Post-election precinct maps rank in the top 10 of Things That Are Fascinating in the World. They tell a much more nuanced story about the state of the electorate than state or county data. As I master ArcGIS to create some of my own, here are the most interesting precinct maps I’ve found so far:
The Los Angeles Times’ interactive map of LA County. It wasn’t so long ago that Republicans could split LA County, then round up enough votes in Orange County to counteract the Democratic margin in the Bay Area and win a narrow statewide victory based on votes from inland California. Lesson of this map: 1) LA County is now producing million vote margins for Democrats, 2) when the revolution comes, there’s gonna be some redistributin’ to do in Rancho Palos Verdes.
NY Times map of NYC. The concentration of Romney voters in Boro Park, Ocean Parkway, Williamsburg and those 4 small precincts in Crown Heights? Orthodox Jews. Brighton Beach/Coney Island? Russians. Southern/central Staten Island, Middle Village, Queens and Belle Harbor are white ethnic districts. As for Obama precincts, it’s notable that Asian neighborhoods performed as strongly as more traditional hardcore Democratic areas.
Newsday interactivemap of Suffolk and Nassau Counties. Democrats do well in non-Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods, in the Hamptons, and in minority hamlets (Wyandanch, Brentwood, Coram, North Bellport, Freeport). Republicans dominate lots of middle-class Italian wards.
Washington Post map of Greater DC. One day, DC’s stupid zoning laws are going to push all the poorer residents into Prince William County, VA and that place will be as Democratic as the rest of the inner suburbs. Thanks to the size of each DC precinct, Obama failed to reach 100% in any locale. This makes me sad.
O.C. Register Orange County, CA precinct map. FASCINATING: UC Irvine owns a large plot of faculty housing, so you essentially have a precinct of college professors. On the president question, the professors vote for Obama at roughly the same rate as the student- and Hispanic- heavy precincts, but on the death penalty question, the faculty precinct is the most “liberal” in all of Orange County.
My hometown Election District in Centereach voted for Obama by 11 points, getting 251 votes to Romney’s 199. Gary Johnson got four votes, and Jill Stein got three.
(The next election district over is a tiny pocket of red surrounded by blue [Centereach is apparently more Democratic-leaning than I remember,] and it only chose Romney by 12 votes.)