VOTER TRENDS IN PENNSYLTUCKY: Dems drink GOP milkshake, they drink it up!
The New York Times voter map grants a real bird's eye view of election results here
Drilling down by county and comparing results with returns from 2004, one immediately see the enormity of the GOP defeat in what was considered a battleground state. Although Pennsylvania had been trending toward the GOP, the work of the Obama campaign machine, the hard reality of economic disaster, and the meretricious quality of the McCain/Palin effort, combined in a debacle for the Grand Old Party.
Although John McCain and Sarah Palin spent much time in the state, it was wasted effort. Voters, for the most part, chose to ignore what they had to say despite what superficially appeared to be enthusiastic rallies in the Lehigh Valley
and Pottsville. And a hard core of white and older uneducated voters was reduced and compressed in the interior of the state. This region -- where social attitudes gave rise to the term Pennsyltucky long ago -- seems to be melting away in importance as urban expansion along the interstate highway from the Jersey border to north of Reading picks up momentum. Paradoxically, it's where the mainstream media spent most of its time trying to take the temperature of the locals during the last six months of the campaign.
It sets up like this:Voting results by county in 2004, when the state went narrowly for John Kerry.Voting results by county on November 4.
Counties which went for George Bush in the state's interior flipped for Barack Obama. These included Centre county, which encompasses State College and a growing and educated professional workforce of voters and Dauphin County, with a mobilized cadre of black voters in Harrisburg and highly educated professionals at the Penn State School of Medicine living in the the well-to-do community of Hershey.
The statistics are striking. In 2004, Dauphin County went 54-46 for Bush. On Tuesday, the ratio reversed, 54-45 for Obama, despite McCain's well-publicized campaign stops in the area.
Centre County went for George W. Bush in 2004, 52-48. On Tuesday, the GOP was pounded, 56-43, a complete reversal accompanied by a net gain.
In county after county in the state's interior, McCain won by much smaller margins than George W. Bush in 2004. These counties are traditionally Republican strongholds although they are not nearly as voter dense as the urbanized regions around Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and the Lehigh Valley.
For instance, in sparsely populated interior counties like Montour, Clinton, Snyder and Perry, McCain saw voters much less enthusiastic about him than George W. Bush in 2004. (Examples: Montour -- 64-35 for Bush in 2004, 57-42 for McCain in 2008; Snyder: 71-29 for Bush in 2004, 64-34 for McCain in 2008; Perry county: 72-28 for Bush, 66-32 for McCain.)
Remarkably, in York county -- another region given special attention by the McCain campaign, the GOP lost a full eight percentage points between 2004 and 2008. (64-36 for Bush, 56-43 for McCain on Tuesday.)
Oddly, Schuylkill County almost held the line with 2004. The reasons for this are unclear although DD ventures that it might have something to do with a loyal nugget of dead-end voters over the age of 65. Nationwide, the white codger vote
went for John McCain (although this was not the case in California, where it was given over to Barack Obama). And Schuylkill County has a rather elderly population.
One anomaly is seen in a trio of counties south and west of Pittsburgh near the West Virginia border. Beaver, Washington and Fayette flipped for John McCain, whereas they had voted with John Kerry in 2004. It was the only region of the state which went against the grain. However, for McCain they were not a help. In these three counties his margins of victory were so small as to be almost moot. In Fayette County, for example, he won by a hair -- 150 votes. In the overall state picture, they might as well have gone for Barack Obama. One neighborhood in Philadelphia erases any theoretical gain of, say, 150 voters in an entire county.
If one zooms out to the national picture, DD would like to draw your attention to Louisiana. It became LESS Democratic in 2008, going from 58-42 for Bush, to 59-40 for McCain.
If ever these was a state where one would expect an electorate to rise up and dole out some payback to the GOP for George W. Bush's reaction to the disaster of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Louisiana had to be it. And herein, perhaps, lies the answer. The poorer voters, predominantly African-Americans, their homes smashed and never replaced, were either driven out of the state or still in such a bad way, they weren't in position to vote. McCain and the GOP, the beneficiary of a natural disaster of Biblical proportion.
However, in California, there was some measure of revenge to be seen at the polls. San Bernardino and Riverside counties, east of Los Angeles and making up what is known as the Inland Empire, had voted with George W. Bush in 2004. On Tuesday, they flipped.
Probably because -- of all the places in the United States -- it's where the voters have been hit hardest by loss of homes to the subprime lending crisis and the national economic collapse. And they sent the GOP something less than a love letter.
The party of the unbending dumbshitUmm, er, I read in Webster's dictionary that Marxism was the same thing as Obama said.
DD continued to watch Fox yesterday. Your host sees it as a bunch of people who've been pissing in the bathwater for years. Now, suddenly they've noticed they're coated with stink. But they still can't figure out why.
Which brings us to Joe the
Plumber, who was on Hannity & Colmes.
If the election map from the Times is correct, Joe didn't have much juice in places like the Pennsyltucky interior or the Inland Empire. But what he does have is the best mind one can bring to the playing field after a decayed public school education. But paying more for public schools smacks of socialism, so Joe's presumably all right with his handicap.
Joe was asked by Alan Colmes whether he though Obama meant trouble for the country.
"I mean, you know, right back to as far as the socialist issues, spreading the wealth," he stumbled. "I mean, you know ... that is right out of Karl Marx. You know, Webster's dictionary I had this morning for another show I did. I mean, if you read it, that's exactly pretty much word for word what Obama said."
for another who noticed.)
Yep, we all reach for Webster's when searching for something definitive on Marxism, like a quote from Barack Obama.
Don't laugh! Colmes didn't!
In any case, it's been made abundantly clear for some time that the GOP prides itself on being the party where you can flash your official dumbshit card with pride. It's how you show you're not an elitist, someone "eloquent," a guy who could never be president of the United States because you don't understand the problems of the common man.
The GOP has worked hard for these misunderstood people. And it deserve the fruits of its labor. The whole big bushel basket