Sunday, October 19, 2008

No Motion and New England Overview

The US presidential race appears to have changed little in the past 24 hours according to my model with the popular vote share, the electoral vote totals and the current national electoral map unchanged:

The situation is little changed as well among the current swing state club members, although John McCain has made some modest gains on Barack Obama in Florida:

Obama has actually added a touch to his lead in Nevada while shaving off a whisker or two of McCain's lead in North Carolina. The situation in the Republican "gang of four" states is little changed:

Now that we are finally in sight of the election, I thought it useful to offer more detailed data on conditions in various regions around the country. I'll begin with New England, arguably the oldest part of America and unarguably the cradle of the American Revolution. The New England states are highlighted in red in the following map:

The map below shows a closeup of the region:
New England was for decades a Republican bastion, especially the three northern states of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. These three states collectively cast their electoral votes Republican 93% of the time in the century between 1856 (when the Republican party was founded) and 1960. Vermont voted Republican in every election during that lengthy period. The southern states of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut were nearly as strongly Republican between 1856 and 1924. A surge of Irish, Italian and Portugese immigrants in the early 20th century caused Massachusetts and Rhode Island to become Democratic leaning beginning with the 1928 election.

Beginning with the pivotal 1964 presidential election, New England has a whole became Democratic leaning and the region has cast its electoral votes for Democratic candidates 59% of the time during what has been in general a Republican era. Not surprisingly, the region appears more likely than not to cast its electoral votes as a bloc for Barack Obama according to my model as of today:

Only New Hampshire offers John McCain an outside chance for a breakthrough in the region. I do note that Maine actually allocates its electoral votes by congressional district (it has two) with two at-large electors selected by the state as a whole. However, it appears likely that Obama will carry both congressional districts and thus win all four electoral votes in the state.

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