Showing posts with label 1996 election. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1996 election. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The 1996 Electoral College Spectrum

From 1992 to 1996:

The 1996 Electoral College Spectrum1
1Follow the link for a detailed explanation on how to read the Electoral College Spectrum. The darker the color of the cell, the higher the margin was for the winning candidate (Light: < 5%. Medium: 5-10%, Dark: > 10%).

The numbers in the parentheses refer to the number of electoral votes a candidate would have if he won all the states ranked up to that state. If, for example, Dole had won all the states up to and including Tennessee, he would have gained 282 electoral votes. Dole's numbers are only totaled through the states he would have needed in order to get to 270. In those cases, Clinton's number is on the left and Dole's is on the right in italics.

The electoral votes for Washington, DC are included in the first cell at the top left. Conveniently, the district is historically the most Democratic unit within the electoral college which allows FHQ to push it off the spectrum in the interest of keeping the figure to just 50 slots.

Pennsylvania is the state where Clinton crossed the 270 electoral vote threshold to win the presidential election. That line is referred to as the victory line.

1) Again, the movement of the color lines from cycle to cycle is not as important as the changes in ordering of the states.

2) 1996 is the first year in the time period being examined in which a sitting president was reelected. The spectrum from 1992, then, should bear some resemblance to the figure above. What's interesting is how regional groupings of states shift in similar directions more clearly in 1996 than they have in other years. Bear in mind that we are talking about shifts in positioning on the spectrum and not changes in shares of the vote or margins between the candidates. For example, this spectrum shows a certain consolidation of the northeast for the Democratic Party. Of the ten states in the far left column -- the most Democratic -- seven are from the northeast (or mid-Atlantic). New Hampshire even moved over an entire column to the left of the tipping point state (Pennsylvania).

On the whole, midwestern states (see Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin) pushed over toward Clinton in the order in 1996 and border (Arkansas, Missouri, West Virginia) and Pacific (California, Oregon and Washington) states moved in the opposite direction; toward Dole.

3) If we shift our focus to the evolution of the positions of the 2012 swing states, we also see a closer alignment with what has been witnessed in terms of the electoral college spectrum order over the last two cycles. Iowa, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida and New Hampshire are all collectively more proximate to the tipping point than they were in the prior cases. Colorado, North Carolina and Virginia are all within striking distance competition-wise but on the opposite end of the partisan line from the winning candidate. The full group of toss up states (in FHQ's typology) is clustered much more in 1996 than was the case in, say, 1984. And mind you, that is in no ways a surprise. Again, this is an evolutionary process and we should expect to see movement toward the most recent alignment of states (within the context of the other idiosyncratic factors unique to each election cycle).

4) FHQ will spare you another nearly duplicate spectrum to account for the influence of Perot in the 1996 election. It was far more muted than was the case in 1992 and that translated to the spectrum as well. The two-party version of the 1996 electoral college spectrum was not overly different from the one above. No state shifted more than one position on the table. So, we're talking about a limited number of less than consequential flip-flops.

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Saturday, February 28, 2009

1996 Presidential Primary Calendar

Thursday, January 11:
Ohio Democratic caucuses

Thursday, January 25:
Hawaii Republican caucuses (through January 31)

Saturday, January 27:
Alaska Republican caucuses (through January 29)

Tuesday, February 6:
Louisiana Republican caucuses (21 delegates)

Monday, February 12:
Iowa caucuses (both parties)

Tuesday, February 20:
New Hampshire primary

Saturday, February 24:
Delaware primary

Tuesday, February 27:
Arizona primary (Republicans only)
North Dakota primary (Republicans only)
South Dakota primary (Republicans only)

March: Virginia Republican caucuses

Saturday, March 2:
South Carolina primary (Republicans only -- party-run)
Wyoming Republican caucuses

Tuesday, March 5:
Colorado primary
Connecticut primary
Georgia primary
Idaho Democratic caucuses
Maine primary
Maryland primary
Massachusetts primary
Minnesota caucuses (both parties)
Rhode Island primary
South Carolina Democratic caucuses 
Vermont primary
Washington caucuses (both parties)

Thursday, March 7:
Missouri Democratic caucuses
New York primary

Saturday, March 9:
Alaska Democratic caucuses 
Arizona Democratic caucuses 
Missouri Republican caucuses 
South Dakota Democratic caucuses

Sunday, March 10:
Nevada Democratic caucuses

Tuesday, March 12:
Florida primary
Hawaii Democratic caucuses 
Louisiana primary (both parties -- 9 GOP delegates)
Mississippi primary
Oklahoma primary
Oregon primary
Tennessee primary
Texas primary (both parties and Democratic caucuses)

Saturday, March 16:
Michigan Democratic caucuses

Tuesday, March 19:
Illinois primary
Michigan primary (Republicans only)
Ohio primary (Republicans only)
Wisconsin primary

Saturday, March 23:
Wyoming Democratic caucuses

Monday, March 25:
Utah caucuses (both parties)

Tuesday, March 26:
California primary
Nevada primary (Republicans only)
Washington primary (Republicans only)

Friday, March 29:
North Dakota Democratic caucuses

Tuesday, April 2:
Kansas primary (canceled -- Republican State Committee chose delegates)

Saturday, April 13:
Virginia Democratic caucuses (and April 15)

Tuesday, April 23:
Pennsylvania primary

Tuesday, May 7:
Indiana primary
North Carolina primary
Washington, DC primary

Tuesday, May 14:
Nebraska primary
West Virginia primary

Tuesday, May 21:
Arkansas primary

Tuesday, May 28:
Idaho primary (Republicans only)
Kentucky primary

Tuesday, June 4:
Alabama primary
Montana primary (Democrats only, Republican beauty contest -- no delegates at stake)
New Jersey primary
New Mexico primary

Wednesday, June 5:
Montana Republican caucuses (through June 13)

[Primaries in bold; Caucuses in italics]

States that are split vertically had different dates for different party contests. The shade to the left of that line corresponds with the month in which the Democratic contest took place and the right side represents the Republican contest.

[Source: Congressional Quarterly and news accounts from 1996. The latter was used to double-check the dates or discover missing ones.]

A few notes:
1) 1996 is the turning point in the frontloading era, in my estimation. The impact of California's decision to pick up its belongings and move from June to March cannot be underestimated. All those delegates being decided upon three months earlier than usual change the calculus of the presidential nomination game for candidates and states alike. Every state following California was even more at risk of being meaningless than ever before.

2) From a numbers standpoint, there were 42 states that held primaries for at least one party in 1996. 29 of those states fell in either February or March. With the exceptions of Virginia, Kansas and Montana, all the contests after March were primaries. In other words, there had been some consolidation of caucus states in the earlier period and a bifurcation of primary states. Those primary states after March were all states that held their presidential primary concurrently with their primaries for state and local offices. Not all of the states that held concurrent primaries were late (see Maryland and Texas ), but each one of those late primaries fell into that category.

3) 1996 witnessed a couple of attempts at regional primaries. Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont (the Yankee Primary) all held their primaries on March 5. Illnois, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin (the Great Lake Primary) all held their contests on March 19. Plus, there was the remnants of the Southern Super Tuesday in 1988. Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas all went on March 12. The latter series of contests virtually sealed the deal for Bob Dole's ascendance to the GOP nomination, and before the race ever really got to the Midwest of the mini-Western primary (California, Nevada and Washington). So even though California moved, the Golden state still missed out on the action.

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