Beyond “Red State, Blue State”: The Political Geography of Presidential Competition, 1828–2016

  • David Darmofal
  • Ryan Strickler
Part of the Spatial Demography Book Series book series (SPDE, volume 2)


Since the 2000 election, both scholars and popular observers alike have become increasingly interested in the political geography of presidential voting. These discussions presume that this geography is structured into blue (Democratic) states and red (Republican) states. In this chapter, we employ spatial methods to move beyond this simple state-level dichotomy to identify how partisan voting has been structured geographically since the advent of mass voter participation in the 1828 presidential election. We find that partisan voting is not structured at the state level, but instead at much more localized levels that often bleed across state boundaries. Regimes of Democratic and Republican support are not election-specific, but instead have changed gradually over time and in understandable ways.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Darmofal
    • 1
  • Ryan Strickler
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceColorado State University PuebloPuebloUSA

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