A Return To Wonkery

Moving this blog back to its original academic, non-partisan roots (yeah, right), here’s an interesting map, which originated in the NYT — the parts of the country where John McCain did better than George W. Bush in the 2004 election. Any thoughts on the pattern?

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7 Responses to A Return To Wonkery

  1. laurabethnielsen says:

    Hi jeff!!!

    First I have to say that the NYTimes multimedia thing today made me re-think how I present data in a way that could change my career.

    Second, i wish you had been at the ABF lunch today, Jeff. Wow. We are a really smart group of people (except me — i could hardly string 4 words together — I blamed it on lack of sleep). ANYWAY —

    there was a sense that this was a “top of the ticket” phenomenon — Obama won, but how much did it affect the rest of the ticket? We will need better data to know.

  2. vickywoeste says:

    Hey, Jeff,

    The really cool correllary to that map is the one that shows how many more counties voted more Democratic this year than in 2004.

    N.b.: every single county in Indiana is lit up on that one!!!!!

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008/11/05/us/politics/20081104_ELECTION_RECAP.html?partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

  3. vickywoeste says:

    And appropos of our ABF discussion yesterday, I am still unsure of what sort of political shift Tuesday’s vote represents. I would like to believe that voters were repudiating twenty-eight years of Reagan conservatism (Clinton’s new centrism notwithstanding) and federal governmental nonfeasance. I would like to think that the Republicans are wrong when they think their response should be to tack even further to the right and away from the center. But the down-ballot results were too mixed in the swing states to draw definite conclusions about what Americans really believe about the role of government. Can they really be saying that they believe in big government at the federal level and no-tax libertarianism at the local level? That doesn’t make any sense. But that’s what my local and county level officials will be thinking they have a mandate to do.

  4. Jeff, are you trying to get at the fact that these counties which voted more Republican on Tuesday are generally clustered in the South where racism may have been a contributing factor to the rise in Republican votes?

  5. vickywoeste says:

    I just heard from a friend who grew up in Arkansas (now living in Maryland) who went home to campaign from Obama. Her account, which I won’t publish here, would suggest that racism was absolutely a factor in the Arkansas Democratic Party’s refusal to support Obama. She calls it the White Arkansas Democratic Party and talks about how grateful black voters were to the out-of-state volunteers who braved harrassment (which she describes experiencing herself). Maybe that pattern of white racism explains not just Arkansas but also Louisiana and the Florida panhandle. All I can say is that what she said about Arkansas put my contempt for Indiana in an entirely different light.

  6. jeffaregularworkinglawyer says:

    Looking at this map again, I noticed that Sen. McCain did at least 20% better than Pres. Bush did in 2004 in far south LA and southeast TX. I wonder if this is because these areas have lower African American populations after Katrina.

  7. vickywoeste says:

    I wondered that too, Jeff.

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