California

California, which rapidly gained population during the Gold Rush of 1848, joined the union in September, 1850 as part of the Compromise of 1850. With the exception of 1920 (when Congress failed to pass a reapportionment act) and 2010, the state has gained electoral votes from every census since its founding. In 1972, California reached 45 electoral votes, passing New York for most in the country. With 55 currently, the state has more than 10% of all available electoral votes.

While growth in the Latino population has helped make California a reliably Democratic state today, this was not always the case. In fact, from 1952 through 1988, Republicans won every presidential election except the landslide loss of Barry Goldwater in 1964. In 2016, Hillary Clinton won the state by 30 points over Donald Trump. This marks the third consecutive election that the Democratic nominee has surpassed 60% in the state.

ELECTORAL VOTES

55

2020 ELECTION

Safe Democratic
2020 California Polls

Recent Elections

2016
61.7% 31.6%
2012
60.2% 37.1%
2008
61.0% 37.0%
2004
54.3% 44.4%
2000
53.4% 41.7%

Voting History

State voted with the overall winning candidate

1972
R
1976
R
1980
R
1984
R
1988
R
1992
D
1996
D
2000
D
2004
D
2008
D
2012
D
2016
D

Electoral College Votes

Democratic
Republican
Progressive

Colored bars represent electoral votes by party. Hover to see names. 2020 electoral votes shown in dark green until after the election.