"Our greatest responsibility is to be good ancestors."

-Jonas Salk

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Five States with Strongest Obama Support in 2008

Which states gave Obama the most votes in the previous election?

Well, to be sure, this will weight larger states more. But in some ways that matters.

It matters what state has the largest numbers of supporters of a reasoned, reasonable policy. Those are people who can provide money and energy as well as electoral votes. Those are people who can swing local elections. Those are people you don't want to alienate.

The largest number of votes for Obama, by a wide margin, came from California, with 7.25 million. In second place, New York State, with 4.63 million Obama votes. In third place, Florida, with 4.14 million.

Texas is in fourth place with 3.52 million Obama voters (admittedly only 43.8 % of votes cast in Texas), edging out Illinois, Obama's home state, with 3.32 million or 61.8%.

There were more Obama voters in Texas than in Illinois, or Michigan, or Pennsylvania, or North Carolina. More than in Massachusetts and Connecticut combined. More than in Wisconsin and Minnesota combined. More than in Washington state and Oregon combined.

Kindly treat stereotypes of Texas the way you treat stereotypes of anybody else, please. Remember there are 43% of us who do not like the way Texas votes, and that is a whole lot of folks.

That's not enough to be pleased with but it's too many to ignore.



David B. Benson said...

Good. Now run an equal number from the dark side out of town on a rail.

Tarring and feathering is optional...

King of the Road said...

Slightly ot but, sadly, California's utterly predictable vote for any democratic national candidate explains our deficit with respect to return of tax dollars via federal investment.

No national candidate makes commitments to California - Democrats needn't and it would be futile for Republicans. The candidates do spend time here when they want to raise funds in Beverly Hills.

A couple of elections back, I told my Limbaugh/Hannity following Fox News listening partner that I'd voted Libertarian for President. He was appalled - "how could you waste your vote like that?" he asked. I asked him for whom he'd voted. He said he'd voted for the Republican candidate. I think the irony was lost on him.


Steve Bloom said...

KotR, I think the funding discrepancy dates back to when CA was somewhat more competitive in presidential races. Factors to examine might be our position at the tag end of the nomination process and a possible big spending hiccup due to the base closures. I've also heard that CA's congressional delegation is much less organized than those of most other states.

King of the Road said...

I've heard the same. There was a time, not so long ago though, that we were at least even. I still attribute a significant portion of our shortfall to our status as a Democratic sure thing. The circumstances you mention are factors, of course. It's hard to do a thorough exposition in a blog comment.

Especially when it's hijacking a thread!

Padraig said...

In my own state of New Jersey the turnout for Obama during the 2008 election was 2,215,422 votes. That was 57.14% of the vote for that election. The turn out for the election was just shy of 60% of population eligible to vote. The map at the Wikipedia article on the 2008 election in New Jersey shows an interesting pattern.

The New York Times has a good interactive map of the election results.


Of interest to me were the results for King County Texas, which had a good turn out for McCain, who got 93.2% of the 162 votes cast. King County has the third smallest population of any county in the United States. For those with an interest Barack Obama got 8 votes, while “other” got a total of 3 votes. Curiously in 1948 King County voted for Harry Truman with 95.8% of the vote. All of this is drawn from the Wikipedia article on King County, which also states that the turn toward conservative sentiments dates from the 1970s.

The smallest county in the United States (in terms of population) is Kalawao County of Hawaii. Providing an interesting contrast Kalawao county is best known for its colony of those exiled because they suffered from leprosy, and for its most famous citizen Father Damien (Saint Damien of Molokai), while from King County there came to the world more than one hundred million barrels of oil.

toto said...

The National Popular Vote bill could guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC). California is the latest state to enact it.

Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. There would no longer be 'battleground' states where voters and policies are more important than those of other states.

When the bill is enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes-- enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538), all the electoral votes from the enacting states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC.

The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for president. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers in 21 small, medium-small, medium, and large states, including one house in AR, CT, DE, DC, ME, MI, NV, NM, NY, NC, and OR, and both houses in CA, CO, HI, IL, NJ, MD, MA ,RI, VT, and WA . The bill has been enacted by DC, HI, IL,CA, NJ, MD, MA, VT, and WA. These 9 jurisdictions possess 132 electoral votes-- 49% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.


David B. Benson said...

toto --- Thanks.

When will KS make the list?

muoncounter said...

Texas is an all or none electoral college state, so those large numbers of Obama voters mean exactly nothing.

Seems like one strategy would have a bunch of Obama Texans move to proportional elector states like Maine or Nebraska.

David B. Benson said...

muoncounter --- If the drought continues, maybe they'll all hafta move to Maine...

[Word verification agrees: "addless"]

Michael Tobis said...

We mean something if the balance tips. We mean something if we elect local reps . Most of all, though, we mean something because we are living breathing folks who don't correspond to your stereotypes . Which is my point this week.

David B. Benson said...

Offtopic but
In 2010, one ton of CO2 in the atmosphere cost up to $893 in economic damage—more than 12 times the government's highest estimate. from

toto said...

No state uses a proportional method.

Maine and Nebraska use a congressional district method.

David B. Benson said...

Michael Tobis --- Not my sterotypes:

Alan in Houston;
You and Samuelson in Austin;
Somebody I used to know in San Antonio;
Visits to El Paso long ago;
and, of course, Molly Ivins, bless her memory.

Still in all, the thread has been useful...

Steve Bloom said...

IMHO the only real Texans know what poutine is.

Dol said...

A slightly OT but Texas-related question. Just reading Perry's "secular carbon cult" leftie conspiracy stuff. Mulling over Denning's talk (via Bart) to the Heartland Institute.

I've wondered about this before, but I think others think it's naive. They may be right. Still: what if those listed Texan climate scientists wrote a polite, open letter to Perry saying: "you've made a bunch of factual errors here. We're more than happy to spend some quality time with you over a period of weeks, and we can run through the basic science."

At the very least he'd have to refuse to talk to scientists.

Probably ridiculous, but thinking of what Denning did: some effect, perhaps, on those present - more effect on the large amount of people successfully bamboozled by the FUD from seeing that, as Denning says, the basics aren't rocket science.

EliRabett said...

Rick Perry (from Krugman)
Texas Governor Rick Perry, who entered the presidential campaign on Saturday, appeared to suggest a violent response would be warranted should Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke “print more money” between now and the election. Speaking just now in Iowa, Perry said, “If this guy prints more money between now and the election, I dunno what y’all would do to him in Iowa but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas. Printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treasonous in my opinion.” Treason is a capital offense.

Lovely place indeed. Remind Eli why he should care if it dries up and blows away

Michael Tobis said...

Eli, like most stereotypes, stereotypical Texas has some basis in truth, but it is a gross oversimplification. It is especially a real and unfair impediment for those who don't match the stereotype.

It is true that some Texans participate in the stereotyping of Texas. (You'll find this in other groups that get stereotyped as well.) In particular, Mr. Perry, an unsavory character to say the least, finds it to his advantage to play up Texas stereotypes.

In a sense this is the rare occasion on which I agree with Mr. Perry. I find such stereotypes to be favorable Mr. Perry's pursuits, that is, to an irresponsibly anti-intellectual and polarizing approach to governance and unfavorable to the prospects of civilization.

So, Eli, are you taking Mr. Perry's side on this question?

Michael Tobis said...

Dan, no, sorry. Naive at the best of times. Now that Perry is inside a presidential election bubble, the information flow is in any case one-way.

chek said...

It is kinda funny, in an effing hilarous kinda way, how the denalist dingbats such as Perry currently think they're on the up and up.

As if the natural world, in the all-too-forseeable future isn't about to tear them several new unelectable orifices.

muoncounter said...

"Mr. Perry, an unsavory character to say the least, finds it to his advantage to play up Texas stereotypes."

Perhaps he truly can't help inserting his boots into his mouth: see today's Bernanke 'treason' comments.

If this kind of extremism is his version of 'playing up,' he does those of us who comprise an island of blue in this sea of red no service. We may soon need an equivalent of 'don't blame me, I'm from Massachusetts'.

David B. Benson said...

Texas is a diverse state.

notjonathon said...

As a recovering Texan--from the conservative part of the conservative part of the conservative part of Houston--it's hard to comment without without writing "a monstrous semblance of a novel" (Vladimir Nabokov). A small hint: I was a year ahead of Molly Ivins in school.

I am of the belief that changing demographics will make Texas a swing state in only a few years. It might even turn solidly blue sooner than we think.

California gets more federal money than the statistics would imply, given the size of its defense industry. at this moment, I am in Santa Barbara, where the property bubble has only half burst, thanks largely to the continuing largesse of the Department of Defense.

Unfortunately, conversion of red states like Texas may come too late to save the moribund Republic. Perilous times often bring perilous solutions, and Heinlein's "crazy years" are as likely an outcome as a conversion to sanity.

To MT--keep up the good fight. With luck, your 43% will reach 51%.

muoncounter said...

"Heinlein's "crazy years" are as likely an outcome as a conversion to sanity."

Are we in the crazy years or the Age of Stupid?

David B. Benson said...

MT --- How is your A/C holding up?

EliRabett said...


Dol said...

Suggestion for some t-shirt slogans, stolen from Stephen Colbert, that might be appropriate for the up-coming election campaign:

`I'm part of the factanista'.

`Reality has a well-known liberal bias'.

Steve Bloom said...

This is illuminating, Michael. Note the interesting exception to the Alabama law.

These things tend not to happen in the north, although I suppose I wouldn't put it past Idaho.