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Longest voting streak by each state in U.S. presidential elections 1789-2016

Presidential elections in the United States have been dominated by two parties throughout most of their history. The Democratic Party became the most powerful political party with Andrew Jackson's victory in the 1828 election, and the Republican Party emerged as their main opponents following Abraham Lincoln's victory in 1860. Since these years, Democratic candidates have won 22 U.S. presidential elections, while Republicans have won 24. The longest winning streaks of ether party came between 1860 and 1880, where Republican candidates won six elections in a row, while the Democrats won five in a row between 1932 and 1948.

Longest streaks

Although the nation's longest streak is just six elections in a row, the longest streaks of any individual state lasted for 27 consecutive elections. These belonged to Vermont, who voted Republican in all elections between 1856 and 1960, and Georgia, who voted Democrat in all elections between 1852 and 1960 (except in 1864, when it had seceded from the union). The longest current streak belongs to the District of Columbia, which has voted for the Democratic candidate in all 14 presidential elections in which it has taken part. Illinois is the only state with streaks for both the Democratic and Republican parties, while Kentucky's longest streaks are for both the Democratic-Republican and Democratic parties respectively.

Changing ideologies

When looking at streaks that took place over fourteen or more elections, most states were voting for the party that is not the most dominant there today. For example, from around the time of the American Civil War until after the Second World War, many southern states voted exclusively for the Democratic Party's nominee, whereas many northern states voted Republican between 1856 and 1908; in contrast, most of these states have voted for the opposite party's candidate in the past six or more elections.
Historically, the Democratic Party was the more conservative of the two major parties, but gradually became more fiscally liberal during Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration, while it became more socially liberal following the Second World War. In doing this, the Democratic Party grew more appealing to voters in urban centers and in the northeast, however this transition alienated many conservative voters in the south, who became disenfranchised by the party's policies regarding civil rights. Because of this, the Republican Party then launched its "Southern strategy" during the 1960s, moving further to the right and capitalizing on racial polarization in the south by proposing policies that enforced segregation and protected Jim Crow laws. Since this time, the Republican Party has generally been the strongest in the south, although growing Hispanic and urban populations are weakening their dominance (such as in Texas).

Number of times each state consecutively voted for the same party during their longest streak in U.S. presidential elections from 1789 to 2016

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Source

Release date

2020

Region

United States

Survey time period

1789 to 2016

Supplementary notes

This data does not include uncast ballots, or ballots from faithless electors. In cases where the vote was split, the candidate with the most electoral votes was considered the winner.

*Current streak, following the 2016 election.

**Voted for George Washington in 1789 and 1792, and then the Federalist candidate in the following six elections. Although Washington's views and policies were mostly aligned with those of the Federalist Party, he was officially unaffiliated, therefore these have not been counted as one voting streak.

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Statistics on "History of U.S. presidential elections 1789-2016"

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