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I was just playing around with this fantastic yet dated website, http://nationalatlas.gov/, and did some research on population and elections for fun. The above picture illustrates the concentration of the general black population in the year 2000.

During the historic 2008 election, President Obama was thought to have been able to galvanize black people throughout the States to get out and vote for him. One would think that the black people living in the Deep South would help Obama turn these traditionally Red, Republican states into Democratic blue, right?  But after taking a glimpse at the image of the electoral college’s voting patterns, the results seem a little counterintuitive. Here’s a picture:

Electoral College Votes by State 2008

Red stands for the states that went to McCain. Seems pretty counterintuitive right? If most of the black population is concentrated in the South, and if they voted mostly (or completely) for Obama, why did the GOP retain such a definitive hold over Southern territory?  Perhaps, it may be due to the fact that blacks are concentrated in little pockets of areas within a state, and not throughout? Here’s a closer look at the election by popular vote by district:

Popular Vote by District 2008

If you look closely, indeed, we see lines of blue squares in the Popular Vote Map closely follow the long line of red in the 2000 Black Population map. Let’s look at a sample state, Alabama:

Here’s the Black population Map in 2000 for Alabama (blue lines my emphasis):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now here’s the Election of 2008 in Alabama by Congressional District:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follows pretty close right? Anyways, I posted this to highlight the neat tricks that the website could pull. No analysis here folks.

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One Comment

  1. so, is this an example of gerrymandering?


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