As you’ve undoubtedly observed, the present political setting is tremendous partisan and polarized. We’re within the midst of an unprecedented run of shut, aggressive elections, and Democrats and Republicans are about as far aside ideologically as they’ve ever been. A lot of them additionally really feel a sturdy antipathy towards one another, to the purpose that almost all consider the opposite aspect basically differs not simply in its priorities however in its core values, too.
Consequently, few voters cut up their tickets in November. That’s, when you voted for one occasion for president, you most likely voted for a similar occasion up and down the poll. Take how voters forged their ballots within the U.S. Home elections, the one different nationwide election in 2020 apart from the presidential election (the presidential race is on the poll in all places, as are all 435 Home seats). Simply 16 out of 435 districts backed a presidential nominee from one occasion and a Home candidate from the opposite occasion, in keeping with district-level voting knowledge compiled Each day Kos Elections. That interprets to only Four p.c of districts “splitting” their tickets in 2020, the smallest share up to now 70 years.
That quantity is stark, and speaks to how deeply entrenched partisanship is in our elections, however because the chart above reveals, this cycle isn’t the primary time this has been the case. Over the previous 20 years, the share of districts splitting their Home and presidential outcomes between the 2 main events has persistently fallen under 20 p.c, and 2020 was the third consecutive cycle it fell under 10 p.c. This represents a sea change from a lot of the latter half of the 20th century, when all however one cycle (1952) topped 20 p.c. In reality, we’d have to return to the beginning of the 20th century to discover a related interval with such a small share of crossover seats — between 1900 and 1908.
What’s fueling this bevy of straight-ticket outcomes is a pointy enhance within the one-to-one relationship between presidential and Home voting. Charles Franklin, director of the Marquette Legislation College Ballot, lately noticed that the correlation between the presidential and Home vote margin in every district was far better in 2020 than in 2000, simply twenty years prior. Based mostly on Franklin’s calculations, the 2020 presidential vote defined greater than 85 p.c of the variation within the Home vote final November, whereas it defined solely about 30 p.c of the variation in 2000.
Now, this doesn’t imply that the few districts that did cut up their outcomes in 2020 weren’t essential; slightly, they had been illustrative of why the Democrats ended up with a slim majority within the Home. That’s as a result of in these 16 districts, the GOP did barely higher than the Democrats total, and never simply because Republicans gained 9 of those districts in contrast with the Democrats’ seven. The GOP additionally notably gained the 4 closest races in these districts and carried six of the seven seats with the biggest hole between the Home and presidential vote. In reality, of the 14 Home seats that the GOP flipped in 2020, 4 of them had been from these 16 “crossover” districts.
|TX-24||Beth Van Duyne||R||R+1.3||D+5.4||+6.7|
|FL-27||María Elvira Salazar||R||✓||R+2.7||D+3.2||+5.9|
The GOP’s slight edge in these crossover seats is important, because it continues a current sample in presidential contests of Republicans profitable extra districts with cut up outcomes. (Democrats beforehand held this benefit, from 2000 to 2008, however in 2010 they misplaced many seats within the South that had lengthy been of their fingers regardless of voters’ leaning towards the GOP on the presidential degree.) Nonetheless, whereas the GOP could have accomplished considerably higher within the crossover seats in 2020, they nonetheless proved to be pivotal to the Democrats’ majority: The Democrats now maintain 222 seats total, and that’s largely thanks to those seats. In the event that they’d misplaced 5 or extra of those split-ticket seats, Republicans would have gained management. In complete, the common hole between the presidential and Home margins within the 16 crossover seats was about 9.2 factors, whereas the common distinction within the remaining Home seats was 4.Four factors, indicative of simply how shut the presidential and Home races ran collectively.
And that shut alignment will possible be the fact shifting ahead. Even when the variety of crossover seats will increase in 2024, it could take a dramatic shift in our politics for sufficient voters to separate their tickets to provide a whole lot of Democratic Home members in seats carried the GOP presidential nominee or vice versa. Now greater than ever, these split-ticket outcomes are the exception, not the rule.