A recent history of presidential election bellwether counties

By Samuel Wonacott

The United States is composed of 3,143 counties or county equivalents. Of them, Clallam County, in northwest Washington, has the longest record of always voting for the winning presidential candidate.

Since 1980, Clallam County has voted in every presidential election for the candidate that would go on to win the White House. Since 1920, it has only voted for the losing candidate in 1968 and 1976. Political scientists have a term for counties or states that anticipate how the rest of the country will vote—bellwethers.

Before the 2020 election, Clallam was one of 19 counties with an unbroken record of voting for the winning presidential candidate since 1980. Those counties were:

  1. Warren County, Ill.
  2. Vigo County, Ind.
  3. Bremer County, Iowa
  4. Washington County, Maine
  5. Shiawassee County, Mich.
  6. Van Buren County, Mich.
  7. Hidalgo County, N.M.
  8. Valencia County, N.M.
  9. Cortland County, N.Y.
  10. Otsego County, N.Y.
  11. Ottawa County, Ohio
  12. Wood County, Ohio
  13. Essex County, Vt.
  14. Westmoreland County, Va.
  15. Juneau County, Wis.
  16. Marquette County, Wis.
  17. Richland County, Wis.
  18. Sawyer County, Wis.

Until the 2020 election, Valencia County, N.M., held the record for the longest streak of selecting the winning presidential candidate, going back to 1952. Vigo County, Ind. began selecting the winning presidential candidate in 1956. Ottawa County, Ohio, Westmoreland County, Va., Juneau County, Wis., and Sawyer County, Wis., started their streak in 1964.

Clallam County is holding municipal elections in its three cities—Port Angeles, Sequim, and Forks—in 2021. Twenty-six offices are up for election in those cities.

Additional reading:

Learn More

What is inkl?

Important stories

See news based on value, not advertising potential. Get the latest news from around the world.

Trusted newsrooms

We bring you reliable news from the world’s most experienced journalists in the most trusted newsrooms.

Ad-free reading

Read without interruptions, distractions or intrusions of privacy.