How small is the Republican Population?

Since my last data-filled OP was such a hit, and triggered so many defense mechanisms, let’s do another quick one.

The Claims

  1. Republican majority states are the minority, even below independent states
  2. The Republican population in Republican leaning states is a fraction of the Democratic population in Democratic leaning states.
  3. Due to the design of our nation, Republicans have far outsized power in government than their population would imply.
  4. Even with the designs of Minority Power in the Senate and Gerrymandering, the Democrats should by population hold more power than they do.

The Sources

For this analysis we will use the self-identification poll from the last OP:

https://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/compare/party-affiliation/by/state/

The Data

Below is a table of the population of each state, how many people identify as each party or unaffiliated in each, and the population that that percent totals:

RankStatePopulationRepublican/lean Rep.Population RepublicansNo leanPopulation IndependentsDemocrat/lean Dem.Population Democrats
1Alabama4,903,18552%2,549,65613%637,41435%1,716,115
2Alaska731,54539%285,30329%212,14832%234,094
3Arizona7,278,71740%2,911,48721%1,528,53139%2,838,700
4Arkansas3,017,80446%1,388,19016%482,84938%1,146,766
5California39,512,22330%11,853,66721%8,297,56749%19,360,989
6Colorado5,758,73641%2,361,08217%978,98542%2,418,669
7Connecticut3,565,28732%1,140,89218%641,75250%1,782,644
8Delaware973,76429%282,39217%165,54055%535,570
9District of Columbia705,74911%77,63215%105,86273%515,197
10Florida21,477,73737%7,946,76319%4,080,77044%9,450,204
11Georgia10,617,42341%4,353,14318%1,911,13641%4,353,143
12Hawaii1,415,87228%396,44420%283,17451%722,095
13Idaho1,787,06549%875,66219%339,54232%571,861
14Illinois12,671,82133%4,181,70119%2,407,64648%6,082,474
15Indiana6,732,21942%2,827,53220%1,346,44437%2,490,921
16Iowa3,155,07041%1,293,57919%599,46340%1,262,028
17Kansas2,913,31446%1,340,12423%670,06231%903,127
18Kentucky4,467,67344%1,965,77613%580,79743%1,921,099
19Louisiana4,648,79441%1,906,00616%743,80743%1,998,981
20Maine1,344,21236%483,91617%228,51647%631,780
21Maryland6,045,68031%1,874,16114%846,39555%3,325,124
22Massachusetts6,892,50327%1,860,97617%1,171,72656%3,859,802
23Michigan9,986,85734%3,395,53119%1,897,50347%4,693,823
24Minnesota5,639,63239%2,199,45615%845,94546%2,594,231
25Mississippi2,976,14944%1,309,50614%416,66142%1,249,983
26Missouri6,137,42841%2,516,34518%1,104,73742%2,577,720
27Montana1,068,77849%523,70121%224,44330%320,633
28Nebraska1,934,40847%909,17217%328,84936%696,387
29Nevada3,080,15637%1,139,65818%554,42846%1,416,872
30New Hampshire1,359,71135%475,89920%271,94244%598,273
31New Jersey8,882,19030%2,664,65719%1,687,61651%4,529,917
32New Mexico2,096,82937%775,82715%314,52448%1,006,478
33New York19,453,56128%5,446,99719%3,696,17753%10,310,387
34North Carolina10,488,08441%4,300,11417%1,782,97443%4,509,876
35North Dakota762,06250%381,03118%137,17133%251,480
36Ohio11,689,10042%4,909,42218%2,104,03840%4,675,640
37Oklahoma3,956,97145%1,780,63715%593,54640%1,582,788
38Oregon4,217,73732%1,349,67621%885,72547%1,982,336
39Pennsylvania12,801,98939%4,992,77615%1,920,29846%5,888,915
40Rhode Island1,059,36130%317,80822%233,05948%508,493
41South Carolina5,148,71443%2,213,94718%926,76939%2,007,998
42South Dakota884,65953%468,86910%88,46637%327,324
43Tennessee6,829,17448%3,278,00415%1,024,37636%2,458,503
44Texas28,995,88139%11,308,39421%6,089,13540%11,598,352
45Utah3,205,95854%1,731,21716%512,95330%961,787
46Vermont623,98929%180,95714%87,35857%355,674
47Virginia8,535,51943%3,670,27318%1,536,39339%3,328,852
48Washington7,614,89333%2,512,91523%1,751,42544%3,350,553
49West Virginia1,792,14743%770,62316%286,74441%734,780
50Wisconsin5,822,43442%2,445,42216%931,58942%2,445,422
51Wyoming578,75957%329,89318%104,17725%144,690

The Comparison

Based on the data, we find there are only 8 states that are strongly majority Republican (15% or more difference between Rep/Dem total)

How small is the Republican Population?

And there are only 6 states that lean towards Republicans (5% or more difference between Rep/Dem Total):

There are 8 States that are considered Deep Purple (0-1% difference either way):

And 7 States that are mostly purple (<5% difference either way):

There are 9 states which identify as leaning Democratic (>5% up to 15% difference in Democratic versus Republican affiliation):

And there are 12 states which are Deep Blue (meaning a greater than 15% difference in Democratic versus Republican affiliation) + DC:

Breaking down each population into groupings, we get the following:

PopulationRepublicanIndependentDemocrat
Deep Red8,200,1542,714,2295,197,018
Light Red10,468,8373,988,2128,609,459
Purple Red12,873,7715,270,60411,997,254
Deep Purple29,155,22813,724,37429,415,134
Purple Blue6,206,1202,526,7816,508,858
Light Blue23,922,74111,865,35229,631,128
Deep Blue31,627,95920,509,59753,870,702

Comparing those numbers, we get the following:

The population of Republicans in Deep Red states only make up 2.5% of the nation and hold a 1.58 advantage over Democrats in those states.
The population of Republicans in any Republican leaning state only make up 5.69% of the population of the USA, and hold a 1.35 advantage over Democrats in those states.
The population of Republicans in Purple States make up 14.69% of the nation, and hold a slight 1.065 advantage over Democrats in those states.
The population of Republicans in any Democratic leaning state make up 16.92% of the nation, with a 1.5 disadvantage with Democrats in those states
And the population of Republicans in Deep Blue states make up 9.63% of the nation, the largest population of Republicans in the nation, with a 1.7 disadvantage with Democrats in those states.

The Conclusions:

The following claims were investigated:

  • Republican majority states are the minority, even below independent states
    • This is TRUE, as there are 15 Purple states and 14 Republican states, with the other 22 States leaning or being heavily Democratic. In fact, Deep Blue states almost number equally to ALL red states (13 to 14).

  • The Republican population in Republican leaning states is a fraction of the Democratic population in Democratic leaning states.
    • TRUE. The exact number is 0.2236, or 22% (about 1/5th).

  • Due to the design of our nation, Republicans have far outsized power in government than their population would imply.
    • This one is complicated, because based on affiliation one would expect 8 states to be firmly under Republican control, 6 states giving them an advantage, and and perhaps 9 states from the Purple ones going towards them, giving them a total of 23 states.
    • Meanwhile, we can expect 13 states to be firmly Democratic, with 9 more states having a Democratic advantage, and 6 Purple states going towards them, giving them a total of 27 States.
    • This means that if we take variability of support into account (since you cannot cluster all votes behind a single candidate and assuming you need at least more than 80% of the vote covered by your party, with Independents filling the rest), we’d expect to see all Republican-Leaning states vote only Republican Senators. We would also expect based on the same population only 9 Purple states having possibly a single Democratic Senator (and none over 86%). Furthermore, we have reasonable certainty of a Democratic Senator in only 8 states, and then only a single one. Meanwhile, Republicans are likely to have 14 Senators from Purple states and none from Democratic states.
    • Taking all that into account and assuming little crossing of party lines (assuming you need 95% of the vote without any of the opposition) we can estimate that 12 states would have both Republicans Senators, 21 states would have only Democratic Senators, and 17 states would have one of each. That means 58 Democrats and 42 Republicans.
    • Based on population, we would expect 37.30% of the House to be Republicans, and 44.24% to be Democrats, with 18.46% being independent. Given our two party lock-in, we can parcel the independents up similarly going by state population, giving 5.74% more to Republicans and 12.72% more to Democrats. This would mean we should see 187 Republican Representatives and 248 Democratic Representatives.
    • Even if we gave ALL the Independent voters in all Red Leaning states to the Republicans, that would give them only 39.34% of the total population.
    • And even is we gave ALL the Independent voters in all Purple and Red Leaning states to Republicans, they’d have 45.90% to Dems’ 54.10% (200 Republicans versus 235 Democrats)
    • ONLY if you gave ALL Independent voters to the Republican party and split the independents in blue states up by affiliation difference, you’d get a Republican advantage of 52.49%. Again, this assumes ALL Independents except in Blue states vote 100% Republican.
    • Ruling: MOSTLY TRUE in practice, FALSE in theory.

  • Even with the designs of Minority Power in the Senate and Gerrymandering, the Democrats should by population hold more power than they do.
    • TRUE: We have a 50/50 split in the Senate, off from the expected 58/42, and we have 221/213 US Representatives, instead of the expected 248/187 based on population or 235/200 based on Independent-Republican dominance.

    Interesting things to note as well are:

    • That the 8 Republican Heavy states have significantly less population than the 6 Republican-leaning states, and both have less Republicans than all except the 2 Purple-Blue states.
    • That Republicans and Independents live mostly in Deep Purple States, with the second highest being in Purple-BLUE and Deep Blue states, respectively. It’s strange that the first or second most population isn’t in Republican heavy states, because:
    • That Democrats live mostly in Deep Blue states, with the second most population being in Deep Purple States.
    • That for both Democrats and Republicans, the lowest populations are to be found in Deep Red States, while for Republicans, the lowest population is to be found in Leaning Red States.
    • If Democrats could split their base vote perfectly, they would have 27 states locked down in the Senate, while for Republicans that’s only 22 states.

    See any more interesting things to note? Let me know in the comments below, and heck, let me know what you’d like me to investigate next!

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