Along the Tracks

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Superb analysis

Thanks to Andrew Sullivan for this link to an analysis of presidential voting trends. Commonwealth Magazine, based in Massachusetts, divides the U.S. into 10 regions which tend to vote in the same way. The analysis is precise - down to the county, even the precinct in some cases - and looks back to the 1964 election.

The close-up of Ohio is dead on - right down to the description of Ottawa County as a bellweather of the state's choice in presidential contests. Gore was within 5 points of Bush in 2000 here, but I just don't see any Democrat pulling Ohio into his or her column this time around. Bush was an unknown, and that limited his support in the "Farm Belt" (overwhelming as it was, it has been even bigger in other elections) and "Appalachia" (which is low-income but holds traditional values). My only addition to the strategies discussed concerning Ohio would be that Bush can blunt any Democratic effort in the "Great Lakes" region of the state - the Lake Erie Coast plus Akron-Canton-Youngstown - by hitting up the Cleveland suburbs for extra votes and maximizing strong GOP support in Columbus. Bush's regular visits to these areas indicate Karl Rove already has this plan underway.

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