November 09, 2004

Election Vindicates Jacksonian Views?

Now the election is over and the fallout is in the process of settling down, a retrospective.

First, I have made only one public post, and that was on September 16th. In this post, I (Bravo Romeo Delta) made two predictions, one of which turned out to be true:

"I officially announce the upcoming Presidential Election to be over."

The other prediction was that it would be a 10 point Bush win was just plain stupid. A milder prediction I've been making in other circles is that the election wouldn't be that close - the polls would make fools of us all. As it turns out, it was closer than I expected, but at the end of the day, the (exit) polls did make fools of us all. Doc Jawa has a very interesting analysis of that whole fracas.

But all that said, let's dig into some of the more interesting bits of this car wreck we call democracy.

First off, you've probably all heard about the red/blue state impending cultural civil war. Well, this silly myth is put paid to effectively with the purple state map. However, for those of you who are a bit more of either a political junkie stripe, or have a large dose of morbid curiosity, here are a few highly recommend sites with some excellent maps.

First is by the owner of the Geomblog, who does, as it happens computational geometry. As it happens, long, long ago, when I was still on blogspot, Suresh linked Anticipatory Retaliation (my home blog), and I promptly lost the e-mail and forgot to put him down as a reciprocal link. So, at any rate, I hope to have redressed that mistake by adding him to my roll. Among other things, I would recommend you check out the site, because it has some really cool election data links you may want to play with.

Another really good mapping page is this one: which tackles some of the same issues, but using a somewhat different approach.

As an aside, here's an animated GIF with 2004/2000 vote comparisons from Blog Junky. (Courtesy comments on Michael Totten's site)

The other Grand Prize of election-map-blogging goes to Obsidian Order for their analysis of vote shifts from 2000 and 2004 as well as another comparison-by-density map. The page also contains a great round up of other links worth noting. (Courtesy comments on Michael Totten's site)

One of the things that is quite interesting is that if you look at the vote shift between 2000 and 2004, you'll see a shift from the north and west to the south, which I think tracks with the Jacksonian tendencies of the Scotch-Irish. The other bit that's fascinating is comparing that map to this breakdown of the country into 10 political regions. According to this scheme (see also here and here, Bush picked up a lot in Appalachia, the Southern Lowlands, and Southern Comfort - although the maps both show a distinct split in the Sagebrush and Farmbelt regions between north and south. But at any rate, there seems to be more than a passing similarity between this map of people who claim Scotch-Irish heritage (compare with the maps of Irish -by percent; Scottish - by percent; Welsh - by percent; and English - by percent) and this map showing percentage shift towards or away from Bush from 2000 to 2004. At least at first glance, it would seem that one might be able to link the presence of Scotch-Irish and attendant Jacksonian (and to a lesser extent English) cultural values with predisposition towards aggressive prosecution of the War on Terror).

Ok, all that out of the way, let's take another look at some of the other interesting movements about. First off, we have Roger El Simon's preliminary data on voting among traditionally very pro-Democratic voters. However, to be fair, given recent exit polling problems, take this with a grain of salt.

Elsewhere around the blogosphere, Andrew Sullivan makes a truly fascinating observation (if you click on the link, go to the "Moral Values" item. Key bit:

"In 1996, [the portion of voters voting on moral values] was 49 percent. In 2000, it was 49 percent. So the domestic moral focus halved in 2004. Obviously, the war took precedence, especially if you combine the categories of the Iraq war and the war on terrorism more generally."

This is interesting in light of the lack of appreciable shift in voting amongst gay voters - Bush went from 25% of the gay vote in 2000 to 23%. Well, it's either that, or that the gay population assumes, axiomatically, that the Republicans are so hostile to their interests that he can't do any worse than he's already doing.

Well, that's about all the election stuff I can stomach right now, so enjoy folks!

(Simultaneously launched by Bravo Romeo Delta from Anticipatory Retaliation, Demosophia, and The Jawa Times)

By Bravo Romeo Delta at 03:20 PM | Comments |