A poll released Wednesday by the Gallup organization showed that Rhode Island was the state with the biggest gap — 37 percentage points — between those who favor the Democrats and those who favor the Republicans.
Rhode Islanders who said they are Democrats or lean to the party made up 60.4 percent of respondents, to 23.8 percent who said they are Republicans or lean to the GOP.
The 60.3 of respondents in Massachusetts who affiliate with the Democrats was lower by a statistically insignificant difference. But a slightly higher number, 26.3 percent, favor or lean to the Republicans, making the gap 34 points. The same was true in Hawaii, the only non-New England state in the top four, where 60 percent identified with the Democrats and 26.2 percent did so with the Republicans.
Vermont scored 58.9 percent Democratic and 26.2 percent Republican, a gap of 33 points.
No state held a candle, though, to the District of Columbia, the Democratic stronghold that is the only non-state with electoral votes in presidential elections. The nation’s capital registered 84.1 percent Democratic to 8.7 percent Republican, a gaping chasm of 75 points.
These pro-Democratic leanings were clearly evident in last November’s presidential election results. Democrat Barack Obama easily carried D.C. and the four top Democratic states over Republican John McCain , taking 92 percent of the vote in the District, 63 percent in Rhode Island, 62 percent in Massachusetts, 72 percent in Hawaii (which also is Obama’s birth state) and 67 percent in Vermont. The Republican Party does not hold a single congressional seat, Senate or House, in any of these places.
Yet, in an interesting anomaly, three of the four strongest Democratic states — Rhode Island, Hawaii and Vermont — have Republican moderates serving as governor.