2008: The Year in Political Geography
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2008: The Year in Political Geography



A series of maps telling the story of the 2008 election season.

A series of maps telling the story of the 2008 election season.



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2008: The Year in Political Geography 2008: The Year in Political Geography Presentation Transcript

  • 2008: the Year in Political Geography By Patrick Ottenhoff, TheElectoralMap.com
  • It’s mid-2007, and Republican frontrunner Rudy Giuliani releases a series of electoral maps to argue that he’s the only candidate who can conquer the juggernaut Clinton campaign. He forecasts a 210-18 electoral vote rout. Fall 2007
  • Not to be outdone, John McCain releases a map contending that he’ll outperform Giuliani against Clinton in many states… but in classic McCain style, he also maps out where Giuliani outperforms him. Fall 2007
  • While the two frontrunners are debating electability, Ron Paul’s “money bomb” hauls in $4 million in one day, mostly from the Mountain West. November 4, 2007
  • One the state level, Bobby Jindal posts an historic victory in Louisiana, completing its transition to a Red State. October 20, 2007
  • Democrats take the Virginia Senate… November 7, 2007
  • And Beshear flips Kentucky… November 7, 2007
  • In the meantime, the New York press swoons over the idea of Michael Bloomberg running for president.
  • But the real action is in Iowa…
  • … Where the Obama campaign is establishing an unprecedented voter outreach network.
  • It pays off. Obama wins the Hawkeye State... January 3, 2008
  • And Mike Huckabee surprises everyone by winning caucuses in nearly two-thirds of Iowa’s counties. January 3, 2008
  • The candidates take the overnight flight from Des Moines to Manchester, where McCain is waiting.
  • And sure enough, the Granite State saves McCain once again. Winnipesaukee vacationer Mitt Romney wins only a handful of towns on the Massachusetts border. January 8, 2008
  • Speaking of rescuing candidacies, New Hampshire’s four most populous counties choose Hillary Clinton, and she squeaks by Obama, 39-36%. January 8, 2008
  • The attention quickly turns to Michigan, where former Gov. George Romney’s son wins. January 15, 2008
  • Clinton posts a strong victory over Uncommitted (which claims two counties itself) in the contested Democratic primary. January 15, 2008
  • Continuing his winning streak, Romney rolls in Nevada, although Paul makes a strong statement. January 19, 2008
  • Clinton edges Obama in votes, but in a sign of what’s to come, his campaigns keeps its eye on the prize: Delegates. January 19, 2008
  • While Romney is campaigning in Nevada, McCain and Huckabee are battling it out in South Carolina. McCain wins, avenging his 2000 showing. January 19, 2008
  • Obama beats Clinton by almost two to one. Bill deftly points out that race may have played a factor. January 19, 2008
  • The attention turns to Florida, otherwise known as Giuliani's Alamo.
  • Rudy’s strategy yields a grand prize of second place in Miami-Dade. He bows out of the race. January 30, 2008
  • In the disputed Democratic contest, Clinton thoroughly routs Obama. January 30, 2008
  • The candidates gear up for Super Tuesday.
  • Super Tuesday. Huckabee continues to rack up delegates, winning over most of SEC Country… February 5, 2008
  • But McCain takes most big states, and shows that his candidacy is playing in Peoria… February 5, 2008
  • And the Arizona senator wins enough states to effectively box out Romney (with Huckabee’s help). February 5, 2008
  • Clinton’s investments in big states pay off... February 5, 2008
  • But Obama racks up delegates across the South and in small states. February 5, 2008
  • Leaving the two Democratic heavyweights effectively deadlocked. February 5, 2008
  • The campaign moves to the Washington Post ’s backyard.
  • Obama crushes Clinton in Virginia, thanks to the vote-rich urban crescent. But in a sign of what’s to come, Hillary sweeps the state’s Appalachian region. February 12, 2008
  • DC gets to exercise a meaningful vote. January 8, 2008
  • Obama goes on a February tear, winning 11 in a row.
  • Trends begin to emerge in the Democratic contest.
  • …And not all of them are pretty.
  • As a stalemate ensues, attention turns to Texas’ awkward prima-caucus system.
  • Clinton wins more counties and votes, but Obama wins more caucuses and delegates. March 4, 2008
  • And in the Buckeye State, Hillary routs Obama and mirrors a winning Strickland strategy. March 4, 2008
  • The Obama camp continues to raise money and chip away at the increasingly complex delegate count.
  • Determined not to be swamped in Pennsylvania, Obama’s team simply creates new Democratic voters.
  • But Clinton still posts a strong win. April 22, 2008
  • And now it’s crystal clear that Appalachia really doesn’t like the presumptive Democratic nominee.
  • In the meantime, McCain decides to capitalize on his three month head start by creating a fragmented 10-region campaign structure.
  • The end is in sight. Obama crushes Clinton in North Carolina. May 6, 2008
  • And nearly ties her in Indiana. May 6, 2008
  • But Hillary maintains that she can win it, and makes a last minute Power Point pitch to superdelegates on the grounds of electability.
  • She has a point, but opportunities diminish.
  • Clinton continues to roll in Appalachia. May 20, 2008
  • But Obama seems to match her delegate for delegate, prolonging the stalemate. May 20, 2008
  • The Obama camp gets more bullish.
  • In the meantime, Democrats begin targeting – and winning – special elections in Dixie.
  • The McCain camp keeps on keeping on, promising to change the map.
  • …And leaving Republicans questioning their electoral map analysis.
  • Obama finally wins. Democrats gather in Denver and are inundated with talk about Scranton. August 25-28, 2008
  • A week later, Republicans gather in the Twin Cities. But all eyes are on the Gulf. September 1-4, 2008
  • Alaska!
  • Pundits have a field day analyzing trends and demographics.
  • …And predicting voter turnout.
  • …And analyzing voters’ alcoholic beverage preference.
  • …And flirting with long-shot possibilities.
  • …And flexing their idiocy.
  • As the campaign progresses, the economy depresses. Home foreclosures grip the nation. October, 2008
  • McCain “suspends” his campaign and the two candidates return to Washington. The House passes a controversial bailout bill.
  • The tide turns clearly to Obama. He has a ton more money and is swamping McCain in airtime.
  • 538.com explains that it’s a statistical inevitably that Obama will win.
  • Election Night. Obama crushes McCain. November 4, 2008
  • He carries Florida on the backbone of Democratic gains on the I-4 Corridor. November 4, 2008
  • Obama takes Ohio. November 4, 2008
  • He wins states that Bush won by 14 points in 2004, posting huge gains in the suburbs. November 4, 2008
  • Democrats even increase their majorities in the House. November 4, 2008
  • 2008 is a blue wave. Most of the country, besides Arkansas, Arizona and Appalachia shift Democratic. November 4, 2008