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Primary Election Season: Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Ohio

MONDAY, MAR 16, 2020

Update: Ohio has delayed the election, but the other three states will still be holding primaries on March 17th. 

While the presidential candidate field has shrunk to three (Joe Biden, Tulsi Gabbard and Bernie Sanders) and the day-to-day conversation has shifted to the Coronavirus 19 pandemic, we have primary elections in four more states this week in the west, midwest and south.

This Social Explorer analysis compares the different states using data and maps from the Census Bureau and recent presidential elections.

Voting History:

Smaller than recent state groupings like Super Tuesday and last week, this collection of states includes Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Ohio. The four states account for 78 of the 538 Electoral College votes at stake in the general election.

The following Social Explorer maps, based on data from Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections, show the voting trends in these states from the 2008 and 2016 general elections. Zoom in to explore the maps and see more detailed views of the shifts in voting patterns.

While Arizona went Republican in both the 2008 and 2016 presidential election, the vote difference between the two parties narrowed from 45.1 percent Democrat to 53.6 percent Republican in 2008 to 44.6 percent Democrat to 48.1 percent Republican in 2016.

Illinois was a stronghold for Democrats for both elections, but shifted in the opposite direction from Arizona–61.9 percent Democrat and 36.8 percent Republican in 2008 to 55.3 percent Democrat to 38.4 percent Republican in 2016.

Florida and Ohio have been key swing states for multiple presidential elections, as shown by the 2008 and 2016 results. Florida flipped from 51.0 percent Democrat to 48.2 percent Republican in 2008 to 47.4 percent Democrat to 48.6 percent Republican in 2016. Ohio also flipped between 2008 (51.49 percent Democrat to 46.9 percent Republican) and 2016 (43.6 percent Democrat to 51.7 percent Republican). These two states will again be among the highlighted contests in the upcoming 2020 general election


According to the 2014-18 American Community Survey, these latest primary election states range in population from 6,946,685 (Arizona) to 11,641,879 (Ohio) to 12,821,497 (Illinois) to 20,598,139 (Florida). Combined, these states make up 16.1 percent of the US population. The following map shows a detailed view of the four states and how the population numbers are distributed. Zoom in to see detail all the way down to the county and census tract level.


The following chart compares median household income data among the four states. The chart also includes the national median household income ($60,293 in 2018 dollars) for reference. Three of the four states have median household incomes lower than the national figure (only Illinois has a higher median household income).

Race & Hispanic Status:

The following map shows the white and black populations for these four states. With a population that is 71.7 percent white and 14.2 percent black, Illinois is closest to the national numbers (72.8 percent white and 12.7 percent black).

Zoom in and explore the map to see more detailed views.

The Census Bureau also tabulates Hispanic status and counts it separately from race. The following map shows the Hispanic population of these four states, ranging from Ohio (3.7 percent Hispanic) to Arizona (31.1 percent Hispanic).

Visit Social Explorer's maps and reports to learn more about the different states and stay tuned for more election-related posts.

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