by Phillip Bump, The Fix blog at the Washington Post
The reddest states in America in 2014 were Utah and Wyoming, according to Gallup surveys. The most Democratic were Massachusetts and Maryland — states that last November elected new, Republican governors.
Every year Gallup provides an assessment of how Democratic and Republican states are, by subtracting the percentage that identifies with one party from the percentage that identifies with the other. In 2014, 51.4 percent of Marylanders were Democratic or leaned Democratic, compared with 29.6 percent that felt that way about Republicans. That’s a net margin of 21.8 percentage points for the Dems.
But clearly this isn’t politically predictive, since the new governor of that state is Larry Hogan (R), not Anthony Brown (D). What the Gallup data is instead particularly good at is showing trends over time.