Until recently Missouri voters reflected national outcomes 

Zeke La Mantia
Social Media Manager

Webster Groves voters line up to cast ballots Nov. 3. Some lines began to form as early at 5:30 a.m.

Living in St Louis means being blue in a state of red. 

Missouri gained statehood in August 1821. 

Missouri has, until recently, been a true swing state with historical accuracy at voting for the eventual election winner. From 1904 through 2004, Missourians got it wrong just once – preferring Adlai Stevenson (D) over Dwight Eisenhower (R) in 1956.

Starting in 2008, the streak ended when Barack Obama (D) lost to John McCain (R) by the slenderest of margins, 49.4% to 49.3%, or about 3,900 votes out of 2.93 million cast.

As 2016 marked the fifth straight Republican win, it is becoming a fairly reliable state for the Republican Party. 

First time voting was pretty good. I waited outside of Hudson elementary for about an hour. It wasn’t particularly like I chose to vote but that I needed to vote. I feel very fortunate and privileged to live in an area that is more blue than red, but I end up getting a culture shock sometimes when I leave our little liberal bubble. I forgot truly how red the rest of Missouri is outside of STL, Columbia and Kansas City until this election,” senior Amelia Griesedieck said. 

The American South where slavery was more prevalent in the 1860s are today areas with lower average black voter turnout, larger numbers of election lawsuits alleging race-related, Constitutional violations filed under provisions of the Voting Rights Act and the 14th and 15th Amendments, and are more likely to have larger racial polarization as measured by differences in partisan self-identification between whites and blacks, according to “A Culture of Disenfranchisement: How American Slavery Continues to Affect Voting Behavior” by Avidit Acharya, Matthew Blackwell, and Maya Sen.

Avidit Acharya, Matthew Blackwell and Maya Sen also note, not only was the South’s history of chattel slavery, black codes and Jim Crow a key justification for the VRA, but a growing literature has begun to show that historical institutions such as slavery can have effects that last long after the institutions themselves are dismantled.

This information can shed light onto why Missouri has recently been recognized as a red state. 

See Also: Voices of Webster: Until recently Missouri voters reflected national outcomes

Zeke La Mantia – Social Media Editor

This is Zeke La Mantia’s second year on with Echo publications.  He has earned multiple awards for his photographic contributions.


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