Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about U.S. Presidential Elections

Please, please, please tell me that someone out there is every bit the information junkie and statistics geek that I am. If you are out there, do I have a Web site for you!

Dave Leip's Atlas of US Presidential Elections (http://www.uselectionatlas.org/) has a mountain of statistics on just about anything you ever wanted to know about presidential elections. Not only is he keeping track of polling information for the 2008 race, but also he has state-by-state electoral vote totals from the very first presidential election — all on pretty data-colored maps.

The most challenging part of the Web site has to do with the coloring of those maps. Dave has colored Republicans in blue and Democrats in red. Once you get past that hurdle, everything is easy to read and navigate.

There are certain pieces of information that require a subscription. For instance if you wanted to see which candidate was voted for at the county level you would need to be a subscriber for the 1872 to 1956 election years. But the county-level information from 1960 forward is available for all to see.

This is how I know that Sandusky County has only voted for a democratic presidential candidate twice in that time period. That occurred in 1996, when our county voted for Bill Clinton and in 1964 when we voted for Lyndon Johnson.

Want to know how many times the State of Ohio has voted in presidential elections? Fifty-one times. The very first time was in 1804 when we voted for Thomas Jefferson with our three votes in the Electoral College.

Want to know the most electoral votes the State of Ohio has had? The answer is 26 — in years 1932, 1936, 1940, 1964 and 1968. In the 2004 election, we had 20 electoral votes.

I didn't know until I looked at Dave's Web site that Texas, Mississippi and Virginia did not vote in the 1868 election because they had not yet been readmitted to the Union. Nor did I know that the two major candidates running in the 1920 Presidential Election both called Ohio home. (This was Warren G. Harding and James Cox.)

For these and other tidbits of presidential information, be sure to check out the Web site. Just make sure you have plenty of time when you do. There are all sorts of “doorways” to little treasure troves of information — perfect for a statistics geek like me.

Until Next Time — Happy Ancestral Digging!

PS — Don't forget to vote!

Note this post first published online, November 6, 2007, at Desktop Genealogist Blog at The News-Messenger Online http://www.thenews-messenger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?Category=BLOGS02

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