Sunday, November 06, 2016

Election oddments: part 1 -- landslide counties

This graphic was part of a larger New York Times story about how people with different political leanings have sorted themselves into separate geographical communities over the last two decades. By "landslide counties," they mean counties where either the Republican or Democratic presidential nominee prevailed by more than 20 percent. Mostly what it seems to say is that white Democrats live in cities, brown and black Democrats are more widely dispersed and white Republicans live in rural and exurban areas. Also that there are a lot of voters in urban counties!

Their data is worth perusing, but this picture of the sort caught my eye for a different reason. See that large gray area that takes up most of central California? Aside from northern Maine and rural Wisconsin, we in this state have the largest territorial expanse in the country where neither party has an overwhelming advantage. That's interesting. Presumably, at least in part, it means that there are significant numbers of Latino residents, some of whom are voting and many more of whom might, throughout that area, keeping party contests more competitive.

No wonder the current Congressional race between Republican incumbent David Valadao and Democratic challenger Emilio Huerta (grandson of labor activist Dolores Huerta) in the 21st Congressional district is so heated, featuring wild and arguably false charges from the GOP camp. Huerta has been criticized as a weak candidate by some Dems. We'll see how this intra-Latino race turns out in a year with growing Latino turnout.

On Tuesday this thing will be over, praise be! For the next few days I'll be putting up collected oddments that have caught my eye which will soon be just history.

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