Once again, Nick Beaudrot comes through with some of the best and sharpest electoral maps in the blogosphere. Since I’ve never been to South Dakota and I’ve only visited the ski towns of northwest Montana, I’ll leave the analysis with Nick:
Dissecting the Mt. Rushmore State primary, he notes “Obama didn’t win the counties that include the three largest cities in South Dakota: Sioux Falls, Rapid City, and Aberdeen. He did quite well in counties with large Native American populations, but Bill Clinton’s visit to Pine Ridge during his Presidency was well remembered; those counties were much closer than the other reservations. The Eastern portion of the state is more heavily populated and less heavily Republican, so Clinton’s big wins tended to come in areas with more votes.”
South Dakota Electoral Map (Cogitamusblog.com)
South Dakota Population Map
Looking at Montana, Beaudrot observes “The two Clinton counties in the Western portion of the state are Silver Bow and Deer Lodge, the only blue counties in Western Montana. But Obama offset those with big wins in Missoula, Helena, and Gallatin counties.”
Montana Electoral Map (Cogitamusblog.com)
Montana Population Map
The Southern Political Report released its report of “Dixie’s Competitive Congressional Districts” on Monday, and according to SPR’s Hastings Wyman, “This year some 21 of the South’s 162 congressional seats are more or less ‘in play,’ 12 of them currently held by Republicans, 9 by Democrats. Due to such factors as a strong tide against the party in power and the ability of probable Democratic nominee Barack Obama to bring out an unusually large turn-out among African Americans and young voters, Democrats stand the better chance of making gains this fall.”
Here’s a map of SPR’s competitive districts in Dixie followed by statsfrom SPR, Cook and CQ.
Southern Political Report: “Dixie’s Competitive Congressional Districts”
12 Republican Seats in Play
Alabama-02 (Dothan) – OPEN — Rep. Terry Everett (R) retiring
- Cook Rating: “Lean Republican”
- CQ Politics: “Leans Republican”
- Cook PVI: R +13
- 2004: Bush with 67%
Florida-13 (Sarasota) – Rep. Vern Buchanan
- Cook Rating: “Likely Republican”
- CQ Politics: “Leans Republican”
- Cook PVI: R +4
- 2004: Bush 56%
Florida-21 (Miami-Dade) – Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart
- Cook Rating: “Likely Republican”
- CQ Politics: “Republican Favored”
- Cook PVI: R +6
- 2004: Bush 57%
As we expected, Hillary Clinton racked up huge margins of victory in Appalachian Kentucky and along the Ohio River Valley, and Barack Obama won the urban center of Louisville and the college town of Lexington.
Kentucky Electoral Map (New York Times)
In Oregon, a state that the Politico declared was “tailor-made” for Obama, the Illinois senator beat Clinton by tens of thousands of votes in key counties like Multnomah (Portland) and suburban Washington on his way to a statewide 17-point rout. Clinton, for her part, won most of eastern Oregon’s 2nd District, but in counties like Harney in the southeast, that only amounted to a paltry 365 votes.
Oregon Electoral Map (New York Times)
Posted in Barack Obama, Democrats, Hillary Clinton, Kentucky, Oregon
Tagged Barack Obama, Democrats, Electoral Map, Hillary Clinton, Kentucky, Oregon, Politics
Rocky Mountain Times‘ Ed Stein has an interesting take at how many armchair pundits see the electoral map.
But isn’t this really how the Clinton campaign sees it? First, Bill dismissed South Carolina because, well, even “Jesse Jackson won South Carolina in ’84 and ’88.” And then Hillary trumpeted her success with “hard-working Americans, white Americans.”
Mark Stricherz had an interesting column in the Washington Post on Sunday explaining how blue-collar, Catholic voters in the Rust Belt have abandon the Democratic Party. The GOP has allied itself with a culturally conservative Catholic Church, which has stepped in and assumed the leadership role in communities that were once dominated by big unions.
“With the exception of 1972 and 1984, West Virginia also voted for the Democratic presidential nominee from 1932 to 1996, and it hasn’t elected a GOP senator for generations,” Stricherz writes. “Missouri, Kentucky, Arkansas and Ohio all went for Jimmy Carter in 1976 and for Bill Clinton twice. All but Ohio have been dominated by Democrats at the congressional and gubernatorial levels for decades. But all five went for George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004.”
Stricherz seems to suggest that the Democratic Party has no choice but to woo these voters if it hopes to win in November. The most crucial state is probably Pennsylvania, the home state the late Robert P. Casey and a keystone in the Democrats’ strategy to reaching 270.
Florida political sage Adam Smith doesn’t think so.
Smith, the political editor for the St. Pete’s Times, penned a hypothetical memo to Barack Obama on Saturday warning him about the dangers of “blowing off 27 electoral votes.” Despite resounding GOP victories in the last two gubernatorial elections and a 5 point win by George W. Bush in 2004, Smith says “Democrats haven’t been better positioned to pick off Florida since 2000, maybe even since 1976.”
Consider the stats:
- In the 37 Florida counties with at least 50,000 voters — more than 90 percent of the electorate — Democrats have gained ground among registered voters in 30, while Republicans lost ground in 26. For the first time in many cycles, voters are registering as Democrats at a faster rate than they are registering as independents. Republicans are gaining mainly in North Florida counties that have been voting Republican for years anyway, while Democrats are gaining in battleground areas
- A few weeks ago, Democrats overtook Republicans in voter registration among Hispanics, a crucial voter group that could account for 15 percent of the Florida vote in November. Senator, a Democrat now represents Little Havana in the state House, something nobody would have imagined a few years ago.
- Look at the 22 counties where Al Gore received 45 percent to 55 percent of the vote in 2000. Since that virtually tied election, the Democrats’ net registration advantage has grown by more than 100,000. In a state that decided the 2000 election by 537 votes, you bet it matters that today Democrats have more registered voters in a bellwether like Pinellas County, where Republicans in 2000 had a nearly 28,000-voter advantage. Or that in the mega battleground of Miami-Dade County, Democrats have had a net registration gain of nearly 59,000 since 2000.
- Out of Florida’s 120 state House districts, 77 have become more Democratic in registration, which helps explain why nine House seats have shifted from Republican to Democrat since 2006, the best performance Democrats have had in decades. Likewise, Democrats picked off three congressional seats in 2006, and Democrat Alex Sink easily won a hard-fought statewide campaign for chief financial officer.
The evidence is certainly compelling that Democrats could have a solid shot at Florida. The downside for them, according to Smith, is that McCain is “a nearly ideal candidate for Florida: strong among veterans, Hispanics, and potentially among independent and swing voters.”
Either way, Florida is gaining political clout every year and by 2012 will have 29 electoral votes. Democrats will abandon it at their own peril.
In Mecklenberg County, N.C., which is home to Charlotte, Barack Obama cruised to victory with 70%. But if you look at the map below of where Hillary Clinton did well, it looks like she ran much better in the outskirts of the web.
Clinton in Mecklenberg County, N.C. (Charlotte Observer)