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CTLawGuy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-04-03 02:39 AM
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Which are the Dem states and which are the Republican states?
I did a quasi-scientific analysis of election data last night. My goal was to figure out which states tend to turn out relatively more democratic voters vs. republican voters than other states. What I did was I gathered the margins of victory from the last four presidential elections, 2000, 96, 92, 88, for each state. If the dem won I gave the margin a positive percentage; if the Republican won I gave it a negative percentage.

Then for each election year i added up all the margins of victory to get the net margin of victory, divided it by 51 (states) and got a resulting percentage. this i took to be the national trend. In 2000 the national trend, according to my calculation, was -4%, meaning that on average, each state turned out an average of 4% more republican voters vs. dem voters than normal. In 1996, clinton's reelection, the trend was +7%, meaning there were 7% more democratic voters vs. repub than normal on average. in 92 it was +4% and in 88 it was -9% (Dukakis wasn't that popular overall)

For each election year I subtracted the corresponding national trend from each state. I did this to get rid of national factors that may have influenced turnout. For example, in 1988, Maryland, typically a Democratic state, saw dukakis lose to bush 51-48. The margin of victory was -3%. that means that maryland is republican right? No, becuase accounting for the fact that Dukakis wasnt popular overall, you subtract -9% from -3% and get +6%, meaning Maryland turned out more democratic vs. republican voters relative to other states. Even though dukakis lost in this dem state, it's still more democratic than other states. Makes more sense.

After doing this for all elections and states I averaged the scores for each state over the 4 elections and got an average adjusted margin of victory, which is supposed to tell you that, all else being equal, this state will turn out X % more democratic voters than republican voters. Its hardly a perfect analysis but I found it interesting.

Here are the states in each category plus their scores.

Safe Dem (score is +20% or higher: We can count on these states no matter what)

DC +74.75%
MA +22.25%
RI +23.5%

Solid Dem (Score is +10% to +19.75%: These states are pretty much ours except maybe in a disaster, such as a McGovern or Dukakis)

CT +10.25%
HI +16.25%
IL +10.25%
MD +11.5%
NY +18.75%
VT +11.75%

Normally Dem (Score is +6% to +9.75%: These states will probably end up in our column unless Bush spends a ton of money or time in any of them)

CA +9.0%
DE +6.5%
IA +7.25%
MN +9.25%
NJ +6.5%
OR +6.0%
WA +8.25%
WV +6.5%

Lean Dem (Score is +3.25% to +5.75%: We have an advantage in these states but we must spend quality campaign time in them)

AR +4.5% (this may be biased becuase of state factors due to AR being Clinton's home state)
ME +4.5%
MI + 5.25%
NM +3.5%
PA +5.5%
WI +5.25%

Toss Up (Score is -3% to +3%: These states could go either way and will get a lot of attention)

LA +0.25% (!)
MO +3.0%
OH -1.25%
TN -2.75% (May be biased due to it being Al Gore's home state)

Lean Repub (Score is -3.25 to -5.75%: With a good candidate we could win a couple of these states)

CO -3.25%
FL -4.25%
KY -5.25%
NV -3.25%
NH -3.5%

Normally Repub (-6.0% to -9.75%: We can make Bush nervous by spending a lot of time in these states, but Bush will probably get them)

AZ -6.0%
GA -7.5%
MT -7.25%
NC -8.25%
SD -8.5%
VA -8.25%

Solid Repub (-10% to -19.75%: The only chance we have in these states is if Bush is caught screwing an intern in the oval office)

AL -13.0%
AK -19.5%
IN -11.25%
KS -13.75%
MS -12.5%
NE -19.25%
ND -14.75%
OK -13.5%
SC -13.0%
TX -10.25% (may be biased because of Bush, what could that mean considering its score is high?)

Safe Repub (-20% or lower: No chance in any of these states)

ID -23.75%
UT -28.0%
WY -20.0%

Like I said its not perfect, but what do you think about it?
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JailBush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-04-03 02:48 AM
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1. Wow, thanks!
I started a thread about Red/Blue states just a few hours ago, then discovered USA Today's famous Campaign 2000 map. I'm a little leery of using it alone on my website, because it's a bit simplistic. Then I discovered the county map, which is nicer but not of the best quality.

I'm now thinking of using your data to make a new map, using different shades of blue and red. I might even have it done tonight!
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izzie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-04-03 06:22 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. You know the red and blue map done on % was better.
If you could find that one I think it would help and I would like to see it once more. It may have been the county one but I am not sure. We give many states a red when it was like 50.1 percent Gop. Yes I know winner takes all in the college but this really is a better picture of the country.It would be nice if you could get it in the heads of some Righ Wings that land mass does not mean you get the most votes.Some people did not seem to understand that at all.
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Awsi Dooger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-04-03 03:26 AM
Response to Original message
2. Here's my breakdown, from an old Politics & Campaigns post:

I looked at the margins from each of the last 4 presidential elections, '88 to '00, and how they differed from the national average. It can be a useful reference to the trends of each state.
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Don_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-04-03 06:39 AM
Response to Original message
4. Here's A County-By-County Contribution Map
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Lexingtonian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-04-03 07:17 AM
Response to Original message
5. States do change over time
Your analysis comes up right, but for making predictions it lacks information about trends- rate of change, and in which direction.

We've had a national trend of nearly +3% Democratic voting per four years since 1992, with 1988 something of an aberration at 46% (about 6% that we lost, conservatives). Some states will run above that trend, others below it, and strong opponents or weak overall Party appearance suppresses things in individual elections by amounts in the single percentage point range. Gore, for example, probably lost about a half percentage point or up to one to Nader.

Some states run over trend- I think Arizona and Nevada are the likeliest ones to get to the 48.5% Democratic vote above which we should win. Others may or may not- Ohio is looking like a toss up, New Hampshire and West Virginia are murky. Some states are looking better for us, though- Oregon, Washington, Maine, Michigan, and New Mexico are looking much safer than in '00.

Some states are running counter to trend, stalling, or far behind it. I wouldn't put money on Colorado, Virginia, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana, or Arkansas voting Democratic at this point. On our side, Iowa and Wisconsin are looking dicey- though they may have maxed out for Republicans in '02. Minnesota is still trending Republican- but not enough so, to my reading, to tip it Republican in '04. They should all have clearly turned around by '08.

I like to think Pennsylvania is also creeping Democratic, but while eastern PA is looking that way it seems western PA is stalling or even counteracting that at the moment. In any case, it's proving a difficult state to read and could well be driven one way or the other by something like the steel tariff business.

Florida. The Party is just painfully dysfunctional there, desperately in need of renewal and rebuilding. Elections are won locally, and the few won statewide are won despite the state party and its very limited competence and seeming utter obsolescence outside several of the urban counties. Bush has just poured money and effort into the place to counteract all the protest voting that brought it within reach for Democrats in 2000. It's a very messy problem electorate to solve for the Democratic nominee, though it is possible. (It probably would be easier for him to snag Ohio and at least one other state- Missouri, New Hampshire, Nevada, or West Virginia- for about the same money and same/more EVs.)

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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-04-03 08:19 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. Great analysis.
Mainly because I agree with it. I've been thinking along the same lines and have come to much the same conclusions. I believe that our candidate should focus on the states that he can win and not waste money and time on the states where there is little or no chance. As I see it, the '04 election is going to be decided in the midwest - Ohio, Mn, Mi, Pa. He'll need to fortify the base in the west and the east and cherry pick the rest.

Moving to the right to try and pick up southern and rocky mountain votes is a losing strategy. Ask president Gore it.
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phillybri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-04-03 08:14 AM
Response to Original message
6. Great post....
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CTLawGuy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-03 05:12 PM
Response to Original message
8. note
I should probably say that I went to this website to get election data. its a great site!

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