Map: Where do presidential candidates come from?


As more and more presidential contenders and pretenders stumble into the 2016 election, we found ourselves wondering: Where are all these people coming from?

So we made a map of every person* since 1960 who has made some sort of legitimate, newsworthy campaign for president, and placed them within their respective places of birth. As you can see they come from nearly every state, regardless of party affiliation.

A few notes:

– The only unrepresented states are North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. The closest any of the three has gotten is Dick Cheney’s stint as a Vice President from Wyoming.

– Unsurprisingly, California, New York, and Texas have produced the most candidates.

– No private citizens (predominantly business executives) with no history of being elected have ever gotten the nomination, let alone been elected.

– Lincoln Chafee is the first person from Rhode Island to even try.

– Minnesotan politicians were really going for it for a while there.

Below, you can also see where the eventual winners of the campaigns were born (all-time):

– If you want to be President these days, it really pays to have served as governor somewhere, especially in a state where a previous governor has been elected president.

– So many Presidents from Virginia! However, that number is really front-loaded—the last one was Woodrow Wilson and he is considered a New Jersey president having run Princeton before serving as governor in the Garden State.

– Ohio, too! Last one from there was Warren G. Harding though and it’s possible he was a bad enough President to spoil the country at large on the state’s elected officials.

– No presidents from the Southwest or the Pacific Northwest. Is that something that changes in the next couple of decades as areas become more populated and demographics change?

– The winner in 2016 will be only the 10th President since 1960. The average term length for the nine prior is 6.22 years—if you’re elected once, the stats say you’ll get re-elected. Familiarity breeds favorableness.

*Are we missing a person who said they were running for president (and not as a joke candidate) between 1960 and the present? Please let us know and we will update our map.

David Matthews operates the Wayback Machine on—hop on. Got a tip? Email him: [email protected]

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