Friday, February 22, 2008

More Last Thoughts on Wisconsin

More Last Thoughts on Wisconsin

Obama green, Clinton red

McCain blue, Huckabee orange

Dave Liep's US Election Atlas is one of the two best public-service, just the facts political sites on the web (the other is Ron Gunzburger's Politics1). Both sites have been around for approximately forever.

Liep provides the maps I was looking for on Tuesday night as a visual aid to my sense of Wisconsin geography.

My as-it-happens hunch was correct on the Dem side, as Clinton won 10 scattered counties out of 72 and nothing bigger than Superior, and Obama took all 8 congressional districts. In the Republican primary my geography was a little off; I thought there were two clusters of Huckabee support, but instead they all connected together. He did win the Mississippi-hugging 3rd CD, but also carried the 7th CD in the northwest. (The first 26 years of my life were spent almost entirely in those.)

One caveat with US Election Atlas:

In most of the world, the color red is traditionally associated with the political left, and blue with the right, as in the British logos above. I liked that and really, really want to go back. But for some reason, in 2000, the major networks reversed the convention and used blue for the Democrats and red for the GOP, and because of the, uh, special nature of that battle, the colors stuck and are probably stuck forever.

But Liep, who's been doing the site since 1997, had lovingly, tediously coded everything as red for Dems and blue for GOP. "Due to the sheer volume of maps on this site, changing them to match the media's recent color choices requires a significant investment in time," he writes, and after you read about him manually data-entering reams of pre-electronic era election results, one is inclined to give him a break.

As for the the origins of left and right, that was based on where people sat in the Revolution-era French Assembly, and donkeys and elephants came from Thomas Nast cartoons.

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