In Wisconsin, Tammy Baldwin overcame fears by many that she would be too liberal for the state, aided by Tommy Thompson's weak campaign partially stemming from a very competitive 3-way primary between him, Eric Hovde, and Mark Neumann. She ended up winning by a small but comfortable margin. Surprisingly, Baldwin, who is to the left of Obama, ended up doing better than him a sizeable number of Wisconsin counties. Thompson, on the other hand, did better than Romney in many bluer counties. Let's look at some patterns:
1) Baldwin's Old District: Tammy Baldwin, who had represented Dane County (Madison) and surrounding areas for over a decade, underperformed President Obama in every county of her district. In fact, part of her district is in the corner of Wisconsin with the darker red, showing an even stronger Thompson performance there.
2) Trends: More so than any other state so far, in Wisconsin we can see a clear example of how trends work their way down the ballot. The areas Thompson overperformed most in included the ancestrally Republican Driftless Area in the Southwest of the state, as well as other D-trending areas in the southern half of Ron Kind's district, and the southern part of the state in general.
3) Milwaukee Area a Mixed Bag: One of the suburban Milwaukee counties had Baldwin overperform, and in the others she underperformed by a bit.
4) Northwoods: Some, including myself, believed Baldwin's biggest problem would be with rural voters, especially in the ancestrally Democratic areas up North. For one thing, Baldwin's lesbianism would likely be more of an issue there, and for another, her F rating from the NRA is the biggest problem in the most rural areas, which tend to have the highest gun ownership. However, nearly every county she overperformed in was in the Northern half of the state, and Thompson only beat Romney in a few of them. It could be that Obama did worse than Generic Democrat did here, as he did in most areas that are heavily based on extraction (MI's Upper Peninsula, MN's Northwoods, Coal Country in Appalachia). Or it could be that the trend hasn't gone all the way down the ballot yet. Either way, I'm surprised by this result.
5) Native Americans: Like in Montana (see Part One), the Republican Senate candidate did better than Romney among Native Americans. Obama seems to be stronger with them than a Generic Democrat is.
Now for New Mexico.
Heather Wilson's race vs. Martin Heinrich was rated Lean D by just about everyone, and the result showed that this was the correct rating. Wilson performed decently for a Republican in New Mexico in 2012, but it was not enough. My observations:
1) Hispanics: Heather Wilson was clearly more popular than Mitt Romney among New Mexico's Hispanics. The most heavily Hispanic parts of the state are north of Albuquerque, and it corresponds pretty well to where she outran Romney the most.
2) Native Americans: Same as Wisconsin here. Her two best counties have decent Native populations.
3) Southern New Mexico: Heinrich did best in the Southern part of the state. I have no explanation for this. However, the darkest blue county is the only heavily Mormon county in New Mexico, so Romney ran ahead of Generic R by quite a bit. Wilson, as a non-Mormon, didn't.
4) Albuquerque Area: Both candidates were from Albuquerque. Wilson narrowly outran Romney, but it was nothing impressive.
5) Polarization: Heinrich outran Obama in nearly every county Romney won, while Wilson outran Romney in nearly every county Obama won. There are a few exceptions, but only about five.
Pete Hoekstra aired has disastrous, offensive Debbie Spend-It-Now ad and never really recovered. He underperformed Romney in every county in the state.
1) Peninsular Strength: Stabenow most overperformed Obama in the state's two peninsulas: The Upper Peninsula and the Thumb. The Upper Peninsula is likely due to a combination of ancestral Democratic strength and Obama's unique unpopularity due to extraction (evidenced by how close McDowell came to knocking off incumbent Benishek). The Thumb I have no explanation for. It's never really been blue.
2) Northeast Lower Peninsula: This area is also ancestrally Dem, and Stabenow did very well.
3) Western Michigan: Much of the lightest colored areas are in Hoekstra's old district. They're also ancestrally Republican. This combination meant Hoekstra ran only a couple points behind Romney.
4) Detroit Area, Blue Collar vs. White Collar: I'd say the Detroit area proper has five counties. In the two most blue-collar ones, Monroe and Macomb, Stabenow overperformed more than she did in the other three. To be fair, Oakland County is also ancestrally Republican, as is Western Wayne County, so that hurt her too.
This map, more than any other so far, shows how much ancestrally Dem or GOP counties can differ once you go even one step down the ballot.