Red vs Blue - Blue Wins!

Nov 06, 2008

As a republican looking back at the last election and this election, I’ve wondered how much really changed in this country. I remember four years ago, the bitterness and outrage that was waged against me by family and friends because I “voted red.” I woke up on Wednesday morning and felt no anger, no bitterness, but I did wonder how President-elect Obama had won.

In looking at an Electoral College Vote study by a professor at the University of Michigan, Mark Newman, it’s interesting to see the changes that took place between this week’s election and the one from four years ago.

The 2008 Presidential Electoral College Map by state
(copyright 2008 M.E.J. Newman, University of Michigan)

Side by side it is clear that President-elect Obama was able to draw a much larger number of states to his side.

2008 Results <-----------> 2004 Results
(copyright 2008 M.E.J. Newman, University of Michigan)

When you look at the results by county, the elections of both years begin to show that the urban areas tend toward blue and the rural areas tend toward red.

2008 Presidential Voting Majority Results by County
(copyright 2008 M.E.J. Newman, University of Michigan)

2008 Results by County <-------> 2004 Results by County
(copyright 2008 M.E.J. Newman, University of Michigan)

One would look at this map and go, “WOW, most of the country voted for the Red Candidate” but the colors are deceiving. Land is not proportionate to population. To account for that, Newman displays both the state and county map by cartogram. The cartogram represents the states by population rather than size. In other words, because Missouri is smaller in population than New York, Missouri gets squished and New York gets stretched. Below are the views of both the state-wide and the county vote cartogram.

(copyright 2008 M.E.J. Newman, University of Michigan)

After looking at the evidence, Obama not only won the Electoral Vote, the Popular Vote, but he also won that vote across the entire United States. This wasn’t an East & West Coast dual as in the last two elections. This was the majority of Americans across this country making history. That, I can accept; that, I can respect. I’m not bitter, not frustrated. I’m sure there will be times when I vehemently disagree with the decisions made in Washington. But, I will work hard over the next four years to put into power someone who shares my values.

However, America has spoken as a group. We want Barack Obama as our 44th President. May God grant him wisdom in every decision he faces!