Category Archives: Presidential

New Hampshire Electoral Map

The Washington Post has the best electoral map of New Hampshire but it’s not because it’s anything special. It’s because there isn’t much competition. No Union-Leader map. No Dave Leip map. And as far as I know so far, the only publication that has produced a town-by-town electoral map is The Politico, but as a flash file it’s seriously flawed.

For now, I think the Post‘s New Hampshire county-by-county electoral map is the best. It displays by color who won each county and provides stats in a side bar. It also color-codes the counties based on what place each candidate finished rather than their strength in each county.

In the GOP battle, John McCain won nine out of 10 counties, losing only Rockingham to Mitt Romney by one percent. Interestingly, McCain dominated this county 49-31% against George W. Bush in 2000. But this Seacoast county is more or less becoming an extended suburb of Boston, so it’s not surprising Romney had strong support.

McCain’s strongest county was Grafton County, which he won 46-31% over Romney. Here’s a blank county map of New Hampshire for reference, followed by the GOP results.

New Hampshire Counties
New Hampshire Counties Map

New Hampshire Republican Electoral MapMcCain is green; Romney is blue.
New Hampshire Republicans Electoral Map

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton edged out Barack Obama by a 39-36% margin statewide despite taking only four out of 10 counties. But Clinton won three out of the four most populous counties, including a decisive 42-35% victory in Hillsborough County where a monster 78,000 votes were cast.

Obama’s most decisive win, on the other hand, was a 45-31% victory in Grafton County, where only 21,000 voters cast Democratic ballots.

Here are three Democratic maps: the first shows which candidate won each county; the second measures Clinton; and the third charts Obama.

New Hampshire Democratic Electoral Map
New Hampshrie Democratic Electoral Map

New Hampshire Hillary Clinton Electoral Map
New Hampshire Hillary Clinton Electoral Map

New Hampshire Barack Obama Electoral Map
New Hampshire Barack Obama Electoral Map


Hawkeyeing the Iowa Electoral Map

The Iowa caucuses are rapidly approaching and it’s time to turn our attention to the Hawkeye State electoral map. I’m using two great features to follow where the candidates are traveling and where we can predict they’ll do well.

The first feature is Slate‘s “Map the Candidates” page, which I’ve mentioned on this blog before. It’s great because you can track where every candidate is traveling during a certain time frame. In the past week, for instance, we can see that most of the candidates are flocking on Iowa like bees on honey. Here’s a screen shot on the past seven days:

Candidates Flocking to Iowa
Candidates Flocking to Iowa

“Map the Candidates” also details which parts of the Hawkeye State each candidate is visiting. Barack Obama, for example, is making a push in Northern counties while John Edwards is focusing on the East. Hillary Clinton is hitting big metropolitan areas. In this screen shot of the last seven days, Obama is the striped avatar, Edwards is the blue star and Hillary is the “H.”

Democratic Frontrunners in Iowa
Democratic Frontrunners in Iowa

The second feature I’ve been referencing is’s “Scaling Counties in a Checkerboard State” web site, which offers a series of maps visualizing past results and the proportions of votes in each of Iowa’s counties.

According to the author of the site Jonathan Corum, the series of maps applies a proportionally-sized square to each county based on population. Polk County (home of Des Moines), for example, has the biggest square while rural counties are smaller. This helps us interpret where the voters live:

Iowa’s Counties by Population
Iowa by Population’s series of maps also includes results of the 2004 Democratic caucuses. Since we know a lot about each candidate’s platform, we can figure out a little bit about each county’s electorate based on how they voted.

Eastern Iowa, for example, which is usually the bluest part of the state, gave John Kerry wide margins. Southern Iowa and Des Moines supported John Edwards. On the following map, Kerry is gray, Edwards light red and Dean dark red.

If you’re feeling bold, cross-reference the 2004 results with the “Map the Candidates” mashup to interpret what certain campaign stops imply for each candidate.

2004 Iowa Democratic Caucuses Electoral Map
2004 Iowa Caucuses Electoral Map

Here are the 2004 Democratic results by candidate and scaled county, where the darker shade of blue represents a higher winning percentage.

2004 Iowa Electoral Maps by Scaled Counties
2004 Iowa Electoral Maps by Scaled County

If you’ve ever been in a campaign office in Iowa during caucus-time (or in any major campaign office for that matter), you’ve probably seen a wall-size map of the state tacked up in the manager’s office. I’ve noticed that some of the candidates are using maps on their web sites, and I can only imagine what they have inside their campaign offices.

Obama’s Iowa Map for Volunteers
Obama’s Iowa Map


Catholics Could Redraw the Electoral Map in 2008

The 2008 election could be won or lost on the Catholic vote. There are nearly 70 million Catholics in the United States, according to Mark Penn‘s estimates in “Microtrends,” and most of them reside in crucial swing states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, New Hampshire and the Southwest.

More importantly, they have a track record of picking the winner. “In every presidential election since 1972 the winner of the Catholic vote has won the national popular vote, something no other religious group – Jews, evangelicals, Protestants – can boast,” Tom Schaller noted in his Salon article on Monday.

Catholics have historically sided with Democrats, but George W. Bush made significant inroads in 2000. “One of the untold stories of the [2000] campaign is how the Bush forces worked subtly through little-publicized channels to win over strong, tradition-minded Catholics, obviously with some success,” Michael Barone wrote in a 2001 National Journal election postmortem.

Bush barely lost the Catholic vote in 2000, but four years later he took 52%. In 2006, when the issues shifted back from guns to butter, Democrats picked up 55% of the Catholic vote on their way to a national rout. In 2008, Catholics will be decisive but it’s uncertain which issues will motivate them.

To be clear, the Catholics are not as homogenous a voting bloc as some other religious groups (Jewish voters, for example, gave Gore nearly 80% of their vote in 2000) and different issues will motivate different kinds of Catholics.

Schaller suspects that abortion could be a key issue and major thorn in the side of Catholic Rudy Giuliani if wins the Republican nomination. But if terrorism is the issue of day, Rudy could redraw the whole map, wooing millions of Catholics.

Consider the Carmella Soprano vote. My colleague Howard Mortman at New Media Strategies wrote earlier in the year that she’s a suburban Catholic “security mother” who sided with Bush in 2004. “If she hasn’t been whacked by the time of the 2008 presidential primary, which Republican would Carmela back? An obvious first choice is Rudy Giuliani,” Mortman reasoned.

Schaller calculated that a Giuliani anti-terrorism platform tailored to Catholics could unlock the Northeast for Republicans:

“Catholics cast at least 31 percent of the vote in nine Northeastern states: New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. Realistically, in a close election, only New Hampshire and Pennsylvania would truly be in play next fall. But both would represent GOP pickups, and Pennsylvania alone would be a crucial loss of electoral votes for Democrats.”

If the major issue “is the economy, stupid,” many Catholic voters could break a different way. Seth Gitell predicted in an October 23 column in the New York Sun that “It’s very possible that many Catholics voters will move back to the Democratic Party on economic grounds.” This could be especially true of lower middle-class Catholics voters in Rust Belt state and especially among Hispanic Catholics in the Southwest.

Gitell added that Hillary Clinton “has done well among upstate New York Catholic voters, a demographic that resembles other Rust Belt inhabitants.”

Both parties have candidates that can make a strong case in the Catholic community and both have issues that will win Catholics votes. Time will tell who is nominated and what issues prevail. But it’s certain that Catholics will be a major deciding factor in who ultimately wins the White House.

Catholic Adherents as a Percentage of Total Population

Catholic Voters

Democratic Candidates and the Electoral Map

The Dem campaigns are spending a lot of time talking about about red states, blue states and purple states. Consider these three quotes from the frontrunning campaigns:

  • Former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.): “When it comes to purple states and red states, and when it comes to blue states, Barack Obama has that crossover appeal that I don’t think anybody else in the field has.” (The Hill, Dec. 12)
  • John Edwards: “I’m the one candidate on our side who’s actually won in a red state and grew up in small town rural American.” (CBS “Evening News,” Dec. 12)
  • Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.): “I think Hillary Clinton has the best chance of being electable in swing parts of the country.” (Chicago Tribune‘s “The Swamp,” Dec. 11)

When did electability make such a big comeback in the Dem primary?

Indiana is a Red State, Right?

Indiana has been as red as the Hoosiers’ jerseys for 40 years, but a new Indianapolis Star poll suggests the state might be “thinking blue.”

Disillusioned with President Bush‘s handling of the war, the economy and immigration, nearly half of likely voters in Indiana appear poised to buck 40 years of tradition and vote for a Democratic presidential ticket — if it includes Sen. Evan Bayh, according to a new Indianapolis Star-WTHR (Channel 13) poll.

The poll of 600 Hoosiers — including 449 who say they will definitely vote in the November 2008 election — revealed a growing sense of pessimism, with nearly three-quarters saying the nation is headed in the wrong direction and 28 percent approving of George W. Bush‘s performance as president.


Forty-seven percent said they anticipate voting for the Democratic presidential candidate if Bayh is on the ticket, compared with 33 percent who said they anticipate voting for the GOP candidate.


The presidential race becomes closer when Bayh is taken out of the equation, with the outcome hanging in the hands of the nearly one-third of voters who said they remain undecided. About half of them said their votes would depend on who the candidates are.

 Indiana has voted for the GOP presidential candidate  in all but three elections for the last 100 years.

 George W. Bush v. John Kerry in 2004 (

2004 Indiana Presidential


Evan Bayh v. Marvin Scott in 2004 (

2004 Indiana Senate

What Makes Ron Paul Nation Tick?

Our friend Conn Carroll at The Hotline’s Blogometer has a pretty good guess. He writes:

“Looking at‘s instant Per Capita Donors (donors per million in population) map, however, we were struck by how closely Paul’s strongest donor states matched up with those where the federal government owns more than 25% of all land. Is it really that much of a surprise that Paul’s financial support is strongest among those that have to put up with the feds as their landlords?”

These are the top ten states for Paul donations per capita (in Q4 to date) followed by the percentage of land that the feds own.

  1. New Hampshire  — 361 Paul donors per1 million residents / 12.7% federal land
  2. Montana — 307 / 28%
  3. Alaska — 299 /NA (but I’m guessing it’s way over 50%)
  4. Nevada — 253 / 83%
  5. Idaho — 241 / 62%
  6. Washington — 236 / 28%
  7. Utah –231 / 64%
  8. Arizona — 223 / 47%
  9. Wyoming — 216 / 49%
  10. Colorado — 213 / 36%

To the maps: The first map show the proportion of land in each state owned by the feds and the second map shows donations for Paul per capita in each state.

Fedearl Land Ownership

Ron Paul Donations Q4

John McCain Breaks Out the Map

A couple of weeks ago, Rudy Giuliani‘s campaign released a series of maps suggesting he has the best shot against Hillary Clinton. The maps indicated that she would start off a base of only 18 electoral votes while Rudy would begin with 210. But, according to these maps, Hillary would start with 190 votes against John McCain while the Arizona senator could only count on 180.

Over the weekend, McCain issued a rebuttal of sorts to Giuliani’s models. The McCain map, as reported by the Washington Times, offers a series of SurveyUSA polls matching McCain v. Giuliani and McCain v. Clinton. What’s interesting, however, is that McCain isn’t necessarily the runaway winner. According to the map:

  • There are three states that McCain outperforms Giuliani where both candidates beat Hillary Clinton: Alabama, Kansas and New Mexico.
  • There are four states that McCain wins or ties against Clinton that Giuliani loses: Virginia, Washington, Ohio and Kentucky.
  • There are three states that McCain is down against Clinton but outperforms Giulian: Minnesota, Wisconsin and Missouri.
  • There are two states that McCain performs equal to Giuliani that both candidates lose to Clinton: Iowa and Oregon.
  • There are two states that Giuliani outperforms McCain that both candidates lose badly against Clinton: New York and California.

McCain deserves recognition for being fair and including polls where he’s losing to Giuliani and/or Clinton. Giuliani’s maps didn’t cite polls, only bullish declarations about Hizzoner’s electability. But on the flip side to that point, why doesn’t the McCain camp cherry pick favorable polls? And why — WHY — would they use SurveyUSA polls, which are mocked in the polling community for using robocalls?

The Electoral Map likes McCain’s transparency, but likes Giuliani’s strategery.

Here’s the McCain camp’s map, followed by the Giuliani camp’s version of McCain v. Clinton.

McCain Strategy

Giuliani’s Vision of McCain