Thursday, August 25, 2016

My Vote Counts, Part 4: Really Red States



A couple weeks ago, I went through the states that are extremely unlikely to go Red this year without some kind of major Democratic Party defection. I was planning to go through the states that are almost certainly going to the GOP last week, but didn't get around to it because I was working on my new book of movie reviews (which you can buy here!), so I'm doing it now. Below I'll go through the states that have gone red by an average margin of 15% or more in the last 5 elections.

Once again, here's the format:
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 (as of August 11)
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.

Utah
Favored Party: Republicans
Electoral Votes: 6
Average Margin: 36.82%
Current Prediction: Trump's not polling well in Mormonland. He's only polling 7% higher than Clinton (45.8 to 38.8). Gary Johnson polling at 13.5%
Flips: Utah's gone Blue 8 times since became a state in 1896: 1896, 1916, 1932, 1936, 1940, 1944, 1948, and 1964. Since 1968, it's gone to the GOP every election.

Wyoming
Favored Party: Republicans
Electoral Votes: 3
Average Margin: 33.2%
Current Prediction: Trump's up 24.7%
Flips: Wyoming's been a state since 1890, and like Utah it's only gone to the Democrats 8 times: 1896, 1912, 1916, 1932, 1936, 1940, 1948, and 1964. 

Idaho
Favored Party: Republicans
Electoral Votes: 4
Average Margin: 33.22%
Current Prediction: Republicans by 18.4%
Flips: Idaho went to the People's Party in its first election as a state (1892), and went to the Democrats in the next two elections. After that, it followed a pattern similar to Utah and Wyoming, going blue in 1912, 1916, every election from 1932-1948, and 1964. 

Oklahoma
Favored Party: Republicans
Electoral Votes: 7
Average Margin: 25.16%
Current Prediction: Trump by 21.3%
Flips: Oklahoma mostly voted for the Democrats up until 1948. Since then, it's gone to the GOP every election except for 1964. 

Nebraska 
Favored Party: Republicans
Electoral Votes: 5
Average Margin: 23.52%
Current Prediction: Trump 12.4%
Flips: Nebraska became a state in 1867 and has gone to the Republicans in all but 7 elections: 1896, 1908, 1912, 1916, 1932, 1936, and the ever-popular 1964. Since 1992, Nebraska has had the possibility of a  split Electoral Vote: the overall winner gets 2 votes and 1 vote goes to the winner of each of the state's 3 Congressional Districts. The only time the vote has actually split was in 2008, when Obama won one district and got one Electoral Vote (McCain got the other 4). 

Alaska
Favored Party: Republicans
Electoral Votes: 3
Average Margin: 21.9%
Current Prediction: Trump by 8.1%
Flips: Alaska's first election as a state was 1960, and it's only gone to the Democrats once (in 1964, if you couldn't guess from the previous states). 

Kansas
Favored Party: Republicans
Electoral Votes: 6
Average Margin: 20.2%
Current Prediction: Trump by 8.1%
Flips: Kansas has gone to the Republicans in all but 7 elections since it started voting in 1864. It went to the People's Party in 1892 and the Democrats in 1896, 1912, 1916, 1932, 1936, and 1964. 

Alabama
Favored Party: Republicans
Electoral Votes: 9
Average Margin: 18.26%
Current Prediction: Trump by 17.9%
Flips: Alabama was a solid Democratic state back when the Democrats were racist as hell, but they turned red in 1964 when the Democrats started supporting Civil Rights. Except for 1968 (when Alabama went to George Wallace) and Carter in 1976, Alabama has been reliably red ever since. 

North Dakota
Favored Party: Republicans
Electoral Votes: 3
Average Margin: 18.02%
Current Prediction: Trump by 8.8%
Flips: North Dakota's history follows the same pattern as many of the other reliably red state. The state's first election was 1892, when North Dakotans voted for the People's Party's James B. Weaver. After that, they've gone to the Republicans in most elections, with Democrats only winning the state in 1912, 1916, 1932, 1936, and of course 1964. 

Texas
Favored Party: Republicans
Electoral Votes: 38
Average Margin: 15.36%
Current Prediction: GOP by 4.5%
Flips: With only 5 exceptions (1964 and 1968, when Texas didn't vote; and 1928, 1952, and 1956, when Texas went red), Texas went to the Democrats in every election from 1848 to 1968. Being LBJ's home state kept them from turning red in 1964 with most of the other southern states, but they voted for Nixon in 1972 and the Lone Star state has gone to the Republicans in every election since then with the exception of 1976.  

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