By: Samuel Wonacott
Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
- 87% of Americans live in a county that has voted for the same party in the past three presidential elections
- Number of open U.S. House districts in Oregon reaches decade high
- Placentia-Yorba Linda School District votes to bar critical race theory from classrooms
87% of Americans live in a county that has voted for the same party in the past three presidential elections
Almost nine in 10 Americans live in a county that has voted for the same party in the past three presidential elections. We describe these counties as either Solid Democratic or Solid Republican.
After the 2020 presidential election, 288 million Americans lived in either a Solid Democratic or Republican county, 87.2% of the 330 million covered in this analysis.
We identified three other types of counties, in addition to Solid Democratic or Republican ones.
- Trending counties have voted for the same party in the two most recent presidential elections, after backing the other three cycles ago.
- Battleground counties have changed parties in each of the last three presidential elections.
- New Democratic or Republican counties changed parties in the most recent presidential election after two elections backing the opposite party.
A majority of Americans live in a Solid Democratic county. There were 459 of these counties after the 2020 presidential election, home to 171 million people (52%). There were 2,368 Solid Republican counties, home to 118 million people (36%).
The next largest category by population was New Democratic counties, which voted for Joe Biden (D) in 2020 after voting for Mitt Romney (R) in 2012 and Donald Trump (R) in 2016. There are 34 New Democratic counties, which include cities like Fort Worth and Phoenix, with a combined population of 14 million people.
After New Democratic counties are the 191 Trending Republican counties, which voted for Barack Obama (D) in 2012 before supporting Trump in 2016 and 2020. More than 12 million people live in these counties, many of which are clustered in the Upper Midwest and the Northeast.
The table below shows a further population breakdown of these counties.
Two states—Hawaii and Massachusetts—are made up entirely of Solid Democratic counties. In Oklahoma, every county is Solid Republican.
Click below to see a list of all counties in this analysis, including the 30 battleground counties and 48 new counties.
Number of open U.S. House districts in Oregon reaches decade high
The filing deadline for candidates running for state or federal office in Oregon was March 8. This year, 46 candidates are running in Oregon’s six U.S. House districts, including 26 Democrats, 19 Republicans, and one independent. That’s 7.7 candidates per district, down from 9.2 candidates per district in 2020 and 8.4 in 2018.
Here are some other highlights from this year’s filings:
- This is the first election to take place under new district lines following the 2020 census. Oregon was apportioned six House districts following the 2020 census, one more than the five the state was apportioned after the 2010 census.
- Two of Oregon’s six U.S. House districts are open this year—including the new 6th District and the 4th District. Peter DeFazio (D), who has represented the 4th District since 1987, is retiring.
- Oregon’s two open districts this year is the most since at least 2012. The only other election year since 2012 with an open districts was 2020. That year, one districts was open.
- All four incumbents running for re-election will face at least one primary challenger this year.
- At least one Democrat and one Republican filed in all six districts, meaning there are no districts where one major party is all but guaranteed to win because no candidates from the other party filed.
- Sixteen candidates filed to run in the new 6th District, more than any other. This number includes nine Democrats and seven Republicans.
Placentia-Yorba Linda School District votes to bar critical race theory from classrooms
And now for a story about school boards and curriculum. Be sure to subscribe to Hall Pass, our weekly newsletter designed to keep you plugged into the conversations driving school board politics and education policy, for more stories like this one.
On April 15, the trustees of the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District in California voted 3-2 to pass a resolution prohibiting the teaching of critical race theory in schools.
The resolution states that the school district “supports efforts in education to promote equity, respect, diversity; celebrate the contributions of all; and encourage culturally relevant and inclusive teaching practices, but will not allow the use of Critical Race Theory as a framework to guide such efforts.”
School board member Leandra Blades voted in favor of the resolution, saying, “I do believe in teaching kids to think critically. But there are so many classes … there are so many things you could teach your kids at home. If you really are passionate about these subjects, then teach them.”
Jonathan Friedman, director of free expression and education at the literary advocacy group PEN America, said the proposal is “misguided and dangerous” in an open letter to the school district trustees. “By shutting off students from even being exposed to a particular academic framework analyzing race and racism, ideological bans like the one proposed by this Resolution essentially guarantee that these students will be worse-equipped to engage in societal conversations about race and racism in their lives,” Friedman wrote.
To read more about trends in curriculum development, click the link below.