Connect with us

TOP BREAKING NEWS!

The Disappearing Political Center: In More Places, Elections Aren’t Close


Financial

The Disappearing Political Center: In More Places, Elections Aren’t Close

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-disappearing-political-center-in-more-places-elections-arent-close-11568984400?mod=hp_lead_pos9

For a stark illustration of how the political center is disappearing from American politics, compare President Bill Clinton’s re-election in 1996 with Donald Trump’s victory 20 years later.

In 1996, Mr. Clinton won re-election easily, and yet the outcome was relatively narrow in many parts of the country. In 1,125 counties, Mr. Clinton won or lost by a margin of less than 10 percentage points.

In 2016, by contrast, Mr. Trump won or lost by a single-digit margin in only 310 counties—even though the national popular vote was much closer than in 1996.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

How have you seen the voting behaviors in your town change? Join the conversation below.

In other words, competitive races have become scarce. Voters now live in two camps, a metropolitan America that leans Democratic, and regions beyond the nation’s big metro areas that lean Republican. The country’s political map is painted in red and blue, with little purple.

Twenty years ago, many cities produced far closer election results than today. The 1996 election produced a one-point race in the county that’s home to San Diego, for example, whereas Mr. Trump lost it by 20 points.

Many rural areas show the same trend: Dodge County, Wis., for example, produced a one-point race in 1996, whereas Mr. Trump won it by close to 30 points. In Mineral County, Colo., Mr. Clinton won by 3 percentage points in 1996, while Mr. Trump won it by 16.

While Reform Party candidate

Ross Perot

may have had an effect on the results in 1996, it was likely to be small. Mr. Clinton defeated Republican

Sen. Bob Dole

that year by 8.5 percentage points, despite Mr. Perot’s presence in the race.

1996

2000

2004

2008

2012

2016

Counties with single-digit margins of victory

1996 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

Lake, Marion and

Sumter counties, Fla.: These counties, home to large senior populations, were battlegrounds in 1996. In 2016 they all voted for Donald Trump by more than 20 pct. pts.

Maricopa County, Ariz.:

After 20 years of rapid growth, Phoenix’s county is one of the few that is on both the 1996 and 2016 single-digit margin maps.

Missouri: In 1996 it was a battleground state full of closely-contested counties. In 2016, it voted for Donald Trump by almost 20 points and was home to only one single-digit county, Boone, in the state’s center.

2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

New Hampshire: The

state stands out as

an exception to the larger rule. There were more single-digit margin counties in 2016 (seven) than there were in 1996 (five).

Dallas County, Texas: Republican Bob Dole won it by a point in 1996. In 2016, the winning margin was 26 points…for Hillary Clinton, a sign of the Democrats growth in urban areas.

1996

2000

2004

A Step-By-Step Blueprint For Making Money Online, That Is 100% Dummy Proof!

GET EASY FREE TRAFFIC + AFFILIATE OFFER = COMMI$$IONS

Get The Simple Traffic Blueprint Now!

2008

2012

2016

Counties with single-digit margins of victory

1996 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

1996

2000

2004

2008

2012

2016

Counties with single-digit margins of victory

1996 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

Lake, Marion and Sumter counties, Fla.: These counties, home to large senior populations, were battlegrounds in 1996. In 2016 they all voted for Donald Trump by more than 20 pct. pts.

Maricopa County, Ariz.:

After 20 years of rapid growth, Phoenix’s county is one of the few that is on both the 1996 and 2016 single-digit margin maps.

Missouri: In 1996 it was a battleground state full of closely-contested counties. In 2016, it voted for Donald Trump by almost 20 points and was home to only one single-digit county, Boone, in the state’s center.

2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

New Hampshire: The

state stands out as

an exception to the larger rule. There were more single-digit margin counties in 2016 (seven) than there were in 1996 (five).

Dallas County, Texas: Republican Bob Dole won it by a point in 1996. In 2016, the winning margin was 26 points…for Hillary Clinton, a sign of the Democrats growth in urban areas.

1996

2000

2004

2008

2012

2016

Counties with single-digit margins of victory

1996 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

Write to Dante Chinni at Dante.Chinni@wsj.com and Aaron Zitner at Aaron.Zitner@dowjones.com

Copyright ©2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Free Gift With Our Newsletter

We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Top Stories!

To Top