United States presidential elections in California

Following is a table of United States presidential elections in California. Since its admission to statehood in 1850, California has participated in every U.S. presidential election.

"Green tick" indicates the national winner, while "Red XN" indicates national losers.

Year Winner (state election) Loser (state election) EV Notes
Candidate Party Votes Percent Candidate Party Votes Percent Other national
candidates[b]
Votes Percent
1852 Green tickPierce Democratic 40,721 53.02% Red XNScott Whig 35,972 46.83% Red XNHale 61 0.08% 4
1856 Green tickBuchanan Democratic 53,342 48.38% Red XNFrémont Republican 20,704 18.78% Red XNFillmore 36,195 32.83% 4
1860 Green tickLincoln Republican 38,733 32.30% Red XNDouglas Democratic 37,999 31.70% Red XNBreckinridge[c] 33,969 28.40% 4
1864 Green tickLincoln Republican 62,053 58.60% Red XNMcClellan Democratic 43,837 41.40% 5
1868 Green tickGrant Republican 54,588 50.20% Red XNSeymour Democratic 54,068 49.80% 5
1872 Green tickGrant Republican 54,007 56.38% Red XNGreeley Democratic 40,717 42.51% 6
1876 Green tickHayes Republican 79,258 50.88% Red XNTilden Democratic 76,460 49.08% 6
1880 Red XNHancock Democratic 80,426 48.98% Green tickGarfield Republican 80,282 48.89% Red XNWeaver 3,381 2.06% 6 Electoral vote split 5 to 1.
1884 Red XNBlaine Republican 102,369 51.97% Green tickCleveland Democratic 89,288 45.33% 8
1888 Green tickHarrison Republican 124,816 49.66% Red XNCleveland Democratic 117,729 46.84% 8
1892 Green tickCleveland Democratic 118,174 43.83% Red XNHarrison Republican 118,027 43.78% Red XNWeaver 25,311 9.39% 8 Electoral vote split 8 to 1.
1896 Green tickMcKinley Republican 146,688 49.16% Red XNBryan Democratic 144,766 48.51% 8 Electoral vote split 8 to 1.
1900 Green tickMcKinley Republican 164,755 54.50% Red XNBryan Democratic 124,985 41.34% 9
1904 Green tickT Roosevelt Republican 205,226 61.84% Red XNParker Democratic 89,404 26.94% 10
1908 Green tickTaft Republican 214,398 55.46% Red XNBryan Democratic 127,492 32.98% 28,659 7.41% 10
1912 Red XNT Roosevelt Republican 283,610 41.83% Green tickWilson Democratic 283,436 41.81% Red XNTaft 3,914 0.58% 13 electoral votes split: 11 to Roosevelt, 2 to Wilson.
1916 Green tickWilson Democratic 466,289 46.65% Red XNHughes Republican 462,516 46.27% 13
1920 Green tickHarding Republican 624,992 66.20% Red XNCox Democratic 229,191 24.28% 13
1924 Green tickCoolidge Republican 733,250 57.20% Red XNDavis Democratic 105,514 8.23% Red XNLa Follette 424,649 33.13% 13
1928 Green tickHoover Republican 1,162,323 64.69% Red XNSmith Democratic 614,365 34.19% 13
1932 Green tickF Roosevelt Democratic 1,324,157 58.39% Red XNHoover Republican 847,902 37.39% 22
1936 Green tickF Roosevelt Democratic 1,766,836 66.95% Red XNLandon Republican 836,431 31.70% 22
1940 Green tickF Roosevelt Democratic 1,877,618 57.44% Red XNWillkie Republican 1,351,419 41.34% 22
1944 Green tickF Roosevelt Democratic 1,988,564 56.48% Red XNDewey Republican 1,512,965 42.97% 25
1948 Green tickTruman Democratic 1,913,134 47.57% Red XNDewey Republican 1,895,269 47.13% Red XNThurmond 1,228 0.03% 25
1952 Green tickEisenhower Republican 3,035,587 56.83% Red XNStevenson Democratic 2,257,646 42.27% 32
1956 Green tickEisenhower Republican 3,027,668 55.39% Red XNStevenson Democratic 2,420,135 44.27% Red XNAndrews / Unpledged Electors[d] 6,087 0.11% 32
1960 Red XNNixon Republican 3,259,722 50.10% Green tickKennedy Democratic 3,224,099 49.55% 32
1964 Green tickJohnson Democratic 4,171,877 59.11% Red XNGoldwater Republican 2,879,108 40.79% 40
1968 Green tickNixon Republican 3,467,664 47.82% Red XNHumphrey Democratic 3,244,318 44.74% Red XNWallace 487,270 6.72% 40
1972 Green tickNixon Republican 4,602,096 55.00% Red XNMcGovern Democratic 3,475,847 41.54% 45
1976 Red XNFord Republican 3,882,244 49.35% Green tickCarter Democratic 3,742,284 47.57% 45
1980 Green tickReagan Republican 4,524,858 52.69% Red XNCarter Democratic 3,083,661 35.91% Red XNAnderson 739,833 8.62% 45
1984 Green tickReagan Republican 5,467,009 57.51% Red XNMondale Democratic 3,922,519 41.27% 47
1988 Green tickBush Sr Republican 5,054,917 51.13% Red XNDukakis Democratic 4,702,233 47.56% 47
1992 Green tickB Clinton Democratic 5,121,325 46.01% Red XNBush Sr Republican 3,630,574 32.61% Red XNPerot 2,296,006 20.63% 54
1996 Green tickB Clinton Democratic 5,119,835 51.10% Red XNDole Republican 3,828,380 38.21% Red XNPerot 697,847 6.96% 54
2000 Red XNGore Democratic 5,861,203 53.45% Green tickBush Jr Republican 4,567,429 41.65% 54
2004 Red XNKerry Democratic 6,745,485 54.31% Green tickBush Jr Republican 5,509,826 44.36% 55
2008 Green tickObama Democratic 8,274,473 61.01% Red XNMcCain Republican 5,011,781 36.95% 55
2012 Green tickObama Democratic 7,854,285 60.24% Red XNRomney Republican 4,839,958 37.12% 55
2016 Red XNH Clinton Democratic 8,753,792 61.73% Green tickTrump Republican 4,483,814 31.62% 55
Presidential elections in California
Map of the United States with California highlighted
No. of elections42
Voted Democratic17
Voted Republican24
Voted other1[a]
Voted for winning candidate32
Voted for losing candidate10

Notes

  1. ^ Theodore Roosevelt, 1912.
  2. ^ For purposes of these lists, other national candidates are defined as those who won at least one electoral vote, or won at least ten percent of the vote in multiple states.
  3. ^ John Bell also received 9,111 votes for 7.60%.
  4. ^ Was allied with a slate of unpledged electors in Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina
1852 United States presidential election in California

In the 1852 United States presidential election, its first election after becoming a state in 1850, California voted for the Democratic nominee, New Hampshire Senator Franklin Pierce, over the Whig nominee, United States Army general Winfield Scott.

1856 United States presidential election in California

In the 1856 United States presidential election, California voted for the Democratic nominee, former Secretary of State James Buchanan, over the American Party nominee, former Whig President Millard Fillmore, and the Republican nominee, former U.S. Senator and Military Governor of California John C. Frémont.

1860 United States presidential election in California

In the 1860 United States presidential election, California narrowly voted for the Republican nominee, former Illinois representative Abraham Lincoln, over the Democratic nominee, Illinois Senator Stephen A. Douglas and the Southern Democratic nominee, Vice President John C. Breckinridge.

1864 United States presidential election in California

In the 1864 United States presidential election, California voted for the Republican incumbent, Abraham Lincoln, over the Democratic challenger, Union Army Major General George B. McClellan.

1868 United States presidential election in California

In the 1868 United States presidential election, California narrowly voted for the Republican nominee, Union general Ulysses S. Grant, over the Democratic nominee, DNC chair Horatio Seymour.

1872 United States presidential election in California

In the 1872 United States presidential election, California voted for the Republican incumbent, Ulysses S. Grant, over the Liberal Republican nominee, New York Tribune publisher Horace Greeley.

1876 United States presidential election in California

In the 1876 United States presidential election, California narrowly voted for the Republican nominee, Ohio Governor Rutherford B. Hayes, over the Democratic nominee, New York Governor Samuel J. Tilden.

1884 United States presidential election in California

In the 1884 United States presidential election, California voted for the Republican nominee, former Secretary of State James G. Blaine, by a comfortable margin, over the Democratic nominee, New York Governor Grover Cleveland.

1904 United States presidential election in California

The 1904 United States presidential election in California refers to how California participated in the 1904 United States presidential election. California voted for the Republican incumbent, Theodore Roosevelt, in a landslide over the Democratic challenger, New York judge Alton B. Parker.

1908 United States presidential election in California

The 1908 United States presidential election in California refers to how California participated in the 1908 United States presidential election. California voted for the Republican nominee, former War Secretary William Howard Taft, in a landslide over the Democratic nominee, former Nebraska representative and the 1896 and 1900 nominee, William Jennings Bryan.

1928 United States presidential election in California

In the 1928 United States presidential election, California voted for the Republican nominee, former Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover, in a landslide over the Democratic nominee, New York Governor Al Smith.

1964 United States presidential election in California

In the 1964 United States presidential election, the state of California voted for the incumbent Democratic President, Lyndon B. Johnson, in a landslide over the Republican nominee, Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona.

As Johnson won nationally in a massive landslide, taking 61.05 percent of the vote nationwide, and dominating many Northeastern and Midwestern states by record landslide margins, California weighed in as about 4 percent more Republican than the national average in the 1964 election. Johnson dominated in more liberal Northern California, breaking 60% in many counties and even breaking 70% in Plumas County and the city of San Francisco. However, the Western conservative Goldwater, from neighboring Arizona, did hold some appeal in more conservative Southern California, where Johnson failed to break his nationwide vote average in a single county. Goldwater indeed won six congressional districts in suburban areas of Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego counties, and carried two heavily populated Southern California counties outright: Orange County and San Diego County, thus holding Johnson below the 60% mark statewide.

Although California has become a strongly Democratic state in recent elections, this was the only presidential election between 1952 and 1988 where the state was carried by a Democrat. Johnson is also the last Democrat to carry the counties of Calaveras, Colusa, Glenn, Inyo, Kern, Modoc and Tulare, and the last to win the majority of the vote in Butte, El Dorado, Kings, Mariposa, Siskiyou and Tuolumne counties, although one or more of Hubert Humphrey, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton have won a plurality in those counties.

This was the last election in which California did not register the most votes cast by state.

1976 United States presidential election in California

The 1976 United States presidential election in California refers to how California participated in the 1976 United States presidential election. California narrowly voted for the Republican incumbent, Gerald Ford, over the Democratic challenger, Jimmy Carter.

Ford won the state with a plurality of 49.35% of the vote to Carter's 47.57%, a victory margin of 1.78%.

Carter is the last Democrat to carry the counties of Amador, El Dorado, Lassen, Madera, Placer, Shasta, Sierra and Yuba, and the last to win a majority of the vote in Del Norte, Plumas and Tehama. Carter is also the last candidate from either party to carry Los Angeles by only a plurality, while Ford is the last Republican to win a majority of the vote in Marin (Ronald Reagan later won that county by plurality in 1980). This also remains the last election in which a Republican presidential candidate won at least 40 percent of the vote in San Francisco, and the last time that county was not the most Democratic in the state. This is also the last time when California would vote Republican in a close presidential election, and back the losing Republican candidate too.

1980 United States presidential election in California

The 1980 United States presidential election in California refers to how California participated in the 1980 United States presidential election. California voted for the Republican nominee, the state's former governor Ronald Reagan, in a landslide over the Democratic incumbent, Jimmy Carter. Reagan won his home state by a wide 16.78% margin and carried all but three counties. Among the counties Reagan won was Plumas, the first Republican victory in that county since 1920. Reagan is also the last Republican candidate to carry the counties of Marin and Santa Cruz in a presidential election.

1980 stands as the last election in which California voted more Republican than the United States as a whole. This election indeed constitutes the most Republican California has voted relative to the whole nation since 1928, when anti-Catholic prejudice against Al Smith had a substantial influence; here, it was widely believed that Carter lacked understanding of critical Western issues, most importantly water development. This also remains the last time a Republican won the San Francisco Bay Area, and the last one where San Francisco gave less than 60% of the vote to the Democratic candidate.

1984 United States presidential election in California

The 1984 United States presidential election in California refers to how California participated in the 1984 United States presidential election. California voted for the Republican incumbent and former California Governor, Ronald Reagan, in a landslide over the Democratic challenger, former Minnesota Senator and Vice President Walter Mondale. Reagan easily won his home state with a comfortable 16.24% margin and carried all but five counties. Despite this, California's margin was 1.30% more Democratic than the nation as a whole, a sign of the state's future trend toward the Democratic Party.

Reagan is the last Republican to carry nine California counties in a presidential election: Contra Costa, Humboldt, Lake, Los Angeles, Mendocino, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano and Sonoma. No Republican since Reagan has come close to matching his performance in the San Francisco Bay Area, and he's also the last candidate from either party to carry every county they won in the state by a majority of the vote in those counties (more than 50%).

As a result of this election, San Francisco and Alameda were the only two counties in California to have never been carried by Reagan in either of his campaigns for president or for Governor of California (Reagan also did not carry Yolo County in any of his presidential campaigns; however, he carried the county in his 1966 gubernatorial campaign).

1988 United States presidential election in California

The 1988 United States presidential election in California took place on November 8, 1988, and was part of the 1988 United States presidential election. Voters chose 47 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.

California voted for the Republican nominee, Vice President George H. W. Bush, over the Democratic nominee, Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis by a margin of 3.57%. Bush won 44 of the state’s 58 counties, but the election was kept close by Dukakis’ strong performance in the Bay Area and his victory in Los Angeles, the state’s most populated county. Also, Dukakis won at least 31% of the vote in every county and at least 40% in 40 of them.

To date, this is the last election in which the state of California was carried by a Republican candidate in a presidential election. Bush is also the last Republican to carry the following counties in a presidential election: Imperial, Monterey, Napa, Sacramento, San Benito and Santa Barbara, the last Republican to win any county in the Bay Area (Napa), and the last Republican to secure at least one-quarter of the vote in San Francisco.

1992 United States presidential election in California

The 1992 United States presidential election in California took place on November 3, 1992, and was part of the 1992 United States presidential election. Voters chose 54 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president. This was the first time that California had voted for a Democratic presidential nominee since Lyndon B. Johnson in the 1964 election, and Clinton's win in this state reflected its changed status from reliably Republican to decisively Democratic to the present. California maintains the largest number of electoral votes in the Electoral College.

It was the first occasion San Diego County had voted for a Democrat since Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944, and the last time any of the following counties have given a plurality to the Democratic nominee: Del Norte, Siskiyou, Tehama, Plumas, Tuolumne and Mariposa. Ross Perot gained a plurality in Trinity County, the only time a third-party candidate has carried any county in the state since Robert La Follette Sr. in 1924.

Although California had been voting increasingly Democratic despite Reagan’s decisive wins in his home state during the 1980 and 1984 elections. Changing demographics may have played a part in Michael Dukakis only narrowly falling short of winning California in 1988. The early 1990s recession was blamed on George H. W. Bush, causing a rise in unemployment in construction and real estate. This ultimately gave Bill Clinton a double digit victory in California, on top of the 20 percent of the conservative vote Perot took from Bush.

2012 United States presidential election in California

The 2012 United States presidential election in California took place on November 6, 2012, as part of the 2012 general election in which all 50 states plus The District of Columbia participated. California voters chose 55 electors, the most out of any state, to represent them in the Electoral College via a popular vote pitting incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama and his running mate, Vice President Joe Biden, against Republican challenger and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and his running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan.

According to Secretary of State Debra Bowen's website, the President won the popular vote with 60.24%, with Mitt Romney in second place at 37.12%, and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson in third place at 1.10%. The Democrats have won the state in every presidential election after Republican George H.W. Bush won the state in 1988.

2020 United States presidential election in California

The 2020 United States presidential election in California is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, as part of the 2020 United States elections in which all 50 states plus the District of Columbia will participate. California voters will choose electors to represent them in the Electoral College via a popular vote. The state of California has 55 electoral votes in the Electoral College.As of May 2019, Donald Trump and Bill Weld are the declared Republican candidates. Kamala Harris, the state's junior U.S. Senator, and Eric Swalwell, a current congressman from the state, are among the Democratic candidates declared. Other prominent state figures, including former Governor Jerry Brown, current Governor Gavin Newsom, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and billionaire Tom Steyer have declined to run.In a departure from previous election cycles, California will hold its primaries on Super Tuesday, March 3, 2020.

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