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Democratic States Exceed Republican States by Four in 2018
Politics

Democratic States Exceed Republican States by Four in 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In 2018, 22 U.S. states were Democratic in party orientation, based on the party preferences or leanings of their residents. Another 18 were Republican and 10 were competitive. That four-state Democratic advantage is typical of what Gallup has found in recent years, though Democrats enjoyed much larger leads in 2008 and 2009, and Republican states outnumbered Democratic ones in 2015 and 2016.

Political Composition of the 50 U.S. States
Based on annual state averages of party affiliation from Gallup tracking
Solid Democratic Lean Democratic Competitive Lean Republican Solid Republican Net Democratic
2018 14 8 10 5 13 +4
2017 15 4 15 3 13 +3
2016 13 1 15 7 14 -7
2015 11 3 16 8 12 -6
2014 11 6 18 5 10 +2
2013 12 5 19 2 12 +3
2012 13 6 19 3 9 +7
2011 11 7 15 7 10 +1
2010 13 9 18 5 5 +12
2009 23 10 12 1 4 +28
2008 29 6 10 1 4 +30
Solid states are those in which a party has a 10-point or greater advantage; leaning states are those in which a party has an advantage of more than five points but fewer than 10 points. Competitive states are those in which the party advantage is five points or less.
Gallup

These figures reflect a net increase since 2017 in the number of Democratic (three) and Republican (two) states, with a corresponding decline in the number of competitive states. New Hampshire, Nevada and Pennsylvania moved from competitive to Democratic. West Virginia, Louisiana and Indiana shifted from competitive to Republican, while Nebraska went from Republican to competitive.

The results are based on the average party affiliation of each state's residents throughout 2018, using aggregated data from Gallup's U.S. tracking poll. Gallup asked all poll respondents to indicate whether they identify as a Republican, a Democrat or an independent. Independents were then probed as to whether they lean toward the Republican or the Democratic Party. The figures that form the basis of the state's party classification -- shown for each state at the end of the article -- are the percentage of state residents who identify as Democrats or lean Democratic minus the percentage who identify as Republicans or lean Republican.

States in which there is a 10-percentage-point or greater advantage for one party are considered "solid" for that party. States in which there is an advantage for a party of more than five points but fewer than 10 points are considered "leaning" toward the party, while those in which the parties are within five points of each other are considered competitive.

The most Republican states are found largely in the South and Mountain West, while the most Democratic states are in the Northeast and on the West Coast.

Map, color-coded. The political party affiliations of the population of each U.S. state for 2018.

Massachusetts was the single most Democratic state in 2018, with a Democratic advantage of 29 points -- 56% of residents identified as Democrats or leaned Democratic, while 27% identified as Republican or leaned Republican.

Massachusetts also ranked as the most Democratic state in 2017 and 2014 and has been second on four other occasions since 2008. Vermont (2015 and 2016), New York (2013), Hawaii (2011-2012), Maryland (2010) and Rhode Island (2008-2009) have ranked as the most Democratic in other years.

Wyoming was the most Republican state in 2018, with 59% of its residents identifying as Republican or leaning Republican and 25% identifying as Democratic or leaning Democratic.

Wyoming has been the most Republican state eight times since 2008, including the past six years as well as in 2009 and 2010. Utah was the most Republican state in 2008, 2011 and 2012.

State Party Identification and Leaning, 2018
Democrat/Lean Democratic Republican/Lean Republican Democratic advantage N Classification
% % pct. pts.
Massachusetts 56 27 29 1,623 Strong Democratic
Vermont 55 30 25 249 Strong Democratic
Hawaii 54 29 25 301 Strong Democratic
New York 53 30 23 4,591 Strong Democratic
Maryland 54 31 23 1,337 Strong Democratic
California 51 31 20 8,116 Strong Democratic
Connecticut 52 33 19 927 Strong Democratic
Illinois 50 34 16 2,374 Strong Democratic
New Jersey 50 35 15 1,860 Strong Democratic
Washington 50 35 15 1,980 Strong Democratic
Maine 50 37 13 412 Strong Democratic
Delaware 48 35 13 250 Strong Democratic
New Hampshire 48 36 12 350 Strong Democratic
New Mexico 48 38 10 653 Strong Democratic
Oregon 47 38 9 1,316 Lean Democratic
Minnesota 46 38 8 1,507 Lean Democratic
Rhode Island 43 36 7 298 Lean Democratic
Virginia 46 39 7 2,022 Lean Democratic
Colorado 47 40 7 1,549 Lean Democratic
Nevada 45 38 7 647 Lean Democratic
Pennsylvania 46 40 6 3,272 Lean Democratic
Michigan 45 39 6 2,319 Lean Democratic
Georgia 43 42 1 2,214 Competitive
Florida 42 41 1 4,709 Competitive
Wisconsin 43 43 0 1,447 Competitive
Iowa 42 42 0 825 Competitive
Arizona 41 41 0 948 Competitive
Nebraska 42 43 -1 507 Competitive
North Carolina 41 42 -1 2,433 Competitive
Kentucky 42 45 -3 1,124 Competitive
Texas 39 42 -3 5,898 Competitive
Ohio 41 45 -4 2,629 Competitive
Montana 39 46 -7 427 Lean Republican
Indiana 38 46 -8 1,575 Lean Republican
Louisiana 37 45 -8 1,117 Lean Republican
Oklahoma 38 46 -8 1,073 Lean Republican
Missouri 38 47 -9 1,532 Lean Republican
South Carolina 37 47 -10 1,262 Strong Republican
South Dakota 40 51 -11 303 Strong Republican
Kansas 36 47 -11 746 Strong Republican
West Virginia 37 49 -12 445 Strong Republican
Mississippi 36 48 -12 666 Strong Republican
Tennessee 35 48 -13 1,692 Strong Republican
Arkansas 35 48 -13 758 Strong Republican
Idaho 34 50 -16 591 Strong Republican
Alabama 35 52 -17 1,275 Strong Republican
Alaska 33 51 -18 232 Strong Republican
North Dakota 30 55 -25 241 Strong Republican
Utah 28 56 -28 952 Strong Republican
Wyoming 25 59 -34 286 Strong Republican
Based on 2018 Gallup tracking. Data for AK, DE, HI, ND, RI, SD, VT and WY based on combined data from 2018 Gallup tracking and 2018 Gallup Poll Social Series surveys.
Gallup

Editor's Note: The story has been updated to correct the sample size of national adults.

Gallup

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