It sure seems like certain states get more than their share of presidential candidates. But, looking at the numbers shows a fairly good distribution of states represented in the past 100 years of Republican and Democratic presidential candidates:
New York 6
South Dakota 2
Washington, D.C. 1
W. Virginia 1
Yeah, birth state may not always best represent which state a candidate is "from," but any other measure is open to debate, so that's what I went with.
Over the past 100 years, of 50 total major party presidential candidates, 23 of the 50 states (plus one from Wash., D.C.) have had at least one major party candidate.
Certain candidates have skewed the data, like Roosevelt's (New York) 4 campaigns and Nixon's (California) 3 runs.
Biggest surprise, I think, is South Dakota has had two seperate nominees (Humphey, McGovern).
The 1920 election was between two Ohio natives, 1988's was between two Massachusetts natives.
Here are the Republican and Democratic nominees for the past 25 presidential election, with the winner listed first:
1908 Taft - Ohio - R vs. Bryan - Illinois - D
1912 Wilson - Virginia - D vs. Taft - Ohio - R
1916 Wilson - Virginia - D vs. Hughes - New York - R
1920 Harding - Ohio - R vs. Cox - Ohio - D
1924 Coolidge - Vermont - R vs. Davis - W. Virginia - D
1928 Hoover - Iowa - R vs. Smith - New York - D
1932 Roosevelt - New York - D vs. Hoover - Iowa - R
1936 Roosevelt - New York - D vs. Landon - Pennsylvania - R
1940 Roosevelt - New York - D vs. Willkie - Indiana - R
1944 Roosevelt - New York - D vs. Dewey - Michigan - R
1948 Truman - Missouri - D vs. Dewey - Michigan - R
1952 Eisenhower - Texas - R vs. Stevenson - California - D
1956 Eisenhower - Texas - R vs. Stevenson - California - D
1960 Kennedy - Massachusetts - D vs. Nixon - California - R
1964 Johnson - Texas - D vs. Goldwater - Arizona - R
1968 Nixon - California - R vs. Humphrey - South Dakota - D
1972 Nixon - California - R vs. McGovern - South Dakota - D
1976 Carter - Georgia - D vs. Ford - Nebraska - R
1980 Reagan - Illinois - R vs. Carter - Georgia - D
1984 Reagan - Illinois - R vs. Mondale - Minnesota - D
1988 Bush - Massachusetts - R vs. Dukakis - Massachusetts - D
1992 Clinton - Arkansas - D vs. Bush - Massachusetts - R
1996 Clinton - Arkansas - D vs. Dole - Kansas - R
2000 Bush - Connecticut - R vs. Gore - Wahington, D.C. - D
2004 Bush - Connecticut - R vs. Kerry - Colorado - D
Some very interesting people among the candidates that didn't win, btw. Worth a look for sure.