Between 2008 and 2012, a grand total of two states flipped, North Carolina and Indiana. At the time, that seemed like a fairly interesting shift: enough to be worth examination but nothing to fundamentally change how we viewed America's attitudes toward the two major parties.

Then 2016 happened.

The best way to describe how weird 2016 was relative to 2008 and 2012 is to list some things we know, based on the most recent tallies from each state. Join us below this chart.

  1. Hillary Clinton will end up winning the popular vote by a wide margin and losing the electoral college by a wider one.
  2. Vermont and Maine both voted significantly more Republican. Maine was the 13th-most Democratic state in 2012; this year it was the 18th-most.
  3. Utah voted significantly more Democratic. It was the most Republican state in 2012, and the 18th-most Republican in 2016.
  4. Texas was closer than Iowa.
  5. Georgia was closer than Ohio.
  6. So was Arizona.
  7. Minnesota was closer than Nevada.

Part of those shifts are demographic, as Hispanic voters make up more of the population and the electorate. Part of those shifts are a function of the candidates that were in the mix.

The early money suggests, though, that 2020's map probably won't simply reflect two states flipping.