In 2000, George W. Bush won about 48% of the popular vote, and 271 votes in the electoral college. In 2008, John McCain won 46% of the popular vote, but only 173 electoral votes. A lot of attention has been paid to the decline in Republican voting power in much of the country, especially in suburban districts in the northeast, midwest, and on the west coast.
But despite Obama’s big win in 2008, there are a number of congressional districts throughout the country that are actually trending Republican. And many of them are held by Democratic incumbents.
Here are some prime examples:
OK 2 – Dan Boren. Bush won 52% in 2000. McCain won 66% in 2008.
TN 4 – Lincoln Davis. Bush won this with only 50% in 2000, but McCain won 64% here in 2008.
TN 6 – Bart Gordon. Bush won 49% in 2000, McCain 62% in 2008.
AR 1 – Marion Berry. Bush ’00 – 48% in 2000, McCain 59% in 2008.
AR 4 – Mike Ross. Bush – 48% in 2000, McCain 59% in 2008.
WV 3 – Nick Rahall – Bush – 47% in 2000, McCain 56% in 2008.
That’s a lot of districts in the south. What about the rest of the country?
How about NY 13, the old Vito Fossella seat that Republicans lost in 2008? Bush lost this district in 2000 with only 44%, but McCain won it in 2008 with 51%.
Or PA 12, John Murtha’s seat, where likewise Bush only received 44% in 2000 but McCain won narrowly in 2008. In the neighboring PA 4, Bush won with 52% in 2000 but McCain increased that to 55% in 2008.
in NY 1, a district that went back and forth between the parties in the 90s but has been held by the Democrats since 2002, Bush won 44% in 2000 but McCain got 49% in 2008.
Even in Massachusetts there are signs of life. Bush got only 39% in Bill Delahunt’s 10th congressional district in 2000. McCain won 44% in 2008.
As Ryan pointed out on Wednesday, the generic congressional ballot numbers are looking pretty good for the GOP at this point. In a good year, we should be able to reverse the trend in many districts that have drifted away from Republicans lately. But we should also take full advantage of the districts that are already turning in our direction, even in places like Arkansas where we haven’t really put up much of a fight in the past.
Full presidential results by congressional district, 2000-2008 available here.