November 05, 2008

Fun with Maps: Presidential Elections I Have Known

Or rather, "Fun With Maps, Part MCXXXVIII." That's yesterday's result, more or less—Missouri and North Carolina are still too close to call, but I thought I'd color them the way they were leaning (MO-McCain, NC-Obama). A few anomalies: Indiana has not voted Democrat since 1964, and I think it's been just as long for Virginia. Obama is only the 3rd Senator to achieve the White House (the last was JFK, '60), and McCain is the 2nd Arizona Senator to be defeated (the last was Goldwater, '64).

Anyway, I've had just about enough of this horrible 2-year death-march of a vote, even though the result was what I'd hoped for—so I think I'll just leave it at that, plus below, the maps of the other 8 presidential elections I've been around for:

1976: Carter (D) def. Ford (R), on the day I was born. 1980: Reagan (R) def. Carter (D), which I also don't remember much of, but I do recall the map of 1984, when Reagan stomped Walter Mondale. I also paid close attention to '88 (Bush I def. Dukakis), from primary to voting day, when J.C. Green and I were the only two fifth-graders in our school who cared.

1992 was of course, the fell year of Bill Clinton, Zoo TV, and the defeat of Bush, and while I'd decided to be a political junkie from then on, I was a high school sophomore and only 16, so I couldn't vote yet—that would have to wait for the '94 mid-terms. For Clinton's re-election in '96 over Bob Dole, I was a college sophomore and had trouble juggling that vote with other normal college stuff like bands, girls, and controlled substances. By the time of Bush/Gore 2000, I'd graduated and joined the 8-5 crowd, sort of—and was snooty enough to vote Nader. We all know how that turned out. In 2004 I was all fired up again, this time with bloggy insanity, and Bush's defeat of John Kerry was a hard loss. This year, though, as interminable and stupid as it was, obviously ended up quite differently, which was fantastic—but even better is that 2012 is hopefully a long, long way away. These rides are harder to deal with the older I get.


  1. A few things I think are interesting:
    First of all, look at all the blue in the south! I know Carter was from the area, but still. Also, California was consistently Republican until Clinton! Which, other than Mondale getting absolutely crushed by Reagan, kind of surprised me. Seriously, I should read whatever Dr. Thompson has to say about that -- I want his opinion as to how someone can fuck up that badly. For crap's sake, someone winning just one state on a major party ticket is pretty damned sad.

  2. Reagan was pretty much unstoppable that year. As for a red Cali, well, remember that he was the governor for two terms, and also that Nixon is a native son.


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