A Map of Afghanistan's Election

By: Inoljt, http://thepolitikalblog.wordpress.com/

The New York Times posted a very interesting map of Afghanistan's recent election.


Before continuing, I must note that my purpose is not to question whether irregularities or fraud might have denied Abdullah Abdullah victory; I am simply analyzing the data as it appears.

There's a lot of data here, and interpreting it is fairly difficult; few people know much about Afghan politics and demographics. This map indicates the margins each candidate won. Kabul is the big red circle. In total, Karzai won 55% of the vote, essentially doubling the vote of the second-closest candidate.

Compared to a similar maps of U.S. elections, several things stand out. The first is the extent to which polarization is apparent. Afghani society is very clan-based, and elections can reveal polarization like nothing else.

At the point most politicians win an election by more than 20%, maps like the one above tend to consist of something like below:


This is Barack Obama's 24.03% landslide in California. Compare it to Karzai's 27% victory: one might be forgiven for concluding that out of the two elections, Karzai did worse.

(Many) more maps below the fold.

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Progressive Democrat Newletter Issue 189

Well, we won. Big time.

Obama even won Virginia (which didn't surprise me at all), North Carolina (which I am not TOO surprised at) and Indiana (which DID surprise me). Obama even won one of Nebraska's electoral votes (which get split). Missouri seems to have barely gone McCain. I was convinced Florida would be stolen again, but the Republican Governor of Florida, though a typical Republican otherwise, seems dedicated to fair elections. And Obama wound up getting almost 53% of the vote.

If you are like me and you grew up hearing the refrain, "America isn't ready for a black President," you now will never hear that again. America isn't just ready for one, it OVERWHELMINGLY is ready.

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Onward from here!

THE GOP IS OUT OF THE WHITE HOUSE (as of 5:00 GMT/12:00 EST 20/1/2009)!!!!!! The moment we have waited for since that infamous day, Tuesday 12 December 2000, when Antonin Scalia, Sandra Day O'Connor, William Rehnquist, Anthony Kennedy, and Clarence Thomas handed a man the White House which was not his. We DID IT! Everyone of us who voted early, and braved the lines for change. As much as he was not my choice candidate, we have achieved a monumental task. We increased our congressional majority and state majorities and seats across America. So what next?

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North Carolina: One key to an Obama victory lies within Mecklenburg County

When looking at the various regions of North Carolina and assessing which areas of the state are least/most likely to vote overwhelmingly for Obama, it can be more than likely to fall this way:

1) Triangle/RDU - the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill region is Obama's most loyal base area, especially considering how "liberal" this section of the state tends to be with all of the universities, colleges, and medical-oriented companies that comprise most of the 'Research Triangle Park'.  So...Obama win big time here.

2) Triad - the Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point region also offers it's own large, collegiate pocket of liberal voters, but not as many as the Triangle.  For every Obama vote here, McCain is able to match with one of his own.  McCain's vote in this area comes from the agricultural/manufacturing voter who is more culturally conservative.  So...Obama probably will win (barely), but it wouldn't be a shocker to see McCain win either - 50/50.

and lastly, one major KEY to an Obama victory...

3) The Queen City - Charlotte, the state's largest city, is also the nation's 2nd largest banking center behind New York.  Lots of colleges and universities here as well, but none with the international recognition like Duke, UNC, or NC State up in the Triangle.  Where the Raleigh-Durham area has an overwhelming "medical" tilt, Charlotte has an overwhelming "banking" tilt.  Charlotte, and the entire Mecklenburg County area tends to be the conservative counterpart to the Triangle's liberal sibling.  BUT, BUT, BUT, here is the reason why Mecklenburg County's vote will probably seal a win or a loss for Obama in the state: (after the jump)

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I Lament This, Yet I Celebrate It

Marc Ambinder is reporting that the Obama campaign is quietly, passively suggesting to any interested party that they won't object to any 527's operating on their behalf.  Obviously they can't actually say that, as it would be illegal to do so (outright coordination with "independent" groups).  They've gone from asking strategists and donors not to form such groups to going entirely silent on the subject.  The meaning is pretty obvious.

I was proud of Barack Obama for shutting down that crap early on, telling his donors he wanted no part of any donor who funded such scurrilous groups.  I lament the change.  It is a step down from where I wanted this campaign to be.

I celebrate it because I want to win.  Am I surrendering on a process principle?  Yes, I am.  Am I doing so without regret?  Hell no.  I do regret that it has come to this, but it has come to this.  If these 527's get out of line I have absolute trust in Barack Obama to call them on their shit.

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