Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Romney Remains Lone Blue State GOP Presidential Candidate

Bookmark and Share

Nine of the 10 announced GOP candidates hail from red or purple states.

mittromney02.jpg

Mitt Romney is not simply alone on an island as the early Republican front runner in the 2012 presidential race, but he is also the only GOP candidate who hails from a true 'blue' state.

To date there are 10 'name' Republican candidates who have declared their candidacy, or at least formed an exploratory committee.

Five come from red states: Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich from Georgia, Buddy Roemer from Louisiana, Ron Paul from Texas, and the recently announced Jon Huntsman from Utah.

Another four candidates come from purple, or classic 'battleground' states: Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann from Minnesota, Gary Johnson from New Mexico, and Rick Santorum from Pennsylvania.

Only former Massachusetts Governor Romney comes from a blue state.

Of course, that could all change if fellow failed 2008 candidate Rudy Giuliani enters the race - the former mayor of New York City in the deep blue Empire State.

Other possible late entrants into the 2012 race include red state politicians like Sarah Palin (Alaska) and Rick Perry (Texas) and Thad McCotter from the purple state of Michigan.

Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has characterized his home state as "very liberal" in an effort to tout his broad appeal and electability credentials (owing to Minnesota's longest in the nation streak of voting for the Democratic nominee at nine).

However, Minnesota is much more purple than blue, even in presidential elections, as the Democratic nominee has won the Gopher State by less than four points in four of those nine contests and by seven points in a fifth.

With the exception of Romney, the Republican 2012 field fills out like the polar opposite of the 2008 Democratic field.

That race saw about half of its candidates come from blue states: Barack Obama (Illinois), Hillary Clinton (New York), Joe Biden (Delaware), and Chris Dodd (Connecticut).

While the other half hailed from purple states: John Edwards (North Carolina), Bill Richardson (New Mexico), Dennis Kucinich (Ohio), and Tom Vilsack (Iowa).

The only red state candidate for the Democrats in '08 was long-shot Mike Gravel - the former U.S. Senator from Alaska - who switched to the Libertarian Party in March of the election year.

If nominated, how unusual would it be for Romney to lose his home state and go on to win the election?

All but two elected U.S. Presidents won their home state en route to the White House: James Polk lost Tennessee by 0.1 points in 1844 and Woodrow Wilson lost New Jersey by 11.7 point during his successful reelection campaign of 1916.

Over the last 16 election cycles dating back to 1956, the winner has carried his home state by an average of 18.6 points with all but one winning by at least a dozen points (Richard Nixon won California by just 3.1 points in 1968).

Regarding Romney's competition in the 2012 field, no president has been elected from Minnesota, New Mexico, or Utah.

Four have been elected from Massachusetts (John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Calvin Coolidge, John Kennedy), with three from Texas (Lyndon Johnson, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush), two from Pennsylvania (James Buchanan and Dwight Eisenhower), one from Georgia (Jimmy Carter), and one from Louisiana (Zachary Taylor).

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: Is It Our Turn Yet?
Next post: Bachmann Tries to Defy History's Long Trail of Failed U.S. Representative Presidential Bids

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

Political Crumbs

Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


An Idaho Six Pack

Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


more POLITICAL CRUMBS

Humphrey School Sites
CSPG
Humphrey New Media Hub

Issues />

<div id=
Abortion
Afghanistan
Budget and taxes
Campaign finances
Crime and punishment
Economy and jobs
Education
Energy
Environment
Foreign affairs
Gender
Health
Housing
Ideology
Immigration
Iraq
Media
Military
Partisanship
Race and ethnicity
Reapportionment
Redistricting
Religion
Sexuality
Sports
Terrorism
Third parties
Transportation
Voting