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Realigning Election Data


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I added a new category to my Greatest Election Victory algorithm. I've calculated which elections led to victory streaks in states. A stream by my definition is when an election flips a state for at least 5 elections (20 years). I've also awarded points for "stops," which is when a victory stops a streak but doesn't necessarily start a streak for their own party. I've also penalized election when the opponent scores a streak or stop. 

Elections that created the most streaks:

  1. Nixon def. Humphrey in 1968, 21 states flipped Red for 5+ elections
  2. FDR def. Hoover in 1932, 19 states
  3. Clinton def. Bush in 1992, 10 states
  4. Bush def. Gore in 2000, 7 states
  5. Reagan def. Carter in 1980, 5 states

Elections that saw the opponent create the most streaks despite losing the election:

  1. Fremont in his loss to Buchanan, 1856, 9 states flipped from Democrats for 5+ elections
  2. Dukakis in his loss to Bush, 1988, 7 states
  3. Tilden in his loss to Hayes, 1872, 7 states
  4. Jefferson in his loss to Adams, 1796, 5 states
  5. Hughes in loss to Wilson in 1916 and Wilkie in his loss to FDR in 1940, 4 states

Elections that stopped an opponent party's streak but didn't lead to a streak for their own party:

  1. Eisenhower def. Stevenson in 1952, 17 states
  2. Wilson def. Taft in 1912, 7 states
  3. LBJ def. Goldwater in 1964, 6 states
  4. McKinley def. Bryan in 1896, 5 states (tie w/ below)
  5. Clinton def. Bush in 1992, 5 states (tie w/ above)

Elections that saw the loser with the most stops:

  1. Harrison & Whigs in their loss to Van Buren in 1836, 3
  2. Several tied w/ 1

What is most noticeable about the above is: 

  • The 1st mass streaks occur over slavery as the 1856 Republican Party (more focused on abolitionism than the 1860-version) draws a line through the middle of the US. Fremont lost, but he starts long-lasting streaks for future GOP victories. 
  • The 2nd mass streaks occur as the Democrats rebuild following the Civil War -- both Tilden and Hancock saw a lot of state gains in their close losses. 
  • The so-called 1896 McKinley-Bryan realignment is very minor, geographically speaking. 
  • Wilson's "stops" were entirely due to the GOP splitting in 1912. 
  • Hoover's election was the more geographically impressive of the Roaring 20's GOP victories. 
  • FDR is the first election victor to have a large number of streaks and stops. He flips more than 1/3 of America for 5 elections -- His four victories + Truman. 
  • Eisenhower benefits as US tires of being under one party for 20 years. He gets almost as many stops as FDR had victories. However, he can't build many streaks of his own. 
  • LBJ doesn't really put up many numbers for these categories, but he should get some mention as to why Eisenhower doesn't translate any of his stops to streaks. 
  • Nixon scores the highest number of streaks, despite a close election in 1968. If not for LBJ, many of these streaks would have gone to Eisenhower. Nixon sort of benefits from LBJ's Icarus-like rise to the sun and rapid fall. 
  • Reagan adds to GOP streaks. 
  • Dukakis in his loss and Clinton in his victory dismantle the gains made by Nixon and Reagan. 
  • Bush scores several streaks in his hotly contested victory. Had Gore won, he would be, like Buchanan, Hayes, and Bush Sr, had seen the opponent start a streak in several states without starting a streak of their own. 
  • Although too early to tell, Obama '08 will likely see 4 streaks to his credit (VA, NV, NM, and CO) as these 4 states are likely to stay with the Democrats in 2024. It's too early to tell if Trump or Biden will have any streaks. It's possible Trump might get IA and OH with a very outside chance of FL and NC, but this will depend on all four of these states going Red through the 2028 election. I doubt Biden sees any streaks from 2020, but if he does, it would have to come from MI, PA, WI, AZ, and GA. Of these, I think MI and AZ are most likely to go Blue the next 4 elections. However, I think this is extremely unlikely. 

Here is the current order of the elections from Greatest Victory to Weakest Victory. As I've added new categories the scoring has changed. I've bolded the 21st century elections. Obama's 2008 election is no longer negative and is now at 0. This could change as I'm confidently projecting his 4 streaks to be sustained in the 2024 election. It's high likely they will be:

Election Winner Loser Totals (based on ranking of the right)
1964 Johnson Goldwater 65
1936 Roosevelt Landon 64
1972 Nixon McGovern 62
1984 Reagan Mondale 46
1864 Lincoln McClellan 39
1932 Roosevelt Hoover 39
1840 Harrison Van Buren 29
1956 Eisenhower Stevenson 28
1868 Grant Seymour 27
1920 Harding Cox 26
1808 Madison Pinckney 25
1872 Grant Greeley 24
1952 Eisenhower Stevenson 23
1928 Hoover Smith 22
1804 Jefferson Pinckney 20
1852 Pierce Scott 18
1980 Reagan Carter 17
1904 Roosevelt Parker 17
1788 Washington n/a 16
1816 Monroe King 13
1940 Roosevelt Wilkie 6
1896 McKinley Bryan 5
1900 McKinley Bryan 4
1944 Roosevelt Dewey 4
1820 Monroe n/a 3
1924 Coolidge Davis 3
1800 Jefferson Adams 3
1828 Jackson Adams 2
1912 Wilson Taft 2
1792 Washington n/a 2
1908 Taft Bryan 2
1988 Bush Dukakis 1
2008 Obama McCain 0
1844 Polk Clay 0
1832 Jackson Clay -2
2004 Bush Kerry -6
1860 Lincoln Douglas -8
1836 Van Buren Harrison -9
1992 Clinton Bush -9
1856 Buchanan Fremont -9
1892 Cleveland Harrison -10
1996 Clinton Dole -10
1948 Truman Dewey -11
2020 Biden Trump -13
1968 Nixon Humphrey -13
1976 Carter Ford -13
1884 Cleveland Blaine -13
1916 Wilson Hughes -15
1848 Taylor Cass -17
1888 Harrison Cleveland -17
1880 Garfield Hancock -18
2012 Obama Romney -19
1812 Madison Clinton -19
2016 Trump Clinton -20
2000 Bush Gore -28
1960 Kennedy Nixon -30
1796 Adams Jefferson -37
1876 Hayes Tilden -46
1824 Adams Jackson -66



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