More on the shift from Republican to Democrat

Brad Delong observes that there is a clear regional exception to the idea of a broad shift in the vote from the Republicans to the Democrats (the original scatterplot comes from Andrew Gelman):

Paul Krugman takes it a bit further, emphasising this beauty of a map (I’m not sure of the source.  Probably the NY Times?):

The shifts to the Republicans in Arizona and Alaska and to the Democrats in Illinois and Delaware are clearly down to the candidates coming from those states.  I’m a little surprised at the strength of the Republican shift in southern Louisiana.  One might have thought that with the memory of Hurricane Katrina they would have moved blue.  Perhaps the administration’s management of Hurricane Gustav was seen as successful?  The Oklahoma-Arkansas-Tennessee shift is presumably McCain’s “real America.”  I’d love to see a demographic breakdown of the vote in those states.

Almost immediate update:

dbt on Brad Delong’s blog points out the obvious about Louisiana:

Don’t lump Louisiana into that. The changes there are demographic, not electoral.

Which of course must be the explanation. Southern Louisiana didn’t turn red because of the success of the handling of Gustav; it turned red because of the failure to handle Katrina – vast numbers of black Americans were forced out and haven’t come back.

4 Responses to “More on the shift from Republican to Democrat”


  • It is interesting the changes in Arizona and Virginia. IIRC Loudoun County in Virginia is the wealthiest county in the US and Maricopa in Arizona is second. I used to live in Loudoun and now live in Maricopa. Basically these counties are cherry picking people like me (Richard Florida’s creative class).

    Virginia is becoming a blue state because of the urbanization/surburbanization of Loudoun/Fairfax. It won Webb the Senate and Obama Virginia’s electoral college votes. Arizona is probably starting the same process.

    It suggests that if the Democrats want a permanent majority they should conduct national policies of urbanization.

  • I think it came from this map at the NY Times. Click on voting shifts.

  • Doesn’t Louisiana also have 1) one of the more competent Republican governors in the country 2) a shockingly incompetent ex-Democrat governor, just as implicated in Katrina as Bush was?

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