Reply: New Mexico
If you happen to’re a fan of quantity crunching and historical past, all with a spattering of politics on high, then at present’s trivia query is for you. We wouldn’t fault you for being very tempted to suppose Ohio, Illinois, or New Hampshire have the best accuracy in predicting presidential winners—given how prominently their votes appear to function in all of the media studies on fashionable elections. Whereas strong guesses, nonetheless, you’d be mistaken. Election for election, if our standards is “How proper have they been since they grew to become a state?”, the award ought to go to New Mexico. Since admission to the union in 1912, New Mexico has chosen the profitable candidate over 90 p.c of the time.
Though it may be tempting to imagine that by some means the residents of New Mexico are significantly adept at selecting winners (and we don’t need to promote them quick, thoughts you), there are two large elements at play of their success. First, New Mexico has a very late major date (whereas primaries are held as early as February in some states, New Mexicans vote of their primaries in June). Second, as a westward state, New Mexico additionally will get information of election occasions and outcomes as they shake out on the East coast and transfer throughout the nation. This double publicity—first to extra information and a later major on the entrance finish after which to breaking election information that’s predictive of the winner on the tail finish—actually influences voters within the state and ends in them having a stronger than anticipated bead on the potential winner.