I imagine for most people in America, the first thing was the election of Barack Obama. And there’s a very good argument to be made for that being the first thing (several good arguments, really). But in the crazy mixed-up world of Prematurely Grey, Tuesday was about the map above.
Yesterday, my home town paper showed why the war is over–even on the day the print edition sold out, the web won. If you want to understand how the country shifted on Tuesday, there’s nothing like a color slide show that includes county-by-county maps that show the increase in votes in either direction against the 2004 vote.
Let’s Skitch some more. Look at this:
Unfortunately, the Times didn’t put a blue without red map in the slide show because they didn’t really need to. The transition from increase for red to increase for blue (which was what happened in 78% of the counties in the U.S.) is dramatic enough. OK, fair enough.
So you’re going to have to use your imagination. Imagine a reverse image. All the white space is blue. All the red space is white. That’s how much of Texas voted more Democratic in 2008 than in 2004.
That’s a lot of Texas.
Now, when you look at the map of how the counties voted on Tuesday, straight red v. straight blue, it doesn’t come out like that. Don’t get the wrong picture. Texas went for 55% McCain to Obama 44% on Tuesday.
But let’s do a little more creative visualization.
In 2004, Texas voted for Bush. Everyone can picture a red Texas. But here’s the thing: in 2004, it was 61% Bush to 38% Kerry.
61% Republican in 2004.
55% Republican in 2008.
Of course, this was the perfect storm year for Obama. And a perfect Obama storm in Texas gets you to 44%. But understand this: our current “successful” governor was reelected in 2006 by winning 39% of the vote.
Obama out-polled Perry.
The scary black man who is probably a Muslim got a higher percentage of the Texas vote than Governor Goodhair.
I contend that if Ron Paul had been the Libertarian candidate for president, Obama would have won Texas. (I also believe that Obama might have lost the presidency if Ron Paul had been in the hunt.) But none of that really matters.
What matters is a higher percentage of people voted Democrat in Texas than did in 2004 and 2006. I will the hard numbers and put them up when I find them.
Right now, the Texas House is 76 Republican, 74 Democrat. There is a recall going on in the Irving House race (the Republican incumbent’s up by 25 votes). The circus came to town yesterday and had drawn out meetings about who’ll be the boss of who and who’s going to be whose BFF. It is possible that the Texas House will be tied 75-75. Otherwise, it’s 76-74.
I do not see how Craddick holds the gavel if this is really the case.
This is what turning blue looks like in Texas.