Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Is West Virginia's Electoral Dissonance Finally Fading?

West Virginia has been voting increasingly less Democratic in Presidential elections in recent elections. In fact, since WV voted for Dukakis in 1988 the share of voters voting for the Democratic Candidate relative to the US has decreased every election cycle.(a monotonic decrease. On the other hand during that time both houses of the West Virginia Legislature became more democratic compared to the all state legislatures as a whole. In the past I have referred to this dichotomy of voting Democratic locally and Republican nationally as electoral dissonance. The Chart below shows this elctoral dissonance. The chart holds constant the Democratic share of US presidential votes as well as the share dems in state legislatures. Thus each years numbers are simply the difference between the share of Democratic votes/seats in West Virginia and the US. For instance in 2012 the Barack Obama got 51.1% of the vote nationally, and 35.5% in West Virginia. Thus the diference in Democratic share for the 2012 was -15.1. The same method was used to calculate West Virginia Democraticness relative to the nation as a whole. So anything below 0 means that WV is more DRepublican than the rest of the country and anything above zero indicates more Democratic. 2014 will help to tell us whether the electoral dissonance is dissolving or if 2012 was just WV's Democratic share of its legislature relative to the US was simply reverting to it mean in 2012. Stay tuned.