“Of course, the figures presented here are based on all state residents, and differences in turnout, which usually favor Republicans, can alter the political balance of the state electorate in a given election,” Gallup notes. “Since 2008, there has been a significant movement away from the Democratic Party both at the national level and in many states.”
Indeed, nationally, Democrats had a three-point advantage last year, a dramatic fall from their 30-point advantage in 2008, a quarter-century peak for the party.
Since it began tracking such responses seven years ago, nine states have consistently ranked among the top 10 most-Democratic each year. They are Massachusetts, Maryland, Rhode Island, New York, Vermont, California, Hawaii, Delaware and Illinois. Connecticut and New Jersey tied for 10th this year, after alternately rotating through the top 10 since 2008. Maine tied for 10th in 2008.
There has been much more variation among Republican states. Seventeen have ranked among the top 10 since 2008. This year, Midwestern and Western states dominated the list, which included the Midwestern states Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota, and the Western states Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming. Tennessee and Alabama also ranked in the top 10.
The top 10 in each party held an advantage of at least 10 percentage points. Six states leaned Democratic, with a five-point advantage, and five leaned Republican. The remaining 18 states were “competitive,” having less than a five-point advantage in favor of either party.