Monday, November 08, 2004

How big a divide?

There has been lots of talk about polarization, geographical as well as ideological. It's easy to forget that almost half the electorate voted for Kerry. What does't seem to be noticed is the extent to which divisions occured within counties, not just between them. The election didn't reveal a division among sections of the country (or at least not much of one) but the split was much more pervasive, within counties and not just between them. Take a look at the page of Maps and cartograms of 2004 US presidential election results by Michael Gastner, Cosma Shalizi, and Mark Newman, University of Michigan. The cartograms, particularly the ones at the bottom of the page show graphically that there is a very large number of counties where the Bush/Kerry vote was pretty closely split (not 50/50, but showing sizable votes on both sides). I take this as support for the views expressed by Morris Fiorina on the Nightly Newshour post I did a few days ago. See the Newshour transcript here.

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