Data Tracker

Sacramento region has four-decade streak of picking presidential winner

By Phillip Reese

If the Sacramento region had electoral college votes, it would be a huge swing state, bombarded with ads and visits by presidential candidates.

The four-county region has backed the winner in every presidential election since 1968, when a majority of local residents picked Hubert Humphrey over eventual winner Richard Nixon.

Among states, only Ohio has a longer streak of backing the winner. Ohio last picked wrong in 1960 when it chose Richard Nixon over John F. Kennedy.

Since it's slightly more populated than New Mexico, the Sacramento region would have five to six electoral college votes if it were a state.

As it stands, Sacramento is virtually irrelevant to the outcome of the presidential race, since there is nearly a 100 percent chance that California as a whole -- and its 55 electoral college votes -- will go to Barack Obama.

Democrats slightly outnumber Republicans across the region, but about one in five local voters don't belong to any party.

This chart shows the percentage of the region's voters backing the Democratic and Republican candidates for president since 1960.

Source: Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections

Note: Percentages in chart exclude votes for third-party and independent candidates.