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July 30, 2007

Map of the Day

We all remember those dispiriting maps after the 2004 election showing that just about every piece of land in this country had voted for George W. Bush. Looking back, these graphics were actually pretty important in helping make a three percent victory look like a mandate-conferring landslide. Bush may have won a bare majority but going off of the hallowed one-acre, one-vote principal, he was George Washington.

The map below offers a dot, either red or blue, for every thousands votes given to Bush or Kerry. When the dots become to numerous, they spill into surrounding states i.e, Florida covers up some of Georgia. What's more interesting about the map is noticing that not only did most of Kerry's votes from from those blueish outposts, but so did a gigantic number of Bush's votes.

Map With Dots

In a way, that original map overvaluing the contributions of rural voters to Bush's victory should have been annoying to much of his base. They, like the Democratic base, tend to liver in places where a fair number of other people live.

July 30, 2007 | Permalink

Comments

What's more interesting about the map is noticing that not only did most of Kerry's votes [come] from those blueish outposts, but so did a gigantic number of Bush's votes.

That's just because a gigantic number of votes, period, came from those places. It doesn't really mean much.

While it is possible to take the blue/red distinction too far, the number of blue dots in Texas hardly means that Texas is anything but a red, red, red state.

Posted by: Stephen | Jul 30, 2007 4:21:40 PM

They, like the Democratic base, tend to liver in places where a fair number of other people live.

But do they onion from those places?

Posted by: amanda w | Jul 30, 2007 4:23:00 PM

Oh Amanda, that was delightful. I was trying to think of the right way to make fun of that typo.

Posted by: Jason | Jul 30, 2007 4:25:37 PM

On a more topical note, and I know this isn't a huge revelation, but it's still relevant: the majority of red dots seem to be coming from the suburbs, not from the rural "heartland" that is typically said to be the basis for the Republicans' vote tallies. You see a lot of dense blue surrounded by speckled red and blue.

Posted by: amanda w | Jul 30, 2007 4:27:37 PM

the majority of red dots seem to be coming from the suburbs, not from the rural "heartland" that is typically said to be the basis for the Republicans' vote tallies. You see a lot of dense blue surrounded by speckled red and blue.

Again, that's just because those are the places where people live. Kansas has 2.7 million people. There are 17 metropolitan areas with larger populations. But Kansas really is a super-red state in the middle of the country, with a lot of farmers and ranchers. Southern California may have more red dots, but the tone of the place is obviously not the same.

Posted by: Stephen | Jul 30, 2007 4:33:42 PM

That's an ugly map.

Posted by: ostap | Jul 30, 2007 4:46:00 PM

Its news that redstate=suburbs?

we bitch about the suburbs all the time around here.

Posted by: yoyo | Jul 30, 2007 5:16:31 PM

Shalizi, Newman et al's adjusted map is still the best though ...

Posted by: Henry Farrell | Jul 30, 2007 5:26:34 PM

No major city voted for Bush.

(I believe the biggest was Jacksonville, Florida, which is cheating because the city annexed the entire county and thus contains vast suburbia and rural, undeveloped land w/in the city limits)

Posted by: tmchale | Jul 30, 2007 7:41:27 PM

No major city voted for Bush.

What about Houston and Dallas? Salt Lake City? All those Kerry?

Posted by: Jason G. | Jul 30, 2007 7:50:28 PM

There's a very interesting series of cartograms showing the source of the votes for each candidate in 2004; this series convinced me that all election maps should be designed as cartograms.

Posted by: zzedar | Jul 30, 2007 8:32:34 PM

Amanda, love the onion comment!

Posted by: fuz | Jul 31, 2007 7:25:39 AM

No major city voted for Bush.

What about Houston and Dallas? Salt Lake City? All those Kerry?

Posted by: Jason G.

If there's any way to find votes by city, I couldn't figure it out in a cursory Google search. CNN has results by county, but I'm not sure exactly how closely that correlates to the cities in them. (Also, city: the urban area itself or a more ambiguous metropolitan area or what?) Harris County and Dallas County both went for Bush, but by relatively narrow margins; 55-45 or even 50-49. I have the feeling that the cities themselves went the other way but were outweighed slightly by their neighbors or their suburbs, but this obviously doesn't prove it.

However, according to CNN, Salt Lake County went so strongly for Bush that I find it hard to believe the city itself didn't. (I was amused to learn about another county in Utah that's close to Salt Lake, at least close alphabetically. There's no real point to this; I just always assumed that the pseudonym was a variation on a person's name, and maybe it is, but then again maybe not.)

Posted by: Cyrus | Jul 31, 2007 1:36:56 PM

Anybody notice the swirl in the upper right?

Puts me in the mind of chaotic systems and information and vorticeal ordering. Like a hurricane and weather.

Love to see it all in actual analogue.

How weird to think that geographic/demographic voting patterns might actual fit into recognizable configurations.

Posted by: has_te | Jul 31, 2007 1:40:24 PM

I just always assumed that the pseudonym was a variation on a person's name, and maybe it is, but then again maybe not.

Shhh! If WBR realizes I've been allowing someone to assume that "Sanpete" is a personal name it will only deepen his concern that I may not have a conscience. (A somewhat inside joke there.)

Sanpete County is about 100 miles due south of Salt Lake City, right in the middle of the state.

Posted by: Sanpete | Jul 31, 2007 2:26:48 PM

Funny thing about this map is we haven't elected a Northerner as president since JFK, despite most of the votes coming from there.

Posted by: DMD | Oct 4, 2007 10:20:15 AM

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