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Question regarding state voting patterns, 2000-2016


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I made an Excel spreadsheet of the 21st century voting spread in the presidential general elections for every state. I have some questions:

1. The spread shows that the following states are becoming more Conservative since the 2000 election. What do you think the primary reason is for this for these states? Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia

2. The following Conservative states, while still Conservative, have become noticeably less so. Why do you think this is the case? Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas

3. The following liberal states have become even more liberal since 2000. What do you think is the primary reason for this? California, Hawaii, Maryland, Vermont, Washington

4. The following liberal states, while still liberal, have become noticeably less so. Why do you think this is the case? Maine, Rhode Island

5. The following potential battleground states have switched from reliably lean Republican to lean Democrat. Why do you think this is? Colorado, Nevada, New Hampshire, Virginia

6. The following Conservative states have been routinely Conservative, except in one election in the 21st century. What do you think compelled Indiana to vote for Obama in 2008? 

7. The following battleground states have been oddly unpredictable. Why did Iowa support Obama by a large margin in both 2008 and 2012, but then support Trump by a similar large margin in 2016? Why did Michigan, which narrowly favored Gore and Kerry, and greatly favored Obama twice, narrowly opt for Trump in 2016?

8. Why has the former battleground state of Missouri become reliably conservative? 

9. Why have these former battleground states become reliably liberal? New Mexico, Oregon 

10. Why did Montana, which has usually overwhelming voted conservative, nearly vote for Obama in 2008 (he was 2% short)?

11. Ohio has voted Republican in every election in the 21st century, except when Obama was a candidate. Why was Obama able to win Ohio twice?

12. Why did toss-up state Wisconsin, which was won by less than 1% by Gore, Kerry, and Trump, vote for Obama by such a large margin in both 2008 and 2012?

13. Pennsylvania had been narrowly won in the 21st century by Democrats, excluding a massive 2008 victory for Obama. Why did the state narrowly vote for Trump in 2016?

14. Given the information above, has Trump made Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania safe Republican states for 2020? Is it safe to say that New Hampshire, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico could be tossups, similar to Florida, which has never gone strongly one way or the other in the 21st century?

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44 minutes ago, vcczar said:

I made an Excel spreadsheet of the 21st century voting spread in the presidential general elections for every state. I have some questions:

1. The spread shows that the following states are becoming more Conservative since the 2000 election. What do you think the primary reason is for this for these states? Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia

2. The following Conservative states, while still Conservative, have become noticeably less so. Why do you think this is the case? Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas

3. The following liberal states have become even more liberal since 2000. What do you think is the primary reason for this? California, Hawaii, Maryland, Vermont, Washington

4. The following liberal states, while still liberal, have become noticeably less so. Why do you think this is the case? Maine, Rhode Island

5. The following potential battleground states have switched from reliably lean Republican to lean Democrat. Why do you think this is? Colorado, Nevada, New Hampshire, Virginia

6. The following Conservative states have been routinely Conservative, except in one election in the 21st century. What do you think compelled Indiana to vote for Obama in 2008? 

7. The following battleground states have been oddly unpredictable. Why did Iowa support Obama by a large margin in both 2008 and 2012, but then support Trump by a similar large margin in 2016? Why did Michigan, which narrowly favored Gore and Kerry, and greatly favored Obama twice, narrowly opt for Trump in 2016?

8. Why has the former battleground state of Missouri become reliably conservative? 

9. Why have these former battleground states become reliably liberal? New Mexico, Oregon 

10. Why did Montana, which has usually overwhelming voted conservative, nearly vote for Obama in 2008 (he was 2% short)?

11. Ohio has voted Republican in every election in the 21st century, except when Obama was a candidate. Why was Obama able to win Ohio twice?

12. Why did toss-up state Wisconsin, which was won by less than 1% by Gore, Kerry, and Trump, vote for Obama by such a large margin in both 2008 and 2012?

13. Pennsylvania had been narrowly won in the 21st century by Democrats, excluding a massive 2008 victory for Obama. Why did the state narrowly vote for Trump in 2016?

14. Given the information above, has Trump made Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania safe Republican states for 2020? Is it safe to say that New Hampshire, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico could be tossups, similar to Florida, which has never gone strongly one way or the other in the 21st century?

  1. I think we are seeing a final shift of Evangelical Southerners and Blue Collar Workers. The Democrats have left them and the GOP is here with open arms.
  2. For all of them, the GOP has been ineffective at broadcasting a message to minorities, prevalent in all of the above states.
  3. I think that the Eastern states were always more liberal and a more liberal party to vote for increased voter turnout.
  4. This is most likely due to similar circumstances as no.1
  5. For CO, NV, and VA it comes down to number 2, for NH, I honestly think that it still remains swinging, though Northeastern College votes have turned decidedly blue by large margins.
  6. It was all about Obama's amazing message of Hope and Change, it was about his minority AND Blue Collar appeal.
  7. Iowa is an important quagmire. Evangelicals definitely support Bush and Trump (21st Century IA winners) more than Romney and McCain( 21st Century IA losers) as they appealed more inspiring turnout, the same is expressed in the Blue Collar (Farm) vote.
  8. See 7, the Farm voters in Missouri have become much redder, a trend I also expect in Iowa.
  9. NM has to do with no. 2, while OR is similar to NH.
  10. I think it had to do with the outsider change element, which he lost in 2012 so he lost by a much larger margin.
  11. Obama has always been able to get Blue Collar support.
  12. See above, these are actual swing states, OH with even in my opinion a Red lean, but Obama vs an establishmenteer is no match.
  13. With Obama exiting Dems are quickly weakening with Blue Collar.
  14. Yes to OH, I give it a 40% that it will lose it's title "perennial swing state" over the next few elections. WI and PA will likely become routine swing states, MI will remain harder to crack but the cracks have begun to surface. NH, ME are still reachable if we target Demographics like in the Midwest. The New Southwest (my name for the swing region of NV, CO, NM) will stay GOP until we market to Hispanics. MN is my favorite, it may have a 44 year Blue hold (longest except DC which boasts a 52-year hold) it was narrow and won by only 1.5%. my belief is that Cruz would have won there given the MNGOP's averseness to Trump and their excitement for Conservative Latinos. I think a higher Evangelical turnout would have done the Dems in.
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I think there's been quite the cultural shift that coincides with a demographic shift in several of those states. College educated voters have become more liberal, those who haven't graduated college have become more conservative. There's also been a shift amongst Latin American voters, which Bush did incredibly well with. I also think it's interesting to look at states that have had a more anemic economic recovery since 08, which have drifted towards the Republican Party. I also think Obama did exceptionally better in a lot of swing states due to strength as a candidate, and ease of galvanizing young people, women, and minorities. I'm not quite sure I can explain Montana in 08 though, other than the fact that western states have an anti-establishment twinge.

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8 minutes ago, Reagan04 said:
  1. I think we are seeing a final shift of Evangelical Southerners and Blue Collar Workers. The Democrats have left them and the GOP is here with open arms.
  2. For all of them, the GOP has been ineffective at broadcasting a message to minorities, prevalent in all of the above states.
  3. I think that the Eastern states were always more liberal and a more liberal party to vote for increased voter turnout.
  4. This is most likely due to similar circumstances as no.1
  5. For CO, NV, and VA it comes down to number 2, for NH, I honestly think that it still remains swinging, though Northeastern College votes have turned decidedly blue by large margins.
  6. It was all about Obama's amazing message of Hope and Change, it was about his minority AND Blue Collar appeal.
  7. Iowa is an important quagmire. Evangelicals definitely support Bush and Trump (21st Century IA winners) more than Romney and McCain( 21st Century IA losers) as they appealed more inspiring turnout, the same is expressed in the Blue Collar (Farm) vote.
  8. See 7, the Farm voters in Missouri have become much redder, a trend I also expect in Iowa.
  9. NM has to do with no. 2, while OR is similar to NH.
  10. I think it had to do with the outsider change element, which he lost in 2012 so he lost by a much larger margin.
  11. Obama has always been able to get Blue Collar support.
  12. See above, these are actual swing states, OH with even in my opinion a Red lean, but Obama vs an establishmenteer is no match.
  13. With Obama exiting Dems are quickly weakening with Blue Collar.
  14. Yes to OH, I give it a 40% that it will lose it's title "perennial swing state" over the next few elections. WI and PA will likely become routine swing states, MI will remain harder to crack but the cracks have begun to surface. NH, ME are still reachable if we target Demographics like in the Midwest. The New Southwest (my name for the swing region of NV, CO, NM) will stay GOP until we market to Hispanics. MN is my favorite, it may have a 44 year Blue hold (longest except DC which boasts a 52-year hold) it was narrow and won by only 1.5%. my belief is that Cruz would have won there given the MNGOP's averseness to Trump and their excitement for Conservative Latinos. I think a higher Evangelical turnout would have done the Dems in.

Thanks for your feedback; although, I think you overestimate evangelical strength. While still about a quarter of Americans, it is slightly declining, and Christianity is declining overall. I do believe what you say is a factor, but I think it is something much more than evangelicals. I think, especially in Minnesota, that Cruz is unlikely to have won that state. They wanted Rubio in the primaries over Trump or Cruz. It's also the state have strong liberals Franken and Klobuchar. I think the Bachmann Republicans are still strong, but I think they pretty much vote in high numbers in that state anyway, and still can't carry it on their own. Cruz is more of a deterrent than Trump or Rubio, I think. I think Rubio could have won MN, if any of them at all. Here's the ChristianityToday article, citing the Pew Report showing the decline of Christianity, and the slight dip in Evangelicals: http://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2015/may/pew-evangelicals-stay-strong-us-religious-landscape-study.html

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@vcczar I get what you are saying, but the GOP has always lost when it failed to galvanize Evangelicals, I doubt Franken or Klobuchar stay in office much longer, and we polls from MN showing Cruz beating Hillary by 2 or 3 points, these are the polls that were infamously pro-democrat.

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6 minutes ago, michaelsdiamonds said:

I think there's been quite the cultural shift that coincides with a demographic shift in several of those states. College educated voters have become more liberal, those who haven't graduated college have become more conservative. There's also been a shift amongst Latin American voters, which Bush did incredibly well with. I also think it's interesting to look at states that have had a more anemic economic recovery since 08, which have drifted towards the Republican Party. I also think Obama did exceptionally better in a lot of swing states due to strength as a candidate, and ease of galvanizing young people, women, and minorities. I'm not quite sure I can explain Montana in 08 though, other than the fact that western states have an anti-establishment twinge.

I see the trend being more about urbanization. GA, NC, AZ, TX are becoming more liberal because of population increases in metropolitan areas, which are favored by Democratic policies. The Southwest (including Texas) will probably inch further Blue. The Midwest, which is seeing a relative population decline, is turning Red. Virginia, especially the DC suburbs are seeing an increase in population and immigration, which is helping that state stay Blue. 

Although, the anti-establishment states are likely to swing randomly in an election when an anti-establishment or big change candidate is available. 

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1 minute ago, vcczar said:

I see the trend being more about urbanization. GA, NC, AZ, TX are becoming more liberal because of population increases in metropolitan areas, which are favored by Democratic policies. The Southwest (including Texas) will probably inch further Blue. The Midwest, which is seeing a relative population decline, is turning Red. Virginia, especially the DC suburbs are seeing an increase in population and immigration, which is helping that state stay Blue. 

Although, the anti-establishment states are likely to swing randomly in an election when an anti-establishment or big change candidate is available. 

That would definitely make sense. Texas in particular is showing the same warning signs of when it became a red state (the suburbs beginning to vote democratic). I can definitely see a flip in the southwest vs Midwest on the horizon.

Montana still presents itself in a peculiar way. What are your thoughts on the closeness of that race in 08?

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6 minutes ago, Reagan04 said:

@vcczar I get what you are saying, but the GOP has always lost when it failed to galvanize Evangelicals, I doubt Franken or Klobuchar stay in office much longer, and we polls from MN showing Cruz beating Hillary by 2 or 3 points, these are the polls that were infamously pro-democrat.

http://m.startribune.com/minnesota-poll-results-senatorial-job-approval-ratings/420758934/

not quite sure Franken and Klobuchar are quite in the same position as, say, Joe Donnelley or Heidi Heitkamp. Minnesota still has a liberal bend to it, similar to Michigan, albeit swingier than the past.

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Just now, michaelsdiamonds said:

http://m.startribune.com/minnesota-poll-results-senatorial-job-approval-ratings/420758934/

not quite sure Franken and Klobuchar are quite in the same position as, say, Joe Donnelley or Heidi Heitkamp. Minnesota still has a liberal bend to it, similar to Michigan, albeit swingier than the past.

Yes I agree, however just look at Massachusetts, Warren has been in the hot seat, it's easy to paint Franken as arrogant AND an insider. I think a good right wing challenge would give either of them a run for their money.

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4 minutes ago, Reagan04 said:

Yes I agree, however just look at Massachusetts, Warren has been in the hot seat, it's easy to paint Franken as arrogant AND an insider. I think a good right wing challenge would give either of them a run for their money.

But they couldn't be TOO right-wing to win Massachusetts. Scott Brown and (when he was actually Governor) Mitt Romney were quite moderate.

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Just now, Patine said:

But they couldn't be TOO right-wing to win Massachusetts. Scott Brown and (when he was actually Governor) Mitt Romney were quite moderate.

Yes ofc, I love the Big Tent and it is why I giggle when Tom Perez says dems can't be Pro-Life, ironically, the GOP is winning the political inclusiveness debate, we should always run the guy best ideologically suited with a HEAVY weight when in blue states, I.E. Scott Walker in Wisconsin, Ted Cruz in Texas, Mike Lee in Utah, BUT, Phil Scott in Vermont, Larry Hogan in Maryland, and Charlie Baker in Massachusetts for example.

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34 minutes ago, Reagan04 said:

Yes I agree, however just look at Massachusetts, Warren has been in the hot seat, it's easy to paint Franken as arrogant AND an insider. I think a good right wing challenge would give either of them a run for their money.

Franken and Klobuchar are popular enough to be virtual shoe-ins for reelection. At worst they'll win with just 55% of the vote. Minnesota would have to field a Republican superstar of sorts that is more than just an Evangelical. I think a quasi-Libertarian would do better there than a Cruz-conservative. This is not to say there isn't anyone in the shadows that I don't know about. As for Elizabeth Warren, her seat is safe, even though her relation will be relatively competitive, similar to when Kennedy had to face Romney. The Democrats still stuck with their party. I don't know when the last time an incumbent Democrat lost to a Republican. Scott Brown won an open seat, and as was said, he was a Republican in the Romney/Baker/Weld mold, which is practically a centrist Democrat. 

Now to be more balanced, I do think Republicans will make gains in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maine, New Hampshire, Michigan, West Virginia, Iowa. As long as both parties remain unpopular, I think the momentum slightly sides with Republicans, since they had the only "winning" change-agent (Trump), who is buffeted by control of state legislatures, governor seats, both houses of congress and the judicial branch. Democrats can only shift the momentum if they become much more favorable, which means getting rid of Pelosi, possibly Schumer, and fielding candidates in every state, modifying their progressive platform to meet the needs of the citizens of those states, and running progressive national figures with some charisma and with an ability to speak in a way that doesn't embolden people to vote for the opposition. 

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1 minute ago, vcczar said:

Franken and Klobuchar are popular enough to be virtual shoe-ins for reelection. At worst they'll win with just 55% of the vote. Minnesota would have to field a Republican superstar of sorts that is more than just an Evangelical. I think a quasi-Libertarian would do better there than a Cruz-conservative. This is not to say there isn't anyone in the shadows that I don't know about. As for Elizabeth Warren, her seat is safe, even though her relation will be relatively competitive, similar to when Kennedy had to face Romney. The Democrats still stuck with their party. I don't know when the last time an incumbent Democrat lost to a Republican. Scott Brown won an open seat, and as was said, he was a Republican in the Romney/Baker/Weld mold, which is practically a centrist Democrat. 

1

Not anymore, the GOP is becoming the party you go to if you're centrist, we are winning the political acceptance game, Dems dont tolerate that anymore.

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8 minutes ago, Reagan04 said:

Not anymore, the GOP is becoming the party you go to if you're centrist, we are winning the political acceptance game, Dems dont tolerate that anymore.

Political acceptance in the party of Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Paul Ryan, and Ted Cruz? (Mind, the fact the Trump's in that list MAY say something, but I, myself, believe he's a populist flash in the pan with no substance and who'll likely leave no real long-term legacy on the party except his memory, political articles in encyclopedias (probably all online by then), some political science students in universities using it as a subject for papers on populism, and some bio-pics put out by Hollywood movie makers, as some as catchy quotes).

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1 minute ago, Patine said:

Political acceptance in the party of Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Paul Ryan, and Ted Cruz?

 

Yes actually, the first is a prime example and the last 3 are intelligent men that welcome moderate Republicans as long as they win:P But they delivered the Governor's mansion in MD, MA, NH, and VT. Even came close in WA. RNC is very accepting, DNC isn't and it is killing them.

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37 minutes ago, Reagan04 said:

Yes actually, the first is a prime example and the last 3 are intelligent men that welcome moderate Republicans as long as they win:P But they delivered the Governor's mansion in MD, MA, NH, and VT. Even came close in WA. RNC is very accepting, DNC isn't and it is killing them.

I don't think the Republicans are the party of moderation as long as Kasich is their only moderate figure of note (Huntsman could be another). McConnell and Ryan also undermind that theory. I don't think either party is moderating itself. I think the Democrats are just making bad strategic moves, possibly from listening too much to special interests groups and not enough at their own instinct to win. 

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Just now, vcczar said:

I don't think the Republicans are the party of moderation as long as Kasich is their only moderate figure of note (Huntsman could be another). McConnell and Ryan also undermind that theory. I don't think either party is moderating itself. I think the Democrats are just making bad strategic moves, possibly from listening too much to special interests groups and not enough at their own instinct to win. 

No no no, it has nothing to do with prominent figures and everything to do with who they run, the RNC is extremely open. You don't have to be moderate to let moderates in and run. The Party doesn't have to be moderate for them to accept them. Yes and that is one of the bad moves.

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I'm only on my phone so I can't give a detailed response to all of these, but I wouldn't call Virginia a liberal or leans Democratic state just yet. While the influence of Fairfax and Loudoun is steadily growing some other urban areas such as Virginia Beach are still somewhat Republican. While more often than not over the past several years it has backed Democrats, it could easily have been the other way if Republicans nominated someone better. Gillespie and Cuccinelli were absolutely horrible nominees, and if someone better was nominated in their place, they could have won. If the GOP can get their act together this will continue to be a swing state. 

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3 hours ago, SirLagsalott said:

I'm only on my phone so I can't give a detailed response to all of these, but I wouldn't call Virginia a liberal or leans Democratic state just yet. While the influence of Fairfax and Loudoun is steadily growing some other urban areas such as Virginia Beach are still somewhat Republican. While more often than not over the past several years it has backed Democrats, it could easily have been the other way if Republicans nominated someone better. Gillespie and Cuccinelli were absolutely horrible nominees, and if someone better was nominated in their place, they could have won. If the GOP can get their act together this will continue to be a swing state. 

I'm not considering gubernatorial races. I'm consider only presidential--national--races, which seem to be trending Democrat, mostly because of the DC metropolitan area, I presume. For whatever reason, the US House, senate and gubernatorial races don't really give us a good estimation of how a state will perform in a presidential election. At least not as much as looking at recent past presidential elections. 

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41 minutes ago, vcczar said:

I'm not considering gubernatorial races. I'm consider only presidential--national--races, which seem to be trending Democrat, mostly because of the DC metropolitan area, I presume. For whatever reason, the US House, senate and gubernatorial races don't really give us a good estimation of how a state will perform in a presidential election. At least not as much as looking at recent past presidential elections. 

That's because the majority of States are small-population, but Republican-leaning to solid. Also, the House is gerrymandered to within an inch of it's life in a way that screams that it SHOULD be unconstitutional.

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I can easily talk to #1.  National Democrats have alienated their supporters in states like KY.  Until Bevin's victory in 2015, the Democrats had a lockdown on state politics.  But, the anti-coal anti-coal agenda among other things has made the Democrats, even in state wide offices, very unpopular.

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On ‎2017‎-‎06‎-‎30 at 4:11 PM, jvikings1 said:

I can easily talk to #1.  National Democrats have alienated their supporters in states like KY.  Until Bevin's victory in 2015, the Democrats had a lockdown on state politics.  But, the anti-coal anti-coal agenda among other things has made the Democrats, even in state wide offices, very unpopular.

National Democrats are a far right-wing party in Germany, @jvikings1. I don't think they have many supporters to alienate in Kentucky who are relevant in elections they run in. :P

(Just a semantic jab. Couldn't help myself).

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@wolves the original post on this thread could be helpful in establishing the general election % for each state. This shows the trend of the 21st century election. It should just be a guide, since elections can have surprises. 

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