Slam Dunk: Will 36 Record Presidential Winning Streaks Continue in 2016?

Three-dozen states are currently in the midst of their longest Democratic or Republican presidential winning streaks

republicanpartyseal10.pngEarlier this week Smart Politics took a look at the only two states that have seen both major parties enjoy presidential winning streaks of 10 or more cycles – Minnesota and Virginia.

While Minnesota is the lone state where the Democratic victory mark currently rests in double-digits, the GOP can claim many such states in their column – with nine winning a dozen in a row for their party.

Beyond these impressive double-digit winning streaks in 10 states, the nation’s major parties have also notched record-setting presidential runs in more than two-dozen others.

And so, as more and more states are seemingly becoming slam dunks for whomever the Democratic or Republican Parties choose to nominate for the office, fewer are up for grabs to earn a bona fide ‘battleground state’ distinction.

So how many states are losing any sense of drama in presidential contests?

A Smart Politics analysis finds that 36 states are currently in the midst of their longest presidential election victory streaks for either the Republican (20) or Democratic (16) parties.

A total of 20 states across the Midwest, South, and Western regions of the nation are currently in the middle of their longest GOP presidential winning streaks in history.

As mentioned above, nine states have rattled off 12 wins in a row for the Republican Party starting with Richard Nixon in 1968: Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.

Republican nominees have not just been winning these states, they have largely done so easily during these last 44 years.

Out of the 108 presidential elections across these nine states since 1968, the Democratic presidential nominee lost by double-digits in 92 of them, or 85.2 percent of the time.

Democratic nominees managed to limp to single-digit losses only 16 times in these nine states:

● Hubert Humphrey in 1968 (1): Alaska
● George McGovern in 1972 (1): his home state of South Dakota
● Jimmy Carter in 1976 (4): Kansas, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota
● Michael Dukakis in 1988 (1): South Dakota
● Bill Clinton in 1992 (4): Alaska, Kansas, Oklahoma, South Dakota
● Bill Clinton in 1996 (3): North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota
● Barack Obama in 2008 (2): North Dakota, South Dakota

In addition to the nine states listed above, the GOP is enjoying record-setting streaks in 11 others as well – largely in the South:

● Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas have voted for the GOP nominee in nine consecutive cycles since Ronald Reagan’s first victory in 1980

● Georgia has backed the Republican nominee in five straight elections since Bob Dole in 1996

● Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Tennessee, and West Virginia have cast their Electoral votes for the GOP candidate in four cycles in a row since George W. Bush in 2000. (Note: West Virginia has tied its longest mark – the state also voted for the GOP nominee four times in a row from 1896 to 1908 and 1916 to 1928).

Record Republican Presidential Winning Streaks by State

Rank
State
Period
# Cycles
1
Vermont
1856-1960
27
2
Iowa
1856-1908
14
2
Maine
1856-1908
14
2
Massachusetts
1856-1908
14
2
Michigan
1856-1908
14
2
New Hampshire
1856-1908
14
2
Ohio
1856-1908
14
2
Rhode Island
1856-1908
14
9
Minnesota
1860-1908
13
9
Pennsylvania
1860-1908
13
11
Alaska
1968-2012
12
11
Idaho
1968-2012
12
11
Kansas
1968-2012
12
11
Nebraska
1968-2012
12
11
North Dakota
1968-2012
12
11
Oklahoma
1968-2012
12
11
South Dakota
1968-2012
12
11
Utah
1968-2012
12
11
Wyoming
1968-2012
12
20
Arizona
1952-1992
11
21
Indiana
1968-2004
10
21
Virginia
1968-2004
10
21
Oregon
1872-1908
10
24
Alabama
1980-2012
9
24
Mississippi
1980-2012
9
24
South Carolina
1980-2012
9
24
Texas
1980-2012
9
24
Wisconsin
1856-1888
9
29
Illinois
1860-1888
8
30
North Carolina
1980-2004
7
31
California
1968-1988
6
31
Colorado
1968-1988
6
31
Montana
1968-1988
6
31
Nevada
1968-1988
6
31
New Jersey
1968-1988
6
31
New Mexico
1968-1988
6
37
Georgia
1996-2012
5
37
Delaware
1916-1932
5
37
Connecticut
1856-1872; 1916-1932; 1972-1988
5
40
Arkansas
2000-2012
4
40
Kentucky
2000-2012
4
40
Louisiana
2000-2012
4
40
Missouri
2000-2012
4
40
Tennessee
2000-2012
4
40
Florida
1980-1992
4
40
Washington
1972-1984
4
40
West Virginia
1896-1908; 1916-1928; 2000-2012
4
40
New York
1896-1908; 1916-1928
4
40
Maryland
1896-1908
4
50
Hawaii
1972, 1984
1

Table compiled by Smart Politics.

But it is not simply the Republican Party that is racking up record winning streaks in presidential elections – Democrats are having their own day in the sun in states across the country.

The Democratic Party is currently enjoying its longest run of presidential victories in 16 states in the Midwestern, Northeastern, and Western regions.

As documented in Wednesday’s Smart Politics report, Minnesota is the leading state in the clubhouse at 10 victories in a row since Jimmy Carter in 1976.

However, unlike the Republican states that have tallied double-digit winning streaks as listed above, Democratic presidential nominees have carried Minnesota by less than eight points in six of these 10 cycles.

Democrats are also enjoying record winning streaks of seven cycles in a row (since Michael Dukakis in 1988) in seven states: Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Eight others have cast their Electoral votes for Democratic presidential nominees in a state record six cycles in a row dating back to Bill Clinton in 1992: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Vermont.

Record Democratic Presidential Winning Streaks by State

Rank
State
Period
# Cycles
1
Georgia
1868-1960
24
2
Arkansas
1876-1964
23
3
Alabama
1876-1944
18
3
Mississippi
1876-1944
18
5
Louisiana
1880-1944
17
5
South Carolina
1880-1944
17
7
Texas
1872-1924
13
8
North Carolina
1876-1924
12
8
Virginia
1876-1924
12
8
Tennessee
1872-1916
12
11
Florida
1880-1924
11
12
Minnesota
1976-2012
10
13
Missouri
1828-1860
9
14
Kentucky
1864-1892
8
14
Illinois
1828-1856
8
16
Hawaii
1988-2012
7
16
Massachusetts
1988-2012
7
16
New York
1988-2012
7
16
Oregon
1988-2012
7
16
Rhode Island
1988-2012
7
16
Washington
1988-2012
7
16
Wisconsin
1988-2012
7
16
Maryland
1868-1892
7
24
California
1992-2012
6
24
Connecticut
1992-2012
6
24
Delaware
1992-2012
6
24
Maine
1992-2012
6
24
Michigan
1992-2012
6
24
New Jersey
1992-2012
6
24
Pennsylvania
1992-2012
6
24
Vermont
1992-2012
6
24
West Virginia
1932-1952
6
24
New Hampshire
1832-1852
6
34
Arizona
1932-1948
5
34
Idaho
1932-1948
5
34
Montana
1932-1948
5
34
Nevada
1932-1948
5
34
New Mexico
1932-1948
5
34
Oklahoma
1932-1948
5
34
Utah
1932-1948
5
41
Iowa
1988-2000
4
41
Indiana
1844-1856
4
43
Ohio
1932-1940
3
43
Wyoming
1932-1940
3
43
Colorado
1908-1916
3
43
Nebraska
1908-1916
3
47
South Dakota
1932-1936
2
47
Kansas
1912-1916; 1932-1936
2
47
North Dakota
1912-1916; 1932-1936
2
50
Alaska
1964
1

Table compiled by Smart Politics.

Unlike nearly all of the GOP states with record marks mentioned above, several of these states in which Democrats are enjoying unprecedented success are frequently listed in the battleground or swing state category: Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and sometimes Oregon and Washington.

Still, if each of the three-dozen states listed above continues their pace and pads their record total in 2016, Democrats will enter the cycle with a distinct advantage: the 20 Republican states tally 166 Electoral votes while the 16 Democratic states gets their nominee to 209.

(If one adds in the District of Columbia, which has voted for the Democratic nominee in all 13 elections since 1964, that number rises to 212).

Parties in four other states are looking to tie their all-time best marks in 2016.

Maryland could match its longest Democratic victory streak at seven cycles in a row, originally set from 1868 to 1892.

Colorado and Ohio could also tie their longest marks at three cycles in a row, set from 1908 to 1916 and 1932 to 1940 respectively.

Meanwhile, a Republican victory would tie the party record for six wins in a row in Montana, previously reached from 1968 to 1988.

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