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Localism and Regionalism in Presidential Elections: Is There a Home State or Regional Advantage?

James C. Garand
The Western Political Quarterly
Vol. 41, No. 1 (Mar., 1988), pp. 85-103
DOI: 10.2307/448458
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/448458
Page Count: 19
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Localism and Regionalism in Presidential Elections: Is There a Home State or Regional Advantage?
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Abstract

One major tenet of folk wisdom in American national politics suggests the importance of home state and home region advantages in determining state-level presidential election outcomes. But do such advantages exist empirically? The purpose of this paper is to examine whether or not home state and regional advantages exist for presidential and vice-presidential candidates in American presidential elections from 1884 to 1984. Furthermore, this paper tests several explanations of variation in home state and regional advantages among the states and regions. In general, there is empirical support for a modest home state advantage for presidential and vice-presidential candidates, though a pattern of home region advantages is not observed. In addition, the models of home state advantages point to the importance of regional loyalty, state population share, incumbency, and party as major determinants, but these models perform less well for the analysis of home regional advantages.

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