« "Tolerance of the intolerant is not a virtue. It is suicide." | Main | "It's the vote heard 'round the world'" »

A Country Divided: Election Maps by County

When President Obama was elected he achieved a significant margin of victory in electoral votes (365 to 173). Some pundits are now wondering why Obama seems to have lost this mandate but their arguments are questionable. Over at the HorseRaceBlog at RealClearPolitics, Jay Cost delves into some of these arguments with his usual statistical approach. Read the whole thing but what was struck by was the following graphic. It shows the historical party breakdown for past presidential elections on a county by county basis. Unlike the red-blue charts you are use to this one uses blue for Republican and yellow/brown for Democrat.

Cost offers the following commentary on the figure.
As should be clear, Obama's victory was geographically narrower than Reagan's, LBJ's, Ike's or FDR's. Substantially so. Obama did much more poorly in rural and small town locales. They have a history of progressive/liberal support, but Obama was unable to place himself in the rural progressive tradition of William Jennings Bryan. This makes his coalition the most one-sided of any on the above maps. Most of his political support comes from the big cities and the inner suburbs. The exurbs, small towns, and rural areas generally voted Republican (with notable exceptions in the Upper Midwest).

In fact, if you look at presidential elections going back 100 years, Obama's is the most geographically narrow of any victors except Carter, Kennedy, and Truman - none of whom had transformative presidencies. Even Bill Clinton in 1996, whose share of the two-party vote was comparable to Obama's, still had a geographically broader voting coalition. Ditto George H.W. Bush in 1988.

With such a divided picture of the electorate, the group that will break the tie, in many cases, are independents. Every indication is that Obama is losing the support of independent votes in droves. If that trend continues for the next three months then the impact on the November midterms will be staggering.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Comments (14)

Barry and the rest of the D... (Below threshold)

Barry and the rest of the Dims have only one way to go on their numbers. DOWN.

The 2008 map is a good argu... (Below threshold)

The 2008 map is a good argument to keep the electoral college.

As for: "but Obama was unable to place himself in the rural progressive tradition of William Jennings Bryan."

Not surprising. He was busy insulting them.

Lets hope we take the House... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Lets hope we take the House by a large margin to try to put a stop to the madness.

Even if we take the Senate by 2 or so we still have Stupid Snowe, and Clueless Collins to deal with.

@HankNote the number... (Below threshold)

Note the number of state legislatures (I believe MA was the most recent) that are passing laws to circumvent the Electoral College. It's a huge mistake IMO.

"the impact on the November... (Below threshold)

"the impact on the November midterms will be staggering."

I believe "staggering" is going to be an understatement.

In 2012 if the dums have th... (Below threshold)

In 2012 if the dums have their way we can add some red along the border States and in 'sanctuary citie's' for illegals and dead voter's.

That is the idea behind circumventing the electoral college. They are of course assuming somehow they will get more votes from somewhere's? Sure isn't going to be for job performance so it must come from a concocted source.

I'm not quite sure I unders... (Below threshold)

I'm not quite sure I understand the relevance of the fact that McCain won a lot of states with large land areas and small populations whereas Obama won, well, where a lot of people actually exist.

I'm quite sure I do underst... (Below threshold)

I'm quite sure I do understand why Mr. Mataconis doesn't understand.

Gmac #5I'm sure we'l... (Below threshold)

Gmac #5
I'm sure we'll hear from them that it was "unexpected", though.

#7 Simple Mitacond... (Below threshold)


Simple Mitacondis

Hussein stood tall in the land of the liberals. But in flyover country he got his cojone's kicked.

The relevance will be even more apparent come November.

"...whereas Obama won, well... (Below threshold)

"...whereas Obama won, well, where a lot of people actually exist."

Yeah, where the dead vote, and vote often. We call it 'ACORN Country'.

I agree that independents w... (Below threshold)
Ken D.:

I agree that independents will decide the election in November. Many of us are fed up with professional politicians. Let's send some pink slips.

The 2008 map may also be th... (Below threshold)

The 2008 map may also be the pattern of voter fraud and acorn activity.Shutting down vote fraud and "caging" and thugs with clubs may do as much as anything else to swing the next election.

As much as I fear voter fra... (Below threshold)

As much as I fear voter fraud I think that it will not help the Kommiecrats. To succeed the elction has to be marginal and that won't be the case this November.
GO America...






Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile


Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Fresh Links


Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login

Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy