The Six Californias Initiative is in the news for having submitted signatures for a ballot measure to split the state of California into six smaller states. How would such a dramatic change have impacted the 2012 General Election for President?
Six Californias Initiative Map
The proposed states are defined as follows: Jefferson (red), consisting of 14 counties in the north of the state to the Oregon Border, North California (gold) consisting of 13 counties running north of San Francisco to Lake Tahoe, Silicon Valley (green) consisting of eight counties from Contra Costa to Monterey, Central California (cyan) consisting of 14 counties north of Los Angeles and south of Sacramento, West California consisting of the four counties of Los Angeles, Ventura, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara, and South California (magenta) consisting of the five counties in the southern part of the state south and east of Los Angeles.
To determine the number of Presidential Electors for the six new states, the representatives apportioned to each state is calculated using the Method of Equal Proportions based on the population figures from the 2010 U.S. Census. Jefferson would become the seventh smallest state with more population than Delaware but less than Montana any have only one representative. North California would have five, Silicon Valley nine, Central California six, West California 16, and South California 15. The combined number of representatives of the six Californias is 52, one fewer than the whole of California today. The one representative lost by the “Californias” is picked up by North Carolina. However, the six Californias would pick up 10 new U. S. Senators, for a total of 64 electoral votes in all (nine more than the current 55 electoral votes). The table below shows the breakdown of the total representatives and electoral votes for the proposed states, assuming that the size of the House of Representatives remains at 435.
The Presidential Election results for these six states are quite interesting. Three of the states – Jefferson, Central California, and South California - are competitive with a margin of victory less than 3.5%. Romney wins Jefferson and Central California, while Obama wins the remaining four. The table below shows the data.
The electoral vote breakdown from the six Californias is 11 for Romney and 53 for Obama, with an additional one vote for Romney picked up in North Carolina due to the apportionment of one more representative to North Carolina as mentioned above. The overall electoral vote total is: Obama 330 to Romney 218. The national electoral vote map for this scenario is shown below:
Six Californias Scenario 2012 Electoral Vote Map
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I have found 12,301 votes cast in the 1940 General Election that have not been tabulated in any secondary source that I have looked at (including Congressional Quarterly and Clerk of the House).
In my annual drive between Eastern Massachusetts and Upstate New York, I often stop into a very deep repository of past election data – the New York State Library in Albany to collect additional past election data. This trip was a bit different, as I spent some time four floors above the library in the New York State Archives. Here, they have many original hand-written and typed records of election returns. Among the new data that I collected, was a sheet of write-in returns for the State of New York for the office of President in 1940. The document, titled “Statement of scattering vote cast as the General Election for Electors of President and Vice-President”, tabulated 12,301 write-ins for President. These votes include 11,289 for Communist Party candidate Earl Browder, 121 votes for Socialist Labor candidate John Aiken, and 891 votes for scattered write-ins. The vast majority of these write-in votes were recorded in the New York City boroughs of Bronx, Kings, and New York, where Browder received about 0.5% of the vote in these Counties as a write-in. The document only includes write-ins for 12 of New York’s 62 counties. Some of the larger counties, such as Erie, are absent, so it is likely that there are even more votes for Browder that are uncounted. These votes will soon be added to the Atlas election results database.
I was contacted this week by a reporter from the Austin American-Statesman newspaper in Austin, TX with a question about a story that they are working on. He wants to present a data that can visually represent the relevance of the Texas Primary to the Presidential nominating process. Texas holds its primary on the old “Super Tuesday”, March 4, 2008 – after 35 other states have already held their contests (20 states – give or take – now vote on a single day, February 5, 2008, a date that has been dubbed “Super Duper Tuesday”). The Republicans allocate 65% of their delegates prior to March 4 and the Democrats allocate 55% (the Democratic number is a reduced due to the penalty applied to Michigan and Florida for violating party rules by placing their nomination contests prior to February 5. These two states have been stripped of all delegates. The Republican number is reduced due to the penalty applied to Florida, Michigan, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Wyoming for violating party rules. The delegate count for these states has been reduced by half.)
In response to this request, I have created an additional feature – on each of the polling state summary pages, there is a new section that shows the number of delegates awarded prior to the date on which the state-under-view holds its contest. In addition, a new graph shows the projected delegate count for the top candidates as allocated by the states holding primaries and caucuses earlier than the given state. This graph also shows the projected delegate standing as a function of time – as the polling data evolves with the campaigns.
If the line representing the leading candidate is above the bold win line (half-delegates + 1), then the state contest is no longer relevant, otherwise, the delegates awarded for the state contest are helping to determine the party nominee. Currently, the Texas Democratic Primary and the Texas Republican Primary are both relevant, as no candidate has exceeded the number of delegates needed to secure the nomination prior to March 4. These charts will be updated as the campaign unfolds.
Projected Delegate Allocation Prior to this Contest: