I had a quirky question come into my head today. "Which states need to learn something from the national coordinated campaign, and which states need to tell the coordinated campaign to shut up and listen to the locals?"
Given the information that I have already collected, which is substantial over the past few years, I searched for the following bits of information:
What is the current level of partisan control in state legislatures in each of the 50 states?
How well did the 2004 Presidential nominee do in each of the 50 states?
Compare these two numbers for each state, and calculate the difference.
Then see who needs to teach whom. Care to see the results?
The data comes from the 2004 election results, available in a bunch of places, and some research done on Wikipedia and through state government websites. I often had to fill in the blanks on Wikipedia with what I found, and there is a great deal left to do. But I have enough to answer my question.
For the states where Kerry did better than the Democrats in the state legislatures, Florida tops the list. Kerry got 47.13% and Democrats only control 35% of the seats in the Florida House and Senate. The difference is -12.13%. Florida is also the only state where the negatives are higher than -10%. Florida Democrats have something to learn from the national campaign and other states.
On the other end, and this isn't really a surprise to me after watching things over the past 4 years, there are a total of 18 states where Democrats control at least 10% more seats than the percent of the vote that John Kerry got in his election. In eight of these states Kerry lost, the Democrats now have a majority. The only state where both the Presidential race and the State Leg seats are Red is in Oklahoma, but even there the local Democrats have a 12.35% advantage over the national campaign.
What is interesting is the state that did the best Kerry had no business losing. Arkansas. I know, there are a lot of "Conservative Democrats", and it's also the state where the Clinton political machine is oldest and strongest. But when the difference is 31.52%, I just shake my head and wonder.
Remember, I'm just looking at the numbers. I have only ever lived in Deep Blue Seattle. But I thought the question interesting, and the results even more so.
The full results are available on Google Spreadsheets. Please feel free to copy and let me know if you find any errors. I gathered most of the numbers from CNN and Wikipedia, since it was easiest to piggyback on research that others have already done. I don't think the statistics will change all that much after any minor correction.