Battlepanda: Partisan realignment maps


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Partisan realignment maps

Nicholas Beaudrot, election statistics uber-geek, has posted a series of "partisan realignment maps" for the Senate battleground states of this past election at Electoral Math: Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Maryland, Montana, Virginia, Ohio, Missouri, Washington.

Read Pennsylvania for an explanation of his methodology.

His conclusion for Tennessee, my home state:
I wish I had a closer view of Harold Ford's strategy in Tennessee. My impression was that he spent a huge amount of time and effort attempting to narrow the partisan gap in East Tennessee, the most Republican part of the state. If that was his strategy, it didn't work; only a few counties in the Eastern part of the state registered any noticeable shift towards Democrats. Instead, Ford's greatest success came in Central Tennessee, just east of Nashville. This suggests that Ford might have been better off concentrating his resources on the Nashville media market and nearby small towns—Lebanon, Murfreesboro, Gallatin, Cookeville, Crossville, etc., rather than hitting hard in Knoxville, Newport, Kingsport, and Johnson City in the Northeast corner of the state. Let's take an example: Cannon County, just east of Nashville. Ford won the county 53-45; a big improvement over 2004, when Kerry lost 46-54. By contrast, Ford made up almost no ground in Greene county in the Northeast (32-68 for Kerry vs 35-64 for Ford). There are several other counties that show similar results.

The point I'm trying to make is this: Ford expended a lot of effort trying to shift incredibly Republican counties from a margin near to 30-70 to a one closer to 40-60. But, there were a number of counties that were already around 40-60 that flipped to 50-50. Ford might have been better off trying to push those counties another 5-10 points into the Democratic column than he would have been trying to make up ground in the most conservative part of the state.