Looks like Brownie really did do a heckofa job

INSERT DESCRIPTIONHere’s a graph of the swing to and against Democrats and Republicans.  Arizona stands out – McCain’s home state.  But the real source of amazement for me is Loisiana – including from the looks of it New Orleans. Perhaps it reflects the fact that they had a big clean-out of the riff raff there a while back.  HT Paul Krugman for the map.

21 thoughts on “Looks like Brownie really did do a heckofa job

  1. Um, as far as I can see, almost all of Lousiana became redder between 2004 and 2008, including all the counties directly adjacent to New Orleans county, some of which went from 66% Republican to 76% Republican…assuming that you’re implying that the “riff raff” tends to vote Republican, then perhaps an explanation is that much of the “riff raff” moved from New Orleans proper to the surrounding counties.

  2. To clarify/correct, New Orleans itself seems to straddle Orleans county and St. Bernand Parish. The latter was largely evacuated after Katrina, and it may be that what’s happened is that many of the urban voters have failed to return, because it has gone from 66% Republican in 2004 to 71% Republican in 2008.

  3. Interesting picture. Seems a lot is explained by the location of the President/Vice President ticket in this election and the comparison election in 2004. I seem to recall John Kerry was from the South.
    By the way, I do not like the use of the word Brownie.

  4. In case you really thing Nick is making a racial remark, it’s actually reference to Bush congratulating Michael Brown, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) a congratulatory attaboy (“You’re doing a heckuva job, Brownie”) for his most excellent handling of Katrina … while the citizens of New Orleans were still languishing in hell, utterly unaided.

    On YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RO2xi0uLnj8

  5. John Kerry wasn’t from the South – you may perhaps mean John Edwards who (from memory) was from the Northern part of the South – like Virginia or Nth Carolina. But someone who actually knows or can be bothered to look it up can correct us.

  6. The far more interesting figures are that Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee look like they’re more Republican now.

  7. By the way, I do not like the use of the word Brownie

    It is bad enough that political correctness still reigns, but that (a) Nick Gruen is fingered, and (b) it is based on ignorance of the historical context.

  8. There are a lot of interesting features and implications from this map. The first is the home state effects in Alaska and Arizona (against the trend) and Illinois. It seems to me a perversion of democracy that people would vote for a president on the basis that s/he comes from their state. But it is a bald fact. Second, we see the red band in the South a vast swathe of voters who changed to McCain in an election where republicanism was on the nose. You might call this the KKK effect. If you were looking for evidence of race based voting, this is what you would look for. Third, the fact that there are strong geographical (and indeed demographic) predictors of both swing and base vote is a sign of a malfunctioning democracy. In an ideal world, geographical region should not predict two-party political support because both parties should be governing for the country as a whole.

    What is not shown in the map, is the degree to which race predicts political affiliation. The fact that 90% of the black vote goes to the democrats (95% this time) means an entire minority group obviously feels completely alienated from one side of politics. I do not believe that there is any ethnic or demographic cut of the Australian polity that would give more than a 60-40 split. But I am happy to be corrected on this. In any case, with 90% if a large minority group, it makes you wonder how the dems ever manage to lose!

  9. Thx Chris – interesting thoughts.

    “It seems to me a perversion of democracy that people would vote for a president on the basis that s/he comes from their state”

    I think a fair bit of this would not be parochialism of ‘he’ll look after me’ but the comfort of familiarity. To a degree this is fair enough. We’re all boundedly rational and feel more comfortable with things and people we know better.

    Regarding your suggestion that there shouldn’t be such a geographic split, the thing is that if the electors were voting on their best interests, the patterns might be reversed. The poorer states tend to vote for the trickle down economics. Go figure.

  10. Oddly the swing in the traditional South is on par with the rest of the country – even if the ‘deep south’ all stayed red. Perhaps this shows Obama’s success in getting the black vote out.

    But the recalcitrants were in an arc from Arkansas to through to a bit West of the Appalachians. The Arkansans may have been lamenting the loss of Hillary, though that seems far fetched. I wonder what they were thinking? Perhaps they were just Southern white types with fewer blacks in the population for Obama to get voting?

    Any other ideas?

  11. Amanda,

    glad to hear it was a reference to a quote from Bush even though that was lost on me, as it will have been lost on many. Whatever Sinclair may say, I see no reason why I shouldnt say I dont like the term. I still think it is an unfortunate phrase.
    as to the content, I tend to agree with Chris. The map does suggest quite a bit of recially motivated voting happening in the South, though the impact of Mexican migration can be seen particularly well in the West. At least, that is how I would explain the bits of dark blue at the borders with Texas. I also agree that the extremely high percentage of the black vote going to Obama does not exactly speak of a united country.

  12. Paul, I agree that it was fine for you to register your objection given the misunderstanding. As for still thinking it was an unfortunate phrase – well from your point of view fine. But if I’m supposed to think of how someone might misunderstand anything I say, then it will be difficult to say anything much.

  13. I think we can overstate the role of the African American vote in this victory. My impression is outperforming Kerry in white suburban/rural areas of states like PA, OH, FL and IN was the key. Dems always win the cities, but Bush was able to rack up enough votes in “real America” to counteract that. Not this time. Obama may have still lost most of those counties, but he cut the margin enough to add a winning buffer to his city numbers. It really looks to me like white voters, AA voters, Hispanic voters, older voters and younger voters all played their part in bumping the blue vote and you can’t really pin it on one group.

    FWIW interesting exit poll data showing this
    http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2008/11/obama-outperforms-kerry-among-virtually.html

    I’m sure even a Clinton on the ticket couldn’t have swung Arkansas an inch in the other direction. Demographically it is exactly where the GOP has thrown all its chips – white christian conservatives. As an aside, it all reminds me of Johnny Cash’s autobiography who talks (positively) about “growing up under socialism” in Dyess, Arkansas, a town literally invented out of nothing under the New Deal for poor sharecroppers to make a go of it. From memory, it was actually named Soviet-style for Dyess, some kind of government planning bureacurat. Joe the Plumber would NOT approve!

  14. Joe the plumber was one of the weirder aspects of the campaign. A sucker becomes a superstar of ‘false consciousness’ promoted by the Republican Party and representing that old line of Kennedy “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”

    Joe will do better under Obama’s tax plans, but he was hawked around the republican rallies like a rock god (when he turned up that is).

  15. “Whatever Sinclair may say, I see no reason why I shouldnt say I dont like the term. I still think it is an unfortunate phrase.”

    Nick would cop a kick in the rump if he’d employed such deliberate ambiguity in the United States. Nonetheless, being rather thick, I didn’t assume a double meaning until Paul hinted at it. I’m sure no harm was meant.

  16. There has always been a core south where race politics is central. Back in the 1920s and 1950s when the Republicans were able to make significant breakthroughs in the south the Democrats could always rely on the ‘black belt’ where disenfranchised African-American majorities made whites racially fearful. The ‘black belt’ voted even for the Catholic Al Smith in 1928: see Victor Key’s Southern Politics on this, one of the best pol sci books ever written. The parties are now reversed but the pattern is the same. Problem for the Republicans is that this belt is the equivalent of Liverpool & Glasgow under Thatcher it has become electorally irrelevant. Would a successful Obama presidency ease white racial anxieties?

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