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As many of you know, I have a strong interest in political geography and making maps of election results and demographics. Therefore, when I had the opportunity to spend the month of January doing an independent study collecting election data and making maps, I jumped at the chance.

When most people analyze election results, they do so at the county level. However, being from New England, a region where local government is centered in the towns and where the counties are in various stages of irrelevance, I have long thought that county-level analysis simply wasn't good enough. This January, I made it my goal to collect the election results of the 2012 Presidential election, by municipality, for every county in New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio (there are 218 in total). These three states do not have precinct-level election results on their Secretary of State's websites, and so collecting data from each county individually was the only way to go. Many of these counties had their election results on their websites. However, for about 150 of them, I had to e-mail the county and ask for them to send me the election results. By the end of the month, I was able to collect municipality-level election data from 211 of the 218 counties in those three states. The only holdouts were five counties in Pennsylvania and two in Ohio.

Using this data, along with ArcGIS, I was able to make maps of the election results. I thus present the maps below the fold. You can click on any of these maps to see larger versions of them. There won't be much commentary on the maps, but if you have any questions or comments about the maps, particularly about the patterns shown in them, feel free to ask in the comments.

New York

First I have my New York maps. This first map is the simplest: Obama's and Romney's performance in each town in New York.

NY 2012 results map

This next map shows the change in Obama's performance from 2008 to 2012. Unsurprisingly, blue means a town swung toward Obama, red means it swung away from him.

NY 2012 results change map

My final map of just New York shows the turnout in 2012 compared to 2008, calculated by taking 2012 votes cast / 2008 votes cast. Red means that more votes were cast in 2008 than 2012, and blue means vice versa. As the map makes clear, turnout in 2012 was much lower than in 2008 all across New York.

NY 2012 turnout change

Pennsylvania

I now move on to Pennsylvania. Here is the Obama/Romney percentages for Pennsylvania.

PA 2012 results map

Here is the change in Obama's performance, using the same scale as New York.

PA 2012 results change map

Here is the change in turnout from 2008 to 2012, again using the same scale as New York.

PA 2012 turnout change

Finally, for Pennsylvania I also made a map showing the 2012 turnout not compared to 2008, but as a percentage of the voting age population (VAP) of each municipality.

PA 2012 turnout as percent of VAP

Ohio

And here are the maps for Ohio. All use the same scales as the maps of Pennsylvania and New York. I tried to be consistent when making these maps.

Obama's and Romney's performance:

OH 2012 results map

Obama's swing from 2008 to 2012:

OH 2012 results change map

Turnout as a percentage of 2008 turnout:

OH 2012 turnout change

And turnout as a percentage of VAP:

OH 2012 turnout as percent of VAP

Grand Finale

So now you've seen the maps of the individual states. However, you may be wondering what the maps of the states would look like if they were put together. Well, don't worry, because I've made maps of that as well.

Obama's and Romney's performance in all three states:

All 3 2012 results

Obama's swing from 2008 to 2012 in all three states:

All 3 2012 results change

And turnout as a percentage of 2008 turnout in all three states:

All 3 2012 turnout change

Now that I've shown you these maps, what do you think? Any patterns that you notice? I'd love to hear your thoughts about them.

Originally posted to ProudNewEnglander on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 08:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Excellent! What did you make these in? (10+ / 0-)

    I previously made this map of the northeast by township by reversing the colors on a map by Dave Leip, but it uses his super saturated color scheme:
     photo 6xxm_zpsba29aacf.png

    •  I made these in ArcGIS (10+ / 0-)

      Yeah, personally I'm not really a fan of Leip's color scheme, and not just because red and blue are reversed. I like having a separate color for places where no candidate got an absolute majority. Also, the problem with that map is that it's based on the margin of victory and not on the actual percentages, so a town that voted 44-39-16 wouldn't show up any different from a town that voted 52-47. On my map, they would show up differently.

      And yeah, I know that a few of these maps (meaning the NY and PA maps that you showed) have been made before, but I think I'm the first to make a similar map for Ohio (and to make the swing and turnout maps).

      Also, I'd be interested to see where the original maker of that map got his data for the five PA counties that I couldn't get. It would be nice to complete the maps.

      (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

      by ProudNewEnglander on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 08:39:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The red=Republican blue=Democrat convention (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wu ming, Ed Tracey

        didn't start until the 2000 election night returns. Before that, red was more typically used for the left, hence Democrats, and blue for the right, hence Republicans. Dave Leip started his website before 2000, apparently around 1997.

        Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

        by AaronInSanDiego on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 03:40:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Internationally, blue has meant conservative ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AaronInSanDiego

          .... and red the color of liberalism.

             In the USA - since both parties use the red-white-blue theme - the TV networks traditionally alternated between red = GOP and blue = the Dems. I recall they used red in 1976 for Jimmy Carter.

             But yes, since they used red for Bush and blue for Gore, that has become the standard ever since.

          "We should pay attention to that man behind the curtain."

          by Ed Tracey on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 08:15:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I'm from suburban Pittsburgh... (0+ / 0-)

      ...and have become addicted to the map.

      Interesting to see that proximity to Pittsburgh somewhat outweighs income in determining Obama/Romney vote percentage; Mt. Lebanon (closer to Pittsburgh, median household income $60,783) had a slight Obama edge, while my home town of Bethel Park (immediately south, with a median household income of $53,791) was slightly to Romney.  

      You can't spell "Dianne Feinstein" without "NSA".

      by varro on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 04:35:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ah, but it explains the support for the 1% (0+ / 0-)

      The folks living in small population areas think that the 1% isn't the wealthy, but the 1% of the population, which they consider themselves as.

  •  What's interesting to me (9+ / 0-)

    both in your maps and in Stephen's above, is that you can clearly see the border between Pennsylvania and Upstate NY.  That holds in the vote winner map, the turnout map, and as well as the swing map.

    In other areas, bordering towns that happen to have a state line between them still vote similarly.  But there is clearly a line separating both states in all of these maps.

    In any case, great diary PNE, I love seeing detailed maps like this.  Gives a far greater amount of detail than your typical county-level map.

    •  Northeast NY looks like Vermont, and northwest NY (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SteelerGrrl, charliehall2

      looks like Alabama.



      Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

      by Wee Mama on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 09:31:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Western NY (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wee Mama, ipsos, 207wickedgood

        looks more like Kentucky. While the rural areas there are certainly Republican, they're not at the level of 80-90% Republican that you see in Alabama. Nowhere in the Northeast, with the possible exception of a few Hasidic Jewish enclaves, is that Republican, and in Ohio, only a few areas (including Amish Country) are.

        (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

        by ProudNewEnglander on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 10:29:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  What's interesting to me (0+ / 0-)

      is Vermont and Maine's complete turnaround in political leaning, which had been going on for the past 30 years or so.

      Vermont and Maine were the only two states never to have voted for FDR, and Vermont was so strongly Republican for most of its history from 1860 to 1960, that it never voted for a Democrat for president, and now it is perhaps one of the most reliable Democratic vote.

      My grandfather, who was born, raised and died in Vermont, and for most of his life, lived in Vermont, would have been appalled.  But then again, he probably would have been appalled by the change of the Republican party since his death in 1979.

      He never referred to FDR by name, according to my dad, only calling him "that man."  Coincidentally (or perhaps not coincidentally), that's how I often referred to GBW.

      Sigline? What Sigline?

      by Khun David on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 05:45:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What I noticed was (0+ / 0-)

      The cities were overwhelmingly Obama. In some cases, you could even see where the boundary was very clearly, as with Philly.

      I wonder if you could somehow correlate this with public appearances and direct mail? Not tv/radio, there's a lot of areas that would overlap. But appearances and direct mail likely wouldn't.

      A correlation with median household income and age would be nice too.

  •  Why the missing data from broad chunks of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SteelerGrrl, Powered Grace

    rural PA? Could you not fill those in on a larger scale using county averages?

    I think using county data for projects like this, although more granular, would still include most of the variability of interest anyhow.

    The results of the % of VAP for PA is rather counterintuitive -- many (not all) of the more Democratic areas show higher turnout, while we know that the overall trend is for turnout among Republicans to be higher. My suspicion is that this is not real, but a data artifact of some sort. But I can't explain it.

    Mark E. Miller // Kalamazoo Township Trustee // MI 6th District Democratic Chair

    by memiller on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 09:21:45 AM PST

  •  Pennsyltucky sticks out like a big red thumb, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SteelerGrrl, Denver11

    and boy those urban areas are small but full of people.



    Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Wee Mama on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 09:29:47 AM PST

  •  You couldn't find Ottawa County, OH either? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SteelerGrrl

    My mother's aunt lives there, in Genoa. Obama visited Ottawa County in the summer of 2012.

    Gay farm boy, 21, who hit the city to go to college, WI-03 (home, voting), WI-02 (college), -5.12, -1.74, "No tears. Remember the laughter, stories and good times we shared."- My dad (1959-2013).

    by WisJohn on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 09:48:51 AM PST

    •  Sadly, no (0+ / 0-)

      When they responded to my e-mail, they said that they could only send me the results on actual paper (rather than by e-mail) and they wanted to charge me money for the results. I didn't pay a penny to get any of these results, and I wasn't about to start.

      The county generally leans Democratic, with Port Clinton being the most Democratic and most other areas around 50/50 (at least that's how it was in 2008).

      (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

      by ProudNewEnglander on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 10:37:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The chairman of the ODP is from Ottawa County (0+ / 0-)

        Chris Redfern. He's also a state rep.

        Their BoE seems pretty disorganized. They sent out a mailing, I think in 2012, with the election on the wrong day of the week.  Some loonies here blew this up into a giant voter suppression conspiracy, like it was masterminded like it was masterminded by Karl Rove himself and were screaming that people should go to jail. If you were going to rig an election, there are more effective ways than sending a mailer to a few thousand voters in Ottawa COunty with the wrong day. It was a mistake and they recontacted the voters who got the mailer, giving them the correct day.

        Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

        by anastasia p on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 04:57:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Ottawa County! (0+ / 0-)

      The county in which Dennis Kucinich came in THIRD in his 2012 Democratic primary — the one that ended his career in Congress. Ottawa doesn't have enough voters to have been the entire reason, but it sure didn't help. He trailed even a young, first-time challenger, but Marcy Kaptur carried it in a massive landslide. I'm thinking it didn't help that Kucinich advocated just shuttering the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station — boom, half the jobs in the county, gone. I'm not big fan of nuclear power either, but you can't threaten people's livelihoods without giving them something in return.

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

      by anastasia p on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 04:52:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why the big swing in Chautauqua County? (3+ / 0-)

    None of the other New York counties that border Pennsylvania swung as hard.

    Also, why did Obama do better in southern Ohio than in 2008?

    •  Those are two of my biggest questions about the (4+ / 0-)

      2012 election.

      21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
      politicohen.com
      Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
      UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

      by jncca on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 11:36:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Two of mine as well (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        unapologeticliberal777

        I really wish that I had a good, logical response to this question. Unfortunately, I do not.

        It's not an urban/rural thing, since in both cases both the urban and rural areas swung toward Obama (Southern Ohio) or away from Obama (Chautauqua County). I've looked in a bunch of places, and it doesn't seem like anyone has a good answer to why those areas swung the way they did.

        (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

        by ProudNewEnglander on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 12:00:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Stimulus money? Did they get a lot of it? (0+ / 0-)

          Or maybe personal appearances? If Obama did a town hall there, it would swing things.

          Did they hold any of the debates on either side? If they saw up close and personal the morons on the GOP side, it might swing people.

          Military base? Govt contractor?

      •  I Have An Idea (5+ / 0-)

        why Obama did better in southern Ohio in 2012 then he did in 2008.

        Remember during the primaries and into the general election when they're was all this talk about Republicans voting for Obama because they couldn't stomach Romney's Mormonism?  Well, they were right - they couldn't stomach his Mormonism.  But they couldn't stomach voting for Obama either so they stayed home.  That is why, I think, Romney underperformed in GOP friendly locations like southern Ohio and part of New York state.  These are the same people, 5 million of them, most of them right wing Christians, who Karl Rove said failed to show up in 2000 to vote for Bush and what made that race so close.  But Rove made up  for it, with the help from closeted gay-man-from-hell and Bush campaign official Ken Mehlman, who devised a strategy to put constitutional amendments on 13 state ballots in 2004 to ban gay marriage.  And Ohio, was ground zero for that movement, they had a huge GOP turnout, and John Kerry lost the state by 120,000 votes, and with it, the election that year.  

        The anti-Mormon vote never happened in 2012 because they didn't show up to vote.  

        "The quote on the Statue of Liberty doesn't say 'give me your english-speaking only, Christian-believing, heterosexual masses'

        by unapologeticliberal777 on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 03:44:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And As A Result of All These Folks (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          207wickedgood

          Not turning out for Romney, Obama's percentages in these areas were higher, because Romney didn't win as many votes.  

          "The quote on the Statue of Liberty doesn't say 'give me your english-speaking only, Christian-believing, heterosexual masses'

          by unapologeticliberal777 on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 03:46:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Friends in Ohio think the auto bailout (5+ / 0-)

          really helped Obama there.

        •  Then why southern Ohio and not western Ohio? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kombema

          It would have to be something that differentiates the two in order for it to be the reason.

          21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
          politicohen.com
          Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
          UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

          by jncca on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 04:46:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'd posit that W. Ohio is less evangelical, though (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Betty Pinson

            still conservative, unlike much more evangelical Southern Ohio.

            "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

            by Kombema on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 04:55:17 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't know about southern Ohio, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Kombema

              but parts of Western Ohio are heavily Catholic. The most Catholic areas are the areas that are the most Republican, and that have the highest turnout. It's pretty easy to see these areas on the map.

              (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

              by ProudNewEnglander on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 05:40:51 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Southern OH is basically northern Kentucky, for (0+ / 0-)

                all intents and purposes. Very evangelical, and just across the border from the Creationism Museum in KY. I'd say the W. OH Catholics were a little more movable, and also less likely to take Mitt's Mormonism as an affront.

                "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

                by Kombema on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 06:09:15 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  A few dynamics in western Ohio (0+ / 0-)

            Outside of Toledo, western Ohio is made up of many small towns and cities (Findlay, Lima, Tiffin, etc.) that were always dependent on manufacturing and large scale farming.  

            The large scale farming (much of it tomatoes for local Campbell Soup, Hunts, etc factories) have long been reliant on migrant labor from Mexico. So there are generations of xenophobia there.  Much of the manufacturing in the area (Whirlpool, rubber industry, etc.) has also been hit hard by the exporting of jobs to Mexico. Most of the towns in this area also had hundreds of factories that were satellite producers of auto parts, not owned by the auto companies, but major vendors. Tens of thousands of these jobs were outsourced as well, mostly around the time just before and after Obama was elected.

            The auto bailout helped some, but not enough. This is one area where Obama's failure to support manufacturing in the US has hurt Dems deeply.  It was always a conservative area, but allowing wholesale shipping of jobs overseas put many nails in that coffin.
            Ohio Dems (Sherrod Brown) tried to warn the WH, but to no avail.

            Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

            by Betty Pinson on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 07:20:18 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Kerry didn't lose Ohio because of Issue 1 (0+ / 0-)

          There was a 10% split ticket on that — probably much of it in the black community. Issue 1 got 60% of the vote, Kerry and Bush were nearly split. Kerry lost Ohio primarily because our secretary of voter suppress.... I mean STATE ... Ken Blackwell arranged to create chaos and interminable lines at the polls only in urban areas and on select liberal college campuses by severely underallocating voting machines.

          Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

          by anastasia p on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 05:00:51 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Chautauqua county (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jncca

      does have a large Amish population, perhaps they are voting more often.

    •  guess (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jncca

      The southwest corner of NY may be in the Erie media market as opposed to the Buffalo market, and I'm pretty sure Romney outspent Obama in PA.

      SSP poster. 44, CA-6, -0.25/-3.90

      by sacman701 on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 09:50:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Appalachian Ohio (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SteelerGrrl, Kombema

    Given how badly Appalachia in general has gone for Democrats and how it's getting even worse, I find it really interesting that Obama seems to have done fairly well in the Appalachian parts of Ohio compared to 2008.

    •  It's about coal (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jncca, SteelerGrrl, Skaje

      Where there are lots of coal mines, Obama's performance dropped significantly. Where there aren't, Obama held up pretty well. It's similar to Kentucky, where Obama dropped a lot in eastern and western KY (where there are lots of coal mines) but didn't drop hardly at all in central Kentucky, which has very little coal.

      (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

      by ProudNewEnglander on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 12:03:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ted Strickland, our last Democratic governor, (0+ / 0-)

      is from there and is still very popular down there. He was congressman from that area for years. I am pretty sure he campaigned vigorously for Obama in 2012. In 2008 he was a Hillary loyalist so he may have been more limited in his involvement, especially since he was still in office then and had better things to do than get involved in a prolonged primary. My congresswoman, a national Hillary co-chair, did not move into the Obama camp until August, just weeks before she died.

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

      by anastasia p on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 05:05:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I use county and congressional district maps (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SteelerGrrl, wu ming, charliehall2

    pretty often. Coincidentally, I was working on a nationwide map at the county level that compares the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections. I don't like my data though because it doesn't match the final totals. About 5% of the popular vote totals in 2012 took weeks to get tallied. A disproportionate amount of that was concentrated in New York and New Jersey, by the way, because of disruptions related to Hurricane Sandy.

    At the county level, the 5 boroughs of New York City show up as separate entities. The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan gave Obama 80% + in both elections.

    The fifth borough, Staten Island, which was hit hard by Sandy flipped from red to blue in 2012, after all votes were tallied. It seems as if the strong response and visible presence there made a difference to voters.

    On the national map, there was a wide patch from Louisiana to the Carolinas that switched from red to blue.
    I would not have expected that.

    There is no existence without doubt.

    by Mark Lippman on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 12:06:57 PM PST

    •  I have all the final tallies in excel sheets (5+ / 0-)

      by two party vote if you click the link in my signature. I just recently finished a map showing the PVI trend by county (swing compared to the national swing) between 2008 and 2012:
       photo UnitedStatesPresidentialElection2012TrendbyCounty_zpsa96e7611.png
      (click through for a much larger image)

      •  I checked out the link and the data you used may (0+ / 0-)

        be the same as mine. In your Alabama table, the county detail shows some higher percentages for Obama in 2012 vs 2008. I used a formula to index the swing so that it would show up if it was large enough. My result wasn't totally dissimilar to yours but the swing areas stood out clearly. In the south, from central and northeast Louisiana, with a broad band across MS, AL, GA, narrowing in SC, and ending just inside NC. There was also a band that follows the Mississippi River north to AR and TN. I had dark red in Appalachia as you do.

        Why this trend is what I was trying to decipher.

        There is no existence without doubt.

        by Mark Lippman on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 01:38:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I think there's a simpler explanation (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wu ming, charliehall2

      for Staten Island's shift from voting for McCain to voting for Obama. The heavily Republican South Shore was hit hard by Sandy, and so turnout there dropped significantly. However, the heavily Democratic North Shore was comparatively undamaged, so turnout didn't drop as much.

      That alone might account for a significant percentage of Staten Island's swing toward Obama in 2012.

      (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

      by ProudNewEnglander on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 12:19:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

        I went to Staten Island on a relief run a few days before the election. The southern part of SI  looked like a war zone. I met the father of popular Republican state senator Andrew Lanza and he told the that all campaigning had been suspended as the result of Sandy.

    •  Higher minority turnout (0+ / 0-)

      and some softness with fundamentalist toward a Mormon may account for the southern swing toward blue.

  •  Very cool diary (0+ / 0-)

    I love maps, thanks for giving my brain something to do on a lazy afternoon!

    What caught my eye was the contrast between NY and PA. Some thoughts to expand on Skage’s comment: The first image of NY, Obama/Romney performance, clearly shows a blue state. The deep red pockets are surrounded by a sea of squishy pink, yellow, and light blue. With a few exceptions the major metro areas are blue. The dark blue check mark of Democratic love at the bottom of the image seals the deal. Obama won NY 63-36 in 2008 and 63-35 in 2012.

    Now, look at those same two images of PA. The first does not look like a blue state that last favored a Republican for president in 1988, but it is. An entire generation of new voters have come of age never having seen PA go red in a Presidential election.

    Unlike NY, he blue areas are few and isolated: Erie and Pittsburgh to the west, a blue dot in the center (Centre County, home of Penn State University), the Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia to the east. The rest is very red and commonly known as Pennsyltucky. It is not unlike South Carolina, but with more snow and a less attractive governor.

    Pennsylvania’s drop in voter turnout from 2008-12 was less steep than that of New York, and favored Romney: Obama carried PA 55-44 in 2008 and 52-47 in 2012. It also seems to have become more polarized, with Obama swinging positive in the bluest urban centers, but losing ground in their suburbs. It will be interesting to see how 2014 and 2016 play out, given PA Gov. Corbett’s dismal approval ratings and a very competitive gubernatorial race coming up.

    Announcing the grand opening of my Etsy shop, Little Lotte Studio featuring hand-dyed textiles and custom beaded jewelry. Please stop by!

    by SteelerGrrl on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 01:09:28 PM PST

  •  The 2012 GOTV worked well in Ohio (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JanL

    "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

    by JackND on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 02:24:15 PM PST

  •  It really accentuates... (0+ / 0-)

    ...how much difference the concentrated urban vote makes.  Without knowing the population differences you would think they were all deep red states.

  •  I am surprised about how my pokey upstate NY town (0+ / 0-)

    appears on your map: pale pink (50-55% Romney).

    I am an Election Inspector in my town and certainly at my polling place (and at the others in the town) it seemed on election night to be a bigger margin.  I happened to be the one who took the "the bag," i.e. the election results, from the polling place I worked to central collection point and I hung out to hear the results read out from the other polling places in my town.  And I don't recall it being anywhere near as close as under 55% of the total for Romney.  And at least in my polling place there weren't a lot of absentee or military ballots noted in our election rolls which might account for higher numbers than voted on the machines. (Though I personally made a big effort to offer conditional ballots when necessary - maybe they were all Dem. voters, though I doubt that was the case.) Conditional ballots, like absentees/military are not machine-counted at the polling station, but afterward when the Board of Elections does the canvas.

    It would raise my spirits to really believe it was as close as your map shows since I think of myself as living in a deep red hell hole..

    Araguato

  •  Nice Work !! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sharon Wraight

    Looking forward to your maps on the remaining 47 states.

    Just kidding, but maps for swing states like Colorado and Virginia .... even states red states trending more blue (e.g. GA, TX, AZ) would be interesting to analyze as well.

  •  Kasich & OH GOP trying to change the map for 2014 (0+ / 0-)

    Thanks for your work.  It's very interesting.

    The GOP is up to their usual tricks in Ohio. They just passed new laws restricting early voting and vote by mail.  Looks like Kasich is worried about losing to Ed FitzGerald this Nov.

    Link

    Kasich put his name on Senate Bill 238 — which eliminates “Golden Week,” when Ohioans could register and vote on the same day — and Senate Bill 205, which requires the approval of the legislature for the secretary of state to mail absentee applications statewide. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald, who also serves as the elected Cuyahoga County executive, said he has asked his county law director to review the two bills and is considering taking legal action.

    “We’ve done that before,” FitzGerald said. “We are the only county in Ohio that when they tried to change the election rules at the last minute in 2012, of course there was a lawsuit over that, there was only one county in Ohio that filed an amicus (friend-of-the-court) brief.

    It seems all the other counties, even Dem strongholds in Toledo, Ytown, Cbus and Cincy, are too afraid to challenge Kasich.

    Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

    by Betty Pinson on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 06:46:43 AM PST

    •  I'm not seeing this as a job primarily for (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Silina

      counties or towns acting on their own. There will be legal action, I am sure, and hopefully an injunction that will hold them off until after the election. The one barring anyone but the secretary of state from sending our absentee ballot applications and then only in even years and then only if the legislature allocates the funding is particularly egregious because it creates endless voter uncertainty with people never knowing if they will get a mailed application. It's horribly offensive and I believe unlikely to stand up to a court challenge.

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

      by anastasia p on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 05:10:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not sure but (0+ / 0-)

    the turnout map in Pennsylvania seems to show the mountainous areas with the lowest percent turnout.  

    You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.- Jeannette Rankin

    by CA148 NEWS on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 08:08:45 AM PST

  •  Thank you mid-Ohio (0+ / 0-)

    The thing that jumps out at me is how mid-Ohio became bluer in 2012. I didn't expect this. I wonder what the explanation might be. Part of it can be chalked up to an excellent ground team by Obama, I suspect. I was a small part of that team, but more up toward NE Ohio.  There wasn't much of a change there compared to '08.

    Interesting maps, nice work!

  •  Not entirely sure what these mean (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Silina

    However, it is moderately amusing to me to be able to look at a map of Ohio and tell you, for instance, that the chunk of dark red in the northeast central part must be Holmes County, the only one of the infamous "Blackwell" counties not in southwestern Ohio. (This was the handful of counties that Ken Blackwell carried in his 2006 22-point loss to Ted Strickland).

    Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

    by anastasia p on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 04:43:31 PM PST

  •  Awesome work! (0+ / 0-)

    What's with the burb's in Hamilton County swinging towards Obama?  Plus, could give the exact percentage Obama got in Columbus?  Thanks!

    •  The Cincy burbs that swung toward Obama (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fuzzybigfoot

      fall into two categories: One, places with large African-American populations, where white turnout dipped slightly but AA turnout stayed the same, and two, fast-growing, ultraconservative suburbs that vote 80% Republican but the new arrivals vote only 70% Republican.

      Also, the city of Columbus voted about 68% for Obama.

      (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

      by ProudNewEnglander on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 06:35:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nice work (0+ / 0-)

    Some comments on New York.

    The lower 2012 vote totals in New York is due to both lower turnout AND the continued exodus out of NYS.  I think the last maps you did for PA and OH are more informative (actual % turnout) than the 2008 vs 2012 raw vote totals.  I wonder if there is an easy way to identify the "moved" voters vs the ones who didn't turn out in 2012.

    I have some theories on Chautauqua County/Western NY.  I think the "average" voter is more Republican, with a natural inclination towards less government and less taxes, but is uncomfortable with the religious right element of the party.  Not sure if they are exactly "libertarian", but Ross Perot did very well here, his second best showing east of the Mississippi behind Maine.  Ron Paul did well here in the Republican primaries.  My theory is that there are a lot of distrustful of both parties types who would rather vote for a viable third party, but if not, they go with whoever is currently less offensive to them (ie in 2008, Obama sounded like a perfect centrist candidate after 8 years of Bush but in 2012 after 4 years of Obamacare and big government, they swung back to the right).

    After giving Obama a plurality win in 2008, Chautauqua voted 60%+ for Paladino over Cuomo.  Talk about weird crossover votes.

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