Over the last sixty years, voting patterns in the United States have changed dramatically, and this is especially true in the state of Florida. Though there is some literature in the field of political science that outlines the voting and election history of Florida and identifies some trends, this literature is extremely limited and is not comprehensive of the data that is available up to the present day. This study seeks to find Florida’s voting patterns and to explain how they can be understood by both the casual observer and the political scientist. To do so, unique methodology was applied that used the "relative margin" of both a county and a region in a particular election to give the Democratic nominee’s performance context both in the election in question and in history, by comparing the actual margin of victory or defeat of the Democratic nominee to the statewide margin of victory or defeat. This was an illuminating process that ultimately revealed some truths about the election history of Florida: the counties and regions most likely to vote for Democratic nominees in the 1950s and early 1960 are now among the least likely to do so, and the counties and regions most likely to vote for Republican nominees in the 1950s and early 1960s are now considered to be "swing" or "tossup" areas that are regularly and alternatively won by Democratic and Republican nominees. Additionally, the pattern of each region in how it voted in presidential elections was compared to forty seven other states in the country to provide further context as to how the election patterns can be understood in context.
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Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Yeargain, Tyler Q., "Blurred (County) Lines: A Comprehensive Analysis of Voting Patterns in Florida at the County and Regional Levels from 1950 to 2012" (2015). HIM 1990-2015. 1904.