Skip to main content

For those of you who are fascinated by historical election results, I've created a Google spreadsheet (and excel version) of all the presidential election results by state going back to the first widely regarded popular presidential election of 1828. You can find it here in Google Sheets for viewing on the web: Or here for the downloadable excel version:

Each year lists the vote share for each major candidate along with important 3rd party candidates (such as Ralph Nader, Ross Perot, etc) with the winner highlighted and the single-year PVI (comparison to national result) is calculated. For some years with massive distortion from 3rd parties like 1860 there's no PVI, but for more stable 2-party elections like the Whigs vs Dems I calculated a PVI as well. There's a page for the overall vote share, along with one that's 2-party only for years where that makes sense (so 2012, but not 1912).

Candidates are listed last name first with their party noted as it appeared on the ballot and incumbents are shaded gray. If a candidate received no votes in a state (not being on the ballot) the cell for their vote share is left blank, while states like South Carolina that assigned their electoral votes via the legislature pre-Civil War have the winner's party noted.

Here's a preview:   photo PresResultsSpreadsheetPreview_zpsc7595168.png
The state name column and the top three rows are frozen so they're always visible.

The data itself is from Dave Leip's Atlas, so it includes write-in votes under the grand total which some sources do not (if you find errors please let me know).

As a reminder, the link in my comment signature is a folder with all partisan statewide elections in a similar format for every state by county, plus several elections by the current congressional districts, legislative districts, state board districts, etc. There is also a spreadsheet with the 2012 presidential and congressional results by district and state complete with a pronunciation guide for every member of the 113th Congress.


Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Nicely done (6+ / 0-)

    I'm struck by the fact that if you look at the 1988 election, the gap between the most Democratic state, RI, and the most Republican, UT, was 23 (D+10 to R+13).  In fact, those are the only 2 states with a number at 10 or greater.  (Obviously, I'm excluding DC).

    If you compare 1988 to 2008, another open seat race when the national popular vote margin was almost the same (7.3% vs. 7.8%), the gap was 39 (HI:D+19 and WY R+20), with 20 states having a number at 10 or greater.

    For 2012, the gap was 47 (UT to HI) and 22 states had a number greater than 10.

    Some of this is due to the fact that presidential campaigns are more targeted now to only 10-15 competitive states than they were a generation ago, but the conclusions one can draw here are obvious.

  •  I love this spreadsheet! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stephen Wolf

    You made this history nerd VERY happy. Thank you! Not sure what some of the abbreviations are, like PVI. Popular Voting Index? Polar Vortex Icing? Perpetual Veto Insult? Help me out here! Also have no idea what the letters at the top of the columns mean, like: AF, AG, AH, AI. I see that they go through the alphabet, but not sure what they represent.

    Their cause must be our cause too. Because it's not just Negroes, but really it's all of us, who must overcome the crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice. And we shall overcome. -- Lyndon B. Johnson

    by AllTheWayWithLBJ85 on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 11:38:53 AM PDT

  •  Very interesting (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pirogue, Jacob1145

    There are a lot of stories behind those details. Like how did Taft go from getting 55% in California in 1908 to getting 0.6% in 1912?

  •  between 1868 and 1932 (0+ / 0-)

    Oregon voted more Democratic than the nation as a whole only once.

    We no longer ask if a man has integrity, but if he has talent. - Rousseau, Discourse on the arts and sciences

    by James Allen on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 01:27:29 PM PDT

  •  Socialists (4+ / 0-)

    Interesting to see the geographic spread of the Socialist vote change over the years.

    1904 / Debs / Top states:

    8.9% California
    8.8% Montana
    8.5% Oregon
    7.6% Nevada
    6.9% Washington
    6.8% Idaho
    6.4% Illinois
    6.4% Wisconsin
    6.0% Florida
    5.7% Utah

    Lots of states in the (wild) West in this top 10. Thanks in part, I am (wildly) guessing, to miners in places like Nevada and Montana, harbor workers in Washington state, and perhaps loggers in the northeast?

    Mind you, these states must still have been extremely sparsely populated. California yielded Debs a good 30 thousand votes, but some of these other "top" percentages only involved 5-8 thousand votes - and less than that in Florida and in Nevada, where only some 12 thousand votes were cast in total, of which Debs got about 1 thousand.

    The bulk of Debs' vote came from Illinois (69 thousand), New York (37 thousand) and Ohio (36 thousand) - but that New York number equated with just 2.3% of the vote, less than his national average (3.0%). New York just had that many people.

    1908 / Debs

    8.6% Nevada
    8.5% Oklahoma
    8.5% Montana
    7.7% Washington
    7.6% Florida
    7.4% California
    6.6% Oregon
    6.6% Idaho
    6.2% Wisconsin
    4.6% Wyoming

    Mostly the same states, with two notable exceptions. The brand new state of Oklahoma surges into second place. Meanwhile, Illinois fell out of the top 10 - Debs just got 3% there this year, barely more than his national average.

    In absolute terms, however, Debs got most of his votes from the northeast and the midwest: 38 thousand in New York, 35 thousand in Illinois, 34 thousand in Ohio, and 34 thousand in Pennsylvania, followed by 29 thousand (again) in California. That's logically enough, since that's where most Americans lived; in percentage terms, Debs did about as well in Ohio and Pennsylvania as nationally, and worse than that in New York.

    1912 / Debs

    16.5% Nevada
    16.4% Oklahoma
    13.6% Montana
    13.3% Arizona
    12.4% Washington
    11.7% California
    11.3% Idaho
    9.7% Oregon
    9.5% Florida
    8.7% Ohio

    Debs doubled his share of the vote to 6.0%, the best a Socialist presidential candidate in the US ever did -- but the top 10 of states where he did best didn't change much. Nevada, Oklahoma and Montana remained on top, and the brand new state of Arizona came in fourth. Ohio appeared in the top 10 for the first time though.

    For good reason, too: in absolute terms, Ohio was the state with the most Socialist votes this year, 90 thousand of them. Pennsylvania yielded 84 thousand, Illinois 81 thousand, and California 79 thousand. Debs did weakly in New York, getting just 4% of the vote there compared with 6% nationally.

    1916 / Benson

    15.5% Oklahoma
    9.2% Nevada
    6.6% Florida
    6.2% Wisconsin
    6.0% Washington
    6.0% Idaho
    5.5% Arizona
    5.4% Montana
    5.2% Minnesota
    5.1% Texas

    The long-forgotten Allan Benson did about as well in 1916 as Debs had done in 1904 and 1908, netting 3.2% of the vote nationally. The Socialist vote in Oklahoma held up, however. In Nevada, Florida and some other states it dropped back to 1908 levels, and interestingly, the Socialist vote in the three West Coast states and Montana fell back even further than that. California and Oregon weren't even in the Top 10 anymore.

    Instead, Wisconsin rose to fourth place, and Minnesota appeared for the first time.

    I'm guessing that the rapidly growing population of the Westernmost states had something to do with the dilution of the Socialist vote there. California's number of voters had easily more than doubled in eight years; Washington state's had doubled too; and Oregon's and Montana's number of voters had doubled in just four years. In contrast, Oklahoma's and Wisconsin's were merely holding steady.

    In absolute terms, most of Benson's votes came from Illinois (61 thousand), New York (46 thousand), Oklahoma (45 thousand), California and Pennsylvania (43 thousand each). This translated into a merely average percentage in Pennsylvania and a smaller than average share of the vote in not just New York, but erstwhile bulwark Illinois too.

    1920 / Debs

    11.5% Wisconsin
    7.6% Minnesota
    7.0% New York
    6.9% Nevada
    6.8% California
    5.3% Oklahoma
    4.1% Oregon
    4.0% North Dakota
    3.8% Pennsylvania
    3.6% Illinois

    Debs' most famous presidential run, conducted from prison. He actually only got 3.4% of the vote - right in line with his and Benson's results in 1904, 1908 and 1916, and much less than his vaunted run in 1912. But this was the first election in which women were able to vote in all states, so the voter universe expanded greatly, and Debs got the most votes a Socialist presidential candidate would ever get. Almost a million of them.

    Surprisingly, the Top 10 this year looked very different from all the previous ones. The Upper Midwest took over at the top, with presumably Scandinavian, Finnish and German immigrants there fueling record Socialist results in Wisconsin and Minnesota. And for the first time, Debs got an above-average percentage in New York (and a far above average percentage at that).

    Conversely, the Socialist share of the vote plummeted in Oklahoma: Debs got barely more than half the votes there that Benson had gotten, even as the voter universe expanded by some 50%. In Florida too, the total number of votes grew by that amount, but the amount of Socialist votes stayed practically the same. If anyone knows why the Socialists were so very popular in Oklahoma - and why their share of the vote dropped so much in 1920 - tell me please!

    A number of other states that had defined the previous Top 10 lists didn't show up this time simply because Debs was apparently not on the ballot. Judging on the numbers this appears to be true for Montana, Idaho and Arizona. One result is that Debs vote was hugely concentrated in just a few (populous) states, as the Top 10 shows -- his percentage in state #10 is barely over his national average.

    The raw count vote confirms this: 203 thousand votes in New York, 81 thousand in Wisconsin, 75 thousand in Illinois, 71 thousand in Pennsylvania, 64 thousand in California, 57 thousand in Ohio, 56 thousand in Minnesota - and that's about two-thirds of Debs' national vote.

    Um, this is getting a little long. I was still going to do Thomas in '32, and throw in LaFollette in '24 (endorsed by the socialists, but not the communists) and Henry Wallace in '48 (endorsed by the communists, but not the socialists). But I think I'd better just post this.

    •  I recall reading that Socialists in Oklahoma (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      were the best organized state party, but why that was the case more than any other I couldn't tell you. Dave Leip's Atlas has a paywall up on the county level pres results pre-1960, but they have Oklahoma's 1914 gubernatorial election where the Socialist won nearly 21% of the vote, carried 3 counties, and did very well in the south of the and state coming in second in many counties. For 1912 the Wikipedia map has Debs winning four counties: Crawford, KS (an Obama->Romney county), Burke, ND, Beltrami, MN, and Lake, MN.

      Socialists had a ton of success in southeast Wisconsin in the 1920s, winning Milwaukee for some time and electing an actual Socialist congressman, Victor Berger who had a very interesting electoral map in the 1918 senate special where he won 26%. I didn't know the Socialists endorsed LaFollette in 1924, but seeing as how they had run a candidate in several of the preceding and subsequent elections that's not surprising since there wasn't a Socialist Party candidate on the ballot.

      •  Thanks for the maps! (3+ / 0-)

        And I can add a great one too: a good few years ago already, some French guy uploaded a ton of county-level maps of historical US presidential elections to one of those free-hosting websites. And they include a county-level map for Debs' 1912 presidential election results.

        It clearly shows his strength in the West, and more specifically the mining settlements of Nevada, Butte in Montana, the far north of Idaho, the west of North Dakota, Minnesota's Iron Range, and most of all, the southeast of Oklahoma. (Also: central Louisiana - what was that about?)

        And yes, I loved finding out about Victor Berger a number of years ago. And of course Milwaukee had a Socialist mayor until 1960!

    •  In Oregon Leip's atlas has (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nimh, Jacob1145

      the 1912 senate election and 1918 gubernatorial election, both featuring Socialist B.F. Ramp. Ramp did much better in 1912 than 1918, mostly doing better in a few eastern Oregon counties like Baker and Union (miners), Josephine County (probably miners) and then on the coast and in Columbia County, with Coos being his best where he got over 20%, probably longshoremen and workers in forestry and wood products.

      In his 1918 campaign he did much more poorly, I don't think he hit 9% anywhere, but he did get over 8% in Curry and Clackamas, and did better than average on the coast and Washington County.

      Not the same but it could be indicative. The coast and some of those northeastern counties also happened to be some of the more Democratic places in the last century before the current alignment took hold.

      We no longer ask if a man has integrity, but if he has talent. - Rousseau, Discourse on the arts and sciences

      by James Allen on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 06:49:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Socialists, cont. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stephen Wolf

      In 1924, the Socialist didn't run its own candidate, endorsing "Fighting Bob" La Follette instead. Who, with 17% of the nationwide vote, achieved the best result of any leftist presidential candidate in US history (defined as "to the left of the Democrats"). He got almost five million votes.

      His coalition was much broader than Debs', of course, and rallied parts of Teddy Roosevelt's old Progressive Party, part of the Farmer-Labor camp, some powerful labor unions, the Non-Partisan League in North Dakota, and so on.

      Which makes it interesting to distill his top 10 results from this spreadsheet and see that it's actually pretty familiar:

      1924 / La Follette

      54.0% Wisconsin
      45.2% North Dakota
      41.3% Minnesota
      37.9% Montana
      37.0% South Dakota
      36.5% Idaho
      36.3% Nevada
      35.8% Washington
      33.1% California
      31.5% Wyoming

      Wisconsin and Minnesota, the two Upper Midwest states that had come to top Debs' 1920 results, are at the top here too - unsurprisingly, considering La Follette's Wisconsin base. And many of the Western states that had defined Debs' Top 10 results between 1904 and 1912 return as well.

      Montana, Nevada and Washington had been among Debs' top five results in all those three elections; here they are #4, #7 and #8. California and Idaho had been in Debs Top 10 in those three elections; here they are again. Oregon (#12) and Arizona (#13) are not far behind either.

      The main difference is that La Follette appealed to the farmers in the plains states of the midwest as well - the Dakotas as well as Iowa (at #11). Debs had been strong in Oklahoma and made some inroads in Kansas, but not further up north. But otherwise, there is a lot of similarity. In a way, it looks like Debs' 1920 run was the outlier, with its strong support in New York.

      New York still delivered the most votes in absolute terms though (475 thousand), followed by Wisconsin (454 thousand), Illinois (432 thousand), and California (425 thousand). And even in percentage terms, 18% in Illinois and 15% in New York was hardly shabby.

      1932 / Thomas

      4.8% Wisconsin
      4.2% Oregon
      3.8% New York
      3.6% Montana
      3.4% Connecticut
      3.2% Pennsylvania
      2.9% Wyoming
      2.8% California
      2.8% Washington
      2.6% New Jersey

      A bit of a last hurrah of the Socialist Party, this election. 2.2% nationally was a very modest result for the party of Debs, especially in the wake of the economic collapse, and maybe that wasn't entirely just because of FDR. Still; it was one last time that a Socialist presidential candidate got close to a million votes.

      Thomas's Top 10 looked more like that of Debs in 1920 than any of the other ones above - but as if the 1920 trends had been pulled through further. While Wisconsin and Oregon top the list, the real powerhouse here is New York: that's where Thomas's campaign pulled 177 thousand votes, or about a fifth of his total. That's a similar concentration of votes as in 1920.

      He also pulled 91 thousand votes in Pennsylvania; 67 thousand in Illinois (where he actually received a below-average percentage); 64 thousand in Ohio; and 63 thousand in California.

      Meanwhile, Montana and Wyoming are in there, in the Top 10 - still thanks in part to miners in places like Butte, I'm guessing; but so are New Jersey and Connecticut, where no previous Socialist presidential candidate had received an above-average result. A further sign of New York's centrality, I suppose. Conversely, judging on the the absence of numbers or at best tenths of percentage points he received there, Thomas wasn't even on the ballot in Nevada, Oklahoma, Idaho and Florida.

      1948 / Henry Wallace

      8.2% New York
      4.7% California
      3.8% North Dakota
      3.5% Washington
      3.3% Montana
      2.9% Oregon
      2.4% Nevada

      Wallace, like La Follette before him, was not a Socialist of course. Unlike La Follette, Wallace wasn't even endorsed by the Socialists, who ran Thomas again in a disastrous campaign which netted them just 0.3% of the vote. But it seems like he fits here nevertheless.

      If nothing else, it sets a more recognizable model of electoral geography for the 21st century liberal. It's hard, I guess, for many now to imagine a time where left-wing politicians did best in the "heartland" or "fly-over country", in places like Oklahoma. Wallace's campaign, on the other hand, which seems to have heavily focused its appeal on intellectuals and minorities, ended up disproportionally relying on the coastal states of New York and California, a pattern that's much more familiar now.

      This is also why there is no actual Top 10 above, just a Top 7. Wallace received 2.4% of the national vote. But because his vote was so concentrated in a couple of populous states, there were actually just seven states in the whole country where his score matched or outdid that! Everywhere else he did worse than nationally.

      In total, Wallace got 1.16 million votes. Almost half of those, 510 thousand, came from New York. Another 190 thousand came from California. No other individual state yielded more than 60,000 votes.

    •  Heh. First thing I checked was how Debs did! (0+ / 0-)

      "Heretics are the only remedy against the entropy of human thought.” ― Yevgeny Zamyatin

      by Taget on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 12:00:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Harry Truman not on the AL ballot in 1948? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Was there a reason why President Truman didn't bother getting on the ballot in Alabama in 1948?  In the previous four elections FDR carried Alabama with over 80% of the vote every election.  Outside of a handful of deep south states Truman still did very well in the south in 1948.  You'd think he would have at lest bothered to get on the ticket even though third party Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond was going to carry the state.

    •  The state party wouldn't let Truman (0+ / 0-)

      or later Johnson be the official Democratic nominee. Instead it was Wallace who ran on the official Democratic ticket in Alabama in 1948 whereas in most states he was the third party "States' Rights." In Mississippi Thurmond was also officially on the Democratic ticket while Truman was the "National Democratic" candidate. 1964 was kind of similar with Alabama Democrats not letting Johnson on their ballot so Goldwater's opposition was just "Unpledged" whereas in Mississippi Goldwater was "Mississippi Republican" vs Johnson as "National Democratic." 1968 as well with Wallace the Democrat and Humphrey "National Democratic" in Alabama.

      •  I kind of recall too (0+ / 0-)

        There was a floor fight at the 64 Dem convention over who would be the delegation from AL - the segregationists or the NDPA (National Democratic Party of Alabama), which the NDPA won. I remember a woman named Fannie Lou Hamer casting AL's votes at the conventions of 64 and 68.

        Born and raised in NJ-03, went to college in NJ-06, grad school in IN-04, now live in MI-09. Economic -6.12 Social -8.31 The Republicans turned me into a Democrat

        by Don K on Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 07:29:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Oh and thanks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stephen Wolf

    for all of this Stephen. It's interesting to look back and see how reliably Rep MI was from the aftermath of the Civil War until 1952.

    Born and raised in NJ-03, went to college in NJ-06, grad school in IN-04, now live in MI-09. Economic -6.12 Social -8.31 The Republicans turned me into a Democrat

    by Don K on Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 07:53:06 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site