November 5, 2008

Change by State: 2004 to 2008 (from a reader)

State McCain 08 Bush 04 Change
Hawaii 24.8% 45.3% -20.5%
Nevada 39.5% 50.5% -11.0%
Indiana 49.2% 59.9% -10.8%
North Dakota 52.9% 62.9% -9.9%
Nebraska 56.8% 65.9% -9.1%
Utah 62.5% 71.5% -9.0%
Montana 50.1% 59.1% -8.9%
Delaware 37.0% 45.8% -8.8%
California 36.9% 44.4% -7.4%
Vermont 31.8% 38.8% -7.0%
Wisconsin 42.3% 49.3% -7.0%
Idaho 61.6% 68.4% -6.8%
Colorado 45.0% 51.7% -6.7%
Illinois 37.9% 44.5% -6.6%
North Carolina 49.4% 56.0% -6.6%
New Mexico 43.5% 49.8% -6.3%
South Dakota 53.6% 59.9% -6.3%
Michigan 42.0% 47.8% -5.8%
Texas 55.4% 61.1% -5.7%
Iowa 44.3% 49.9% -5.6%
Maine 39.0% 44.6% -5.6%
Kansas 56.5% 62.0% -5.5%
Connecticut 38.6% 44.0% -5.4%
Virginia 48.6% 53.7% -5.0%
Oregon 42.2% 47.2% -5.0%
Pennsylvania 43.5% 48.4% -4.9%
South Carolina 53.1% 58.0% -4.8%
Washington 40.9% 45.6% -4.8%
New Hampshire 44.3% 48.9% -4.5%
Georgia 54.0% 58.0% -4.0%
New Jersey 42.4% 46.2% -3.9%
Missouri 49.5% 53.3% -3.8%
Florida 48.4% 52.1% -3.7%
Rhode Island 35.0% 38.7% -3.6%
Ohio 47.4% 50.8% -3.4%
Minnesota 44.2% 47.6% -3.4%
New York 36.7% 40.1% -3.3%
Maryland 39.7% 42.9% -3.3%
D. C. 6.5% 9.3% -2.8%
Wyoming 66.2% 68.9% -2.7%
Mississippi 57.1% 59.4% -2.4%
Alabama 60.1% 62.5% -2.3%
Kentucky 57.4% 59.6% -2.1%
Arizona 53.7% 54.9% -1.2%
West Virginia 55.3% 56.1% -0.7%
Massachusetts 36.2% 36.8% -0.6%
Oklahoma 65.7% 65.6% 0.1%
Alaska 61.2% 61.1% 0.1%
Arkansas 56.5% 54.3% 2.2%
Louisiana 59.0% 56.7% 2.3%
Tennessee 60.7% 56.8% 3.9%

My reader suggests that energy importing states swung left, while energy exporters drifted right, but it's hard to tell.

One thing to note is that in the Greater California Foreclosure Zone, McCain got devastated in Nevada (second worst fall) and got hit hard in California and Colorado. He was down only 1.2% versus Bush in Arizona, but he's the native son, so that's a bad performance.

Another thing to keep in mind is that there's a fair amount of randomness injected into these 2004 to 2008 changes by the impact of levels of advertising delivered. It's hard to prove statistically that candidate advertising has any affect, but it seems hard to imagine that its completely a scam dreamed up by political consultants who get 15% cuts on each ad buy. Lots of states got only minimal amounts of advertising because they are deemed irrelevant to the electoral college results. Other states get a (presumably) offsetting flood from both campaigns. And some states get more ads from one campaign than from the other. This should inject a lot of randomness into the results from election to election, yet affordable family formation continues to dominate three elections in a row now.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer


Anonymous said...

Speaking of Bush, has he issued any sort of comment on this major shellacking, excuse me, election?

"Sorry for derailing the conservative movement...," "Republicans are doomed to permanent minority status--my bad...," anything?

--Senor Doug

Ronduck said...

Bush could have helped McCain by publicly going after ACORN and challenging their vote fraud. Instead the Department of Justice did nothing. Such prosecutions could have been used to smear the entire Democratic party, but the Bushites chose to do allow ObamaMessiah to win without a fight. It was really a coronation.

Anonymous said...

McCain did better than Bush in only 5 states. Of those, Alaska was probably excited about its now-famous home-girl and Louisiana presumably lost some of its African-American population after Katrina. Perhaps the result in Arkansas reflects Bill Clinton's lack of enthusiasm about the Obama candidacy. I'm sure that the Kerry campaign used Clinton a lot in Arkansas in 2004. Obama - probably not so much. This leaves Oklahoma (only a 0.1% increase) and Tennessee. Does anyone have any guesses about Tennessee? Any unusual demographic changes? Something else?

Anonymous said...

OK, I just noticed that Steve mentioned everything I said about the states where McCain did better than Bush in an earlier comment today. I guess I should start reading blog posts in chronological order.

Anonymous said...

What's the deal with Indiana? Any word there on vote fraud?
No, I don't think Obama stole the election, but Indiana is one of the most stalwart GOP states in Presidential races. I know it's a terrible year for the GOP but I'm surprised Indiana lurched into the blue zone.
-Vanilla Thunder

Anonymous said...

To anonymous Post #3:
I too was curious about Tennessee. In '06 when Harold Ford ran for Senate, there was alot of speculation in the media he had a fighting chance. He lost by only 2 or 3 points. The mood for the GOP this year was worse for Republicans, but Lamar Alexander pretty much sailed to reelection. Does the Tennessee GOP have a better GOTV organization than other places?
-Vanilla Thunder

Anonymous said...

The Tennessee and Indiana results are puzzling, but so tje results from Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. Their black populations are, respectively, 29, 26 and 37 percent and we can guess that blacks voted at about a 95-plus percentage for Obama.
A combination of poor black turnout and overwhelming white support for McCain?

Stopped Clock said...

The bluest state (Vermont) and the reddest state (Wyoming) have a number of things in common: both are landlocked, mountainous, cityless rural states with overwhelmingly white populations that haven't grown in ages. I've heard that Vermont is difficult to move into, but as far as I know home prices aren't particularly high and I'm not sure that there's much that can be said about Vermont that wouldn't be true about Wyoming.

Democrats would do good to try to figure out how to turn the mountain West states into Vermonts and the Republicans would do good to see how best to turn northern New England and a few other states like Minnesota into Wyomings.

Catain Jack Aubrey said...

Does anyone have any guesses about Tennessee? Any unusual demographic changes? Something else?

Hmmmm....Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. What could they all have in common that made them vote more for McCain than for Bush?

No idea....

Some will call it racism of course, but I think that the South is significantly more aware of the racial shakedown game than the rest of the country; and many whites were driven to vote agin' by Obama's socialism. McCain's war hero status was probably a big bonus in these states, too. Here's a demographic breakdown:

Non-Hispanic Whites:
Tennessee: 77.5% (16.9% B, 3.2% H)
Arkansas: 76.4% (15.7% B, 5.0% H)
Oklahoma: 72.1% (7.8% B, 6.9% H)
Louisiana: 62.8% (31.7% B, 2.9% H)

Don't know that these stats vary much from any other state, but while Obama's candidacy excited blacks in these states, it excited whites more to vote against him.

One thought did occur to me: McCain increased his vote share where 1) whites are racially aware; 2) significantly outnumber blacks (e.g., Tennessee but not mississippi or South Carolina); 3) have significant restrictions on felon voting. Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana all bar voting until the end of all supervised release. In Tennessee it depends upon the type of felony. Here's a list of voting retsrictions by state on felons, from the authoritative Savvy Sista (who, for some unspecified reason, is all hip with the idea of convicted cons voting).

It should be noted that the ban on convicted felons voting preceeds the Civil War in most of these states, including the Southern ones, so it was never about race.

Anonymous said...

a previous poster said:

The bluest state (Vermont) and the reddest state (Wyoming)

When i look at the results i see McCain getting 66% of the vote in Oklahoma and only 65% of the vote in Wyoming

so i would say that in this election Oklahoma would have to be called the reddest and most pro mccain state in the union

testing99 said...

Stopped -- Vermont is too close to NYC to be anything other than a Liberal heaven. And Wyoming to cold and dry and far from Seattle to ever go Dem.

In VT, yuppies can play at being a farmer or inn keeper or something like that. Pretend they are Bob Newhart.

In WY, you have to be tough, work on a ranch and maybe a few other jobs, endure brutal winters, and do some hunting to supplement the food budget.

Anonymous said...

Tennessee seems to be getting a lot of retirees buying land and cabins up in the mountains.

Montana's results were suprising. California refugees bringing their liberal voting habits? What about Utah? Used to be the most Republican state. My guess in more Mexicans and the liberal California refugees. Indiana shocked me too.

In places like Alabama & Louisiana, the whites must vote overwhelmingly Republican given the combination of a large black population and large Republican margin of victory.

Anonymous said...

Vermont (at this stage in time)
creates very little of it's own
capital, I live on the border
w/ VT (in NH) and can say that
the number of well-off folks I've met
in VT w/ no jobs or clearly
hobby type jobs is very high.

Traditionally I have felt this accounted for the different attitudes for taxation and business creation between the two states. The emerging
middle class in NH is more concerned with where the next high tech. would open if they go laid off. In VT, there are still more people concerned that W-mart doesn't come in and block the vie of the Mtns. from their hobby-farm.

AllanF said...

Not sure where he got it from, but Krugman's blog has a nice county-level depiction of the red/blue shift:

Anonymous said...

By the way, in VT, I would venture
that the majority of the hobby-farmers, B+B types etc. are not
true trust-funders (while I've met a few), but are people who cached out of expensive real-estate markets elsewhere in the Northeast or west coast. So, the probably own their homes in outright, have 401K's or other private investments from their working years and just work enough to pay for the organic groceries.

one caveat, there is a true rural underclass in VT, however they are not as interesting to talk about, but it is typical "appalachian" poverty.

TG said...

I wonder if McCain's anti-ethanol stance cost him.

KingM said...

In VT, yuppies can play at being a farmer or inn keeper or something like that. Pretend they are Bob Newhart.

In WY, you have to be tough, work on a ranch and maybe a few other jobs, endure brutal winters, and do some hunting to supplement the food budget.

That's just dumb. Speaking as one of those innkeepers, it's hard work up here and most people in rural Vermont work multiple jobs to make ends meet. And what do you think our winters are, if not brutal?

Peter said...

In WY, you have to be tough, work on a ranch and maybe a few other jobs, endure brutal winters, and do some hunting to supplement the food budget.

Wikipedia notes that 73% of Wyoming residents live in either a metropolitian or micropolitan statistical area. The stereotype of Wyoming residents as living in rural areas does not appear correct.

Anonymous said...

I guess Tennessee is the heart of the resistance. Al Gore couldn't even win there. How many presidential candidates have failed to deliver their home state? Even Mondale managed do that much.