Obama’s North by Northwest Success

Meng Bomin at Daily Kos has a series of phenomenal maps tracking Obama vs. Clinton nationwide. In the map, Obama is blue, Hillary is red and Edwards is green (Edwards appearing only in early primary states).

Some of the demographic trends we know about are apparent — Hillary has dominated Appalachia and Obama has rolled in the Southern Lowlands. But one thing that struck me was how well Obama has done in the north and northwestern part of the county.

Josh Patashnik at TNR also noticed this and pointed out that “If you draw a line from Monterey, California, eastward to (approximately) Evansville, Indiana, and then north to Canada, you have an enormous chunk of the country in which there’s very little red.” He also suggested that perhaps regionalism was key or that there was lingering resentment of Clinton’s presidency in these states.

But I think it comes back to race — the whiter the state, the less polarized the results of Democratic primary. In fact, Obama dominated in lily white, Northern states like Minnesota and Idaho. In states with high percentages of minorities — in both the North and the South — the results were more mixed.

Also: In the movie “Blow,” Johnny Depp’s character asks a judge, “what did I really do? I crossed an imaginary line with a bunch of plants.” The “imaginary” state lines in the U.S. are often arbitrarily drawn, especially in the case of sprawling Western states that span multiple ecosystem.

But check out how Clinton’s support ends at Arkansas’ border with Oklahoma or at New York’s border with Vermont. Or how about the Indiana-Illinoins split. Looks like home court advantage still matters.

National Obama-Clinton Electoral Map (Daily Kos)

Obama-Clinton Electoral Map

Super Tuesday Obama-Clinton Electoral Map (Daily Kos)

Super Tuesday Electoral Map


2 responses to “Obama’s North by Northwest Success

  1. again… I would like to see this kind of map on a population cartogram… it would demonstrate just how much of that blue color is in the sparsely populated fly-over country…

  2. I agree that there is an intersection of race and geography here that is playing out in the primary. I did some mapping of the Mississippi River states and counties and you see a similar dynamic. Counties with high and low percentages of African American voters go Obama, middle range go Clinton. I also think something about a region’s political history explains some of what’s going on–i.e. upper midwest (MN, WI, IA) Progressive tradition has been drawn to Obama’s message. http://www.electiondissection.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s