County Voting Patterns in US Presidential Elections, 1976-2000

A GIS analysis

E. Bowditch J. McConnel



The goal of this project was to examine presidential elections at a county level over the last 40 years in the contiguous 48 states. Because of problems with data consistency the analysis was limited to the 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996 and 2000 general elections.

The questions we sought to answer were:

a) Are there zones of predictable voting behavior for the Republican and Democratic parties; areas where a candidate need not worry about the outcome? (MAPS)

b) Are there areas that show unpredictable results for presidential elections, places where candidates would want to concentrate efforts, i.e.'swing' areas? (MAPS)

c) Are there areas that consistently vote with the winning party? (MAPS)

We looked at area and population to inform the analysis. MAPS

We also created an animated of county voting behavior for Presidential elections 1976 - 2000 just for fun. (ANIMATION)

Results & Discussion

Data Sources