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  Talk Elections
  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion
  Presidential Election Trends (Moderator: Virginiá)
  Falling GOP vote in the Midwest
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Author Topic: Falling GOP vote in the Midwest  (Read 1735 times)
Bureaucat
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« on: December 31, 2013, 02:28:01 pm »

In his re-election in 2004, George W. Bush received over 62 million votes nationwide. Neither McCain nor Romney came close to reaching those numbers.  Since the raw numbers of total voters tends to increase rather than decrease over time, I used this fine website to check recent history for examples of a party going several election without matching a previous number.  The only example I found were the Democrats from 1964-1988, which is skewed somewhat because LBJ won 61% of the vote in 1964 whereas Bush in 2004 barely received 51%.  It wasn't until Bill Clinton in 1992 that a Democrat surpassed LBJ's vote total from 1964. That correlates nicely with the defection of the southern conservatives and northern white ethnics in reaction to the Great Society in general and Civil Rights legislation in particular.

Getting back to the present day GOP, I looked at the 12 swing states and compared Bush's totals with McCain's and Romney's. In the majority of the states there was a little increase in the raw totals from the Bush numbers albeit the percentage of the vote won by the GOP in many cases decreased. But what was striking to me was that the 2004 totals still represent the high water mark in Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.  Since these states tend to have higher white populations than the nation as a whole I was surprised to see that the GOP total vote in presidential elections has actually shrunk there.  I know those states are losing population, but I thought it was interesting since some pundits have stated that GOP chances in the future hinge on these very states.
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buritobr
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« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2013, 03:50:04 pm »

I agree.

Many posts in this forum say that the Midwest is trending Republican and that Republican candidates can win Minnesota and Wisconsin in the future. The main argument is that the population of the Midwest is white and that the Democratic Party is becoming the party of the minorities. But Obama performed much better in Minnesota and Wisconsin than Kerry and Gore, who are white.

2012
Minnesota D+7,7 (3,9 above national)
Wisconsin D+6,9 (3,1 above national)
USA D+3,8

2004
Minnesota D+3,5 (5,9 above national)
Wisconsin D+0,4  (2,8 above national)
USA R+2,4

Wisconsin improved even if compared to the national average
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old timey villain
cope1989
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« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2013, 06:02:51 pm »

The Democratic party is only exclusively the party of minorities in the deep south. In other regions they do just fine with the white vote, enough to win a lot of states at least. If you exclude southern states, Obama's percentage of the white vote was probably well into the 40s, and he didn't need the south to win anyway.

Midwesterners seem pretty moderate. I do think the Republicans will gain ground here, but not with a message tailor made for southerners.
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WeAreDoomed
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« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2013, 06:09:28 pm »

Midwest states Romney won
Indiana
Missouri
North Dakota
South Dakota
Nebraska
Kansas

States  Obama won
Ohio
Michigan
Wisconsin
Illinois
Minnesota
Iowa
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Bureaucat
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« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2013, 06:13:11 pm »

True, Cope

I remember seeing that while Romney carried white voters by 20% nationally, if you exclude the South, (and I think they included Kentucky and Oklahoma in the "South"), Romney's margin fell to 10 or 12 percent, which in many areas wasn't enough to win.  Some states have gone Democratic (Iowa, New Hampshire) 5 of the last 6 times while being overwhelmingly white.
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Bureaucat
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« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2013, 06:16:02 pm »
« Edited: December 31, 2013, 06:18:49 pm by Bureaucat »

Box,  

I was only talking about the swing states.  I didn't look at those considered locked for one side or another.

Also, I hope everyone has a happy and safe New Year.
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WeAreDoomed
outofbox6
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« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2013, 06:19:52 pm »

Happy New Years.
Ah, gotcha.
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Bureaucat
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« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2013, 06:38:16 pm »

This may seem off topic, but in looking at more state data from 2004-2012, it looks like a considerable amount of the slippage in total Republican vote is due to the collapse of GOP vote in Cali and New York.  About 700 thou less in California from 2004 to 2012.  Those are in a sense throw away votes, but those are big states so the numbers really add up.
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Blue3
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« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2013, 10:06:42 pm »
« Edited: December 31, 2013, 10:29:17 pm by Starwatcher »

Midwest states Romney won
Indiana
Missouri
North Dakota
South Dakota
Nebraska
Kansas


States  Obama won
Ohio
Michigan
Wisconsin
Illinois
Minnesota
Iowa

Those struck out are Great Plains states, hardly ever considered part of the Midwest. And they weren't even contested in 2008 or 2012. Or 2004. Or 2000...

I don't know what region Missouri would be considered part of, I don't think Midwest, but it's as good of a categorization as any. But it wasn't contested in 2012. And I think only barely thought of in 2008.

Indiana was a true surprise in 2008, not many saw that coming, not even the presidential campaigns. But it was back to deep red and uncontested in 2012. But yes, this is the one Midwestern state that you can say a Republican presidential nominee has won.
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WeAreDoomed
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« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2013, 10:17:08 pm »

I divide the USA four different sections, Northeast, Midwest, South, and the West.
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buritobr
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« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2014, 03:12:43 pm »

Happy New Year!

It was a great surprise for me. I wrote the first answer to this topic, went to the New Year celebration, came back, slept, woke up, and then I saw eight new answers. I have never seen a so high speed of answers before.
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DS0816
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« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2014, 05:00:05 am »

Midwest states Romney won
Indiana
Missouri
North Dakota
South Dakota
Nebraska
Kansas

States  Obama won
Ohio
Michigan
Wisconsin
Illinois
Minnesota
Iowa


Indiana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas have carried the same in all presidential elections since 1920 with the exception of Indiana having become a Democratic pickup for Barack Obama in 2008. They are a case example of why the Democrats ought to realize that they're capable of carrying more than around 30 states and enjoy a good landslide. After all, the former domain of a prevailing electoral map for the Democrats used to include Arkansas, Louisiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia. And Barack Obama cumulatively did a lot better in the Indiana group than the Arkansas one.

As for Missouri: I would look to it possibly being a companion state to Indiana. Out of the bellwether category, yes, but not permanently unwinnable. The Democrats won over Indiana, in 2008, with less than 60 percent carriage of available states. By comparison to Woodrow Wilson (1912), Franklin Roosevelt (1932, 1936), and Lyndon Johnson (1964), those winning Democrats carried Indiana as part of electoral maps where 80 percent-plus of available states ended up in their columns. So something remarkable happened in 2008. And in both 2008 and 2012, Missouri and Indiana had margin less than 1.50 percent in their spreads.
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DS0816
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« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2014, 03:43:17 pm »

I don't think the GOP is falling in the Midwest, the party needs to pick states where we are competitive and only spend money in those Midwestern states. Let Michigan swing by itself, and put money into counties in Indiana that border Wisconsin. Republicans ought make residency in Southwest Ohio and the most Republican parts of Minnesota.

Which counties do you have in mind?
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pbrower2a
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« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2014, 06:40:03 pm »

The Midwest used to have lots of moderate Republicans, the sorts who liked Ike and whose favorite Republican was Nelson Rockefeller. Those are secularist, erudite voters who have little use for bigotry and superstition. They are liberal on social issues other than crime. They don't want a governmental behemoth. They are the sorts of people who told their children not to use a certain word that rhymes with trigger. They went along with LBJ on civil rights and voting rights.

Ronald Reagan could keep them voting for him... but once the Southern Strategy took place they found themselves incompatible with ignorant, bigoted people who showed contempt for education.

Treating as the Midwest the states fully or partially in the Northwestern Territory and Iowa for political reasons (IL, IN, IA, MI, MN, OH, WI) we can ask the question "When did this state last vote for the Republican in a close election?

Minnesota hasn't been more R than the US as a whole in a Presidential election since 1952, and then barely, and then only because Adlai Stevenson did respectably only in the South. It was the best second-state for McGovern and the best state for Mondale in 49-state blowouts. It is the definitive non-swing state. The one Republican nominee for President who won it twice (Eisenhower) wasn't much more conservative on economics than Stevenson. It hasn't been decidedly more R than the US as a whole in its Presidential voting since 1920.

In the very close 1976 election, Carter and Ford split the six states evenly. Ford won Michigan and Illinois for the last time in a close election, and Indiana -- which almost never goes for a Democratic nominee -- and Iowa. But Carter did win Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Maybe Ford lost Ohio because of being on the Michigan football team, which is practically unforgivable in Ohio.  Carter won three of the seven states, and no Democrat is likely to win the Presidency with so few as three of these states.

That said, 1976 is practically ancient history for the contemporary voting of the states.   

From 1980 to 1996 there were no really-close Presidential elections. In 1980 and 1984 Ronald Reagan won them all except for Minnesota. The elder Bush won four of the seven in 1988, which has typically been enough for a Republican.  Clinton won all but one of the seven in 1992 and 1996 (Indiana was the glaring exception both times).

2000? Gore won five of the seven -- in view of the South completely abandoning Gore, five out of seven was not enough. But that was the closest Presidential election ever. Kerry got four of the seven and lost.  Wisconsin and Iowa could have gone either way. 2008 was an Obama blowout landslide in 2/3 of American states and a McCain blowout in the other third -- and Obama got all seven states in the region.   

The last time in which the states went for the Republican in a close election were:

MN -- effectively, antiquity
WI -- 1960
IL, MI -- 1976
IA, OH -- 2004
IN -- 2012

Simply counting them and seeing how the election goes might tell  us something.Elections in winner got more than 350 electoral votes are in boldface:

2012 -- R-1, D-6  Obama wins
2008 -- all D, Obama wins

2004 -- R-3, D-4 Dubya wins
2000 -- R-2, D-5 Dubya wins

1996 -- R-1, D-6 Clinton wins
1992 -- R-1, D-6 Clinton wins

1988 -- R-4, D-3 G H W Bush wins
1984 -- D-1, R-6 Reagan wins
1980 -- D-1, R-6 Reagan wins

1976 -- D-3, R-4 Carter wins
1972 -- all R, Nixon wins
1968 -- D-2, R-5, Nixon wins

1964 -- all D, LBJ wins
1960 -- D-3, R-4, Kennedy wins

1956 -- all R, Eisenhower wins
1952 -- all R, Eisenhower wins
 

1948 -- R-2, D-5, Truman wins
1944 -- R-4, D-3, FDR wins
1940 -- R-3, D-4, FDR wins   
1936 -- all D, FDR wins
 



The region seems to be drifting D.   

 
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Mr. Illini
liberty142
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« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2014, 02:18:50 am »

They don't want a governmental behemoth. They are the sorts of people who told their children not to use a certain word that rhymes with trigger. They went along with LBJ on civil rights and voting rights. Ronald Reagan could keep them voting for him... but once the Southern Strategy took place they found themselves incompatible with ignorant, bigoted people who showed contempt for education.

I don't think I have ever been able to describe Republicans from my home area along Lake Michigan north of Chicago better than this. These are the "Reasonable Republicans" as I like to call them. They no longer vote overwhelmingly for Republicans, especially in Presidential elections. They love politicians like Mark Kirk.

A standing ovation to you, my friend. These people are my good friends and they'll always be there if the GOP would sober up and welcome them back.
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DS0816
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« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2014, 02:55:11 am »

pbrower2a,

You should bold 1992 an 1996 Bill Clinton, who garnered more than 350 electoral votes as he won his first with 370 and his second presidential election with 379. (I know you know this.)
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eric82oslo
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« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2014, 04:19:03 pm »

Wisconsin improved even if compared to the national average

And even, more remarkably, as Paul Ryan was on the ticket and Romney made a huge effort in winning the state. Wink
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Vern
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« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2014, 10:11:28 am »

Obama is from the Midwest. That may how some effect on it. I think we truly may not know what's going on there until 2016.
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