Poll: Blue states outnumber red, but advantage shrinks

Blue states slightly outnumbered red states in 2013 — however, the Democratic advantage has dropped from seven to three in the past year.

According to a Gallup poll, 17 states either lean or are solidly Democratic, while 14 states either lean or are solidly Republican. Nineteen states remain competitive, the same as in 2012. 

ADVERTISEMENT
Democrats have long held an advantage in the Gallup poll, but the number has greatly diminished since 2008, when President Obama was first elected. That year, Democrats held a 30-state advantage, which dropped to a 12-state advantage in 2010.

Republicans gained three solidly Republican states in 2013 — including South Carolina, South Dakota and Oklahoma. 

The numbers are based on Gallup polling done throughout 2013, and includes independents that lean either Republican or Democrat. 

Currently there are 12 solidly Democratic states, meaning the party holds an advantage of 10 percent or more. There are an equal number of solidly Republican states. 

Lining up with a presidential election map, many of the red states are on the interior of the United States, while blue states tend to hug the coastlines. 

Nationally, Democrats hold a 6-point advantage over Republicans — with 47 percent identifying with Democrats and 41 percent with Republicans. That is largely unchanged since last year. 

While Democrats slightly increased their national advantage, many of the gains came in states that were already solidly Democratic. 

Democrats are defending seats in 2014 in three states that are solidly Republican — including Montana, South Dakota and Alaska.

“Thus, the political climate appears relatively auspicious for Republicans,” a Gallup analysis states. “But given potential differences in partisanship between the state adult population and the voting electorate, state partisanship doesn't always match state voting patterns, and doesn't account for the influence of incumbency or specific issues in a given race.”