Thursday, August 11, 2016

My Vote Counts, Part 3: True Blue States

Third parties probably won't play a big role in the election this year. Gary Johnson only took 1% of the vote in 2012 and is polling at an average of 9%. Jill Stein only took 0.36% of the vote in 2012 and isn't on the ballot in all 50 states and therefore isn't even included in most polls. Even if you give her the same increase from 2012 voting to current polls that Johnson is showing, she's in the 3-4% range. Even if all the third party voters "steal" votes from a given state's favored candidate and the third parties do better than they're currently polling, they're unlikely to take more than 15% of the vote in a given state. In 10 states and the District of Columbia, the Democrats have won by an average margin of 15% or more in the last 5 elections, so unless Johnson or Stein turns into a 1992 Ross Perot kind of candidate in the next few months, these 149 Electoral Votes are Hillary's.

Here's the format for each state.

State 
Favored Party: This is the party the state is expected to go to. 
Electoral Votes: How many electoral votes the state has. 
Average Margin: This is the average margin of victory for the last five elections (including negative margins for losses, if applicable). I went with 5 elections because it's the number that www.270towin.com lists on each state's history page and I'm not getting paid enough to dig deeper than that. It gives us a metric for seeing how the state has voted over the last 20 years, so it should at least give us some idea of the current trends.
Current Prediction: This is the current margin of victory according to www.fivethirtyeight.com's predictions.  
Flips: Notes on when the state has flipped. Since the parties traded sides on civil rights and some other issues in the 1960s, I'll mostly focus on flips from the 70s on unless there's anything particulary interesting about the state's earlier voting history is especially interesting or easy to summarize. 

Solid Blue States

District of Columbia 
Favored Party: Democrats
Electoral Votes: 3
Average Margin: 80.3%
Current Prediction: Clinton by 73.3%
Flips: None. D.C. has gone to the Democrats every year since its first inclusion in the Electoral College in 1964. 

Hawaii
Favored Party: Democrats
Electoral Votes: 4
Average Margin: 28.1%
Current Prediction: Clinton by 38.1%
Flips: Hawaii's first election as a state 1960, and only 2 Republicans have ever won the state: Nixon in 1972 and Reagan in 1984. 

Rhode Island
Favored Party: Democrats
Electoral Votes: 4
Average Margin: 27.6%
Current Prediction: Clinton by 22.2%
Flips: Rhode Island has been a reliably blue state since 1928, only flipping 4 times: 1952, 1956, 1972, and 1984. 

Massachusetts
Favored Party: Democrats
Electoral Votes: 11
Average Margin: 27%
Current Prediction: Clinton by 24.9%
Flips: Like Rhode Island, Massachusetts became a reliably Democratic state in 1928 but liked Ike in 1952 and 1956. Reagan took the state in 1980 and 1984.  

New York
Favored Party: Democrats
Electoral Votes: 29
Average Margin: 25.6%
Current Prediction: 21.7%
Flips: New York didn't become a reliably blue state until 1932, flipped back to red in 1948, 1952, and 1956, went to Nixon in 1972, and was part of the Reagan Revolution in 1980 and 1984. 

Vermont
Favored Party: Democrats
Electoral Votes: 3
Average Margin: 25%
Current Prediction: Clinton by 25.2%
Flips: With the exception of 1964, Vermont was a solid red state from 1856 to 1988. Since 1992, it's gone to the Democrats every time. 

Maryland
Favored Party: Democrats
Electoral Votes: 10
Average Margin: 19.4%
Current Prediction: Clinton by 31.3%
Flips: Maryland has historically gone mostly to the Democrats with 2-3 election GOP runs breaking up the monotony. In the last 40ish years, it went to Nixon in 1972, Reagan in 1984, and Papa Bush in 1988. 

Connecticut
Favored Party: Democrats
Electoral Votes: 7
Average Margin: 17.1%
Current Prediction: Clinton by 12.9%
Flips: Historically, Connecticut seems to change its collective mind about which party it likes every 20 years or so. From 1972 to 1988, it was a Republican state. Since 1992, it's gone to the Democrats.  
Illinois
Favored Party: Democrats
Electoral Votes: 20
Average Margin: 16.4%
Current Prediction: Clinton by 17.8%
Flips: From 1968 to 1988, Illinois was a Republican state. Since 1992, it's gone to the Democrats every time. 

California 
Favored Party: Democrats
Electoral Votes: 55
Average Margin: 16.3%
Current Prediction: Clinton by 22%
Flips: Like Illinois, California was a red state from 1968 to 1988 and has gone to the Democrats since 1992. 

Delaware
Favored Party: Democrats
Electoral Votes: 3
Average Margin: 15.9%
Current Prediction: Clinton by 15.3%
Flips: Delaware has flipped back and forth a lot over the years. It went to Nixon both times he ran, went to Carter in 1976, voted for Reagan both times and George H.W. Bush in 1988, and has been blue since 92. 
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