The U.S. Presidential Voting History Mapped

Thirteen years after the signing of the declaration of independence, George Washington was elected the Union’s first president in 1789. He effortlessly wins a second term. But only approximately 1.3% of the nation’s population cast a vote. In most U.S. states, just white men who owned property can vote with some exceptions.

How the 1788-1789 U.S. election went
Map of the 1788-1789 U.S. election
The 1788–1789 U.S. election was the 1st quadrennial presidential election, and the only U.S. presidential election spanned 2 calendar years (1788 and 1789).

The two-party system’s birth includes the federalists who favor financial interests and the democratic Republicans who support farmers. The election of Thomas Jefferson in 1800 begins almost 40 years of democratic Republican presidential dominance. In 1824 four democratic Republicans run against each other in a race so close is decided by the house of representatives, who prefers John Quincy Adams over Andrew Jackson. Four years later, Jackson runs again. By then, many U.S. states have eliminated property requirements, and voter supports approximately doubles. Jackson unites white working-class voters to fight Washington’s elitism, and he wins in a landslide.

Andrew Jackson was elected again in 1832. A new business-friendly opposition party comes together; they call themselves the Whigs Party and the other significant issues are fighting the expansion of slavery into new territories. Slavery is the one problem most likely to determine which way someone votes during the first half of the 19th century, with conservatives and liberals on both sides.

In 1836 four Wing candidates run, but the democratic Republican Martin Van Buren gets the most states, and power changes back and forth between the two parties for the next decade. New U.S. states like Florida, Texas, and Iowa extend the electoral map. By 1856 after a series of defeats and infighting over slavery, the Whig party collapses. A new Republican Party appears confronting slavery and requesting for economic reform, so at this point, the country has both significant parties that exist nowadays even though other political programs have shifted drastically since then. Republicans gain support in the north and attempt to win free black voters in the South.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party unites the pro-slavery votes and cements their hold on the South. That divide increases, and in 1860 Republican Abraham Lincoln wins on an anti-slavery political platform.

How the 1860 U.S. election went
Map of how the 1860 U.S. election went

Starting with South Carolina, 11 southern U.S. states leave the Union to form the Confederacy, and the civil war began in 1861. During the war, Abraham Lincoln wins a second term.

A year later, the Confederacy fails, and southern U.S. states began to rejoin the Union. Abraham Lincoln was killed in 1865, and vice president Andrew Johnson takes over. Republicans got power when Ulysses S. Grant won in 1868. Ulysses Grant signs the fifteenth amendment giving all male residents the right to vote regardless of color or race except native Americans. Ulysses Grant won again in 1872.

In 1876 it wasn’t obvious which candidate won the vote, and congress offers a compromise – Republicans get the presidency with Rutherford B. Hayes taking office, while Democrats achieved the withdrawal of federal troops defending civil rights of newly freed black people vote.

State and local governments legislated laws intended to prevent African Americans from voting democrats right away. The entire rebuilding viewpoint dominates the South for almost the next century. However, in 1896 Republican William McKinley wins by the largest margin his party has seen in 20 years.

In 1912 Theodore Roosevelt ran as Progressive and what he names the “Bull Moose Party”. Uses the Republican vote in half, Handing won the Democrat Woodrow Wilson. Roosevelt’s Progressive Party was the first with a plan intended to attract women’s suffrage.

The women’s movement grows force through 1910, and U.S. states like California, Oregon, and Washington give women the right to vote. The 19th amendment gives women the right to vote nationwide appeared in 1920. Six decades passed before they turn out the equivalent rate as men and form a significant voting coalition.

After Woodrow Willson, Republicans won three times in a row. In 1928, Herbert Hoover defeated New York Governor Al Smith by 17 points, supported by a booming economy and prejudice toward Smith, a Catholic. Four years later, in 1932, the economy plunged into the depression and Herbert Hoover lost by a similar 17 point margin to another New York Governor, Franklin D Roosevelt.

The 1928 U.S. election margin of victory results by county
Map of the 1928 U.S. election margin of victor results by county

In 1936, Franklin Roosevelt was reelected over Kansas Governor Alf Landon by a 24% margin. Until 1964, Frank Roosevelt held the record for the largest share of any president’s popular vote since 1820. He won every state except Maine and Vermont, getting 523 Electoral Votes, or 98.5% of the total.

The 1936 U.S. election margin of victory results by county
The map of the 1936  election margin of victor results by U.S. county

World War 2 conflicts with the end of his second term, and the nation decides to stick with them for an unusual third term. Elector demographics and party alignment considerably changed during his 12-year presidency in ways that can still be noticed nowadays. Democrats solidify the support of new immigrants and more modern working-class whites who had before voted Republican. Democrats began winning using black people’s votes migrating north to escape the South’s Jim Crow laws.

After Franklin Roosevelt died in 1945, vice president Harry S. Truman takes over and wins the presidential election of 1948.

In 1952 Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower ends 20 years of democratic dominance with two landslide elections in which he only loses the South. Media savvy campaign leads John F. Kennedy to success in 1960, the last time a leading candidate loses Ohio. The newly popular media forced him and the country to confront excessive discrimination against black people.

Civil rights bills had been passed in 1957 and 1960, but neither wholly emancipated blacks in the South.

John Kennedy was killed in late 1963, and Lyndon B. Johnson became president in 1964. President Lyndon Johnson defeated Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater, getting the highest share of the popular vote, 61 percent of any candidate since the modern two-party system came into being in 1860.

The 1964 U.S. election margin of victory results by county
The map of the 1964 U.S. election margin of victor results by county

Lyndon Johnson passes the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the voting rights act of 1965 to keep states from altering voting laws the way they had during the Jim Crow period.

The Democrat’s mighty civil rights force angers many white southerners who throw their support behind Republicans. In 1969 Richard Nixon won the election and won in a landslide in 1972. He defeated South Dakota Senator George McGovern by 23% points. He won every U.S. state except Massachusetts and got 520 electoral votes, a record was only beaten 12 years later by Ronald Reagan.

The 1972 U.S. election margin of victory results by county
The map of the 1972 U.S. election margin of victor results by county
Reddit user: kernals12

The Nixon presidency saw the first large-scale integration of public schools in the South of the country. Two years later, as a result of the Watergate scandal, Nixon becomes the only president ever to resign.

Then in 1976, Jimmy Carter ensured the Democrat’s last win for almost two decades. The actor Ronald Reagan turns into a politician and beats Carter in 1980 give allies in the traditionalistic movement.

In 1988 Reagan’s vice president George H. W. Bush extended the Republican winning street in Presidential races to 3, beating Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis by 8 points. It was the last election where one candidate got more than 400 electoral votes.

The 1988 U.S. election margin of victory results by county
The map of the 1988 U.S. election margin of victor results by county

In 1992 a southern democratic governor Bill Clinton re-energized his party by triumphantly engaging moderate voters.

In 2000 Republicans rally behind Texas’s governor, the younger George Bush, despite Albert Gore, won the popular vote. Still, a controversial Supreme Court decision gives George Bush Florida for handing him the presidential election. After the 9/11 attacks, Bush repeatedly won in 2004, coming close to rebuilding Reagan’s Redwall. But in 2008, during a disastrous economic crisis Democrat Barack Obama won in a landslide picking up solidly Republican U.S. states like Virginia and becomes the first black president.

After Barack Obama won the second term in 2012 with the equivalent diverse coalition of voters, Republicans do what they name an autopsy on their party.

Four years later, they nominated a famed real estate magnate and reality TV star Donald Trump not known for attracting a diverse array of voters.

In 2016 Hillary Clinton was a high chance to become the first female president of the U.S. Experts pointed to the blue wall states that had supported Democrats over the past six elections that were not to be.

Hillary Clinton does win the popular vote, but Donald Trump rushes through the blue wall, winning the electoral college. Donald Trump’s populous campaign capture swing states like Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and vast areas mainly with the rural population.

TrumpLand 2016
Map of Trumpland

In 2020 Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. has been elected the 46th president of the U.S. He has enlarged Hilary Clinton’s record from 51 to 231 electoral votes, while Donald Trump has raised from 16 to 112 votes. The election of 2020 saw the highest voter turnout since 1900. Joe Biden had got more than 81 million votes.

U.S. Presidential Election 2020
U.S. Presidential Election 2020

Reddit user Millenarian22 created the map that shows every U.S. county voted this year and how they voted a century ago.

County swing from 1920 to 2020 U.S. elections
Map that shows every county voted this year and how they voted a century ago

The map below created by VisualCapitalist shows how every U.S. state has voted since 1976.

How America voted in every election
Map of how every state has voted since 1976

And finally, a series of maps illustrating when each state last voted in the presidential elections in American History (1788-2020).

Map of every Presidential Election in the U.S. History (1788-2020)
Reddt user: JFKontheKnoll
When did a state last vote for a Democrat for President?
When did a state last vote for a Democrat for President mapped
When did a state last vote for a Republican for President?
When did a state last vote for a Republican for President mapped
Reddit user: Axillus
The last time every county voted for a party other than a Democrat or Republican
The map of every U.S. county voted for a party other than a Republican or Democrat
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