Alabama’s history of one-sided politics makes it one of the country’s least powerful states in presidential elections, a new study claims.
That’s according to the personal-finance website WalletHub.
With the presidential election just a few weeks away and voters’ influence varying across state lines, WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of 2016’s States with the Most & Least Powerful Voters.
Their findings? Alabama has the seventh least-powerful voters in the nation.
The last time the Yellowhammer State voted for a Democratic candidate was in 1976, for former president Jimmy Carter.
Because of this predictability, WalletHub said it’s safe to say the state’s voters aren’t as powerful as those from a swing state.
“In a presidential election, voter power varies widely by state. While all votes are theoretically counted equally — one person, one vote — the choices of swing-state citizens are more influential,” WalletHub said. “It’s safe to assume that Alabama will vote Republican and California will vote Democratic in the upcoming election. But the electoral results of swing states are up in the air, giving their voters more impact.”
In order to determine the states with the most and least influential voters, WalletHub’s analysts calculated the Voter Power Scores for both presidential and Senate elections in each state. The analysts assessed win probabilities for the candidates in each state on a scale of 0 to 100 — 100 being awarded to swing states with a true 50/50 chance for either major party’s candidate. That number was divided by the state’s 18-plus population, then multiplied by 1 million.
“If voting were easier, we might get a more representative sample of the population to vote,” Tracy L. Osborn, assistant professor of political science and director of the Politics and Policy Research Program in the Public Policy Center at the University of Iowa, told WalletHub. “Federal financing of congressional elections would eliminate the need to raise money and likely widen the type of candidates who ran for Congress. Shorter elections might reduce election fatigue in America.”
Here’s how Alabama compares to the rest of the country:
Alabama fares no better in the Senate races either, still ranking the seventh-least powerful state in the country.
Here’s how the states compare in the Senate rankings: