Analyzing Swing States: Florida, Part 5

This is the last part of an analysis on the swing state Florida. The previous parts can be found here.

Here is how John Kerry did in south Florida:


Here is how Barack Obama performed:


Broward and Palm Beach are marginally smaller, when compared to Obama's performance. The big difference, however, is with Miami-Dade. Kerry won it by 6%; Obama won it by 16%.

There is no other place in Florida (and, perhaps, the country) like Miami-Dade. Palm Beach and Broward counties are retiree destinations; Miami is home to immigrants and refugees from all Latin America. More than 60% of the population is Latino - and only 3% of them come from Mexico. The Miami accent is unique compared with the nation. Local government is distinct from other counties in Florida.

One would expect Miami to be one of the most Democratic places in the nation, much like New York City or Chicago.

It is not.

The reason why is below the flip.

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Analyzing Swing States: Florida, Part 4

This is the fourth part of an analysis on the swing state Florida. The last part can be found here.

The Miami Metropolis

Diverse, populous, sun-baked - south Florida is far different from the rest of the state. It is the Democratic base, where liberals win their biggest margins.

Here is how Barack Obama did in South Florida:

Like most Democratic candidates, he obtains huge margins. Compare the size of the circles here to those in the I-4 corridor (this can't be done regarding northern Florida, unfortunately). They're a magnitude bigger.


For why this is so, see below the fold.

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Analyzing Swing States: Florida, Part 3

This is part three of a series on the political structure of the swing state Florida. Part four can be found here.

The I-4 Corridor

If there is a holy grail of Florida politics, it is winning the I-4 corridor. This refers to the Interstate 4 highway, which begins in Tampa Bay, travels though Orlando, and ends in Daytona Beach.

Here is the performance of a relatively weak Democrat, John Kerry, in the I-4 corridor:

John Kerry gets absolutely pummeled. There is a sea of red counties. This is the reason why John Kerry lost Florida.

Here is the performance of a stronger Democrat, Barack Obama:


Continued below the flip.

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John McCain's Tweets About "Wasteful Spending": Just Say No To Security

John McCain is back on the pork barrel war path again, because apparently when you have a $1.8 trillion deficit, focusing on a cause that (by even the most outlandish definitions) has cost a grand total of $0.1 trillion over the last 18 years is clearly the most fiscally responsible thing a U.S. Senator can do. (To be fair, McCain used the phrase "wasteful spending," not the word "pork." So okay, it's really more about arbitrarily labeling anything he opposes as "wasteful" rather than finding projects that meet set criteria. Completely different, right?)

McCain Tweeted this morning, "Wasteful spending continues in I've decided to resume the Top 10 earmarks of the day, starting w/ the DHS Appropriations Bill". Here are some of his entries:

#1. $325,000 to study seismic activity in Memphis, TN

#2. $125,000 to replace a generator in La Grange Park, IL

#3. $130,000 to relocate the residents of 130 homes in DeKalb, IL...

#5. $4 million for the Fort Madison Bridge in Fort Madison, WI

#6. $3.6 million for Coast Guard Operations Systems Center in West Virginia

#7. $900,000 for the City of Whitefish Emergency Operations Center in Whitefish, MT (Population: 6700)

#8. $300,000 to build a pier at the Coast Guard Academy in CT

So, according to the Republican Party's most recent presidential nominee, funding the U.S. service academies, ensuring fire and border safety in the the American west, expanding the branch of our military that performs S&R and stops drug runners, researching the potentially dangerous fault lines beneath the South and Midwest, and repairing our nation's crumbling infrastructure - even after the Minnesota bridge collapse - all count as "wasteful spending."

Calling his number 1, 5, 6, 7, and 8 projects "wasteful" is absolutely ridiculous. As for numbers 2 and 3, I need more information. Where is his generator? At a hospital? At a federal office building? Wouldn't those warrant replacing? And if elsewhere, why didn't McCain say so? And as for those 130 DeKalb homes, what's the reason for the project? Is this repayment for some sort of federal eminent domain? "Relocation" in and of itself isn't enough to get my hackles up... (Update: mcc notes in the comment section that this is flood-related relocation and suggests that McCain's true definition of wasteful spending is "the government spending some money now to save more money later." End update.)

At this rate, I'm surprised the number one project on McCain's list wasn't port security or defense satellites. John McCain and the new GOP: saying no to infrastructure, weather safety, and the U.S. service academies. Being the party of no only takes you so far when over half the true/false answers are actually "true."

Originally posted at Blue Moose Democrat.

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(Part of) The Reason Why Blacks Vote Democratic

In 1972 Richard Nixon won 18 percent of the black vote, according to New York Times exit polling.

In 2008, John McCain won 4 percent of the black vote.

The conventional explanation for this has something to do with civil rights and Democrats and the "Southern strategy" followed by Republicans. And, to a large extent, the explanation is probably right.

But part of the reason African-Americans have been trending Democratic recently has as much to do with chance as with fundamental political shifts.

Democrats have had the good fortune of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. The two most influential, recognized Democrats of the past two generations are incredibly popular amongst blacks. Bill Clinton was so well-regarded by African-Americans that Toni Morrison called him "the first black president". Today Barack Obama is even more popular amongst blacks than Clinton (the fact that, unlike Clinton, he actually is "the first black president" might have something to do with this).

Republicans haven't had such luck. No Republican presidents have been relatively popular amongst blacks since Eisenhower's time. And even he lost the black vote by a 3:2 margin.

Imagine if Republicans nominated Colin Powell in 1996. He might have cracked the black vote and won 25%; that was how well Michael Steele ran in his 2006 Senate campaign. Or he might have utterly broken the alliance between blacks and Democrats and taken more than 90% of the black vote.

That would have changed politics forever. But as luck would have it, the exact opposite happened. Barack Obama, not Colin Powell, was nominated by the Democrats and elected president. Today it looks like Democrats have won the black vote for another generation.

-- Inoljt,

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