What is a “red state,” and what does it mean for a Presidential Election? If a state is a “red state,” the voters within that state primarily vote for the Republican Party. The term is also used to describe a state that is perceived to have conservative views. Blue states vote Democratic and tend to have more liberal views. This means that red states believe in a smaller, deregulated government and have an aversion to rapid change. Red states desire to preserve the political philosophy and regulations articulated in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and preserve traditional morality, such as that in the Bible.
During the 1980s, the colors were reversed, red states were Democratic while blue states were Republican. During the U.S. Presidential Election in 2000, journalist Tim Russert used the terms “red state” and “blue state” based on the colored maps used during his televised coverage of the election. Since that election, the media have used red for Republican and blue for Democrats.
The Cook Partisan Voting Index (PVI) shown in the table below is a measurement of how strongly a United States congressional district or state leans toward the Democratic or Republican Party compared to the national average. For example, if the national average is 48% Republican, and the Republican candidate of a state wins 57% of the two-party share, then that state voted nine percentage points more Republican than the country. The PVI for that state is R+9.
According to Gallup Daily tracking numbers in 2017, a total of 13 states are solid Republican. Those states are Alabama, Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and Wyoming. Three additional states lean Republican: Arkansas, Mississippi, and Missouri. Out of these states, some are considered to be “dark red” because they lean more Republican than the other states. This includes Wyoming, the most conservative state in the United States, with a PVI of R+25. These “dark red” states can also include Utah (R+20), Oklahoma (R+20), West Virginia (R+19), and Idaho (R+19).
Yes. Florida was once considered a battleground state but is now leaning Republican after Donald Trump won Florida in both the 2016 and 2020 elections. Trump expanded his winning margin from 2016 to 2020 from 1.2% to 3.3%. Florida’s CPVI is R+3.
No, while North Carolina leans Republican, it is considered to be a perennial swing state and a swing state in the 2020 presidential election. North Carolina has voted for the Republican presidential candidate ten times in the last 12 presidential elections. North Carolina’s CPVI is R+3.
Ohio is considered a perennial swing state and was a swing state in the 2020 election; however, it is much more of a red state than a swing state. President Biden is the first president to win the election without carrying Ohio since 1960. Ohio’s CPVI is R+6.
Pennsylvania is considered to be a perennial swing state, including in the 2020 presidential election. It is not a red state. Pennsylvania voted democratic in the 2020 election. Pennsylvania’s CPVI is R+2.
Wisconsin is a swing, or purple, state. It is not a red state. Wisconsin voted Democratic for 30 years leading up to the 2016 election when it voted Republican. However, Wisconsin voted Democratic again in 2020. The state has a Democratic governor, both parties in the Senate, and its House balance is five Republicans and three Democrats. Wisconsin has a CPVI of R+2.
Yes, Indiana has long been considered to be a Republican stronghold. Indiana has a Republican governor and Republican majorities in the Indiana General Assembly. Only five Democratic presidential nominees have carried Indiana since 1900. Indiana’s CPVI is R+11.
Arizona is considered a deep red state; however, it turned blue in the 2020 presidential election, voting for Joe Biden. Arizona has voted Republican in every presidential election in 1976 except in 1996 and 2020. Arizona has a CPVI of R+3.
Yes, Louisiana is a red state. Louisiana has voted Republican in every presidential election since 2000 by a fairly large margin. Additionally, four of the six U.S. Representative seats and every statewide office, except for the governor, are held by Republicans. Louisiana’s CPVI is R+12.
Nevada is not a red state; it is a swing or battleground state. Since 1976, the state has voted Republican six times and Democratic six times, including the last four presidential elections. Nevada has an even CPVI.
Yes, Tennessee is considered a safe red state. Tennessee has voted Republican in every presidential election since 2000, with fairly wide margins. About 60.7% of voters voted Republican in the last two elections. Tennessee’s CPVI is R+14.
Yes, Utah is a red state. With a CPVI of R+13, Utah is considered a “deep” red state and the second-most Republican state in the U.S. behind Wyoming. Utah has voted Republican in every presidential election since 1968.
No, New Hampshire is considered to be a swing or battleground state. New Hampshire’s CPVI is even; however, the state is starting to lean blue. New Hampshire has voted Democratic in the last few elections for its House and Senate and has voted Democratic in the last five presidential elections.
Yes, Georgia is considered a red state. Georgia voted Republican in every presidential election since 1996, except in 2020, when Joe Biden won over Donald Trump by 0.2%. Georgia’s CPVI is R+3.
Yes, Nebraska is a red state with a CPVI of R+13. Nebraska has voted Republican in every election since 1968. In 2020, Donald Trump won over Joe Biden by 19%. Nebraska’s governor is Republican, and its Senate party and House balance are both Republican.
Kentucky is a safe red state. Kentucky’s CPVI is R+16. The state’s governor is Republican, its Senate party is Republican, and its House balance is five Republicans and one Democrat. Since 1956, Kentucky voters have voted Republican in every presidential election except for four. In the 2020 election, Trump beat Biden by almost 26%.
Yes, South Carolina is a red state with a CPVI of R+8. South Carolina has a Republican governor, a Republican Senate party, and a House balance of one Republican. Since the 1964 presidential election, South Carolina has voted Republican every year except in 1976.