Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, Nevada, And New Mexico: The Five Most Predictable States In Presidential Elections In American History

Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, Nevada, and New Mexico have been the five most predictable states in Presidential elections in American history.

Ohio has participated in 54 of the 58 Presidential elections in American history since 1804.

It has often been said that Ohio is the “crucial” state in the quadrennial election process, and that is so true.

No state has had the impact of Ohio, and particularly, due to the fact that Ohio has participated in more elections than all states except the original 13 states, plus Vermont, Kentucky and Tennessee, and none of those have been as “predictable” in backing the winners of the election.

Altogether, Ohio has been “correct” in backing the winner all but 9 times, a total of 45 out of 54 times, or 83.3 percent of the time.

The exceptions are the following chronologically:

1824–Henry Clay over John Quincy Adams

1836–William Henry Harrison over Martin Van Buren

1844–Henry Clay over James K. Polk

1848–Lewis Cass over Zachary Taylor

1856–John C. Fremont over James Buchanan

1884–James G. Blaine over Grover Cleveland

1892–Benjamin Harrison over Grover Cleveland

1944–Thomas E. Dewey over Franklin D. Roosevelt

1960–Richard Nixon over John F. Kennedy

Illinois is the second most predictable states, having voted since 1820 for the winner all but 9 times in 50 elections, for a percentage of 82 percent.

The exceptions chronologically are:

1824–Andrew Jackson over John Quincy Adams

1840–Martin Van Buren over William Henry Harrison

1848–Lewis Cass over Zachary Taylor

1884–James G. Blaine over Grover Cleveland

1916–Charles Evans Hughes over Woodrow Wilson

1976–Gerald Ford over Jimmy Carter

2000–Al Gore over George W. Bush

2004–John Kerry over George W. Bush

2016–Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump

Note that Illinois voted for the popular vote winner in 1824, 2000 and 2016.

Missouri is the third most “predictable” state, coming into the Union in time for the Presidential election of 1820, so having voted in a total of 50 of the 58 national elections, and being with the winner 37 out of 50 times, or about 74 percent of the time.

The exceptions chronologically are as follows:

1824–Henry Clay over John Quincy Adams

1840– Martin Van Buren over William Henry Harrison

1848–Lewis Cass over Zachary Taylor

1860–Stephen Douglas over Abraham Lincoln

1872–Horace Greeley over Ulysses S. Grant

1876–Samuel Tilden over Rutherford B. Hayes

1880–Winfield Scott Hancock over James A. Garfield

1888–Grover Cleveland over Benjamin Harrison

1896–William Jennings Bryan over William McKinley

1900–William Jennings Bryan over William McKinley

1956–Adlai Stevenson over Dwight D. Eisenhower

2008–John McCain over Barack Obama

2012–Mitt Romney over Barack Obama

Note that Missouri voted with the popular vote winner in 1888.

Two other states also have a high consistency rate of accuracy voting for the winner of Presidential elections, but have fewer times of participation in Presidential elections.

Nevada voted for the winner 31 out of 39 times since 1864, 79.5 percent of the time, with the exceptions chronologically as follows:

1880–Winfield Scott Hancock over James A. Garfield

1884–James G. Blaine over Grover Cleveland

1892–James B. Weaver over Grover Cleveland

1896–William Jennings Bryan over William McKinley

1900–William Jennings Bryan over William McKinley

1908–William Jennings Bryan over William Howard Taft

1976–Gerald Ford over Jimmy Carter

2016–Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump

Note that Nevada voted with the popular vote winner in 2016.

Finally, New Mexico, in the Union since 1912, and therefore participating in 27 elections for President, has voted with the winner all but three times, 88.8 percent of the time, the exceptions being:

1976–Gerald Ford over Jimmy Carter

2000-Al Gore over George W. Bush

2016–Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump

Note that Al Gore and Hillary Clinton both won the popular vote, but lost the Electoral College to their opponents.