January 29th, 2009
09:00 AM ET

What does your state say about you?

An analysis of Gallup Poll Daily tracking data from 2008 finds Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Hawaii to be the most Democratic states in the nation, along with the District of Columbia. Utah and Wyoming are the most Republican states.

In 2008, Gallup interviewed more than 350,000 U.S. adults as part of Gallup Poll Daily tracking. That includes interviews with 1,000 or more residents of every U.S. state except Wyoming (885) and North Dakota (953), as well as the District of Columbia (689). There were more than 15,000 interviews conducted with residents of California, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Florida.

This large data set provides the unique ability to give reliable estimates of state-level characteristics for 2008. Each sample of state residents was weighted by demographic characteristics to ensure it is representative of the state's population.

In order to rank the states on partisanship, Gallup analyzes "leaned" party identification by state. This measure adds partisan-leaning independents to the percentage who identify with either of the parties. Thus, the Republican total includes Republican identifiers and independents who lean Republican, and the Democratic total likewise includes Democratic identifiers and independents who lean Democratic.

This helps makes the state data more comparable because the percentage who identify as political independents varies greatly by state, from a low of 25% in the District of Columbia to a high of 53% in Rhode Island.

The accompanying map shows party strength by state for 2008, ranging from states that can be considered solidly Democratic (a Democratic advantage in party identification of 10 percentage points or more) to those that can be considered solidly Republican (a Republican advantage in party identification of 10 percentage points or more). States in which the partisan advantage is less than 5 points in either direction are considered "competitive."


Filed under: 360° Radar • Economy • Raw Politics • Religion
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Vernon, Lancaster, Ca.

    I am disgusted with any state that is solid Democrat or solid Republician. Every state should be gray/competitive. The solid Blue states have a bunch of government dependants, and the solid Red states have a bunch of bible thumpers that want no one to ever have any fun. I am proud of the Gray states, they are the true thinkers.

    January 30, 2009 at 4:39 am |
  2. Philoan Tran - Houston

    Thank God that Texas is no longer a red state! This is due to Austin, Dallas and now Houston which have turned blue on a county basis.

    January 29, 2009 at 11:17 pm |
  3. Annie Kate

    You can't depend on polls. Alabama is GOP from first to last – a Democrat doesn't have a chance especially after the one democratic governor Alabama has had in the last 20 years is in jail for pay for play activities. So I don't agree with the Gallup poll. And on Tennessee – East TN is GOP while the rest of the state does lean Democratic but not enough to keep the GOP from winning most of the time.

    January 29, 2009 at 9:37 pm |
  4. Jeffrey, Greenville, NC

    I'm so proud of North Carolina!!!!

    January 29, 2009 at 8:55 pm |
  5. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Look at the map and look at the people around you.

    January 29, 2009 at 7:07 pm |
  6. Carl R

    I live in TN, I have no idea who came up with this map, or what moment in time or in history. TN is red, red, and more red, Republican red, everywhere except Nashville. My neighbor on seeing the Obama sicker on my car, tapped me on the shoulder and said, " Did anyone tell you he is a negro?" She was worried for me. Interesting comment, huh?
    The Republican National Committee chair candidate from TN sent the "Obama the Magic Negro" song/tape, to get elected RNC Chairman. The Tennessee idea/version of Republican political clout. TN voted solidly for McCain. It is interesting, your map.
    I would love to be able to mention I voted for OBAMA without all the stupid comments, about my heritage. I still get to vote for my candidate, even in TN. This is still America.

    January 29, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  7. Chris Sosa - Boston, MA

    While re-assuring, I have a somewhat difficult time believing the map is entirely valid, maybe because I grew up in one of the most conservative cities in VA. Either way, the map is now my desktop background. Thanks!

    January 29, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  8. Sharon

    Well I am from and still in Virginia and I can tell you that it has been Republican for the past elections but this year it did go Democrat but me for one I think I am totally going Independent from now on because I don't trust either party anymore! Never did really!

    But to see Obama get into office and start throwing out our money to the stupid Democrats to pay for all this useless pork spending makes me ill! He is no better than Bush he just had prettier speaches and knows how to use words to get what he wants!

    I think we need a Revolution and the American People take down all of Congress and rebuild it the way it should be run! They should ALL be fired!

    January 29, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  9. Mike, Greenville NC

    I am disappointed in my state.

    January 29, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  10. Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,TX

    Just looking at that map it says we wanted Bush OUT!

    January 29, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  11. Carol, OK

    I love that map to death, but there is NO WAY Oklahoma is right. No way. We re-elect James Inhofe. It's sad and sorry and I apologize, but I cannot imagine a world in which Oklahoma isn't sickeningly red.

    January 29, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  12. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Anderson: When it comes to politics---there are the "winners" and the "loosers,"----Democratic or Republican is just an illusionary state of mind--and what does my state say about me--I reside in Virginia-–not by birth-–but by choice--and individually-–they don't even know me except at tax time.

    January 29, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  13. Cindy

    This Gallup poll is wrong!! Georgia is a Republican state through and through!! There is no competition for this state! That is absurd to even say!!

    The poll is also wrong on the nation as a whole. If there are only three rep stated left then why did John McCain win more states than Obama!? There are way more Rep states than Dem states out there!!

    Who ever did this poll must have been drinking!


    January 29, 2009 at 11:40 am |