Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Ding Dong the witch is dead - thoughts on the Obama landslide

Congratulations to Barack Obama, and congratulations to the American people for, as Churchill put it, doing the right thing in the end after trying everything else first.

Thoughts on the map:
Obama gains Virginia, Ohio, Florida and Iowa in the East. All classic swing states except Virginia, which is becoming swingy because of growth in the DC suburbs.
Obama gains Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico in the south-west. This is more important.

The south-west should be classic Republican territory - smallish, heavily suburbanised cities, a culture that tilts towards the rural, utter dependence on cars, and a generally libertarian political outlook. I have been saying for some time that a Liberal (in the British sense) Democratic party could shift the south-west for the long term because religious nuttery wasn't that popular with the Republican voters down there. Two interesting points about Arizona - McCain won by a shockingly small margin (55-45) in his home state, and Maricopa county (Phoenix and Scottsdale) was also 55-45 - in the south-west there isn't the cities blue, country red phenomenon there is in the east.

Indiana, Missouri, and North Carolina still too close to call, and Montana still too early to call. Montana state politics is weird and I don't understand it. Missouri is a classic swing state that has voted for the overall winner the last umpteen times - what is surprising is that Obama can win without it. North Carolina is John Edward's home state - not impossible for a Democrat to win there, but difficult. I assume Obama won on a massive black turnout given the coverage overnight.

Indiana is the big one - I am assuming Obama will win because he is 23000 votes ahead with only a few hundred plus provisional ballots (which typically favour Democrats) still to come. Indiana used to be absolutely core Republican territory. It now looks a bit lonely as a red state in the north-east, but the facts (socially conservative, rural-dominated culture, mostly white and Protestant, people who don't like tax) mean that it should still be safe Republican. If Obama can win in Indiana then the Republican heartland is reduced to the bits of the mountain west where nobody lives, Alaska, and the old slave states. And if the Republicans now can't win big states outside the south, then the witch is not only dead, but has a large stake driven through its heart.


  • At 8:53 am , Blogger Darrell G said...

    They are not as dead as the Conservatives were after 97. They still have a filibuster for a rainy day and the states you mention were still tight...and Obama is riding into the storm and he knows this; I think notes of caution are appropiate but then again nobody will say that until the day after he takes office...


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