Election results, 2008 factoid edition

I just finished grinding through the raw(ish) data from Tuesday. I’ll make some maps like I did in 2004, but I need to dig up the 2004 data for comparison and the MATLAB scripts to (ya know) actually make them.

The big thing evident upon inspection is that the overall complexion of the electoral landscape at the county level looks very much like 2000 and 2004, especially when you compare it to the prior Democratic victories in 1992 and 1996. Overall there were more voters, though; and more of them went for Obama. I don’t have the data processed enough to say anything more constructive than that.

Until I do, enjoy some tidbits.

  • McCain won 2,254 of the counties in the US, while Obama took 868. [1]
  • Barack Obama gathered the most votes in Los Angeles County, California (1,845,726) and the largest margin of victory in Cook County, Illinois (1,105,935).
  • John McCain got 766,164 votes in LA County (his most). His largest margin was also in his home county of Maricopa in Arizona (113,380).
  • Obama won 92.9% of the DC vote, but garnered only 5% in King County, Texas. (Reverse that for McCain’s best/worst.)
  • Top ten twelve best counties for Obama (as a percentage):
    1. DC (93% — margin=195,592)
    2. Shannon County, SD (89% — 2,637)
    3. Petersburg County, VA (89% — 12,089)
    4. Prince Georges County, MD (89% — 218,195)
    5. Bronx County, NY (88% — 261,767)
    6. Jefferson County, MS (87% — 2,845)
    7. Baltimore City, MD (87% — 171,131)
    8. Menominee County, WI (87% — 1,072)
    9. Macon County, AL (87% — 8,048)
    10. San Francisco County, CA (85% — 128,101)
    11. Manhattan County, NY (85% — 411,186)
    12. Claiborne County, MS (85% — 2,929)
  • Top ten best counties for McCain (as a percentage):
    1. King County, Texas (93% — margin=143)
    2. Ochiltree County, Texas (92% — 2,608)
    3. Roberts County, Texas (92% — 436)
    4. Glasscock County, Texas (90% — 450)
    5. Beaver County, Oklahoma (89% — 1,932)
    6. Cimarron County, Oklahoma (88% — 967)
    7. Hansford County, Texas (88% — 1,608)
    8. Oldham County, Texas (88% — 711)
    9. Motley County, Texas (88% — 455)
    10. Borden County, Texas (88% — 276)
  • Obama captured 22 of the 25 counties with the most people voting. He lost Maricopa County, AZ (44%/55%, -113,380) ; Orange County, CA (47%/51%, -28,755) ; and Tarrant County, Texas (44%/56%, -73,742).
  • Roughly 275 counties had more than 100,000 votes cast. Obama won 198 of those counties and had a net surplus of more than 13 million votes, for 58% of the vote. In the 2,840 other counties, he polled only 44%.
  • McCain won 92 of the 100 counties that cast the fewest number of votes.
  • Obama did not win any counties in Oklahoma, and only two in Wyoming, Utah and Kansas.
  • McCain only won one county in all of New England (Piscataquis Cty, Maine).

[1] – A note on methodology. I do not have county-by-county for Alaska. It is counted as one county. In Louisiana, swap “Parish” for “County.” Virginia and some other states have city-sized administrative units, which are equivalent to counties for electoral reporting.

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3 Responses to Election results, 2008 factoid edition

  1. DAVE says:

    Where did you get the county-by-county data? I figure I’ll have to do a by-hand compilation, but I haven’t been able to even find all the data yet.

    Good stuff – I’m looking into things like how many of the counties bordering the Great Lakes/Canada/Mexico/Ohio River/Miss. River but don’t have the county-by-county data to do this with…

  2. Jeff Mather says:

    Dave: I gathered the information from a couple news web sites, most notably the NY Times. I did have to process the data. You can also get this information directly from secretaries of state. (You can also purchase raw data: http://uselectionatlas.org/BOTTOM/store_data.php)

    I think you’re going in an interesting direction by looking at border counties. One thing I noticed from the NYT’s canned county maps is that the Democratic preference seems to be moving inward from the border regions. But I don’t remember seeing the same thing seeping out from the Ohio River Valley and the Mississippi Delta. But then again, without the data it’s hard to tell.

  3. Pingback: After Dallas visit, compare Phoenix with Dallas. - Arizona (AZ) - Page 10 - City-Data Forum

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