The reddest red state

The story circulating today that Barack Obama has pulled his campaign out of North Dakota to redeploy resources to Minnesota has missed an interesting question: What were they doing there in the first place?

The contest is over in North Dakota where John McCain enjoys a double-digit lead over Obama. Earlier this year the state was rated a toss-up, but that was just North Dakota having some fun.

Let’s count how many times North Dakota has voted for a Democrat in a presidential election since 1936.

1….

Once. 1964. It was a testament to the landslide of Lyndon Johnson that year that even Lyndon Johnson couldn’t mess up in North Dakota.

In 2004, John Kerry won only four counties, which is two more than Al Gore won in 2000. The closest presidential race in North Dakota in modern times was 1976, when Jimmy Carter’s ag background played almost well enough to win the state.

In its storied history as a state, North Dakota has voted Democrat only three times, and one of those times was when a North Dakota congressman ran for president.

  • brian

    “In its storied history as a state, North Dakota has voted Democrat only three times, and one of those times was when a North Dakota congressman ran for president.”

    I’m not sure that is true… according to a quick click through the wikipedia election pages, ND went for Woodrow Wilson twice, FDR twice, and LBJ.

    That doesn’t really soften your point, I just thought I would point that out.

  • Bob Collins

    1936 was the year Roosevelt got love from North Dakota against Alf Landon. After that, however, the state went for Wilkie (40), Dewey (44), Dewey (48), Eisenhower (52), Eisenhower (56), Nixon (60), Nixon (68), Nixon (72), Ford (76), Reagan(80), Reagan (84), Bush (88), Bush (92), Dole (96), Bush (00) and Bush (04) — all Republicans.

    With Franklin, Lyndon Johnson, and Woodrow Wilson, I should’ve said North Dakota has only voted for three Democrats for president… two of them twice.

  • http://www.shotinthedark.info Mitch Berg

    As a native of the storied state of NoDak, “why were they there in the first place” is an interesting question.

    The presence in the Senate of two of the most powerful liberal solons (Dorgan and Conrad) perhaps sparking some sort of brain-fever?

    Or perhaps some sort of Pauline Kael syndrome acting within North Dakota’s own little red-blue divide – Obama supporters in the state’s “urban centers” and university towns (Fargo, Bismark, Grand Forks and Minot) sparking a fever dream at Camp Barack?

    I dunno, but I’m glad. Had North Dakota voted Democrat, the Apocalypse would have no doubt ensued.

  • Bob Collins

    Which brings up the obvious question, Mitch, how is it that the state that is so steadfast in its support for Republicans at the top of the ticket, elects Democrats to the Senate?

  • JSmith

    Maybe they believe in the theory that one shouldn’t have the same party in the white house that one has in congress?

  • Kristine Shafer

    I’m a NoDak farm girl who moved to Denver, CO 12 years ago.

    I’ve always thought it very interesting that North Dakota has had this odd balance between who they elect for congress and who they vote for in the presidential elections. In my opinion, I’ve always thought most of my hometown community were conservative democrats…doesn’t seem like that sort of candidate even exists anymore in this political climate. Ah, well.

    I don’t understand why McCain or Obama was in NoDak in the first place. I doubt very much that either current candidate has any real grasp on, or gives a lick about rural America or revitalizing family farming in the wake of the corporatization of the land and our food sources.

    I say Dorgan-Conrad in 2008!

    I love you Byron! :D

  • CommonSenseRambler

    It really bites that North Dakotans are smarter than Minnesotans when it comes to politics.

    Oh well, give ‘em credit where credit is due!

    I can’t wait to see how YoBama will pay for the bailouts, send new spending through the roof, cut taxes for 95% of Americans and cut the deficit. Even my 1st grader can see that hypocrisy at it’s finest. Oh, and don’t forget he will solve worldwide poverty by giving them our Riches.

    Think, people, think!

  • Hockeycoach

    Dear CommonSenseRambler –

    Not so sure ND voters are smarter, I mean they don’t play as much hockey….

    Anyhow remember the rosy colored promises of the Republican Reagan and Bush (the first) administrations: Balance the budget, pour billions more into defense, and cut taxes on the wealthy — all while balancing the budget. What happened under this trickle-down scenario was a massive increase in our national debt.

    That runaway train was stopped by Clinton who (give some credit to a GOP Congress) brought in huge budget surpluses after they enacted a balanced budget for the first time in many years.

    The current Bush administration has turned that (give a lot of credit to a GOP Congress for 6 of 8 years) into a return to massive deficits and debt.

    So that is what President Obama will have to

  • Hockeycoach

    Dear CommonSenseRambler –

    Not so sure ND voters are smarter, I mean they don’t play as much hockey….

    Anyhow remember the rosy colored promises of the Republican Reagan and Bush (the first) administrations: Balance the budget, pour billions more into defense, and cut taxes on the wealthy — all while balancing the budget. What happened under this trickle-down scenario was a massive increase in our national debt.

    That runaway train was stopped by Clinton who (give some credit to a GOP Congress) brought in huge budget surpluses after they enacted a balanced budget for the first time in many years. He also did increase spending – in the right places – education, health, etc (where we get a big return on investment.)

    The current Bush administration has turned that (give a lot of credit to a GOP Congress for 6 of 8 years) into a return to massive deficits and debt. We’ve seen disinvestment in education and health (other than the prescription drug benefit).

    So, Trickle-down has been fully field tested twice to disasterous fiscal and economic ends.

    So that is what President Obama will have to face.

    Let’s hope he turns it around and restores us to sanity with the help of those not-so-smart MN voters.

  • Jimmy Mach

    I consider it a blessing that we Americans can have the freedom to live whereever we wish in the United States.

    There’s not much in North Dakota that I find interesting so there’s 49 other states to choose from. Of course, some more progressive than others such as Massachusetts and California.

    The way I see it, if McBush wins the election, we’ll

    all suffer (except for the few elitists among

    us) and hopefully all those who vote Republican for values over economic issues will learn their lesson!!