Popular vote for President: former Confederate states versus rest of U.S.
May 2, 2012 — 150 years ago, the Confederate states were fighting to preserve slavery. 50 years ago, those former Confederate states were fighting to preserve racial segregation. Over the course of recent decades, much progress has been made; today, moreover, those 11 states are not monolithic.
Nevertheless, a review of Presidential voting patterns reminds us of regional differences that have had material impact. We looked at the popular vote in the last 11 Presidential elections (starting with 1968). We created three categories: the U.S. as a whole, the former Confederate states as a whole, and the balance of the U.S. taken as a whole (that is, all U.S. states other than the former Confederate states).
As some younger readers may never have known, and as some older readers may have forgotten, the former Confederate states had a different popular vote winner than the country as a whole in 6 of those 11 elections. Without taking the votes of former Confederate states into account, Hubert Humphrey won the popular vote in 1968, for example, and John Kerry won the popular vote in 2004.
Al Gore’s 2000 popular vote victory would have been larger (and he would have been the electoral vote winner as well). We’ll leave a mystery "would have won without the former Confederate states" candidate in the viz for you to find.
Select the year you want to see in the dropdown box on the right of the viz.
Mike Alberti and Michelle Mayer provided assistance in the preparation of this visualization.