The District of Columbia is the only non-state entity of the United States with a share of electoral votes in U.S. presidential elections. Since the Twenty-third Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granted Washington D.C. representation in these elections, the nation's capital has had three electoral votes in each election since 1964. In these 15 elections, Washington D.C.'s citizens have chosen the overall winner seven times, giving a success rate of 47 percent, which is the lowest in the country. As of 2020, no U.S. president has ever been born in Washington D.C., although former Vice President and Democratic nominee in the 2000 election, Al Gore, is the only major party candidate to have been born there, during his father's term in the House of Representatives.
The District of Columbia has voted for the Democratic Party's nominee in every presidential election that has been contested in the capital. Not only do Democratic nominees perform well in D.C., they win these electoral votes by significant margins; Democrats have won over ninety percent of D.C.'s popular vote in the past four elections, and the worst performance ever by a Democrat was in 1980, where Jimmy Carter only won 75 percent of the popular vote. Factors such as heavy urbanization and ethnic diversity are generally cited as the reasons for D.C.'s strong Democrat voter base.
The only time where a Democratic nominee did not receive all three electoral votes was in 2000, when one elector abstained from casting her ballot, as a protest of D.C.'s lack of voting representation in Congress. While the District of Columbia can take part in presidential elections, it is a federal district under Congress' jurisdiction, and does not have voting representation in either chamber of Congress. The statehood movement aims to make Washington D.C. the newest state to join the union, possibly under the name "New Columbia" or "Washington, Douglass Commonwealth" (named after the abolitionist, Frederick Douglass), and bring an end to what it sees as "Taxation without representation". Generally speaking, lawmakers are split along party lines on whether D.C. should receive statehood or not; with Democrats in favor of the proposition, while Republicans are opposed to the idea (as it would likely bolster the Democrat's numbers in Congress). A survey conducted in June 2020, showed that roughly 40 percent of registered voters support the idea of D.C. statehood, while 41 percent oppose the idea, and the remainder are undecided; the topic gained renewed attention in 2020 when President Trump used the capital's National Guard to disperse peaceful protesters from near the White House during the George Floyd protests.
Number of electoral votes from the District of Columbia designated to each party's candidate in U.S. presidential elections from 1964 to 2020
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270towin.com. (December 16, 2020). Number of electoral votes from the District of Columbia designated to each party's candidate in U.S. presidential elections from 1964 to 2020 [Graph]. In Statista. Retrieved June 26, 2022, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/1129820/washington-dc-electoral-votes-since-1964/
270towin.com. "Number of electoral votes from the District of Columbia designated to each party's candidate in U.S. presidential elections from 1964 to 2020." Chart. December 16, 2020. Statista. Accessed June 26, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1129820/washington-dc-electoral-votes-since-1964/
270towin.com. (2020). Number of electoral votes from the District of Columbia designated to each party's candidate in U.S. presidential elections from 1964 to 2020. Statista. Statista Inc.. Accessed: June 26, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1129820/washington-dc-electoral-votes-since-1964/
270towin.com. "Number of Electoral Votes from The District of Columbia Designated to Each Party's Candidate in U.S. Presidential Elections from 1964 to 2020." Statista, Statista Inc., 16 Dec 2020, https://www.statista.com/statistics/1129820/washington-dc-electoral-votes-since-1964/
270towin.com, Number of electoral votes from the District of Columbia designated to each party's candidate in U.S. presidential elections from 1964 to 2020 Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/1129820/washington-dc-electoral-votes-since-1964/ (last visited June 26, 2022)