Every state that elected a Republican candidate for Senate voted for Trump, and every state that elected a Democratic Senate candidate voted for Clinton.
The 2016 Senate elections were the most nationalized ever.
This is unique.
Indeed, this is the first time that all the states (with Senate races on the ballot) have voted for the same party in both the presidential and Senate races. Senators were first popularly elected in 1914, and the next presidential election took place two years later, in 1916. So that’s 100 years and 26 presidential election cycles in all.
And this happened despite such a non traditional Republican candidate.
If you want to know how a state will vote in a Senate race, looking to how it voted in the previous two presidential elections tells you almost everything you need to know. And this phenomenon is relatively new and coming on very strongly.
If this pattern continues in the next couple of election cycles, it’ll be very bad news for Democrats. Every state has the same number of senators regardless of population, and there are more Republican-leaning states than Democratic-leaning states in presidential elections right now. Trump won 30 states, even as he lost the popular vote.
So if Republican can hold those 30 states then they end up with a permanent filibuster proof Senate.
Given that politics is mostly cyclical (i.e., the national electorate favors Democrats and Republicans equally over time), the current makeup of the parties’ coalitions means that over the long term, Republicans are in a far better position to win Senate seats than Democrats are. For Democrats’ position to improve, they need to change their coalition, or voters need to start splitting their presidential and Senate tickets again. Otherwise, the Democrats will need to get used to being locked out of power.
Too early too know if the correlation was a one off.