I have decided to do an election analysis of Pennsylvania in 2012 starting with the effectiveness of the Romney campaign turning out its voters compared to 2004 and 2008. Romney's campaign offers us a number of lessons I hope to explore in a few posts along with the weakness in the Obama campaign the Romney team failed to exploit efficiently in Pennsylvania.
The first part of this series will examine how Romney turned out Republican voters compared to Bush and McCain. I chose to look at raw turnout instead of percentages as it gives us an opportunity to see how existing voters in an area behave over time. Below is a chart of all of Pennsylvania's 67 counties with three columns.
The first column contains the counties where McCain received more raw votes than Romney. The second is the same but replace McCain with Bush. The third column is the counties where Romney outperformed both. Wayne County has an asterisk as there appears to be a problem with the state's results page for Wayne County.
What we see here is quite interesting. Romney underperformed McCain in 29 counties and Romney underperformed Bush in 50 counties. There appears to be no real pattern in Romney's underperformance with regards to McCain. Romney does seem to have performed better than McCain in the central part of the state and appears to have had a wash in western Pennsylvania.
Romney's underperformance of Bush is far more troubling. Romney pretty much underperformed Bush in every county without high population growth. Romney even underperformed Bush in some of the fastest growing counties in the middle of the state, Adams, Berks, Cumberland, Lancaster, Lebanon, and Perry. Population growth probably masks the underperformance in some of the other counties as well.
The reverse can be said for some of the other counties where Romney appears to have lost votes. The number of votes lost seems to be indicative of population decline. This probably explains the decline in much of western Pennsylvania especially Allegheny and Westmoreland counties. That said, Romney gained raw votes over Bush and McCain in counties losing population including Armstrong, Beaver, Greene, Indiana and Somerset. Next I will provide the same analysis of President Obama's performance.
Elections have consequences -- from the race for President to the race for one seat on a city council. The political economist Max Weber wrote that the state possesses a monopoly on the legitimate use of force. But in the United States, the state is divided into myriad federal, state, and local entities. And the elections to fill those entities are the products of the fascinating interactions between campaigns, party affiliations, voter turnout, and the media spotlight. Red Racing Horses analyzes those elections -- from a Republican-leaning perspective -- to keep a close eye on the process of electing officials, and to offer our perspective on the election-related issues of the day. Thank you for visiting, and we hope you'll enjoy the blog.
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