Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Republican dreams gone with the wind


Above are the states results for Obama's comprehensive USA Presidential election victory.
Here is the 1860 election results. Note: Lincoln's republicans are modern day Democrats. Breckenridge's Democrats are the Republicans There is no West Virginia yet. Ignore the west, hardly anyone lives there. when Abe Lincoln won this there was a horribly bloody and protracted civil war that consumed the country and changed it forever.

And the 1861 breakaway rebel states of the new Confederacy. Virginia was a really big win for Obama, but in 1861 it only narrowly decided to side with the rebels. Florida was mostly swamp back then, and not the major win that it was for the modern Democrats. Maryland and Delaware were slave states but sided with the union in 1861 as war broke out between North and South.

So, this means war..? No.Of course not. But it shows how hard it is to change historical voting.
Factors that play well in one area may not in another.

President elect Obama had a clear campaign strategy and he won where he needed to win. He campaigned extensively in enemy territory and forced McCain to spend time and energy and money shoring up the core vote. He also proved that his message of "change" was stronger than McCain's of "experience". Seeing that he also used "Change" to triumph over Clinton's "experience" this is a tactic that has worked twice, and one Cameron has been using for a while.

The London mayoral victory and Crewe and Nantwich were very very significant wins, showing that the Tories can attack the weakened Labour heartlands. A bold strategy may well be to not just play the marginals but to campaign on a much broader front. A cash poor Labour can't be strong everywhere. If nothing comes from the heartlands attack strategy it doesn't much matter. Look at the map. FL and VA were the targets but the Republicans had to defend the whole South. the 40 electoral college votes for FL/VA wipe out Texas and Alabama for the Republicans.

Lots for Mr Cameron to look at over the next few weeks as he begins to focus his challenge.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good post - enjoyed the perspective....

I hope Obama will be good news for US and the world.....we shall see. I'm no expert but followed these elections quite closely..

I'm not sure cameron will be able to get the same benefit from the idea of "Change" - but... we shall see. Needs a new Shadow Chancellor?

Ed said...

Cameron needs to be change we can believe in. At the moment he is in danger of being "more of the same we can believe in". Be radical, Mr Cameron.

Anonymous said...

But I still don't see why the Americans need electoral college type voting in a straight race between two people.

Why not just add up all the individual votes for each candidate and the one with the most wins. Simple, and far less room for hanging chad shenanigins I should have thought.

Ed said...

Observer - it's a historical thing from when communications meant that it could take a long time to get the results to Washington. The representative from New Mexico presumably would get on the train not knowing how Arkansas had voted. Also, small states feel their votes are appreciated more and "count" so that campaigning doesn't just happen in the most densely populated parts of the country.

Anonymous said...

"far less room for hanging chad shenanigins I should have thought": I'll bet that that's exactly wrong. With the College system, cheating matters only in the states where it's a close run thing. If you have a plebiscite, every occurrence of cheating matters.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Can somebody explain how the democrats and republicans sort of flipped over and swapped names?

Bill Quango MP said...

MW. That's a long one.In 1948 Democrats alienated white Southerners in two ways. The Democratic National Convention adopted a strong civil rights plank, and President Harry Truman signed an Executive Order integrating the armed forces. From 1948 onward, southern whites went Republican.

Or maybe in the race for the middle ground the two parties sort of shot past each other and carried on going.. A bit like Mr Brown, from the anti war/individual freedom party now stuck in two wars and encouraging everyone to pre-order their I.D.cards.

BE/ Charonqc. Vince Cable doing the rounds on all the tv/radio again today. Ladies and gentleman..Vinc cable the shadow chancellor.Agreed Osbourne may need to be reshuffled elsewhere and a really heavy election hitter bought in. The message just isn't loud enough.

Observer/DM A 6% vote lead gives Obama a 2:1 Electoral college majority. It doesn't work but what does? I believe that at least it does engage people.
Here we had John Major with his 14 million popular votes, the highest ever recorded in a UK election and giving him a majority of just 21.

Anonymous said...

Another possible angle, will the Global Stock Markets welcome or not welcome Obama winning,do you think? As I noticed they fell quite sharply on Thursday and the Dow on Wednesday.

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