Category Archives: California

McCain Campaigns in Unfamiliar Areas

As a Navy man, maybe it’s his nature to chart unfamiliar waters.  “McCain is planning to speak in inner cities, heavily African-American sections of the South, and poor sections of Appalachia,” reports Slate‘s John Dickerson, adding that these are all heavily Democratic areas.

Dickerson is skeptical that McCain can win these voters, but he leaves the question open as to whether the tour might serve to convince “independents that he cares about minorities and the underprivileged.”

Meanwhile, The Hotline asks, “Why pick NYC? … If McCain really wants to expand the Electoral College map – and draw attention to what he’s saying not just who’s introducing him, why not hold these roundtables in NH, OH or MI?”

Roger Simon also throws a wet towel on McCain’s dreams of winning blue states, outlining his “four things you need to know about John McCain and California.”


Gerry Seib on the Electoral Map

Via Capital Journal.

On McCain:

“New Jersey is another big target; it is home to lots of moderate Republicans and conservative Democrats who could gravitate to Sen. McCain.

“The giant question is California. Although most Republicans are skeptical, Sen. McCain’s strategists are convinced he has the potential to put the nation’s most populous state into play. They note that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has shown that an independent-minded Republican can prevail in the Golden State, and are counting on the McCain appeal to Hispanics, particularly if his foe is Sen. Obama, who hasn’t done as well as Sen. Clinton has with that group.”

On Obama:

“[Being an African-American candidate] would work to his disadvantage in some states, but could bring into play some Southern states with big black populations. Chief among those is Virginia; the Obama camp thinks even such Republican strongholds as Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama could be among them if there is an outsize turnout by blacks.”

On Clinton:

“The Clinton name, plus her appeal to rural and small-town whites, also makes her the more popular of the two Democrats in Arkansas, a state that has slipped away from Democrats in the past two general elections. In addition, her camp hopes, she could have a shot at Tennessee.”

Did Seib just look at the primary maps and project it onto the general?  In the primaries, Clinton did well in rural areas; Obama won the South; McCain excelled with coastal, moderate Republican.

But if we’re talking about the general election, a McCain win in California would be a coup; a Clinton win in Tennessee would mean that she’s winning by a landslide in the rest of the country; and an Obama win in Alabama would mean that the whole map has been scraped and redrawn.

McCain Hopes to Turn the Map Purple

Jonathan Martin has a great article up today about how the McCain camp plans to challenge the “red state/blue state paradigm.”  Writing from Exeter, N.H., Martin notes that McCain could shift the Granite State back into the Republican column, and possibly swing Maine and Connecticut – two states with independent heritages – while he’s at it.

Aside from those Northeast states, J-Mart turns to the traditional swing states in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest, which – let’s be honest – are likely to be contested no matter what.  Martin also adds that as a Western senator with moderate immigration views, McCain starts with a strong hand in the purple Mountain West states of Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico.

But I think the most telling part of the article is McCain’s insistence that he can reclaim Ronald Reagan’s California. “I intend to contest all over America, including the state of California,” McCain told reporters. At the very least, McCain could bait Democrats into spending resources in the Golden State. The Bush campaign tried this in 2000, devoting $20 million to Gore’s zero, but still lost by 11 points.

Martin compares McCain’s blueprint to that of his potential Democratic opponents, noting that Barack Obama also hopes to change the maps. “Obama’s camp is touting primary and caucus victories in Colorado, Iowa, Missouri and Virginia,” Martin writes, but he adds that Obama could have a tough time in blue-collar Pennsylvania and Ohio. If it’s Clinton, McCain would target suburbanites who might be thrown off by her polarization. 

But Martin is sure to note that McCain’s vision to turn the electoral map as purple as the Arizona Diamondbacks’ uniforms is built on hypothetical scenarios. “McCain is in a position similar to that of a hopeful baseball team in spring training,” he writes. “There is great potential on paper, but the long season has yet to begin.” 

Politics Online Conference: D.I.Y. Maps

The Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet is hosting its annual Politics Online Conference on Tuesday and Wednesday, and I’m lucky enough to be speaking on the Political Cartography 2.0 panel on Tuesday at 4:15 p.m. I’m going to be posting some of the elements on my slideshow in the next couple of days and would love to hear your feedback. I’m separating the slideshow into six categories: the best/worst, D.I.Y. maps, projection maps, Google mashups, cartograms and maps that prove a point.

In the first installment of my slideshow, I’m going to post a few examples of D.I.Y. maps. I think these are some of the best maps on the Internet, and a great example that individuals with a passion for geography can show up some of the biggest publications in the MSM.

The first example comes from Nick Beaudrot at Nick has been posting some of the best electoral maps that I’ve seen this election cycle. They’re clean, timely and easy to understand. Here’s his one from California: — California Electoral Map — California Electoral Map

The next map comes from It’s clear that whoever runs this site has a passion for electoral maps, and they do a superb job creating maps for Connecticut elections. This maps reflects the 2006 race between Rep. Chris Shays (R) and challenger Dianne Farrell (D).

2006 Connecticut Fourth District

2006 Connecticut Fourth District

The third map is part of a series that I found at OpenLeft. The series is truly impressive and worth a look-see.

Nationwide Democratic Primary

Nationwide Democratic Primary

The fourth map is from, uh, some crappy site called It’s a Fairfax County map of the results of the 2006 Senate election in Virginia between Sen. Jim Webb (D) and then-Sen. George Allen (R).

Virginia Senate Race in Fairfax County

Virginia Senate Race in Fairfax County

And the last map comes to us courtesy of my colleague Howard Mortman and his go-to blog Extreme Mortman. It’s a picture of ABC News’ Jake Tapper drawing his own electoral map on the beach in Florida. Even when he’s on the beach, he can’t stop thinking about electoral maps.

Jake Tapper’s Electoral Map

Jake Tapper’s Electoral Map

Electoral Map Daily Compass: Beers and Brats Edition

Rocky Mountain Way

  • Barry Goldwater’s state is trending blue. [Reid Wilson]
  • McCain has a strong hand in the Rocky Mountain West. [Washington Post]

Here in Youngstown

Applebee’s America

Caucus Mountains

  • Obama piled up delegates by winning small states with caucuses. [National Journal]

Obama Won the Facebook Primary, Lost Silicon Valley

CNET’s Declan McCullagh reports this interesting byte of information:

In Santa Clara County, home to Google, Apple, Yahoo, Intel, HP, and Sun Microsystems, Clinton won a commanding 54.8 percent share of the vote.

Obama, by comparison, won only 39.3 percent. That’s a remarkable margin of 16 percentage points. It’s far more than the 9.5-point margin that Clinton claimed statewide, meaning Obama fared worse in Silicon Valley than he did in the rest of California.

By an 8-point margin, Clinton also bested Obama in neighboring San Mateo County immediately to the north, which is home to YouTube,, and Internet-monitoring firm

So why did Obama–who’s popular online and has been touted as a more tech-savvy candidate–lose the nation’s high-tech heartland by an embarrassing 16-point margin? If he should have won anywhere, it should have been those two counties. Right?


California Democratic Electoral Map

California Democratic Electoral Map

Super Tuesday Maps

It’s been a busy week, but with the dust settled from Super Tuesday, we now have a clear picture of who won.

On the Democratic side, Barack Obama took 14 states to Hillary Clinton’s eight, although Hillary prevailed in more populous states like California and New York. The result was a near-tie: Hillary won 50.2 percent and Obama took 49.8 percent.

Hillary did the best on the coasts, but also won inland states like Tennessee, Oklahoma and Arizona. Her win in California, where the Clinton brand is strong, was perhaps the most impressive – the state was expected to be a nail-biter but she won by nearly 10 points.

Meanwhile, the Obama camp is touting victories in red states such as Missouri, Kansas, Utah and Idaho, as well as decisive wins in the deep southern states of Georgia and Alabama. His wins in Connecticut and New Mexico were also surprising.

Super Tuesday Democratic Electoral Map (New York Times)

 Super Tuesday Democratic Electoral Map


California Democratic Electoral Map (New York Times)

 California Democratic Electoral Map

Georgia Democratic Electoral Map (New York Times)

 Georgia Democratic Electoral Map

On the Republican side, it was John McCain’s day. He dominated big states like California and New York and won every state on the Metroliner Corridor besides Romney’s Massachusetts (although McCain did win Boston).

McCain also posted victories in crucial heartland states like Missouri and Illinois. McCain won Peoria County, Ill. thereby answering the question “Will it play in Peoria? But in Missouri, he lost Rush Limbaugh’s home county of Cape Girardeau. The Peoria and Cape Girardeau outcomes say a lot of McCain’s appeal: He’s accepted in the mainstream but has trouble in conservative bastions.

Mike Huckabee swept SEC country, from Fayetteville to Athens. Mitt Romney took the silver medal in the delegate count, and won the states he’s lived in along with a handful of Western states, but it wasn’t enough to keep him competitive.

Super Tuesday Republican Electoral Map (New York Times)

 Super Tuesday Republican Electoral Map

Missouri Republican Electoral Map (New York Times)

 Missouri Republican Electoral Map