ELECTION 2012

Chris Howard:  America really looks like this - I was looking at the amazing 2012 election maps created by Mark Newman (Department of Physics and Center for the Study of Complex Systems, University of Michigan, http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mejn/election/2012 ), and although there is a very interesting blended voting map (Most of the country is some shade of purple, a varied blend of Democrat blue and Republican red) what I really wanted was this blended map with a population density overlay. Because what really stands out is how red the nation seems to be when you do not take the voting population into account; when you do so many of those vast red mid-west blocks fade into pale pink and lavender (very low population).

So I created a new map using Mark’s blended voting map based on the actual numbers of votes for each party overlaid with population maps from Texas Tech University and other sources. 

Here’s the result—what the American political voting distribution really looks like.

Now THIS is the most accurate map that I’ve seen, and it is fascinating.

foxnews.com
GQ names Mitt Romney the least influential person of 2012, and Fox News is mad about about it.

For the entire year, when members of the media weren’t focusing on the totally bogus Republican “War on Women” or ignoring the sorry state of the economy as well as what happened at our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, they were totally trashing Romney’s religious beliefs, his wife, his kids, and even a family dog he once put on the roof of his car.

At the same time, the media broke numerous vertebrae contorting themselves to avoid or make excuses for Obama’s hideous first term record as well as any miscues by himself or his bumbling vice president.

In the end, Romney received so much attention that a man was re-elected to the highest office in our land while millions of Americans remain hopelessly unemployed.

If you don’t think that’s influence, you don’t know what the meaning of the word is.

In fact, I could make the case that Romney was the most influential person of 2012 as he was the brunt of a coordinated media assault responsible for the current White House resident getting four more years to enact an agenda that almost half the nation finds totally repugnant.

Now that’s what I call influence.

On the other hand, GQ’s reasoning for choosing Romney is equally hilarious.

“Was anyone inspired by Mitt Romney? Did anyone vote enthusiastically for Mitt Romney? Of course not. Voting for Romney is like hooking up with the last single person at the bar at 4 a.m. The only successful thing he did this year was embody every black stand-up comedian’s impression of a white person. Thank God the election’s over. No more endless photos of Mitt staring winsomely off-camera with that attempted smile on his face. No more glaring campaign mishaps week after week after week. No more labored media efforts to make him look like anything other than Sheldon Adelson’s pampered money Dumpster. Good-bye, Mitt. I hope you enjoy the rest of your life quietly ensconced at Lake Winnipesaukee, blissfully ignorant of the plight of anyone who doesn’t have $300 million squirreled away in the Bahamas.“

Red State, Blue City: How the Urban-Rural Divide is Splitting America

The new political divide is a stark division between cities and what remains of the countryside. Not just some cities and some rural areas, either – virtually every major city (100,000-plus population) in the United States of America has a different outlook from the less populous areas that are closest to it. The difference is no longer aboutwherepeople live, it’s abouthowpeople live: in spread-out, open, low-density privacy – or amid rough-and-tumble, in-your-face population density and diverse communities that enforce a lower-common denominator of tolerance among inhabitants.

The voting data suggest that people don’t make cities liberal – cities make people liberal.

Read more. [Image: Robert Vanderbai]

Prominent Republicans respond to Mitt Romney's "gifts" comments
  • Gov. Branstad “I don’t think it’s helpful. I guess my feeling is that we need to turn the page, and we need to focus on the future and not make excuses for the past.”
  • Gov. Jindal "We need to continue to show how our policies help every voter out there achieve the American Dream, which is to be in the middle class, which is to be able to give their children an opportunity to be able to get a great education. … So, I absolutely reject that notion, that description. I think that’s absolutely wrong.”
  • Gov. Scott “It’s wrong, it’s not true. What we’ve got to do is say we want every vote, we want to take care of every citizen in our state”
  • Sen. Rubio “I don’t believe that we have millions and millions of people in this country that don’t want to work. I’m not saying that’s what [Romney] said. I think we have millions of people in this country that are out of work and are dependent on the government because they can’t find a job." 
  • Sen. Ayotte ”The campaign is over and what the voters are looking for us to do is to accept their votes and go forward and we’ve got some big challenges that need to be solved. I don’t know the full context of them but I don’t agree with them.“ source
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Red v Blue, Not So True

Via Chris Howard:

America really looks like this - I was looking at the amazing 2012 election maps created by Mark Newman (Department of Physics and Center for the Study of Complex Systems, University of Michigan), and although there is a very interesting blended voting map (Most of the country is some shade of purple, a varied blend of Democrat blue and Republican red) what I really wanted was this blended map with a population density overlay. Because what really stands out is how red the nation seems to be when you do not take the voting population into account; when you do so many of those vast red mid-west blocks fade into pale pink and lavender (very low population).

So I created a new map using Mark’s blended voting map based on the actual numbers of votes for each party overlaid with population maps from Texas Tech University and other sources.

Here’s the result – what the American political voting distribution really looks like.

Images: Chris Howard’s “blended” voting map, via Facebook (top); Mark Newman’s 2012 voting maps by state, county and percentage vote by county (bottom). Select to embiggen.

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The Campaign Tumblr Is Dead! (Long Live the Campaign Tumblr!)

That’s partly because Tumblr is generally, in ways that other social media platforms aren’t always, lighthearted. It is generally, in ways that high-stakes political campaigns aren’t always, fun. On Tumblr, Olin and her team could post, on behalf of the president, things like this. And like this. And like this and this and this. They could joke and wink and otherwise Internet, in a context that both suited and rewarded the effort. In a campaign whose whole point was to convert voters from potential to actual, the Obama for America staff could tackle that stark task much more subtly than the blunt forces of political persuasion typically allow. They could build community – and the kind of group accountability that comes with it. An engaged voter is a likely voter.

Read more. [Image: White House Flickr]