Friday, October 31st, 2014
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Says 18 states and the District of Columbia have voted Democratic in six consecutive presidential elections.  

George Will on Sunday, November 10th, 2013 in comments on Fox's "Fox News Sunday"

18 states have voted Democratic in six consecutive elections with 242 electoral votes, George Will says

On Fox News Sunday on Nov. 10, conservative pundit George Will discusses electoral votes from states that have voted Democratic.

The lopsided re-election of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has ignited talk about Christie’s 2016 presidential prospects. In his victory speech, Christie, eyes straight at the camera, invited the rest of the country to see what a Republican could achieve in New Jersey.

Conservative pundit George Will said the prospect of flipping a blue state could be Christie’s trump card if he does decide to run for president.

"He will turn to the Republicans now and say, ‘Your problem is the 18 states and the District of Columbia that have voted democratic in six consecutive presidential elections,’" Will said on Fox News Sunday. "Those 18 states, which include New Jersey by the way, have 242 electoral votes. If the Democratic presidential nominee can assume those states, he or she will spend the autumn of 2016 looking for 28 electoral votes, and he or she will find them."

It’s a simple matter of going to the electoral college record to see if Will has his numbers right, and he does.

While about one third of the states have moved from one party to the other over the past 24 years, Democrats have been able to hold on to a larger number than Republicans. More importantly, the Democratic states have bigger populations and thus deliver more electoral votes.

Democrats can count on the two big prizes of California and New York, while Republicans can counter with just one super-sized state, Texas. The average state in the blue column delivers 13 electoral votes; the average on the red side is 8.

Here’s a look at the states that have voted the same way since Bill Clinton was elected in 1992 and the total number of electoral votes they now cast:

Democratic since 1992

Electoral votes

 

Republican since 1992

Electoral votes

California

55

 

Alabama

9

Connecticut

7

 

Alaska

3

D.C.

3

 

Kansas

6

Delaware

3

 

Idaho

4

Hawaii

4

 

Mississippi

6

Illinois

20

 

Nebraska

5

Maine

4

 

North Dakota

3

Maryland

10

 

Oklahoma

7

Massachusetts

11

 

South Carolina

9

Michigan

16

 

South Dakota

3

Minnesota

10

 

Texas

38

New Jersey

14

 

Utah

6

New York

29

 

Wyoming

3

Oregon

7

 

Total

102

Pennsylvania

20

   

 

Rhode Island

4

     

Vermont

3

     

Washington

12

     

Wisconsin

10

     

Total

242

     

Source: U.S. Electoral College

Other Republicans have weighed in on this Democratic advantage. A recent commentary in Red State, a self-described right-of-center website, suggested the problem is even worse than Will said.

"After totaling the electoral votes in all the solid blue states, it becomes apparent that even a below average Democrat presidential candidate could begin the race with a whopping 246 advantage," the author said. "No wonder President (Barack) Obama was so confident of victory in 2012 for he knew the game was practically over before it began."

University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato said the hurdle for Republicans doesn't look any better if you count the underlying votes by citizens, not just the electoral results.

"Democrats have also won the popular vote in five of the last six presidential contests," Sabato said. "The demographic shifts heading to mid century are all pro-Democratic."

Our ruling

Will said Democrats have taken 18 states and the District of Columbia in every presidential election since 1992. The record backs that up.

We rate the claim True.