Friday, November 7, 2014

The Elections of 2014

Republicans are celebrating election victories all across the country. How big was the Republicans' victory? Beyond control of the U.S. Senate, which was by a larger margin than projected by nearly all analysts, this map shows the way each Congressional district went in this election (with current projections in the few races still uncalled). Despite how this looks, as John Hinderaker notes,

In a sense, maps like this one are misleading because the small blue areas are basically the cities, where lots of people live. But what this map does reveal is that the Democrats are no longer competitive in rural and small-town America. It is now rare for a district dominated by small towns not to be Republican.
It looks like — once again — the Republicans are America's Party.

In looking at this map and its underlying data, Hinderaker talks about Minnesota as an anomalous area. Another such is northern New Mexico. The way that district goes — still — is exemplified by this story from 1974.

The governor's race was very close on election night. As usual, the results were slow coming in from the northern part of the state, expecially from Rio Arriba County. The broadcast news people got more impatient as the night wore on. Finally, the folks at KOB, an Albuquerque radio station (now 770 KKOB AM), got tired of waiting and decided to take matters into their own hands. Their announcer called the location in Rio Arriba County where the votes were being counted. The announcer asked “How many votes does (candidate) have?” The answer came back quickly, and was broadcast live throughout the state: “How many does he need?”
Change may be slow in coming to regions like this.

Given these election results, however, Democrats can be forgiven for feeling their future electoral landscape looks like this.

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