Maps: What the 2012 election would have looked like before universal suffrage

One last (???) comment on the US presidential election...

President Barack Obama has been elected twice by a coalition that reflects the diversity of America.... But at America's founding, only white men could vote, and the franchise has only slowly expanded to include people of color, women, and ... people under 21. These maps show how American politics would have looked in that undemocratic past.

From Buzzfeed:

(keep reading for more maps...)

Of course, such maps give a skewed picture of the political views of 2012's white men (or whatever group is being shown). In almost all states, a razor-thin majority can assign all the state's electors to the winning candidate; a 50.1%-49.9% vote (if it survives a recount) has the same effect as a 99%-1% vote.

Tags: 2012 US presidential election, Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Obama, Romney, election, map, suffrage

Views: 181

Replies to This Discussion

I find it difficult to impossible to believe that a majority of white men voted republican in California

Chris - California is like many of the "blue" states, particularly here in the west. The cities are very democratic, while everywhere else is really republican. We're talking Alabama style republican. It is just that the city population is about 2 to 1 over everywhere else. This means that highly diverse Los Angeles is so democratic that it swamps old white boy Bakersfield.

I used to live in NE Oregon where most of the people there were real religious and real conservative - not to mention a few other things. The Eastern Side of Oregon and Washington are like different states (from the Western side). I forgot about the inland and Eastern part of California.

Isn't southern Cal conservative?

Ruth - You are thinking of Orange County and Northern San Diego County. Los Angeles county is pretty liberal.

Another important criticism of maps like these, quite apart from the all-or-nothing coloring scheme, is that they suggest "one acre, one vote" rather than "one person, one vote".

Cartograms can correct for this, distorting the map to bring areas in line with population (or the number of electoral votes, or whatever numbers are of interest). From "Views of the World":

(See also www.worldmapper.org .)

Here's another map showing vote distribution. 

Sorry I didn't keep the source information.

Thanks for that map, which addresses both of my criticisms!

Google image search to the rescue...

It looks like the map of county results from Mark Newman's Election Maps page:
http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mejn/election/2012/
where each county is colored in a nonlinear, "contrast enhanced" scheme: red for 70% or more Republican, through shades of purple, to blue for 70% or more Democratic.

(Some of his maps were also shown in a Daily Kos article.)

You're right it was from Mark Newman. What did you use for a search query to find that? Search: 2012 Republican Democrat presidential election result map?

It's the best map I've seen so far. It would be nice to be able to zoom on it.

Here's a map of the 2008 presidential election that showed how each precinct voted. I live in Napa CA, in the North San Francisco Bay Area. There was only one precinct that voted more R on this map.

I right-clicked on your picture, "Copy Image Location" (in Firefox; "Copy Shortcut" in Internet Explorer; should be something similar in other browsers). Then in Google image search, I click on the camera icon, which lets you enter the URL of an image to match.

There's actually a quicker way: if both the image and a Google image search page are on your screen, in different windows, you can drag the picture to the Google search box.

Thanks. I had the image on my computer and didn't realize the numbers in the title would show up because I saved it under a different name. That's a handy tip. 

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