Monday, October 20, 2008

Nothing Much New/Mid-Atlantic Overview

Another day of polls, another day of little or no movement in the overall numbers:

The current national electoral map remains unchanged as well:

There is some movement underneath this apparent calm though. Ohio, Colorado and Virginia are slowly edging back towards swing state status and only a tick or two of movement towards John McCain at the national level will cause those three states to turn light blue in the above map. The current swing state status is as follows:

Florida has actually moved a whisker towards Barack Obama while the needles for Nevada and North Carolina have hardly budged over the past 24 hours. Two polls in West Virginia suggest that the state is likely safely in Republican hands. Otherwise, there has been little movement in these states either:

Next, we'll continue our regional overview by covering the Mid-Atlantic states of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. I have fairly strong personal connections to this region having lived in two of these three states (NY and PA). Pennsylvania in particular is important as my paternal ancestors immigrated to Philadelphia from Germany in the early 18th century (1732 to be exact). Philadelphia was also where my oldest daughter was born and where I earned my doctoral degree. At any rate, here are maps locating the region in the US map and closeup maps of each state:

Although these states have voted as a Democratic bloc the past four presidential elections, their voting histories have been anything but uniform. New Jersey was the most reliable northern Democratic state from 1856 to 1892 (voting for Democratic candidates and against Lincoln in both 1860 and 1864) while Pennsylvania was as nearly bedrock Republican as were the northern New England states between 1856 and 1956 (voting 21 out of 27 elections for Republican candidates). New York State was somewhere between the two, although even New York voted Republican 17 out of 27 times between 1856 and 1960.

Since the pivotal 1964 presidential election, New York and Pennsylvania have leaned Democratic while New Jersey has actually voted Republican in 6 of the past 11 elections. There is no mistaking where this region's loyalties lie in 2008:

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