To follow up the series of posts on Colorado, I've posted a few recent presidential elections in the state (courtesy of the New York Times). Each map comes with some brief analysis.
Boosted by a Democratic National Convention held in Denver, Senator Barack Obama wins a thorough victory in the ultimate swing state of 2008. The Democratic candidate does especially well in the Republican-leaning suburbs of Denver - winning several outright and dampening margins in Douglas County and Colorado Springs.
This is the last part of a series of posts analyzing the swing state Colorado.
Colorado is much like the previous state analyzed in this series: Virginia. Both states were seen until recently as Republican strongholds and rightfully so; President George W. Bush handily won both states in 2004 and 2000.
Yet in 2004, both states showed signs of shifting Democratic. Virginia barely moved Democratic even as the South swung heavily against Senator John Kerry. As for Colorado - it actually shifted 3.7% more Democratic, against the national tide. Indeed, in 2004 Mr. Kerry performed better in Colorado than he did in Florida.
This is the second part of a series of posts analyzing the swing state Colorado. It will focus on the Republican base in Colorado. The third part can be found here.
Once upon a time, Colorado was a loyally Democratic state. Influenced by prairie populism and anger against powerful Republican businessmen in the East Coast, the state usually voted further left than the country at large. The trend continued for seven straight presidential elections.
This is the last part of a series of posts analyzing the swing state Pennsylvania. The previous parts can be found here.
For many decades, Pennsylvania constituted model of Democratic strength based upon working-class votes. Today that is changing, especially in the southwest. For the moment, nevertheless, the swing state Pennsylvania remains Democratic-leaning. This is more because of an unusually strong Democratic machine than any natural liberalism in Pennsylvania.
In 2008 Democrats won Pennsylvania by double-digits, amassing a coalition based upon poor blacks in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, rich whites in the Philadelphia suburbs, and working-class votes outside Appalachia. It is a strange-looking combination, but it works.
According to the Times, the Republican Party has selected Tampa to host the 2012 Republican National Convention. Located in the vital swing state Florida, Republican intentions with this pick are fairly straightforward.
Not all national conventions take place in swing states. This impression may be due to 2008, when both parties held conventions in fairly competitive (or not, as it turned out) states. In 2004, however, Republicans held their convention in New York City; Democrats in Boston.
On the other hand, holding national conventions in swing states does constitute good strategy. After Democrats held their 2008 convention in Denver, Colorado ended up voting more Democratic than the nation for the first time since 1964. Likewise, the Minneapolis Republican convention helped Senator John McCain stay competitive in Minnesota weeks after Michigan and Wisconsin began moving Democratic. Choosing Tampa is another variation on this strategy.
Tampa, highly populated and fairly diverse, is a good place to hold a political convention.
To follow up the series on Virginia, I've posted a few recent presidential elections in the state (courtesy of the New York Times). Each map comes with some brief analysis.
Capitalizing on a decade of Democratic movement, Senator Barack Obama becomes the first Democratic presidential candidate to win Virginia since 1964. The Senator performs best in eastern Virginia, especially the fast-growing northern Virginia metropolis. Western Virginia is not as enamored; parts of it even vote more Republican.
This is the fifth part of a series of posts analyzing the swing state Virginia. It focuses on the traditional Democratic base and its decline. The last part can be found here.
In the days of the Solid South, Democrats worried more about primary elections than Republican challengers. The party, under the sway of the Byrd machine, dominated almost every part of the state - as it did throughout the South.
Civil rights and suburban growth broke the back of this coalition. In 1952 Virginia voted for Republican candidate Dwight Eisenhower. By the 1970s Virginia had elected its first Republican governor, senator, and attorney general in nearly a century.
Democrats were left with strength in two reliable regions - the southeast and the western panhandle. These places constituted the traditional Democratic base, which Democrats relied on for a number of decades.
The 1996 presidential election provides an excellent illustration of this base:
A few maps of Pennsylvania's presidential elections are posted below, for your enjoyment. Each map comes with some brief analysis. Note how in each succeeding election, Democratic margins in the Philadelphia metropolis increase, while their margins in the Pittsburgh corridor decrease.
(Note: Because the Times stopped updating before all absentee/provisional ballots were counted, this map does not fully reflect the actual results. I have corrected the discrepancy.)
As the national tide increasingly turns in Senator Barack Obama's favor, Senator John McCain mounts a quixotic attempt to win Pennsylvania. While Mr. McCain improves in the southeastern rustbelt, Democratic dominance in eastern Pennsylvania ensures a double-digit blue margin.
This is the fourth part of a series of posts analyzing the swing state Virginia. It is the second section of two focusing on Northern Virginia, and focuses on analyzing the structural foundation behind NoVa's Democratic shift. The fifth part can be found here.
In many ways, Northern Virginia represents the best America has to offer. As wealthy, diverse, and rapidly growing suburb, it offers the very essence of the American Dream.