Monday, January 15, 2018

On the importance of Florida in 2020.

Democratic Share of the Presidential Vote in Florida Versus North Carolina

Question: The first table below contains the shares of the presidential vote going to the Democratic candidate in Florida and in North Carolina for all elections 1976 to 2016.   The second table has the outcomes of the presidential contests in the two states.

Has the relationship between the share of the vote earned by the Democratic candidate in the two states remained stable across this entire period?

How often has the Democrat lost Florida and won North Carolina.

Should an econometric model of presidential outcomes based on state outcomes in Florida and North Carolina include data prior to 1996?

Request for Opinion:   What do these numbers suggest about 2020?


Tables:


Democratic Vote In Florida Versus North Carolina
Year
Forida
North Carolina
Difference (Florida Minus North Carolina)
1976
48.6
55.3
-6.7
1980
38.5
47.2
-8.7
1984
34.7
37.9
-3.2
1988
38.5
41.7
-3.2
1992
39.0
42.7
-3.7
1996
48.0
44.0
4.0
2000
48.8
43.2
5.6
2004
47.1
43.6
3.5
2008
51.0
49.7
1.3
2012
50.0
49.1
0.9
2016
47.8
46.7
1.1



Outcome in Florida and North Carolina (Winner R or D)
Year
Forida
North Carolina
1976
D
D
1980
R
R
1984
R
R
1988
R
R
1992
R
R
1996
D
R
2000
R
R
2004
R
R
2008
D
D
2012
D
R
2016
R
R


Answers:

Has the relationship between the share of the vote earned by the Democratic candidate in the two states remained stable across this entire period?

The relationship between the Democratic share of the vote in Florida and the share in North Carolina has not been stable over time.   Difference in Democratic share of the vote F=NC has been positive since 1996 and was negative from 1976 to 1992.  The differential is now small but in the most recent elections the Democrat has done better in Florida than North Carolina.


How often has the Democrat lost Florida and won North Carolina.

Never in the 1976 to 2016 period studied here.

Should an econometric model of presidential outcomes based on state outcomes in Florida and North Carolina include data prior to 1996?

Emphatically NoThe most recent data indicates that if the Democrats lose Florida they will lose North Carolina by a larger margin.  This was not true prior to 1996.   2020 is much more likely to match recent results than older results.

What do these numbers suggest about 2020?

Only in 1992 did the Democrats lose both Florida and North Carolina and still win the election.   This was a different era.   Clinton/Gore 1992 won in states like West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Louisiana and all Midwestern states.   Today Florida and North Carolina are the only contestable southern states.

The bottom line for 20202 is Florida, Florida, Florida.   The candidate that loses Florida in 2020 has a narrow path to victory.