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Massachusetts Has Sharpest P-RADAR, Best At Picking Good Presidents and Avoiding Bad Ones



MASS. BEST AT PICKING PRESIDENTS. Michigan Most Improved In Past Century. Educated Males In Their Prime Earning Years Most Closely Correlated With P-RADAR Ranking.

George Washington, Abe Lincoln, FDR, Teddy Roosevelt, and Thomas Jefferson routinely top lists of successful past U.S. presidents. I asked myself the question, "which U.S. states have the best record of ushering in chart topping presidents while, just as importantly, avoiding presidents that turn out to be duds"? The results are surprising, even shocking.

Since 1900, the ten states with the best presidential mojo, what I have dubbed 'P-RADAR' [pea ray-dar] or Presidential RADAR, are (in order, a score of 50% being pure chance): Massachusetts (75.3%), Illinois (71.0%), New Mexico (70.6%), Nevada (70.3%), Virginia (68.1%), Texas (67.7%), Washington (67.7%), Idaho (67.5%), Montana (67.4%), and Rhode Island (67.4%).

States with the worst P-RADAR are Vermont (43.6%), Hawaii (45.9%), South Dakota (48.8%), Tennessee (49.4%), Mississippi (50.2%), Alabama (50.2%), Alabama (50.2%), South Carolina (51.0%), Pennsylvania (51.6%), and Delaware (51.6%).


P-RADAR RANKING (1900 TO PRESENT) -- BY STATE
1.Massachusetts75.34%26.Michigan59.31%
2.Illinois71.04%26.New Hampshire59.31%
3.New Mexico70.64%28.West Virginia58.92%
4.Nevada70.27%29.Georgia58.16%
5.Virginia68.13%30.Oregon57.85%
6.Texas67.67%31.North Dakota57.54%
6.Washington67.67%32.Kentucky57.39%
8.Idaho67.51%32.New York57.39%
9.Montana67.36%34.Wisconsin57.16%
9.Rhode Island67.36%35.North Carolina56.16%
11.California67.05%36.Kansas55.24%
12.Wyoming66.98%37.Indiana54.32%
13.Oklahoma66.59%37.Nebraska54.32%
13.Utah66.59%39.Minnesota53.56%
15.Arkansas64.91%40.Maine53.25%
16.Arizona64.38%41.Delaware51.64%
17.Louisiana62.61%41.Pennsylvania51.64%
18.Connecticut62.53%43.South Carolina50.95%
19.Alaska62.45%44.Alabama50.18%
20.New Jersey62.14%44.Maryland50.18%
21.Ohio61.30%44.Mississippi50.18%
22.Colorado60.76%47.Tennessee49.41%
23.Florida60.30%48.South Dakota48.80%
24.Iowa59.54%49.Hawaii45.89%
25.Missouri59.38%50.Vermont43.59%


DISCOUNTING LOCAL FAVORITE CANDIDATES

If one accounts for 'home state' sentiment (leaving out specific state results in elections where there is a 'local' presidential or VP connection), states spotting great presidents originating from beyond their borders are Massachusetts (78.0%), New Mexico (70.6%), Nevada (70.3%), Illinois (68.8%), California (68.4%), Washington (67.7%), Idaho (67.5%), Montana (67.4%), Rhode Island (67.4%), and Wyoming (67.2%).

States worst at spotting greatness in non-local candidates are Pennsylvania (44.6%), New York (45.6%), Hawaii (45.9%), Tennessee (46.4%), South Dakota (47.6%), Maine (48.9%), Vermont (49.3%), Indiana (49.7%), Mississippi (50.2%), and Alabama (50.2%).

Contrasting states' raw scores with their adjusted 'home state' scores, states that improved the most in their picking ability (>3% improvement) when looking at non-local candidates included Vermont (11.7% improvement), North Carolina, Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas, Oregon, and Massachusetts, whereas states that became worse (>5% decline) are New York (25.9% decline), Texas, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Virginia, Indiana, Maine, Tennessee, and Georgia.


CHANGES OVER THE PAST CENTURY

Splitting the 20th century into two eras, 1900 to 1960 and 1960 to the present, some more interesting data emerges.

From 1900-1960, the top five spotters of good presidential timber were Massachusetts (78.2%), Rhode Island, Ohio, California, and Illinois. The worst were Vermont (35.1%), South Dakota, Maine, Pennsylvania, and Michigan (Alaska and Hawaii were not yet states during this period).

Since 1960, the states with superior P-RADAR have been Connecticut (84.1%), Michigan (84.1%), Nevada (78.9%), New Mexico (76.4%), Illinois (74.0%), and New Jersey (74.0%), while the worst states have been Minnesota (29.3%), Wisconsin (36.5%), Tennessee (42.3%), Ohio (42.3%), and Kentucky (42.3%).


P-RADAR RANKING (1960 TO PRESENT) -- BY STATE
1.Connecticut84.13%26.Iowa62.98%
1.Michigan84.13%27.California61.54%
3.Nevada78.85%27.Vermont61.54%
4.New Mexico76.44%29.Oregon60.58%
5.Illinois74.04%30.Arizona60.10%
5.New Jersey74.04%30.Pennsylvania60.10%
7.Maine71.63%32.New York59.13%
8.Washington70.67%33.Louisiana58.17%
9.Massachusetts69.23%34.North Carolina55.77%
10.Alaska67.31%35.Missouri54.81%
10.Idaho67.31%36.Delaware50.00%
10.Indiana67.31%37.South Carolina49.04%
10.Kansas67.31%37.West Virginia49.04%
10.Nebraska67.31%39.Alabama46.63%
10.North Dakota67.31%39.Mississippi46.63%
10.Oklahoma67.31%41.Maryland45.19%
10.South Dakota67.31%42.Hawaii44.23%
10.Utah67.31%42.Rhode Island44.23%
10.Virginia67.31%44.Georgia43.75%
10.Wyoming67.31%45.Florida42.79%
21.Colorado66.83%46.Kentucky42.31%
21.Montana66.83%46.Ohio42.31%
23.Texas65.87%46.Tennessee42.31%
24.Arkansas64.90%49.Wisconsin36.54%
25.New Hampshire63.94%50.Minnesota29.33%


States that have improved their P-RADAR more than 25% during the past century include Michigan (43.4%), Vermont, South Dakota, Connecticut, Maine, Indiana, Nebraska, Kansas, while states that have declined more than 25% include Minnesota (-121.2%, meaning from 1900-1960 Minnesota picked well 64.9% of the time but since 1960 has picked correctly 29.3% of the time), Wisconsin, Rhode Island, Ohio, Florida, Kentucky, Georgia, and West Virginia.


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