Hanging Chads 11.21.07

I’m off for Thanksgiving to Kane County, Ill., which is Chicago’s version of our Loudoun County in Virginia.  For those of you who don’t know Loudoun, it’s a county where subdivisions and strip malls have quickly replaced farmland in the last 15 years.

Kane is also the easternmost county in retiring former Speaker Dennis Hastert’s 14th District, which CQ calls “potentially an intriguing bellweather.” 

CQ notes that Democrats have had success recently in exurbs, which were formerly Republican strongholds.  I think it’s important to note, however, that exurban voters are not going blue.  Rather, they are independent voters who have been siding with Democrats.

In Loudoun County and the outer suburbs of Northern Virginia, Democrats have been rising because they’ve been running on a platform of effective governing.  And that’s mostly what these voters care about – education and traffic.

I wrote a National Journal article about these types of voters in August titled “Is North Carolina the New Virginia?”  It asked whether the changes and growth in Wake County, N.C. are similar to those that occurred in Fairfax County, Va. a couple of decades ago. 

The National Journal article is available behind the subscription wall here and here.

So, is Kane County, Ill. like Loudoun County, Va.?  I’ll report back to you on Monday.  In the meantime, here is some great Thanksgiving reading:

  • Reid Wilson dives into the newly released 2008 Almanac for American Politics and analyzes the ten fastest-growing and the ten fastest-shrinking congressional districts.  Our question: how is LA-02 not on this list? 
  • CQ notes that the race to replace Hastert could measure Democrats’ support in the exurbs.
  • Serious Sports News Network has Obama and McCain agreeing that the Electoral College makes about as much sense as the BCS.
  • San Diego Union-Tribune reports on the latest effort to revive “Republican-sponsored initiative to change the way California’s presidential electoral votes are allocated.”
  • This isn’t map related, but as a sportsman, it’s great to see Kent Conrad and Mike Huckabee honored by Outdoor Life for their contributions to hunting and fishing.

Have a great week and don’t forget that the first Thanksgiving was not in Massachusetts. It was in the proud commonwealth of Virginia.  Happy 400th birthday Virginia.







One response to “Hanging Chads 11.21.07

  1. The Jamestown settlers were a bunch of male slackers who could not hack Virginia’s heat and humidity as they tried to survive by drinking the brackish river water. Eventually they had to import slaves to get any where. The sole purpose of the ‘colony’ was to make money for absentee investors back in England. The Jamestown settlers tried to create a version of aristocratic England in the new world.

    The Pilgrims who settled Plymouth Colony (don’t confuse it with Massachusetts Bay Colony) were mostly families who wanted to start a new society shorn of what they perceived as England’s imperfections. Half of them did not survive the first year due to diseases acquired on their voyage. That any survived at all was due in great part to food that they stole from deserted Native American encampments whose inhabitants had been killed off by diseases brought by earlier Europeans.

    Our America was founded at Plymouth.

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