A Nationwide Swing

The 2008 Presidential map looks quite a bit different from the 2004 map. But the binary red/blue coding can be misleading. Andrew Gelman’s graph shows that the basic “map” is pretty similar:


Instead of anything getting redrawn, you saw a more-or-less consistent, across-the-board increase in the popularity of the Democratic nominee. Very red states like Utah and Idaho got bluer but stayed red, very blue states like Vermont got even bluer, and in a few states the general “blueing” pushed them over the line. But the trend was national, not really particular to Virginia and Colorado. The states that were immune to Obama’s charms were Arizona, Alaska, and Massachusetts (all explicable in terms of home state effects) and then a set of states (Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee, Oklahoma) in which racial dynamics seem to diverge from the national pattern.