Neil Stevens maps the partisan change in the House of Representative vote from 2008 to 2010. Red districts went more Republican in 2010, blue districts went more Democratic. Bright blue and bright red districts saw large shifts, darker, purplish seats had smaller shifts.
Guest post by Judy Stadtman
When Mr. Tucker and I first starting mining data for our New Hampshire election map series, my initial motive was simply to figure out whether specific regions and communities drove the Democratic vote in November 2008, and if geographic patterns of partisan vote distribution in Presidential election years had changed in a distinctive way since 2000. (Answer: not exactly, and yes.)
Since then we’ve discovered that there is a nearly endless supply of reliable, public-domain data on voting and demographic trends that anyone can fool around with to produce map-ready results. Lately, Mr. Tucker has been urging me to consider the possibility that our little hobby is getting out of hand - it’s an engaging intellectual exercise, but to be honest there’s a significant time suck factor. So why do it?
At the end of the day, the one sure thing that micro-parsing of election results can tell us is where we’ve been, plus a little bit about where we are now. As an astute observer noted at a strategy meeting I attended recently, in New Hampshire, every election is an anomaly. The political, cultural, economic, and social crosscurrents that effect election outcomes - not to mention the vagaries of human nature and random, unplanned events that inevitably get into the mix - are so complex and dynamic that election predictions based on raw historic patterns are just asking to be shot down. My theory is that the next best thing to owning a crystal ball that will magically reveal the political future is having a fact-based understanding of the structural conditions in the field.
Hence the maps - and all the old faves, plus a bunch of new ones, were uploaded to a special section of this blog today.
The next (and last?) chapter in my look at the partisan makeup of New Hampshire voters is a study of the 103 districts for the state House of Representatives. This is a follow up to earlier looks at the voting wards and the state Senate districts.
I have consolidated the voter ward data from my initial New Hampshire Partisan Voting Index study to take a look at the partisan makeup of New Hampshire’s 24 state Senate districts. (For an introduction to the Cook PVI and my methodology, refer to the original diary.)
The Cook Partisan Voting Index (PVI) compares how a congressional district votes relative to the nation as a whole. The index objectively measures each congressional district as a means to allow comparisons between districts that are relevant in both mid-term and presidential election years.
The index is derived by averaging a district’s voting results from the previous two presidential elections and comparing them to national results. The result indicates the number of percentage points by which the party’s vote exceeded the national average.
For example, a D+2 PVI means the district performed two points more Democratic than the nation did as a whole in the 2004 and 2008 presidential elections. The Democratic candidates would have received roughly 53.3% of the two-party vote compared to the national two-party average of 51.3%.
Using this same methodology, I have calculated the PVI for each New Hampshire voting ward and created a map of the results. 158 of the state’s 299 voting wards with at least 25 votes in the 2008 presidential election lean Democratic. They are led by Hanover as the most Democratic ward in New Hampshire with a D+29 PVI. 118 wards lean Republican. The most Republican voting ward in the state (with at least 200 votes) is New Ipswich in Hillsborough county with a R+16 PVI.