior current House, and Presidential elections as well as the two Senate elections.

Total 1952 Federal
Dem Rep Total 1950 Population Part
Alabama 910,296 203,245 1,153,833 3,061,743 13.92%
Alaska 14,219 10,893 25,112 128,643 19.52%
Arizona 477,979 473,483 951,463 749,587 34.76%
Arkansas 1,054,225 229,044 1,285,810 1,909,511 21.20%
California 5,730,604 11,446,133 17,934,264 10,586,223 48.57%
Colorado 1,066,530 1,119,969 2,196,956 1,325,089 47.55%
Connecticut 1,924,618 2,180,841 4,145,874 2,007,280 54.65%
Delaware 314,618 339,610 656,107 318,085 54.71%
Florida 1,231,106 1,426,511 2,659,156 2,771,305 35.70%
Georgia 1,627,302 198,979 1,826,861 3,444,578 19.04%
Hawaii 58,445 67,748 126,193 499,794 25.25%
Idaho 386,678 565,993 956,434 588,637 46.93%
Illinois 7,823,932 8,498,060 16,357,399 8,712,176 51.43%
Indiana 3,284,482 4,094,756 7,435,730 3,934,224 49.70%
Iowa 1,792,268 2,457,607 4,270,864 2,621,073 48.41%
Kansas 1,184,926 1,835,255 3,055,551 1,905,299 47.04%
Kentucky 1,733,654 1,611,975 3,355,536 2,944,806 33.73%
Louisiana 1,276,291 374,017 1,651,317 2,683,516 24.29%
Maine 342,253 687,467 1,046,331 913,774 38.50%
Maryland 1,490,022 1,711,651 3,215,129 2,343,001 38.50%
Massachusetts 4,314,361 4,741,789 9,187,885 4,690,514 50.81%
Michigan 4,924,980 5,478,218 10,453,759 6,371,766 44.28%
Minnesota 2,566,736 2,784,076 5,375,340 2,982,483 46.54%
Mississippi 792,691 118,990 911,681 2,178,914 13.10%
Missouri 3,595,282 3,300,758 6,901,011 3,954,653 47.84%
Montana 475,397 523,508 1,004,403 591,024 44.84%
Nebraska 735,886 1,484,581 2,239,596 1,325,510 46.00%
Nevada 146,613 159,024 305,637 160,083 51.34%
New Hampshire 366,015 564,579 943,075 533,242 51.19%
New Jersey 3,889,417 4,913,519 8,923,245 4,835,329 50.04%
New Mexico 457,950 441,861 900,588 681,187 35.19%
New York 10,725,908 13,792,747 26,491,948 14,830,192 48.07%
North Carolina 2,333,425 1,309,081 3,645,996 4,061,929 29.81%
North Dakota 242,377 657,046 925,934 619,636 43.59%
Ohio 5,849,266 7,461,349 13,385,436 7,946,627 46.57%
Oklahoma 1,764,259 1,452,297 3,222,428 2,233,351 42.49%
Oregon 844,377 1,504,969 2,363,176 1,521,341 45.69%
Pennsylvania 8,160,138 8,930,390 17,166,507 10,498,012 43.63%
Rhode Island 839,040 713,875 1,553,185 791,896 52.34%
South Carolina 637,640 20,378 816,403 2,117,027 16.11%
South Dakota 370,205 705,748 1,075,953 652,740 45.08%
Tennesee 1,794,925 970,339 2,827,385 3,291,718 27.12%
Texas 5,264,683 1,474,651 6,752,087 7,711,194 26.92%
Utah 551,142 695,893 1,247,850 688,862 47.84%
Vermont 148,780 400,537 549,822 377,747 40.78%
Virginia 1,219,457 606,187 1,996,223 3,318,680 18.67%
Washington 1,926,790 1,976,649 3,922,705 2,378,963 46.35%
West Virginia 1,848,126 1,558,485 3,388,611 2,005,552 43.71%
Wisconsin 2,471,637 3,411,061 5,896,925 3,434,575 46.80%
Wyoming 219,137 267,911 487,548 290,529 44.78%
Total 103,201,088 111,953,733 219,168,262 150,523,620 40.89%
47.088% 51.081%
Total 2016 Federal
Dem Rep Total 1950 Population Part
Alabama 2,100,167 4,670,983 6,918,591 4,779,736 44.42%
Alaska 393,104 592,069 1,220,647 710,231 44.86%
Arizona 4,263,641 4,980,503 9,759,381 6,392,017 40.26%
Arkansas 1,226,617 2,586,090 4,154,239 2,915,918 38.77%
California 32,785,603 13,879,730 52,400,300 37,253,956 38.07%
Colorado 4,917,574 4,690,311 10,265,745 5,029,196 55.28%
Connecticut 3,689,408 2,398,539 6,328,143 3,574,097 46.02%
Delaware 865,227 571,951 1,495,852 897,934 49.18%
Florida 17,135,564 17,644,974 35,749,231 18,801,310 50.10%
Georgia 6,136,937 7,855,458 14,329,680 9,687,653 42.24%
Hawaii 1,406,076 566,126 2,042,629 1,360,301 31.65%
Idaho 738,580 1,591,212 2,487,962 1,567,582 44.03%
Illinois 10,843,842 8,266,665 19,873,588 12,830,632 43.15%
Indiana 4,526,155 5,557,887 10,685,973 6,483,802 42.18%
Iowa 2,371,468 3,128,718 5,752,322 3,046,355 51.41%
Kansas 1,124,380 2,557,984 4,402,251 2,853,118 41.51%
Kentucky 2,543,702 4,348,075 7,028,858 4,339,367 44.34%
Louisiana 2,892,477 4,445,749 7,462,928 4,533,372 60.56%
Maine 1,027,506 1,321,934 2,797,108 1,328,361 56.30%
Maryland 6,448,063 3,571,105 10,848,576 5,773,552 48.18%
Massachusetts 7,326,004 3,792,012 11,507,259 6,547,629 50.78%
Michigan 8,903,581 7,580,530 17,244,882 9,883,640 48.56%
Minnesota 5,710,106 4,375,838 10,629,980 5,303,925 55.52%
Mississippi 1,677,933 2,469,631 4,265,056 2,967,297 41.84%
Missouri 4,906,699 5,639,652 11,087,118 5,988,927 46.90%
Montana 767,935 996,358 1,860,870 989,415 51.33%
Nebraska 1,008,669 1,856,747 2,961,402 1,826,341 46.23%
Nevada 2,015,447 1,962,897 4,309,981 2,700,551 41.67%
New Hampshire 1,290,810 1,250,770 2,687,301 1,316,470 56.53%
New Jersey 6,999,547 5,264,266 12,581,560 8,791,894 44.06%
New Mexico 1,504,292 1,243,146 2,869,742 2,059,179 38.77%
New York 18,643,155 8,848,350 28,845,622 19,378,102 39.85%
North Carolina 7,837,793 8,628,592 16,946,436 9,535,483 49.73%
North Dakota 393,414 877,844 1,346,171 672,591 51.20%
Ohio 9,308,366 11,391,334 21,538,139 11,536,504 47.64%
Oklahoma 1,553,738 3,826,887 5,675,906 3,751,351 43.76%
Oregon 3,948,613 2,703,250 7,327,297 3,831,074 52.24%
Pennsylvania 11,437,974 11,528,143 23,540,727 12,702,379 48.14%
Rhode Island 1,010,876 560,773 1,630,750 1,052,567 44.10%
South Carolina 3,319,027 5,004,519 8,643,743 4,625,364 53.60%
South Dakota 436,864 871,141 1,389,134 814,180 45.46%
Tennesee 2,828,606 5,373,195 8,594,630 6,346,105 39.52%
Texas 11,830,717 16,864,320 30,010,932 25,145,561 35.67%
Utah 1,270,696 2,643,715 4,368,083 2,763,885 40.94%
Vermont 635,230 271,904 1,216,972 625,741 50.35%
Virginia 6,924,633 6,453,935 13,750,989 8,001,024 49.78%
Washington 7,248,335 5,169,899 12,829,484 6,724,540 50.05%
West Virginia 969,501 1,456,995 2,513,291 1,852,994 38.48%
Wisconsin 5,689,971 5,535,160 11,702,396 5,686,986 52.92%
Wyoming 213,835 637,399 920,877 563,626 45.39%
Total 245,048,458 230,305,265 500,800,734 308,143,815 44.24%
48.931% 45.987%
Leaning
1952 2016
Alabama D R
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas D R
California R D
Colorado
Connecticut D
Delaware D
Florida
Georgia D R
Hawaii D
Idaho R
Illinois D
Indiana R
Iowa R
Kansas R R
Kentucky R
Louisiana D R
Maine R
Maryland D
Massachusetts D
Michigan
Minnesota D
Mississippi D R
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska R R
Nevada
New Hampshire R
New Jersey R D
New Mexico D
New York D
North Carolina D
North Dakota R
Ohio R
Oklahoma R
Oregon R D
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island D
South Carolina D R
South Dakota R R
Tennesee R
Texas R
Utah R R
Vermont R
Virginia
Washington D
West Virginia D
Wisconsin R
Wyoming R

Part 1 of the series is where all this begins

On Voting 12: Federal Elections Discussed As A Whole

National Elections on the Whole

One of the most intriguing approaches to analyzing the voting results of the past seventy years is a tabulation of all the votes cast to place a particular set of people in place across all federal elected offices. So, I took the total votes cast for each party’s presidential candidate and added the votes cast for each party’s Congressional candidates. I did the math for every two years.

For example, in 1970, I counted the votes cast in 1968 for the presidential candidates. I then added the votes cast for each party’s candidates in the 1970 House elections. Lastly, I added the votes cast for Senate candidates in 1966, 1968 and 1970. After all, they all held their seats during the 1970/71 term.

Election Democrat Republican Total Popular Vote
President, 1968 31,271,839 31,783,783 73,199,998
House, 1970 29,080,212 24,352,657 54,258,885
Senate, 1966 12,358,323 13,169,332 25,798,900
Senate, 1968 24,976,660 23,588,832 50,691,952
Senate, 1970 25,402,791 19,326,064 48,478,460
Totals 123,089,825 112,220,668 252,428,195

 

Votes were cast for Democrats 48.76% of the time while Republican candidates received 44.46% of the votes. Neither party actually received a majority of the votes cast.

Futility

Of the 37 governments seated from 1944 to 2016, neither party has obtained an outright majority of the votes 24 times. The other 13 times, the Republicans obtained the majority three times (1952-1956). People liked Ike a lot more than they liked Adlai. Democrat success tied to young, well-presented candidates (Kennedy, Kennedy’s assassination and Obama) or temporary collapse of their opponents (Watergate). The best performance by either party over the time considered occurred in 1964 when the Democrats claimed 56.69% of all relevant votes to 42.56% for Republicans. Four years later, they both dropped below 50% once again.

Regarding recent times, the Democrats managed the last majority in 2008 with 52.49% to 44.14% for the GOP. Put in practical terms, out of 536 elected offices (1 President, 100 Senators, 435 Congressmen), the Democrats deserved to fill 281 of them while the Republicans earned 237 seats. In 2006, the Democrats broke through to a majority of one with 269 seats to 250 for the Republicans. You then have to go back to 1978 to find either party having received enough votes to earn a majority of elected representation.

Currently, the parties have hit 49.75% for the Democrats and 45.84% for the Republicans. Other seats should probably be rounded out by 3 independent candidates, 8 Libertarians and 2 Greens. That would make for some interesting efforts at finding common ground.

So?

Political commentators are prone to making wholesale generalizations which attempt to explain results retrospectively. For example, a common trope that arises when the results support it is that voters prefer different parties to control the federal legislative and executive branches. Like most after the fact analysis, it assigns intent where such cannot be found. For one thing, I suspect most voters do not enter the booth with a wholesale strategy that they have been managing for years. Voting against candidates seems like the one tactic pursued by voters followed closely by choosing people whose names sound familiar.

If nothing else, the inability of either party to dominate voting at the federal level suggests that voters continue to break down the middle even as voting numbers have dramatically increased and generations have passed. Moreover, even as dominance by one party wanes in a region, it apparently rises in another. Otherwise, the numbers would not remain even across the board.

Some might argue that the numbers suggest a need for a third party. The Libertarians look like the most successful currently. I find the idea appealing, but the challenge is seeing how that actually changes matters significantly. Mostly, I want to see the stranglehold of the two main parties broken. Perhaps that is also the true message of their inability to maintain real dominance. We require alternatives to extended power reigns.

Heading to the finish

In a couple days, I will post some concluding thoughts. Before then, I will share my last bit of data regarding the shifting party allegiance within certain states. Has the South really gone from blue to red? Spoiler- yes.

Part 1 of the series is where all this begins

On Voting 11: Federal Elections Data As A Whole

Overall Popular Vote

Here we have the voting numbers that led to the occupants of the House, Senate and Presidency every two years when those office are refreshed.

Year Dem PV Rep PV Tot PV Dem % Rep % Tot Seats Dem Diff Rep Diff
1944 92,628,988 85,894,737 183,109,109 50.59% 46.91% 532 3 (16)
1946 76,393,303 78,213,637 158,389,503 48.23% 49.38% 532 (9) (3)
1948 90,107,319 83,660,454 179,944,471 50.08% 46.49% 532 0 (19)
1950 83,588,570 82,539,455 171,702,019 48.68% 48.07% 532 (7) (10)
1952 104,094,827 111,539,502 219,204,912 47.49% 50.88% 532 (13) 5
1954 96,470,174 102,340,243 202,084,384 47.74% 50.64% 532 (12) 3
1956 109,720,703 117,607,551 230,094,948 47.68% 51.11% 532 (12) 6
1958 105,855,067 101,780,041 209,613,317 50.50% 48.56% 536 3 (8)
1960 130,713,520 115,183,563 247,939,817 52.72% 46.46% 538 15 (19)
1962 121,081,386 109,589,771 232,544,235 52.07% 47.13% 536 11 (15)
1964 150,367,884 112,887,367 265,222,792 56.69% 42.56% 536 36 (40)
1966 133,469,133 108,766,413 244,383,471 54.61% 44.51% 536 25 (29)
1968 132,038,946 123,255,655 269,515,079 48.99% 45.73% 536 (5) (23)
1970 123,089,825 112,220,668 252,428,195 48.76% 44.46% 536 (7) (30)
1972 133,823,592 143,024,473 285,911,942 46.81% 50.02% 536 (17) 0
1974 124,374,438 123,733,102 257,155,434 48.37% 48.12% 536 (9) (10)
1976 153,841,625 131,058,596 293,584,245 52.40% 44.64% 536 13 (29)
1978 138,846,792 117,841,670 264,486,543 52.50% 44.55% 536 13 (29)
1980 151,680,453 145,905,604 311,413,170 48.71% 46.85% 536 (7) (17)
1982 143,726,104 134,137,786 289,836,085 49.59% 46.28% 536 (2) (20)
1984 162,229,238 165,050,970 332,456,796 48.80% 49.65% 536 (6) (2)
1986 145,350,671 149,378,290 298,935,430 48.62% 49.97% 536 (7) (0)
1988 167,918,072 163,223,279 335,634,920 50.03% 48.63% 536 0 (7)
1990 151,665,145 147,254,447 305,012,158 49.72% 48.28% 536 (1) (9)
1992 181,345,401 161,918,460 374,676,128 48.40% 43.22% 536 (9) (36)
1994 154,398,197 152,138,193 337,852,697 45.70% 45.03% 536 (23) (27)
1996 174,370,440 166,826,147 363,423,006 47.98% 45.90% 536 (11) (22)
1998 154,385,775 149,606,790 323,307,117 47.75% 46.27% 536 (12) (20)
2000 184,078,394 184,275,719 385,532,383 47.75% 47.80% 536 (12) (12)
2002 166,757,910 171,030,685 354,124,492 47.09% 48.30% 536 (16) (9)
2004 212,490,172 215,270,939 443,465,942 47.92% 48.54% 536 (11) (8)
2006 197,423,014 183,882,632 393,896,540 50.12% 46.68% 536 1 (18)
2008 245,485,743 206,419,377 467,698,891 52.49% 44.14% 536 13 (31)
2010 203,584,210 191,757,469 409,991,345 49.66% 46.77% 536 (2) (17)
2012 238,320,813 219,836,512 476,046,174 50.06% 46.18% 536 0 (20)
2014 201,515,436 197,440,363 414,566,226 48.61% 47.63% 536 (7) (13)
2016 249,991,303 230,306,303 502,453,858 49.75% 45.84% 536 (1) (22)

Part 1 of the series is where all this begins