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Will Vermont's 27-Cycle GOP Presidential Streak Ever Be Broken?

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Nine states currently hold an 11-cycle streak backing the Republican nominee but cannot tie Vermont's record until the Election of 2072

vermontseal10.pngThe release of Karl Rove's first 2012 Electoral Map last week garnered much attention (and some criticism) as it showed presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney starting out trailing the president by more than 125 "safe" Electoral College votes, 220 to 93.

Among the 15 states Rove deemed Romney to have a "solid" lead are eight of the nine states that hold the longest current Republican presidential nominee winning streak in the nation at 11 cycles: Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming from 1968 to 2008.

A ninth state - South Dakota - also carries an active 11-cycle GOP streak, but was rated as "leaning Romney" according to Rove.

While these nine states will almost certainly vote Republican for the current election cycle, they have a long, long way to go to reach the all-time GOP loyalty mark.

In fact, they would have to hold serve for the next 60 years.

A Smart Politics analysis finds that the 11-cycle run backing the Republican presidential nominee currently held by nine states does not even rank in the Top 10 GOP streaks of all time, and does not reach the half-way mark of the 27-cycle record set by the State of Vermont from 1856 to 1960.

Vermont's 104-year streak voting for the Republican nominee dates back to the first presidential election held two years after the founding of the Republican Party in 1854.

The 27-cycle Republican run in the Green Mountain State is nearly double the next closest mark of 14-cycles held by seven states: Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Rhode Island from 1856 to 1908.

Minnesota and Pennsylvania tie for the 9th longest Republican consecutive winning streak at 13 cycles (both from 1860-1908) while Maine returns at #11 with another 12-cycle run from 1916 to 1960.

That means the 11-cycle GOP streak currently held by Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming ranks just the 12th longest in the party's history.

Perhaps the terms 'Republican strongholds' and 'deep red states' are used a bit too loosely when viewed in this historical context.

In order to tie Vermont, one of these nine states would have to rattle off another 16 consecutive cycles supporting the Republican nominee through the Election of 2072.

Although the platforms of both the Republican and Democratic parties have changed over the last two centuries, it is interesting that one of today's most Democratic-skewed states holds this Republican record.

While Vermont gave Obama the second largest victory margin in 2008 (behind only Hawaii among the 50 states), its turn to the left in presidential politics is fairly recent.

After its 27-cycle streak ended voting for Lyndon Johnson along with most of the nation in 1964, Vermont racked up another six straight victories for Republican nominees through 1988 when it voted for George H.W. Bush, bringing its GOP tally to 33 of 34 cycles over a 132-year span.

During this long period, Vermont was one of just two states to vote for incumbent Republican William Howard Taft in 1912 (along with Utah) and one of two states never to cast its Electoral College votes for Franklin Roosevelt (along with Maine).

From the Election of 1856 through the Election of 1960, Vermont was also exclusively represented in the U.S. Senate by Republicans and the GOP won 104 of 106 general election U.S. House races.

The Republican run in Vermont during the 19th and 20th Centuries is also the longest by any party in U.S. history, followed by 24 consecutive wins by Democratic nominees in Georgia (from 1868 to 1960) and 23 victories for the Democrats in Arkansas (from 1876 to 1964).

A recent Smart Politics report examined Democratic streaks and found Minnesota will break the record among non-Southern states at 10 consecutive cycles if it votes for President Obama this November.

Few analysts expect President Obama to carry any states in 2012 that he did not win in 2008 with the possible exceptions of Missouri and Arizona, which has made a few lists due to its surging Hispanic population.

In fact, 19 states are currently in the midst of the longest (or tied for the longest) Republican presidential streaks in state history and will likely add to their totals in 2012:

· At 11 cycles: Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming (all 1968-2008).

· At 8 cycles: Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas (all 1980-2008).

· At 4 cycles: Georgia (1996-2008).

· At 3 cycles: Missouri (1920-1928; 1980-1988; 2000-2008), Tennessee (1952-1960; 1980-1988; 2000-2008), Arkansas (1980-1988; 2000-2008), Kentucky (1980-1988; 2000-2008), and Louisiana (1980-1988; 2000-2008).

Three states had their longest GOP runs snapped when they backed Barack Obama in 2008.

Indiana and Virginia had voted for Republican nominees for 10 consecutive cycles from 1968 to 2004 and North Carolina had done so for seven straight cycles from 1980 to 2004.

Longest Republican Party Winning Streak in Presidential Elections by State

State
Region
Period
Cycles
Vermont
Northeast
1856-1960
27
Iowa
Midwest
1856-1908
14
Maine
Northeast
1856-1908
14
Massachusetts
Northeast
1856-1908
14
Michigan
Midwest
1856-1908
14
New Hampshire
Northeast
1856-1908
14
Ohio
Midwest
1856-1908
14
Rhode Island
Northeast
1856-1908
14
Minnesota
Midwest
1860-1908
13
Pennsylvania
Northeast
1860-1908
13
Alaska
West
1968-2008
11
Idaho
West
1968-2008
11
Kansas
Midwest
1968-2008
11
Nebraska
Midwest
1968-2008
11
North Dakota
Midwest
1968-2008
11
Oklahoma
South
1968-2008
11
South Dakota
Midwest
1968-2008
11
Utah
West
1968-2008
11
Wyoming
West
1968-2008
11
Arizona
West
1952-1992
11
Indiana
Midwest
1968-2004
10
Virginia
South
1968-2004
10
Oregon
West
1872-1908
10
Wisconsin
Midwest
1856-1888
9
Alabama
South
1980-2008
8
Mississippi
South
1980-2008
8
South Carolina
South
1980-2008
8
Texas
South
1980-2008
8
Illinois
Midwest
1860-1888
8
North Carolina
South
1980-2004
7
California
West
1968-1988
6
Colorado
West
1968-1988
6
Montana
West
1968-1988
6
Nevada
West
1968-1988
6
New Jersey
Northeast
1968-1988
6
New Mexico
West
1968-1988
6
Connecticut
Northeast
1856-1872; 1916-1932; 1972-1988
5
Delaware
Northeast
1916-1932
5
Georgia
South
1996-2008
4
Florida
South
1980-1992
4
Washington
West
1972-1984
4
New York
Northeast
1896-1908; 1916-1928
4
West Virginia
South
1896-1908; 1916-1928
4
Maryland
South
1896-1908
4
Arkansas
South
1980-1988; 2000-2008
3
Kentucky
South
1980-1988; 2000-2008
3
Louisiana
South
1980-1988; 2000-2008
3
Missouri
Midwest
1920-1928; 1980-1988; 2000-2008
3
Tennessee
South
1952-1960; 1980-1988; 2000-2008
3
Hawaii
West
1972, 1984
1
Table compiled by Smart Politics.

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2 Comments


  • States' partisanship is hardening.
    Some states have not been been competitive for than a half-century and most states now have a degree of partisan imbalance that makes them highly unlikely to be in a swing state position.
    • 41 States Won by Same Party, 2000-2008
    • 32 States Won by Same Party, 1992-2008
    • 13 States Won Only by Republican Party, 1980-2008
    • 19 States Won Only by Democratic Party, 1992-2008
    • 9 Democratic States Not Swing State since 1988
    • 15 GOP States Not Swing State since 1988
    http://www.fairvote.org/presidential-elections-state-by-state-hardening-partisanship

    Presidential elections don't have to be this way.

    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. There would no longer be a handful of 'battleground' states where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in more than 3/4ths of the states that now are just 'spectators' and ignored after the primaries.

    When the bill is enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes– enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538), all the electoral votes from the enacting states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC.

    The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for President. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

    In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls in closely divided Battleground states: CO – 68%, FL – 78%, IA 75%, MI – 73%, MO – 70%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM– 76%, NC – 74%, OH – 70%, PA – 78%, VA – 74%, and WI – 71%; in Small states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK – 70%, DC – 76%, DE – 75%, ID – 77%, ME – 77%, MT – 72%, NE 74%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM – 76%, OK – 81%, RI – 74%, SD – 71%, UT – 70%, VT – 75%, WV – 81%, and WY – 69%; in Southern and Border states: AR – 80%,, KY- 80%, MS – 77%, MO – 70%, NC – 74%, OK – 81%, SC – 71%, TN – 83%, VA – 74%, and WV – 81%; and in other states polled: AZ – 67%, CA – 70%, CT – 74%, MA – 73%, MN – 75%, NY – 79%, OR – 76%, and WA – 77%. Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.

    The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers in 21 states. The bill has been enacted by 9 jurisdictions possessing 132 electoral votes - 49% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.

    NationalPopularVote
    Follow National Popular Vote on Facebook via NationalPopularVoteInc

  • Actually a national popular vote would not make every vote politically relevant, but would only shift the power of votes from swing states to largely populated areas like NYC, LA, and Chicago. With a national popular vote, candidates wouldn't even need to court rural voters because those areas become irrelevant. North Dakota? Who cares about North Dakota, if their say gets diminished without the electoral college.

    Bottom line is that the electoral college works. We are a nation that is made of independent and EQUAL states, and smaller populated states shouldn't be marginalized. California and Wyoming are equals in this nation, and the electoral college mixes that equality with proportional population statistics in order to elect our president in a way that is fitting for a Republic since that is what we are, not a democracy.

  • 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.


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