Sunday, November 26, 2006

It's not easy being purple

Sigh. I had one idea for a blog post, found a better one, then found this. I need more hours in the day.

Last night, I was having a conversation about the past election, and I remembered that, after 2004, there were a number of red and blue maps going around showing how red the country was. Somewhere, someone had made similar maps, by county, but colored them different shades of purple, showing how false the red-vs-blue divide really is. Here are the maps for the 2004 Presidential election.

He also adjusted the map to shrink or enlarge each district based on its population, which makes for a really bizzare looking image, but gives better insight into voting patterns. Looking at that image reinforces why I don't think it's a good idea to eliminate the Electoral College: candidates would basically ignore every place other than the Eastern seaboard, California, Chicago, and Florida.

He's now done the same thing for the 2006 election, for both the House and the Senate. Here's the image for the House:

One thing that's surprising about this image is how there are pockets of blue running through the South (and there are similar pockets of purple for the 2004 Presidential election). A commenter elsewhere claims that these are the counties with largely black populations, and they tend to vote Democratic, while Southern whites are overwhelmingly Republican.

The West looks incredibly red, until you realize that states like Montana are only a single district because they have about 3 people living there. He does another chart that adjusts all the counties so they have the same area (since all districts elect exactly one Representative), and those states are less imposing.

Via Pam's House Blend.


Matthew said...

It's interesting to see how red Illinois is for such a 'blue' state.

Anonymous said...

No kidding. Peoria and East St. Louis appear to be more influential than I thought.

Narc said...

I don't see why it's so surprising. From what I've heard from people with family in the area, downstate tends to be quite bigoted. But remember 65% of Illinois's population is in the Chicago area, so a small amount of geography influences the color of the state rather strongly.