The student blog for Drake University first year seminar entitled Visual Politics

Monday, November 8, 2010

One of the things I always notice on election nights and specifically this year is the by county maps. Every year, you see states won by Democrats but only winning a couple counties in the entire state. The one that really stood out to me (and is pictured above) is the Illinois Governor’s race. The Democrat won the race but only won three counties compared to the thirty-plus won by the Republican. This is or course due to the Democrat winning Cook County, the county in which the Chicago Metro area is located by over 30 percentage points.  This repeats itself all over the nation, the Democrats run up the margins in major cities while the Republicans run up even bigger margins in the rural counties.  In the Nevada Senate race, Harry Reid won three counties to Sharron Angle’s twelve.  
This brings up problems for the Republican Party in the future.  The United States’ rural population declines every year and the Republicans aren’t doing any better in the cities. Unless the Republicans start doing more to appeal to non-older white people, their electoral chances in the next 15-20 years are going to start declining rapidly, no matter what happens now.  As much as the pundits were talking about a Republican wave, it was in no way even close to what happened in 1980 or even 1994 (even though the Republicans won more seats in this election) in that it wasn’t a revolution or a dynamic political shift. It was an election that went against the incumbent party because of bad economic conditions. 
That's what stood out to me while watching the election. Even though the side I was supporting lost, I still had that to remember that it will hopefully be better in the future.

-Lucas Oshman

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