[Vision2020] Most Democratic County in Every State

Kenneth Marcy kmmos1 at frontier.com
Fri Oct 14 09:47:03 PDT 2016

Most Democratic County in Every State


Next month, the United States will finally elect its next president 
after nearly two years of campaigning, fundraising, scandals, and debates.

The Democratic party has never been perfectly unified. In this year’s 
Democratic primary, disagreements among registered Democrats seemed 
especially acute. Approximately 12 million Americans voted for former 
presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, versus the 15.8 million who voted 
for nominee Hillary Clinton. Some portion of voters who supported 
Sanders in the primary will likely either not vote, or cast a ballot for 
a third-party candidate.

Yet, the country’s two-party political system is so structurally 
entrenched that the majority of states that went for Democratic 
candidate Barack Obama in 2012 appear likely to go for Clinton this time 
as well. While the political platform of a party and the candidates 
within that party can change over time, it seems that a portion of the 
population will always vote Republican or Democrat no matter who is 
running for president.

Based on voting data compiled by political news organization Politico 
and a review of current and historical representation in the U.S. 
Congress, 24/7 Wall St. created an index to measure the political 
leanings of county residents. The index is based on the political party 
of the county’s elected representatives to the Senate and House of 
Representatives through the last five election cycles, as well as the 
results of the 2012 presidential election. Prince George’s County in 
Maryland is not just the bluest county in the state, but also in the nation.

Even in the most conservative states, there is at least one county that 
has strong Democratic leanings. In Alabama, 61% of total voters opted 
for Republican candidate Mitt Romney in the 2012 elections, one of the 
highest shares the losing the candidate received of any state. Yet, in 
Greene County, nearly 85% of voters cast ballots for Obama. While the 
state has had Republican representation in the Senate for years, Greene 
County’s congresswoman, Terri Sewell of Alabama’s 7th district, is a 
Democrat. Sewell’s predecessor, Artur Davis, is also a Democrat.

While both those counties lean heavily Democratic and the reddest states 
each tend to have low incomes, adults in the blue counties tend to have 
higher educational attainment rates compared to the reddest counties. In 
33 states, adults in the most Democratic county had a higher bachelor’s 
attainment rate than those in the most conservative-leaning state.

Race clearly bears a strong relationship to political affiliation in 
these counties. In only three of the reddest counties, a lower share of 
residents identify as white than the national share of 63% of Americans 
who identify as white. On the other hand, 28 of the bluest counties have 
smaller shares of white populations compared to the national average 

*12. Idaho
 >Bluest county:* Latah County

Idaho is one of the reddest states in the country, with 65.0% of votes 
going for Romney in 2012. Political leanings are not uniform across the 
state, however. Latah County cast only 45.3% of its votes for Romney, 
helping make it the bluest county in the state. The county has been 
represented by both Democrats and Republicans over the past decade. 
Currently, Rep. Raul Labrador, a Republican, occupies the seat of 
Idaho’s 1st Congressional District.


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