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Will Obama or Romney Break Any Records Tuesday?

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Obama set the all-time Democratic presidential statewide victory margin marks in Delaware and Vermont (and D.C.) four years ago

barackobama05.jpgOne of the story lines running over the past few weeks has been how Mitt Romney is running even or perhaps ahead of Barack Obama in the popular vote, but probably trailing in the electoral vote.

The reason for that discrepancy is as follows: Romney is expected to rack up larger victory margins in states won by John McCain in 2008, while Obama is expected to give back only a few states he won last cycle but also record narrower victories in the remainder of the traditional blue states.

In some states, the president has a lot of room to give.

A Smart Politics review of 180 years of presidential election data finds that Barack Obama set the record for the largest Democratic victory margin in Delaware, Vermont, and the District of Columbia in 2008.

Obama carried Vermont by 37.0 points over McCain four years ago, besting the previous Democratic mark of 32.6 points set by Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

Although skewing Democratic in big numbers across the last few cycles, Vermont has the distinction of holding the all-time U.S. record of voting for a Republican presidential candidate in 27 consecutive cycles, from 1856 to 1960.

Obama won Delaware in 2008 by 25.0 points, which also eclipsed LBJ's mark from 1964 of 22.2 points.

Obama won the District of Columbia by 85.9 points in 2008. The District's Top 5 largest victory margins have occurred progressively over the last five cycles with Clinton winning by 75.6 points in 1992 and 75.9 points in 1996, Gore winning by 76.2 points in 2000, and Kerry winning by 79.8 points in 2004.

Overall, the largest Democratic margins of victory across the 50 states and D.C. are held by eight different nominees, with 39 of these records held by Andrew Jackson, FDR, and LBJ:

· Andrew Jackson notched the best Democratic mark in 10 states - one from his 1828 run (Pennsylvania) and nine from his reelection victory in 1832 (Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia).

· Martin Van Buren owns the biggest Democratic victory in New Hampshire (1836).

· Horatio Seymour claims Kentucky and Maryland (both in 1868).

· Grover Cleveland holds the mark in Florida (1892).

· William Jennings Bryan set Democratic records in the then newly-minted western states of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Utah (all in 1896).

· Franklin Roosevelt owns the best marks in nine states from 1932 (Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas) and another eight states from 1936 (Arizona, California, Minnesota, Oregon, South Carolina, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming).

· Lyndon Johnson set the record in a dozen states during his 1964 blowout victory over Barry Goldwater: Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, and West Virginia.

Largest Democratic Presidential Nominee Margin of Victory by State, 1828-2008

State
DEM Nominee
Year
MoV
Alabama
Andrew Jackson
1832
99.9
Alaska
Lyndon Johnson
1964
31.8
Arizona
Franklin Roosevelt
1936
42.9
Arkansas
Franklin Roosevelt
1932
73.1
California
Franklin Roosevelt
1936
35.3
Colorado
William Jennings Bryan
1896
71.1
Connecticut
Lyndon Johnson
1964
35.7
D.C.
Barack Obama
2008
85.9
Delaware
Barack Obama
2008
25.0
Florida
Grover Cleveland
1892
71.4
Georgia
Andrew Jackson
1832
100.0
Hawaii
Lyndon Johnson
1964
57.5
Idaho
William Jennings Bryan
1896
56.8
Illinois
Andrew Jackson
1832
36.6
Indiana
Andrew Jackson
1832
34.2
Iowa
Lyndon Johnson
1964
24.0
Kansas
Franklin Roosevelt
1932
9.4
Kentucky
Horatio Seymour
1868
49.1
Louisiana
Franklin Roosevelt
1932
85.8
Maine
Lyndon Johnson
1964
37.7
Maryland
Horatio Seymour
1868
34.4
Massachusetts
Lyndon Johnson
1964
52.7
Michigan
Lyndon Johnson
1964
33.6
Minnesota
Franklin Roosevelt
1936
30.8
Mississippi
Andrew Jackson
1832
100.0
Missouri
Andrew Jackson
1832
100.0
Montana
William Jennings Bryan
1896
60.2
Nebraska
Franklin Roosevelt
1932
27.7
Nevada
William Jennings Bryan
1896
62.4
New Hampshire
Martin Van Buren
1836
50.0
New Jersey
Lyndon Johnson
1964
31.8
New Mexico
Franklin Roosevelt
1932
27.0
New York
Lyndon Johnson
1964
37.3
North Carolina
Andrew Jackson
1832
69.5
North Dakota
Franklin Roosevelt
1932
41.6
Ohio
Lyndon Johnson
1964
25.9
Oklahoma
Franklin Roosevelt
1932
46.6
Oregon
Franklin Roosevelt
1936
34.8
Pennsylvania
Andrew Jackson
1828
33.3
Rhode Island
Lyndon Johnson
1964
61.7
South Carolina
Franklin Roosevelt
1936
97.2
South Dakota
Franklin Roosevelt
1932
29.2
Tennessee
Andrew Jackson
1832
90.8
Texas
Franklin Roosevelt
1932
76.7
Utah
William Jennings Bryan
1896
65.4
Vermont
Barack Obama
2008
37.0
Virginia
Andrew Jackson
1832
49.9
Washington
Franklin Roosevelt
1936
36.5
West Virginia
Lyndon Johnson
1964
35.9
Wisconsin
Franklin Roosevelt
1936
33.5
Wyoming
Franklin Roosevelt
1936
23.1
Table compiled by Smart Politics.

With Romney expected to run up the score in several red states on Tuesday, will the former Massachusetts governor get into the books with any records of his own?

Not likely.

The lowest all-time Republican margin of victory in a state Romney is guaranteed to carry on November 6th is Kentucky at 28.6 points in 1972, when Richard Nixon crushed George McGovern.

Even though the president is exceedingly unpopular in the deepest red states in the nation like Utah and Wyoming, Obama will likely not lose by more than the 52.2 points Jimmy Carter lost to Ronald Reagan in Utah in 1980 or the 42.3 points Reagan defeated Walter Mondale by in Wyoming in 1984.

Obama lost Utah and Wyoming by 28.0 and 32.2 points respectively in 2008 and is expected to fare worse in those western states this week.

Overall, 11 different GOP nominees hold the 50 individual state records for the largest margins of victory since the founding of the party in the mid-1850s:

· Abraham Lincoln in Kansas, Massachusetts, Missouri, and West Virginia in 1864.

· Ulysses Grant in Rhode Island and South Carolina in 1872.

· William McKinley in New Hampshire and Vermont in 1896.

· Teddy Roosevelt in Minnesota, Oregon, South Dakota, and Washington in 1904.

· Warren Harding in California, Illinois, Iowa, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, and Wisconsin in 1920.

· Calvin Coolidge in Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania in 1924.

· Herbert Hoover in Delaware in 1928.

· Barry Goldwater in Mississippi in 1964.

· Richard Nixon in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia in 1972. (Nixon also owns the lowest margin of loss for a Republican in D.C. at -56.5 points that cycle. The GOP has never carried the District).

· Ronald Reagan in Nevada and Utah in 1980 and Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Nebraska, and Wyoming in 1984.

· George H.W. Bush in Arizona in 1988.

Goldwater's 74.3-point victory in Mississippi marked the largest all-time GOP victory across 39 cycles since 1856.

Largest Republican Presidential Nominee Margin of Victory by State, 1856-2008

State
GOP Nominee
Year
MoV
Alabama
Richard Nixon
1972
46.9
Alaska
Ronald Reagan
1984
36.8
Arizona
George H.W. Bush
1988
33.9
Arkansas
Ronald Reagan
1984
38.1
California
Warren Harding
1920
41.9
Colorado
Calvin Coolidge
1924
35.0
Connecticut
Calvin Coolidge
1924
34.0
D.C.
(Richard Nixon)*
(1972)
-56.5
Delaware
Herbert Hoover
1928
30.4
Florida
Richard Nixon
1972
44.1
Georgia
Richard Nixon
1972
50.4
Hawaii
Richard Nixon
1972
25.0
Idaho
Ronald Reagan
1984
46.0
Illinois
Warren Harding
1920
42.3
Indiana
Richard Nixon
1972
32.8
Iowa
Warren Harding
1920
45.4
Kansas
Abraham Lincoln
1864
61.4
Kentucky
Richard Nixon
1972
28.6
Louisiana
Richard Nixon
1972
37.0
Maine
Calvin Coolidge
1924
50.2
Maryland
Richard Nixon
1972
23.9
Massachusetts
Abraham Lincoln
1864
44.5
Michigan
Calvin Coolidge
1924
62.2
Minnesota
Teddy Roosevelt
1904
55.1
Mississippi
Barry Goldwater
1964
74.3
Missouri
Abraham Lincoln
1864
39.4
Montana
Warren Harding
1920
29.1
Nebraska
Ronald Reagan
1984
41.7
Nevada
Ronald Reagan
1980
35.6
New Hampshire
William McKinley
1896
42.8
New Jersey
Warren Harding
1920
39.2
New Mexico
Richard Nixon
1972
24.5
New York
Warren Harding
1920
37.6
North Carolina
Richard Nixon
1972
40.6
North Dakota
Warren Harding
1920
59.6
Ohio
Calvin Coolidge
1924
34.6
Oklahoma
Richard Nixon
1972
49.7
Oregon
Teddy Roosevelt
1904
47.6
Pennsylvania
Calvin Coolidge
1924
46.3
Rhode Island
Ulysses Grant
1872
43.9
South Carolina
Ulysses Grant
1872
52.0
South Dakota
Teddy Roosevelt
1904
49.4
Tennessee
Richard Nixon
1972
38.0
Texas
Richard Nixon
1972
33.0
Utah
Ronald Reagan
1980
52.2
Vermont
William McKinley
1896
63.4
Virginia
Richard Nixon
1972
37.7
Washington
Teddy Roosevelt
1904
50.6
West Virginia
Abraham Lincoln
1864
36.5
Wisconsin
Warren Harding
1920
54.9
Wyoming
Ronald Reagan
1984
42.3
* Denotes the smallest margin of loss for a Republican nominee in the District of Columbia. Table compiled by Smart Politics.

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