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Presidential vote by Congressional Districts: New England

by: Englishlefty

Thu Nov 27, 2008 at 10:26 PM EST

States are starting to certify their totals and there are a decent amount of states with their presidential results by Congressional District completely or partially inputted in SSP's table. Of course, there's always room for more...

I aim to analyse this data to work out where Obama ran ahead or behind of Congressional candidates. This should allow us to see which areas are trending our way or against us, what types of candidates to run and what districts have slipped under the radar.

The next election is the last under the current maps. We need to see what's going in which direction, because 2012 will be a whole new ball-game and Republican redistricters will have noted this information and used it to try to preserve and expand their positions through gerrymandering.

I will begin with New England (except Connecticut, as my regionalisation follows, as well as I can remember, that used at 538 during the election.) This is not perhaps the most useful of regions for me to analyse, since we hold all the Congressional seats here (and Dean Barker has written a pair of great analyses of NH, with a lot more local knowledge than I'll ever have), but the results have all been inputed here and I may as well make my initial mistakes in an area where it matters less.

Englishlefty :: Presidential vote by Congressional Districts: New England
The results from Maine are mine. I can't speak to the reliability of the results from New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Massachusetts (and the results from the latter leave out third party votes) but I see no reason to doubt their essential accuracy.

I'll skip over Vermont, as it's a single CD and the state is hardly likely to slip out of our hands. Besides, there wasn't even a Republican on the ballot opposing Peter Welch.

Maine had been considered as a state where McCain might compete and in particular he ran ads in the more rural 2nd Congressional District.

It paid off, slightly. McCain lost by just a whisker under 7% nationally, and by 11.2% in ME-2. That's in line with it's D+4 PVI.

Now you might think that's not much of an investment. But in ME-1 he lost by 23.5%, more than 10% more than it's D+6 PVI would have suggested. So that one really paid off.

On a more serious note, it's clear that Maine is pretty far away from swing state status. ME-2 did not move decisively, but ME-1 certainly did.

This might point to an opportunity to redistrict for 2012 to make ME-2 wave safe and to permit a progressive replacement to Mike Michaud. However, Maine has an independent redistricting panel, with the legislature merely approving its proposals, Michaud tends to be a perfectly serviceable, though never stellar, Dem on most issues, despite being an anti-choice Blue Dog, and we don't want to get ambitious and make some ghastly mis-matched districts and piss voters off.

No, the message here is not worry about Maine. McCain only won one county (Piscataquis), and that had the smallest number of voters (and he only won by 300 votes). In fact, the next smallest county (Washington) had nearly twice as many voters as it. Maine is not a problem.

Nor is New Hampshire. I won't say much here, as Dean has said it better elsewhere. NH-01 is still fairly close to the tipping point in a close election, but provided both our congressmembers there keep up the good work, we do not need to worry.

As for Massachusetts, I think we can safely write off the threat of Republicanism here. The results here aren't entirely complete, but given that only the 10th Congressional District showed a victory for Obama of less than 50000 votes and that only four seats actually had Republican candidates on the ballot (none of whom reached 30%), I don't see any looming threat. In fact, if I ran the Vermont Progressive Party, I'd be looking in to setting up affiliates in eastern Massachusetts. If the Republicans can't even hit 30%, there's actually no way they could win a 3-candidate race.

Which leaves Rhode Island. It did slip from second to third most Democratic state between 2004 and 2008, but you can't complain when the margin of victory was 28 points. I do have some concerns - RI-2 may be getting moderately less Democratic as compared to the nation as a whole, since in 2000 Al Gore outperformed his national margin by 26 points, in 2004 John Kerry only managed 18 points above his numbers and Obama could only get 17 points. And in RI-1 the fall was steeper - from 32 points in 2000, it was 28 in 2004 and this year only only 25 points.

But enough being facetious. Barring a 1984 or 1972 style electoral rout for Democrats, Rhode Island will be down to one congressional district long before either of them is won by a Republican in the Presidential election. Margins of 65-33 and 61-37 simply do not change that fast, especially when you don't target a state. And with four electoral votes, Republicans have precious little incentive to target Rhode Island.

If you worry about Rhode Island's elections at all, worry about electing a Democratic governor in 2010 and worry about electing the most progressive Democrats you can.

With the possible exception of New Hampshire, in fact, this applies for every one of the states I've mentioned. These are very blue states and will remain that way until the Republican Party changes in a big way. They may maintain the Maine senators and possibly Judd Gregg, but everything else is gone or about to, and unlikely to come back. If the netroots is serious about helping to elect the hard core of progressives that people like Matt Stoller have called for as engines of progressive change, here is where you'll get them.

OK, so I realise that "New England is pretty Democratic, and is probably the easiest place to get lots of fiery progressives elected" is not a particularly ground-breaking message, but bear with me. As and when there are more results to work with (and I'm beginning to see some interesting data in the Michigan results that I'm in the process of putting together) I'll be putting up summaries of somewhat less monochromatic areas.

Until then, I welcome comments, flames and people pointing out where I've failed to add up correctly on a very basic level.

I didn't provide presidential numbers by CD in the main body of the diary, although you can get them from the links. Obviously this was a mistake, and an easily rectifiable one. I'll bear this in mind for next time, too.

So here are the results, all to one decimal point:

ME-01: O 60.5% M 37.0%
ME-02: O 54.6% M 43.4%
NH-01: O 52.7% M 46.5%
NH-02: O 56.1% M 43.0%
VT-AL: O 67.4% M 30.4%
MA-01: O 66.0% M 34.0%
MA-02: O 60.3% M 39.7%
MA-03: O 59.2% M 40.8%
MA-04: O 64.4% M 35.6%
MA-05: O 60.0% M 40.0%
MA-06: O 58.6% M 41.4%
MA-07: O 66.1% M 33.9%
MA-08: O 86.1% M 13.9%
MA-09: O 61.2% M 38.8%
MA-10: O 55.8% M 44.2%
RI-01: O 65.1% M 33.2%
RI-02: O 61.2% M 37.1%

Don't trust the Massachusetts figures - several townships aren't in the spreadsheet and it also doesn't account for the (admittedly small) third party vote. I'm in no great hurry to go sort that out, but if anybody else wants to, I'm happy to update the spreadsheet to correct those totals.

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The region you're actually describing is New England
The northeast extends all the way from Maine to Pennsylvania.  

I shouldn't type at 3AM. It doesn't help the coherence.

[ Parent ]
You keep my hours--5 hours ahead.  

[ Parent ]
aw, I thought
you were going to have numbers by district.

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

I have
They're in the links. I'll update the diary and stick them in at the end.

[ Parent ]
off topic, but did anyone see
Obama's margins from western Michigan?

MI-02 is historically a overwhelmingly Republican district. Bush won it twice 61-39, but this year the margin was 51-48, that's a ten point improvement. The whole Grand Rapid area shifted surprisingly to Obama, MI-03, centered on Grand Rapids which voted for Obama by a three thousand vote margin, was 49-49 and Obama won conservative leaning northern Michigan district-01 50-46, and narrowly won MI-04 the state's largest district. I feel bullish about our chances in MI-06, which Obama won by almost ten points, after being 53-46 in 2004. Fred Upton is a moderate, but he's also been around for 22 years and should retire sometime in the near future, giving us a great shot at a favorable district, (that is if State Democrats don't act like idiots and put Kalamazoo back in MI-07 to solidify it as Democratic leaning). MI-07 is actually more conservative districts that were equally Republican in 2004, MI-06 and MI-08 which were about the same shifted much further to Democrats than it did. Mike Rogers is in trouble in hte future, and he's struggled to win the last cycles. Obama won MI-08 by ten points.

Even Candice Miller's gerrymandered district only went Republican 50-48. Michigan was a spectacular improvement, they've put they're faith in Obama, now if can show them it was well-placed then I think we will have converted a solid majority of voters and Michigan will go over the edge from swing state to reliably Democratic for a generation.

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

[ Parent ]
MI-10 was actually disappointing
It's got a PVI or R+4. It ended up R+2, lagging Obama's national numbers by nine points.

Wayne County hasn't released its numbers yet and whilst Oakland produces very nice maps, getting the numbers is a bit of a longer job, so I haven't got percentages for most of the numbers, but it feels to me like most of the improvement above and beyond the national swing came in southern Michigan, particularly south-western Michigan Detroit.

Where did you get the numbers for MI-04 and MI-06? I've been going through the split counties precinct by precinct. Don't tell me there are already results by CD available, please...

[ Parent ]
swing state's are
on the very link you gave me. We really need to challenge McCotter. He represents a Democratic leaning district, and has only narrowly won his last two elections against third tier candidates, and he's an arch-conservative and chairman of the Republican Study Committee.

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

[ Parent ]
So how did Obama do...
In MI-07 & MI-09? I'd like to see how hard we'll have to work to keep Schauer & Peters in office.

Yes, Virginia, there ARE progressives in Nevada!
24, gay male, Democrat, NV-03 (or 04?)

[ Parent ]
You forgot Connecticut

Follow the elections in Georgia at the 2010 Georgia Race Tracker.

No, I didn't
I left it out deliberately.

[ Parent ]
May I ask why? Isn't Connecticut considered New England? Otherwise, thanks for the 411.

Yes, Virginia, there ARE progressives in Nevada!
24, gay male, Democrat, NV-03 (or 04?)

[ Parent ]
CT is pure New England
You can get the nums here:

CT-01: 32.72% M, 65.96% O
CT-02: 39.46% M, 59.11% O
CT-03: 36.30% M, 62.49% O
CT-04: 39.71% M, 59.62% O
CT-05: 42.40% M, 56.34% O

Himes ran a good campaign, but these numbers explain a lot about why Chris Shays was clearly on borrowed time.

[ Parent ]
I was treating it as Greater NY
I'm merely following what I remember Nate Silver's schema being.

It is essentially New England, but the New York overflow mattered for the only competitive race there was there.

[ Parent ]
Incumbents mostly ran better
Obama ran even with Chellie Pingree in ME-2, Carol Shea-Porter in NH-1 and Paul Hodes in NH-2.  In most districts, as is usual, the local incumbents ran a little better (CNN lists whole numbers):

ME-1, Michaud: 67% vs. 60.5% Obama
MA-1, Olver: 73% vs. 66.0 Obama
MA-4, Frank: 68% vs. 64.4 Obama
MA-6, Tierney: 70% vs. 58.6% Obama
MA-7, Markey, 76% vs. 66.1% Obama
RI-1, Kennedy, 69% vs. 65.1% Obama
RI-2, Langevin, 70% vs.61.2% Obama

House Democrats in the other districts were unopposed.

In New England, he PVI numbers are the base and we should do a little better.  Kerry, btw, ran behind 90% of his winning congressional candidates nationally even if carried out to a fractional percentage (Pingree at 54.9% would be ahead of Obama's 54.6% in ME-1 but that's a tie)  The three even races were for 1 open seat and two seats we won from the Republicans in 2006.

Overall, encouraging.

you've got Pingree's district mixed
up with Michaud's. Pingree's district is the super liberal Portland one, that weent 60-40 Obama, Michaud represetns the more rural and conservative district.  

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

[ Parent ]
Pingree actually underperformed the top of the ticket by several points.  I'm sure she'll be fine from here on out, in part because who do Republicans even have to run out here?  Barbara Bush?  Lolno.  Charlie Summers was one of there best recruits in the country (pathetically), it's a bit difficult to see how they top even him and I know he's said he's not running again.

22, Democrat, AZ-01
Peace. Love. Gabby.

[ Parent ]
It was an open seat
Pingree put a lot of emphasis on winning the primary (for a reason).  The margin should increase in later years.  Funny thing, in NH it's the more southern/urban district that's more Republican by a few points.

[ Parent ]

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