Mississippi has taken part in 49 U.S. presidential elections since 1820, and has voted for the overall winning candidate on 25 occasions, giving a success rate of 51 percent (which is one of the lowest in the country). Mississippi did not take part in the 1864 election, due to its secession during the American Civil War, and although the war had ended in 1865, Mississippi was not readmitted to the union until 1870 and did not take part in the 1868 election either. Generally speaking, Mississippi's electoral votes have been won by the most conservative option of the major party candidates. The Magnolia State voted for the Democratic nominee in 28 out of the 31 elections held between 1828 ad 1956, before switching to the Republican Party during the civil rights era, and it has voted for the Republican nominee in every election since 1980. In the 2020 election, Donald Trump the popular vote with a comfortable 58 percent share of the popular vote; similar to his 2016 performance.
Although Mississippi has generally voted for the most conservative major party candidate throughout its history, there were a number of occasions where the results did not follow this trend. For example, Ulysses S. Grant won Mississippi's popular vote in 1872, as many white voters had become disenfranchised in the wake of the civil war, while this was the first opportunity for most of Mississippi's black population to take part in a presidential election. In 1948 and 1968 respectively, Mississippi voted for third party candidates, who both ran on anti-black, pro-segregation platforms, which were popular in the south. In the 1960 election, Mississippi's electors were not pledged to any candidate; as John F. Kennedy's attitude to civil rights was unpopular during the Jim Crow era, Mississippi's electors protested by casting their votes for Harry Flood Byrd, although this did not influence the nationwide result. The last time where Mississippi voted Democrat was in 1976, where the southerner Jimmy Carter defeated Gerald R. Ford, who was unpopular in the south following his pardon of Richard Nixon.
Unlike most other states in the south, Mississippi's population has grown relatively slowly compared to the national average. Because of this, Mississippi's allocation of electoral votes has fallen from ten in the 1920s, to just six today. Mississippi's status as a safe, red state may seem somewhat surprising, given the fact that almost forty percent of Mississippi's population is made up of black Americans, who overwhelmingly vote Democrat; Republican dominance in Mississippi has been attributed to the party's considerable popularity among white voters, as well as the organization of district lines and strict voting laws. As of the 2020 election, no U.S. president was born in or resided in Mississippi when taking office, nor has any other major party nominee.
Number of electoral votes from Mississippi designated to each party's candidate in U.S. presidential elections from 1820 to 2020
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270towin.com. (December 16, 2020). Number of electoral votes from Mississippi designated to each party's candidate in U.S. presidential elections from 1820 to 2020 [Graph]. In Statista. Retrieved December 09, 2022, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/1130584/mississippi-electoral-votes-since-1820/
270towin.com. "Number of electoral votes from Mississippi designated to each party's candidate in U.S. presidential elections from 1820 to 2020." Chart. December 16, 2020. Statista. Accessed December 09, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1130584/mississippi-electoral-votes-since-1820/
270towin.com. (2020). Number of electoral votes from Mississippi designated to each party's candidate in U.S. presidential elections from 1820 to 2020. Statista. Statista Inc.. Accessed: December 09, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1130584/mississippi-electoral-votes-since-1820/
270towin.com. "Number of Electoral Votes from Mississippi Designated to Each Party's Candidate in U.S. Presidential Elections from 1820 to 2020." Statista, Statista Inc., 16 Dec 2020, https://www.statista.com/statistics/1130584/mississippi-electoral-votes-since-1820/
270towin.com, Number of electoral votes from Mississippi designated to each party's candidate in U.S. presidential elections from 1820 to 2020 Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/1130584/mississippi-electoral-votes-since-1820/ (last visited December 09, 2022)