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Crowdsourcing Pres-by-CD: First Wave of Results

by: Crisitunity

Wed Dec 10, 2008 at 8:53 PM EST

Enough things have happened (such as states certifying their results) that we're ready to roll out our first wave of results from Swing State Project's big crowdsourcing project of compiling presidential results by congressional district. Usually, knowing presidential results by CD requires waiting for Polidata to compile this data and make it public in March... but the power of an infinite number of nerds typing on an infinite number of spreadsheets makes it possible for us to short-circuit the process. (There's still tons of stuff left for enterprising nerds to do, especially if you have access to precinct-level data. Check our database in progress.)

Without further Apu, here's the first wave, representing nearly one quarter of all congressional districts. Explanation of many of the technicalities follows below the chart (and a simple spreadsheet of just the 2008 numbers is available here):

DistrictObama # McCain #Other #2008 %2004 %2000 %

The easy ones to do were the at-large states, and states where the SoS has already reported by congressional district (Connecticut, Idaho, Kentucky, Minnesota, and Virginia). Also easy were states where district lines precisely follow county lines (Arkansas, Iowa, and West Virginia).

We also have a number of excellent spreadsheets in our portfolio where people were able to locate precinct, ward, or town data. (A huge thank you to everyone who has contributed, and one more reminder that there are still many more states to do, although they get progressively harder from here on out.) These include Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin.

You may notice that not all the districts from MA, MI, and OR are included. That's because in each of these states, there's one pesky jursidiction that hasn't reported at the precinct level yet: Fall River in Massachusetts, Wayne County in Michigan, and Josephine County in Oregon. If you find this data anywhere, please let us know! (A few other minor requests for our anonymous spreadsheet wizards: if the persons who did MA and MS have "other" data, could you add those to the databases? And whoever did WI, could you provide the "Wisconsin long" form that shows precinct-level data in split counties? Thanks in advance!)

You're probably wondering about those ones where there's a total and then a range of numbers in parentheses. These districts (AL-01, CO-03, CO-05, IN-08, MO-08, TX-01, and TX-31) are ones where there were county splits but I felt confident proceeding even without precinct data, because there was only one split county and it represented such a small percent of the total that even if I allocated the votes within the county completely wrong it still wouldn't affect the total percentages by more than a fraction of one percent. In these cases, I'm presenting both range values (of the maximum and minimum possible) and a point estimate (calculated by allocating half of those counties' votes for each candidate to the district in question, and half to the other district).

As we get more states done, we'll roll more of them out. We're expecting California and Nebraska to report by CD soon (which will give us another 56 CDs right there), but for almost all the other states, we're missing precinct-level data. If you like this resource and have access to useful information, but don't have the time or stamina to spreadsheet it all, please just let us know in the comments or the master database, and I'm sure someone else will pounce on it.

Crisitunity :: Crowdsourcing Pres-by-CD: First Wave of Results
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Wisconsin is amazing
Obama took 7 of 8 districts!

LOL @ LA-02
Obama won it by roughly a 3-1 margin and Dollar Bill Jefferson lost.

Where are the New York districts? I'd like to see the results from those places!

Probably will take much more time for NY
New York has many very small districts, some less than 15 square mles.  Takes time to compile the reuslts.

[ Parent ]
You'll need to find precinct-level data
The NYS Board of Elections only publishes county-level data:


[ Parent ]
Courtesy of a poster on Dave Leip's forums:

Also, Nebraska data by CD:
pages 10 and 11:

Which come out to:

NE-01: Obama 44.09%, McCain 54.33%
NE-02: Obama 49.70%, McCain 49.23%
NE-03: Obama 29.54%, McCain 68.73%

[ Parent ]
good results in NE-01 and great ones in NE-02 at least.  

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

[ Parent ]
Thanks! The second wave is already coming together. I'm especially glad to see someone's already done Washington. Dismantling King County into precincts would be a herculean task.

[ Parent ]
looking at King's district
he should be living on borrowed time.

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

[ Parent ]
soory, meant Reichert's district

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

[ Parent ]
wow simply fantastic
to have such clear easy accessible numbers. One nitpick though. CQ says Kerry got 82% in MA-08 in 2004. Even the MN numbers were okay. Michigan is what has the truly amazing numbers. Its also kind of funny that the Republican legislature drew PA-17 for Tim Holden so that it would be unwinnable for a Democrat, but not only did Holden upset Gekas, the ten term incumbent, it looks like Obama won the district, having carried Dauphin and Berks county.

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

also Wisconsin and Michigan are
great. Look at the gains Obama made in the historically always heavily Republican Grand Rapids area. Wisconsin just looked great though. Look how far Green Bay has moved the past few years. Look forward to a big Senate contest in 2012 between Representative Ron Kind and Paul Ryan, though Kind has the clear early advantage due to the political layout of the state, (isn't that a great name for a politician though, Kind).  

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

that's MI-02 and MI-03 for those of you who
don't havea map in front of you. Hoekstra certainly needs to get a real challenge.  

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

[ Parent ]
He's looking
at MI-Gov in 2010, so MI-02 may open up for us, which would be even better. Hard to imagine that we'd ever be competitive in that district given its historic conservatism, but it may actually be happening. As good as our gains in western Michigan were, we had bigger gains in a few other places... check out IN-08, NM-01, and for that matter, all the non-mountain parts of Virginia.

[ Parent ]
well Obama really pushed for IN-08
which is historically Democratic/swingish leaning, it even went for Clinton twice in the 90s. MI-02 and Mi-03 have never done something like this, and NM-01, the hispanic population is exploding and Dona Anna County is trending Democratic.

But I'll say it now I think our most important gains anywhere were in FL-08, Orlando, simply because of the margin. It was 55-45 Bush, then went 56-44 Obama. 11 point swing, not quite as much as Grand Rapids, but much more crucial. Also impressive was his ten point swing of Shock and Johnson's districts in Illinois.

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

[ Parent ]
Ditto about Green Bay
When I did my analysis, the change in Green Bay Area was the most shocking thing I had seen. It's like they made a complete 180 from the Reagan and Nixon days.  

Indepedent/Lean D. Dude.
All 5s (now TX-5; frmly VA-5 and CA-5)  

[ Parent ]
second most shocking for me,
behind the total 360 of Grand Rapids from the 60-40 Bush Junior days four years ago. Obama actually won Kent County, and nearly won Hoektra and Ehler's districts. No Democrat has done that since 1964 and even then only barely. Do you realize those areas are some of the most reliably Republican in the country. Just a shocking turn of events, I was completely surprised, and delighted.

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

[ Parent ]
I think Michigan
was a bit of a special case becuase no Republican has abandoned Michigan so publicly and brazenly since...I can't even tell if it has ever been done. I think a lot of conservatives there just stayed home..not to take away from Obama's spectacular win but he basically ran against no one. Notice how close he was in ancestrally democratic UP (Bart Stupak) but came really close in Eastern Michigan...tells me UP voters were not that into Obama (though Kerry narrowly lost there) but regualr Republicans basically stayed home in Hoekstra and Ehlers' districts. Obama would still have won MI but running against an absent McCain campaign turend a possible 5-9 % victory to a 17% blowout.  

Indepedent/Lean D. Dude.
All 5s (now TX-5; frmly VA-5 and CA-5)  

[ Parent ]
OBama did about as well in up Michgan
considering no Democrat has gotten more than 47% there since Carter, if even him. I'm surprised we win here, it struck me as a place that would geographically and under normal demographics, lean Republican, rural, isolated, poor, agirucultural. Obama did well to win it, improved significantly. I also looked at the vote totals from the major Grand Rapids counties in 2004 and 2008 to see if there was a major fallout with Republicans there, here's what I got:

Kent-2008: 303,225 votes, 49.44-48.92 Obama
Kent-2004: 290,891 votes, 58-40 Bush

Muskegon-2008: 84-271 votes, 64-35 Obama
Muskegon-2004: 80,313 votes, 55-44 Kerry

Ottawa-2008: 136,539 votes, 61-37 McCain
Ottawa-2004: 128,643 votes, 72-28 Bush

Newaygo-2008: 23,105 votes, 51-47 McCain
Newaygo-2004: 22,837 votes, 59-40 Bush.

Eaton-2008: 57,616 votes, 53-45 Obama
Eaton-2004: 55,755 votes, 53-46 Bush

Montcalm-2008: 27,051 votes, 49-49 McCain by a hair
Montcalm-2004: 26,753 votes, 56-43 Bush

See just from those major examples there doesn't appear to be much of a dropoff, turnout increased in several of those places and that many Democrats did not show up here, especially since Obama never built up a base in Michigan during the primary and there was no real election here to get enthusiasm and membership up.  

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

[ Parent ]
Well, remember that MI-01 isn't just the UP
It also includes the upper half of the Michigan LP, which is more Republican in nature than the UP. IIRC, Kerry won the UP in 2004, but lost the district thanks to the rest of it. I suppose Obama improved on Kerry everywhere in the district, but I believe he won many more UP counties that Kerry lost.

and don't forget, the largest ethnic group of the UP are Finns, who aren't exactly the most conservative ethnic minorities in this country.

[ Parent ]
the numbers I gave though
were mainly contesting the authors claim that Republican turnout fell in western Michigan in the conservative Grand Rapids area and that that was the reason for the shift.  

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

[ Parent ]
Is that the only explanation?
There were some precincts in Grand Rapids that went about 98-2 for Obama (presumably heavily black) and if memory serves they provided a hefty part of the vote total.

I don't know the demographics of Michigan counties and their subdivisions terribly well, but isn't it possible that turnout cratered in the rural areas but that Obama maximised his support in Grand Rapids?

I think the latter explanation could only be a partial one, as Grand Rapids is still 62.5% non-Hispanic white, but it merits further investigation.

I was planning on analysing the Michigan results more thoroughly as soon as Wayne reports, so I'll look into this if nobody else knows the nitty-gritty.

[ Parent ]
Wow, those NM numbers are excellent
NM-01 and NM-02 are particularly good, Obama greatly outperformed both Gore and Kerry in the Albuquerque area and in the southern district, makes me feel a lot more comfortable about both Teague and Heinrich.

Politics and Other Random Topics

24, Male, Democrat, NM-01, Chairman of the Atheist Caucus, and Majority Leader of the "Going to Hell" caucus!

Teague has a solid shot
and now I can see why Heinrich won NM-01 when it appeared Republicans had the better candidate for a long time. The district is his now, nad better yet, he's young, 37, and would be in prime position to run for Bingamen's open seat, either in 2012 at 41, or 2018 at 47, and then could hold it for a longtime.  

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

[ Parent ]
Oh easily
The Republican bench in NM-01 consists almost entirely of Heather Wilson and Darren White, and there is no reason to believe that either of them would try again for the seat (Wilson might try to take on Denish for governor).

Teague is a good fit for the south, and even there it's probably still bluing, with the growing Latino population.

Politics and Other Random Topics

24, Male, Democrat, NM-01, Chairman of the Atheist Caucus, and Majority Leader of the "Going to Hell" caucus!

[ Parent ]
Sorry about the missing other for MA and MS
I'll get around to them at some point, perhaps when I'm visiting my family for Christmas.  The Massachusetts data is also missing data for Fall River and Hanson.  Hanson is small, though conservative, but Fall River is reasonably large and strongly Democratic.  If no precinct level data can be found we may want to estimate. Fall River effects the 3rd and 4th districts, Hanson the 9th and 10th.

28, Unenrolled, MA-08

No hurry
And thanks a gigantic amount for your efforts.

I didn't even notice Hanson was missing from the 9th and 10th, or even that it was a split town. Apparently it has only about 2000 residents, so we can just do the half-and-half allocation or even just ignore it without worrying about it affecting the percentages. Fall River's pretty big, though, so let's keep an eye out for it.

[ Parent ]
Great Job Guys!
I've been on the prowl for this for a long, long time! Fascinating numbers.

We really need to field bigtime challanges to Rob Whitman and Randy Forbes. It's pretty amazing that a relatively liberal Democrat like Rick Boucher represents Virginia's most Republican district.  

I'm a Ralph Yarborough Democrat

didn't use to be
Obama just lost ground further to Kerry here while gaining elsewhere in it. But you're right, I always though of VA-01 as overhwelmingly REpublican, but apparently its winnable. Whitman and Forbes should definitely be challenged, especially Forbes who district used to be held by a black Democrat until he won a 2001 special election after said Democrat died and won in low turnout and then got a break when many black areas were taken out in time for 2002.  

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

[ Parent ]
Not a Black Democrat..
More like an old, moderate Jewish Democrat. I can't recall his name off the top of my head but he died while in office. The Democrat that ran in the special election was a black female state senator, which is probably who you're thinking of. Unfortunately, though, she lost to Forbes.

I'm a Ralph Yarborough Democrat

[ Parent ]
Norman Sisisky

He looks pretty white to me.

[ Parent ]

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

[ Parent ]
Race factor in Appalachia
I was looking at numbers from my region, and the notable examples I see are KY and VA.  All this talk about places not voting for Obama because he was black and there was hardly any change in VA-09 (my roots).  He actually had a slight improvement over Kerry.  The only place in either state where he plummeted was KY-05, which is somewhat of a disappointment, but still not as bad as I expected.  There was also a drop in WV-03, but the other two looked alright.  I guess it just shows that there wasn't this groundswell of racism that overtook him there.

28, male, NC-13 formerly NC-01, 04, 05, 07, 11

Democrats should win the congressional seat KY-05
if Rogers ever retires. It's been 30 years now.  

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

[ Parent ]
Looks like Michigan
Will have precinct-level results available at some point:

It also looks like Alabama
Used to be in the habit of publishing precinct-level data:

2000, 2002, 2004... but nothing for 2006 or 2008. Any idea what gives?

[ Parent ]
Ah! Success!
Arizona DOES offer precinct-level data:

Don't be fooled by that URL!

[ Parent ]
Individual Florida counties
Seem to offer precinct data. Palm Beach (will download a file):

[ Parent ]
Arizona is done.
Results are here:

Jan Brewer is an awful person for using an inconsistently delimited text file for Maricopa County.

[ Parent ]
Obama improved
over Kerry in AZ-05...that's great news for Harry Mitchell.  

Liberty Avenue Politics - a place for politics in Southern Queens

[ Parent ]
We should seriously
Hand out "awards" for good SoS sites with good, usable data - and raspberries for sites which suck. Maybe when this is all over, we'll solicit nominations in a post.

[ Parent ]
We're starting to max out in cities
Ridiculous 70%+ and even 80%+ numbers in some urban areas.  No Republican district in the country is even close to being that lopsided.  When redistricting comes up we need to spread the wealth a little.

Overall, impressive numbers where I would expect them (Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Virginia, New Mexico).  WI, VA, and especially MI reveal a whole raft of newly vulnerable Republicans that will never see it coming.

Disappointing numbers also where I would expect them (Louisiana, West Virginia).  On another note it's interesting that Shelley Capito's district is the one that Obama did best in from WV.  Almost forgot Gore actually won WV-03, those days are long gone.  In Louisiana, Cassidy and Fleming have won districts that went against Obama, and the state as a whole is getting tough, but those districts are still entirely winnable as long as the election is on a regular day and there is no third-party Dem taking votes.  Boustany's though is probably lost for good.

The pair of Texas results show the continuing evolution of the state, us getting stronger in the historically Republican suburbs, while treading water or falling behind further in historically Democratic rural areas.  We tore the lid off Yarmuth's KY-03, a previously evenly divided Louisville district, but cratered in old-time Dem east Kentucky.  This is a pattern that is being repeated nationwide, but it shows us where to target our resources.  There are a ton of suburban Republicans who have never had to run a tough race, but are now in districts that Obama surged in.

those days aren't long gone
all we need to do is nominate a presidential candidate that connects with those voters. Republicans will never acheive even near parity on a state level.

Call no man happy until he is dead-Aeschylus

[ Parent ]
Don't Think He Wants It
But I think Chris John could still hold LA-07.  IIRC, that was John Breaux's seat, as well.  Might either of these guys want a comeback bid?  I mean Breaux was a Senator, but...

30, male, Democratic, CO-01

[ Parent ]
Boustany is getting very entrenched
and the seat is slipping away from real fast.  LA-04 and LA-06 have much higher percentages of African-Americans and general Democratic performance.  I'm not sure John could take his seat back if he wanted to (which if he did, he would have done in 2006).

[ Parent ]
Yeah, that's why I said "though I doubt he wants it."  What is making this seat slide away so fast.  Is it only in comparison to the increasing minority strength because of the Katrina refugees.  I mean, south Louisiana used to be far more fertile territory, especially in Cajun country, than white Protestant northern Louisiana did.  What shifted?  It wasn't always blacker, was it?

30, male, Democratic, CO-01

[ Parent ]
Sadly, I can't post the Wisconsin long form b/c it exceeds the 1MB size limit for Google Spreadsheets.

The data is available from the Board of Elections here though:

Since the CD, Senate district and Assembly district are given for each individual precinct, there wasn't a need to look through individual counties; the data was all summarized within one PivotTable.

Thanks, Jeff!
Would you be able to email the Wisconsin long form to me? davidnyc at swingstateproject dot com. Thanks again!

[ Parent ]
Hawaii has all the necessary materials
The entire counties are filled in and I've been through the pdf for Honolulu County and worked out which precincts belong to what, but I haven't followed through with that as it's 400 pages, my time is limited and Obama won both districts by miles.

If anybody else wants to take over, I've edited the permissions on that spreadsheet. Jump in if you feel keen.

According to my notes, District 1 is pages 194-414, 421-3, 435-42, 447-65 and 538. District 2 is page 466-537 and 539. All other pages refer to non-Honolulu portions of Hawaii and are therefore included in the county numbers.

is done as well - see the googledoc.

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