What's the deal with Alabama?

Without Alabama the widest margin of victory for either candidate is about 17 points. Obama has Connecticut and Illinois. McCain has Tennessee, Arkansas and Kentucky.

However, McCain is winning in Alabama by 26 points. What is so special about Alabama that they are so strikingly against Obama?

Polls taken from here.

Let’s not make fun of the state or link to videos of some of their crazy citizens. I know it’s a conservative state, but why is it so far to right from the rest of the country?

I don’t think you looked closely enough; a number of states are just as far towards McCain as Alabama.

Alabama is not even close to Utah, which right now is polling about 32 to 38 points ahead for McCain. Idaho, depending which poll you believe, could be as much as 29-30 points ahead for McCain. Electoral-vote.com estimates Nebraska has being McCain by 26, Oklahoma by 27.

And Obama is polling a whopping 69 points ahead of McCain in DC (yes, that’s right: Obama led the latest poll 82% to 13%). I know DC isn’t a state, but it does have three electoral votes so it acts like one in the election for all intents and purposes.

McCain is leading by wider margins than Alabama in the aforementioned Utah, Wyoming, Oklahoma, and Idaho, according to Fivethirtyeight.com (which, strangely, only lists Nebraska as +17% to McCain).

What is Obama’s largest lead in a state?

Looks like Hawaii; 41 points.

That makes sense.

OK, my poll is missing 10 states. Sorry about that.

That’s nothing special for a Democratic candidate. DC is one of the bluest jurisdictions in the country and never voted for a Republican.

Obama at this point is still behind Kerry. Bush got 9% in DC in 2004.

I’ve been monitoring the polls here (in Alabama) and that’s a particularly high one. Usually it’s more of a 60/40 split McCain/Obama.

As to why Alabama is so red, I’ve lived here all my life and still wonder. I blame it on very poor public schools, distrust of change, the pervasive religious climates, etc… What’s interesting is that the state is literally divided down the middle in most elections, with a blue band of counties from Mississippi to Georgia that includes Montgomery and most of the other center counties which go democratic, then a good bit of purple in the population centers of Birmingham, Huntsville, and Mobile, but the rural areas are redder than the arse of a babboon in high estrus with a sunburn.

Hardly surprising, considering that cities in general tend to go Democratic, and DC (unlike any state) is 100% urban.

Electoral-vote.com has Idaho by 29.

I need to dig for a source, but other than D.C. (which isn’t a state), believe Idaho had the largest margin ever for a standard Republican-Democrat tilt. I think is was Reagan in 1984. Now you’ve peaked my interest in this little bit of trivia and I have to go off for 5 minutes and search.

The thing that sucks about all these sharply leaning states (whichever way they are leaning) is they never get any campaign loving. No ads, no candidates stomping around making stump speeches, no rallies and so on.

Occasionally I just enjoy politics as theater and this is like a favorite band never coming to my town.

Of course I understand why the candidates don’t bother and it makes perfect sense for them but still…

One would expect that the candidate that has the big base for a state like Idaho, for example, might use the state to raise funds and therefore put in the occasional appearance. Of course there might be more money to be made in NYC, LA or DC than all of Idaho, so maybe not. Nice place for someone like Sarah Plain to stage a pep rally, though.

I live in Texas, which is supposed to be in McCain’s pocket, but I’ve seen a few campaign commercials lately, mostly from McCain…could it be that he’s afraid of a surprise upset in Texas? We did have a HUGE hispanic turnout in the Democratic primaries and a sizable black population who might decide to vote for a black president.

DC also has a majority Black population, and I also suspect that the Whites in DC vote Democrat more than average urban Whites, partly because a lot work for the federal government. If the GOP could carry DC, what would be left for the Dems? The Bronx?

Idaho in 1984 went to Reagan 73.28% to 26.72%. That was matched by Utah in 2004 (!) which went for Bush 73.35 to 26.65%. Utah in 1980, however, went to Reagan by 77.97 to 22.03%.

That is the biggest lead I’ve seen.

Candidates do spend a fair bit of time in Idaho raising money. But they are usually Democrats, and the spot is Sun Valley.

If you look at the red/blue voting districts for the state there are usually two, tiny little blue dots - in Sun Valley, and in the North End of Boise - in an otherwise blood-red sea. But it’s just the salmon running that make it look like blood.

Where did you find that data?

It’s from a Congressional Quarterly database, but it is proprietary. If you’re a student at a University, you may have access to it.