Wyoming, Utah still most partisan states in U.S.

Pennsylvania the least politically partisan state

The Cook Political Report releases an interesting report and map each year or so that shows how partisan each state and Congressional district is compared to the national average.

In the most recent report, Wyoming was billed as the most partisan state in the country. Residents there voted 25 percentage points more for Republicans than the national average.

Four other states — Utah, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Idaho — also voted more strongly Republican than the most partisan Democratic-strong state of Hawaii, which favored Dems by 18 percentage points. West Virginia should be considered less partisan than the others since a Democratic senator won a statewide seat there.

In Utah, a Democrat hasn’t won a major statewide election — either for governor or senator — since 1980. That’s the longest partisan string in the country.

State…….. Last time Democrat won major office
Utah……………….. 1980
Oklahoma.………… 1990
Wyoming………….. 1990
Idaho………………. 1990
Texas………………. 1994

Texas was pretty close this year in the Senate race, so it maybe doesn’t deserve to be on this list. Meanwhile, the longest time a Republican hasn’t won a major office in a state is since 1994.

State…….. Last time Republican won major office
Washington…………. 1994
Delaware…………….. 1994
Hawaii……………….. 2002
New York…………….. 2002
Oregon………………. 2002

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Utah, which contains some of the most scenic places in the country like Monument Valley, above, hasn’t elected a Democrat to a major statewide office since 1980. [Shay photo]

Moreover, there are 19 states in which the governor and U.S. senators are all Republicans, while Democrats control every major statewide position in 15 states. Three of the six states that most lean towards Democrats — Maryland, Massachusetts, and Vermont — have Republican governors, while the only Republican-controlled state in the top six with a Democrat in major office is West Virginia.

The least partisan state? Pennsylvania, which has an equal number of Republicans and Democrats in Congress.

So what can you conclude? While Republicans may say that the longer strings show they can appeal to a wide range of voters, the fact is those voters stick with one party longer. Thus, Democrats are less partisan in general than Republicans. The most partisan states are in the Southwest and West. And don’t expect that to change anytime soon.

Written for 45+ newspapers/mags. Written some books — see https://www.amazon.com/Kevin-J.-Shay/e/B004BCQRTG. Visited 48 states, 30+ countries.

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