FL-Gov, FL-Sen: A Tale of Two Indies

Quinnipiac (7/22-27, likely primary voters, 6/1-7 in parentheses, 4/8-13 in brackets):

Alex Sink (D): 26 (25)

Bill McCollum (R): 27 (33)

Bud Chiles (I): 14 (19)

Undecided: 27 (19)

Alex Sink (D): 27 (26)

Rick Scott (R): 29 (35)

Bud Chiles (I): 14 (13)

Undecided: 26 (23)

(MoE: ±3.2%)

The primary war between Bill McCollum and Rick Scott are starting to have an effect here – to Dem state CFO Alex Sink’s advantage. In the six weeks since Quinnipiac last looked at the race, Sink’s gained a point, and the Republican’s lost 6 points in both matchups.

Perhaps more tellingly, both McCollum’s and Scott’s favorables are now underwater. Scott’s now sporting a 29/30, a reversal from the 31/22 that found in June. McCollum’s nosedive is even more pronounced, moving from a +8 spread at 37/29 to being 16 points underwater at 27/43.

Interestingly, the number of people reporting “Haven’t heard enough” about Alex Sink has ticked up two points to 58 – perhaps explaining the greater shift to “Undecided”. Despite the unpopularity of the GOPers and Sink’s low profile, Dem-turned-indie Bud Chiles doesn’t seem to getting much traction though. He’s relatively unknown as well, with 15/10 favorables and 73% not having heard enough.

Charlie Crist (I): 37 (40)

Jeff Greene (D): 17 (14)

Marco Rubio (R): 32 (33)

Undecided: 12 (11)

Charlie Crist (I): 39 (37) [32]

Kendrick Meek (D): 13 (17) [24]

Marco Rubio (R): 33 (33) [30]

Undecided: 14 (11) [13]

(MoE: ±3.2%)

Charlie Crist, in contrast to Chiles, remains in strong position, especially as Meek and Greene have gone after each other. Meek’s suffered the most from this, having lost nearly half his support in 3 months. Meek’s still an unknown quantity, with 64% saying they “don’t know enough” and those that do split 17/17. (Notably, his unfavorables have more than doubled, from 8 points to 17.) Crist dominates among Independents 50-28 over Rubio and even carries Democrats 42-33.

On the other side of the primary coin is Jeff Greene, who’s media blitz seems to have earned him some positive name recognition. He’s up to 20/15 (up from 11/11), and manages to be more competitive among Dems against Crist, holding Crist to a 41-39 lead. Crist – who’s job approval and favorables are both strong at 53-37 and 49-35, respectively, still carries Indies by a nearly identical 51-27 margin against Rubio, who remains a contender with decent favorables at 35-24, nearly unchanged from 36-22 in April.

Of course, given Jeff Greene’s yachtfuls of baggage that have yet to be publicized, this race remains in flux; however, Charlie Crist remains in the driver’s (captain’s?) seat and will continue to keep his advantage if he can become the de facto Democrat in the race.

SSP Daily Digest: 7/30

  • CO-Sen: Andrew Romanoff has launched a new TV ad (a Joe Trippi Production), accusing Sen. Michael Bennet of “pushing companies into bankruptcy” while working for corporate raider (and right-wing zillionaire) Phil Anschutz. Bennet claims that his work for Anschutz Investments actually saved foundering movie theater chains from going out of business. Anyhow, NWOTSOTB.
  • CT-Sen: Politico’s Shira Toeplitz talked to a bunch of bigtime Rob Simmons supporters (including ex-Rep. and all-time SSP enemy Nancy Johnson), all of whom seem to be fairly down on his chances at pulling off his weird comeback attempt against Linda McMahon. Simmons also told Politico that his internal polling matching a recent Quinnipiac survey, which had him down 52-25 in the primary, but wouldn’t release any further details. So really, what’s he doing? P.S. Linda McMahon’s personal spending on the race is already up to $23 million.
  • FL-Gov: Obama alert! The POTUS will be doing a fundraiser with gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink in Miami Beach on August 18th. No word on whether he’ll also help out Kendrick Meek. (Extremely eagle-eyed digesters of the digest will note that the Sink event is planned for the same day as a Ted Strickland fundraiser. Busy guy!)
  • IA-Gov: Heh. Former Gov. Terry Branstad’s campaign is in trubba because it purchased two vehicles, including a $52K Winnebago – something that isn’t kosher, on account of a state law which requires that campaigns lease, not buy. This is an amusing bust, because the law in question was passed when Branstad was governor – on account of a previous campaign of his purchasing a van for less than half its market value. This reminds me of when Chicken Lady (seems like so long ago!) received an improper donation of a $100,000 RV from a supporter. Ah, good times!
  • KY-Gov: Businessman Phil Moffett, managing partner of the telecommunications management company CCS Partners, is the first Republican candidate to enter the race against Dem Gov. Steve Beshear. Moffett says he’s going after the teabagger vote, but he’s been a big proponent of the stimulus-funded “Race to the Top” education bill, which makes me think he’ll be anathema to the tribalist wing of the Republican Party. Anyhow, plenty more candidates wait in the wings for this race, which is not until 2011.
  • NV-Gov: Nevada Republican gubernatorial candidate is now claiming to have had an out-of-body experience, claiming he doesn’t remember telling Univision that he wasn’t worried about his kids getting profiled in Arizona because they “don’t look Hispanic.” Sandoval’s exact, uh, apology: “If I did say those words, it was wrong and I sincerely regret it.” So deeply weird.
  • NC-11: Memo to media: Message-testing polls are totally normal and fair game in any campaign. So Heath Shuler is testing out attacks on Republican Jeff Miller – he’d be negligent if he didn’t do so. Not news. (At least no one called it a “push poll.”)
  • NH-01, NH-02: Dean Barker at Blue Hampshire is one of my favorite state bloggers, so you should just go read what he has to say about UNH’s new poll of NH-01 and NH-02. As for the toplines (PDF), in NH-01, Rep. Carol Shea-Porter leads all comers (April trendlines in parens): Frank Guinta 44-39 (38-42); Rich Ashooh 43-35 (36-39); Sean Mahoney 45-36 (37-40); and Bob Bestani 44-33 (37-38). In NH-02, it’s Ann McLane Kuster 29, Charlie Bass 47 (30-42); Kuster 32, Jennifer Horn 34 (32-33); Katrina Swett 30, Bass 47; Swett 31, Horn 35 (31-35).
  • NY-13: Just ugh.
  • NY-15: Alright, the whip count is definitely winding down. Paul Hodes is now the latest to call on Charlie Rangel to resign, in the wake of formal ethics charges being announced against the veteran New York congressman. And Joe Sestak has returned Rangel’s campaign contributions. At this point, I think pretty much everyone is gonna have to do that, so it’s going to get pretty boring. Anyhow, of more direct relevance, CQ points out that it’s now probably too late for Rangel to take his name off the September primary ballot, even if he wanted to. I wonder if he can still win re-election, somehow.
  • TN-08: It sounds like the NRCC is trying to game expectations with regard to Steve Fincher, their golden boy in the race to replace John Tanner. Fincher’s been caught in a mega-multi-million dollar three-way fight, with Ron Kirkland and George Flinn beating up on him and each other. An NRCC flack says that Fincher “probably has the edge,” but then immediately contradicts himself by saying a Fincher victory would be “against all odds” and that “anything can happen in primaries.” I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he lost in the primary next week (which, please note, is on a Thursday). Also important: Tennessee is the rare Southern state which does not feature runoffs.
  • DSCC/DCCC: God, pieces like this are just too depressing for me at this point. The Hill rounds up a pretty large list of retiring lawmakers who are still sitting on monster cash hoards. I mean, what the fuck is up with guys like Bill Delahunt? Says The Hill: “But Delahunt said there are competing political interests that need the money, and he’ll decide how to spend it when the time is right.” Shit, do I even need to say that the time is right… right now? Sigh.
  • Moose Lady: Heh again. The Washington Post has a special page devoted to tracking the Mama Grizzly-in-Chief’s endorsements. It even has helpful logos for each candidate denoting whether they are “Establishment” or teabaggers. Anyhow, so far, Palin has 10 wins to 4 losses, with a bunch more races in the works.
  • Site News: The Swing State Project just welcomed its nine millionth visitor! We passed the 8,000,000 milestone just four months ago, which I think makes this our quickest million ever. Help us celebrate by getting to 600 fans on Facebook (we need 22 more) and 2,500 followers on Twitter (45 more)!
  • OR-Gov, OR-Sen: Small Lead for Dudley

    SurveyUSA for KATU-TV (7/25-27, likely voters, 6/7-9 in parentheses):

    John Kitzhaber (D): 44 (40)

    Chris Dudley (R): 46 (47)

    Other: 7 (6)

    Undecided: 4 (7)

    Ron Wyden (D-inc): 53 (51)

    Jim Huffman (R): 35 (38)

    Other: 9 (6)

    Undecided: 3 (5)

    (MoE: ±4.2%)

    SurveyUSA is out with another poll of the Governor and Senate races in Oregon; the last one seemed very outlier-ish at the time, but with subsequent polls from a variety of pollsters all pointing to a tie or slight Dudley lead, this is very much in line with everyone else. (Rasmussen, for instance, just saw the Governor’s race at 47-44 for Dudley and the Senate race at 51-35 for Wyden, eerily similar.) Another thing that leads me to be afraid this is close to the mark: the frequent SurveyUSA quirk with young voters isn’t present here. The 18-34 set loves Kitzhaber, giving him a 51-39 edge; Dudley’s lead is built on senior citizens.

    Still, much of Kitzhaber’s problem is that he hasn’t bothered going on the air yet, partly because he anticipates being outspent and needs to conserve his resources, partly because (as I’ve belabored before) that he seems to be operating with the same ill-advised sage Zen-master sense of invincibility as Jerry Brown next door. If it’s not working as well for Kitz, it’s because Oregon isn’t quite as blue as California, with the GOP-leaning hinterlands making up a bigger percentage of the state. At any rate, he seems to be realizing he needs to get his name out there, and he’s out today with his first TV spot, a positive and job-o-centric ad.

    CA-Gov, CA-Sen: More Leads for Brown, Boxer

    Public Policy Institute of California (pdf) (7/6-20, likely voters, 5/9-16 (pdf) in parentheses):

    Jerry Brown (D): 37 (42)

    Meg Whitman (R): 34 (37)

    Other: 5 (NA)

    Undecided: 23 (21)

    Barbara Boxer (D): 39 (48)

    Carly Fiorina (R): 34 (39)

    Other: 5 (NA)

    Undecided: 22 (13)

    (MoE: ±3.7%)

    PPIC seems like one of the more prolific and reliable California pollsters, and this is their first release since the May primaries. Not much has changed: Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer still have single-digits leads over their Republican opposition, with a few points shaved off the margin since May in each case. The trendlines plus the margins shouldn’t fill one with great confidence, but there’s also a sense here that, with huge Republican ad spending and the Dems only starting to engage these races, this is about as good as it’s going to get for the GOP, given the state’s bluish hue.

    The poll also asked a number of topic about the environment; it finds that Californians are opposed to offshore drilling by a 59-36 margin (a 16-point shift since last year). While they didn’t poll on Proposition 23, they did poll on AB 32, the greenhouse gases legislation that Prop 23 would seek to put on hold. AB 32 has 67% approval, and 53% say act now on limiting emissions. They also ask about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s approval, and let’s just say they look about as good as the box office receipts for The 6th Day: they’re at 25/62. PPP also just released Schwarzenegger numbers (19/71), and in an interesting hypothetical, found that in a matchup of unpopular Governors, Gray Davis (who got recalled for make way for Ah-nuld) would beat Schwarzenegger 44-38.

    Analyzing Swing States: Pennsylvania, Conclusions

    This is the last part of a series of posts analyzing the swing state Pennsylvania. The previous parts can be found here.


    For many decades, Pennsylvania constituted model of Democratic strength based upon working-class votes. Today that is changing, especially in the southwest. For the moment, nevertheless, the swing state Pennsylvania remains Democratic-leaning. This is more because of an unusually strong Democratic machine than any natural liberalism in Pennsylvania.

    In 2008 Democrats won Pennsylvania by double-digits, amassing a coalition based upon poor blacks in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, rich whites in the Philadelphia suburbs, and working-class votes outside Appalachia. It is a strange-looking combination, but it works.

    More below.

    Republicans built their strength upon small towns and exurban communities in “the T,” along with working-class votes in the southwest.

    For decades, Republicans have been strengthening in western Pennsylvania, while weakening in eastern Pennsylvania. This map indicates these changes.


    Although it doesn’t look like it, the 2008 Democratic candidate (who won by 10.32%) actually did better than the 1992 candidate (who won by 9.02%).

    From all this, the best news for Democrats would be the blue shift Philadelphia’s suburbs have undergone. Republicans will take heart in the Appalachan southwest’s even stronger movement right.

    I have previously opined that these changes benefit Democrats on the whole. Indeed, this whole series of posts has inclined toward a theory of continuing Democratic strength in Pennsylvania. I will conclude this chain of posts, therefore, with a map Republicans will like – the 2008 Pennsylvania results by municipality. This illustrates how President George W. Bush almost won Pennsylvania in 2004.


    Note: Several months ago I posted several diaries analyzing the swing state Pennsylvania. In a search of my posting archives, I just found out that I’d apparently forgotten to post this final part – so here it is.

    –Inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/

    SSP Daily Digest: 7/29 (Afternoon Edition)

    CT-Sen: Now that was fast. Only days after his bizarre and probably hopeless parachuting back into the long-abandoned Connecticut Senate race, Rob Simmons just got the primary endorsement from the state’s largest newspaper, the Hartford Courant. That’s a pretty clear indicator of how they feel about Linda McMahon. Meanwhile, out in Crazy Town, former presidential candidate Steve Forbes weighed in, giving an endorsement to Paulist economist Peter Schiff.

    KY-Sen: Rogue ophthalmologist Rand Paul is certainly a glass-half-full (or mountain-half-still-there?) kind of guy. He’s come out in favor of the environmentally destructive mountaintop removal method of coal mining, justifying it, true to form, with economics gobbledygook: “the land is of enhanced value, because now you can build on it.” In fact, it’s really just a branding problem: “I think they should name it something better.”

    WA-Sen: Here’s a rather unexpected endorsement: hard-right kingmaker Jim DeMint is coming out in favor of Dino Rossi, who was very much a moderate back when he ran for governor in 2004. I suppose Rossi taking the plunge as the first major Senate candidate to call for repeal of financial reform was enough for DeMint’s satisfaction. I still have to wonder why Rossi would seek out this kind of endorsement, as it’s certainly not going to help matters in the general election in this blue state; is he actually feeling enough heat from Sarah Palin-backed Clint Didier in the primary that he needs to go to the right-wing well?

    WI-Sen: If you’ve been following the Wisconsin Senate race, Ron Johnson has been vacillating all week on whether or not to sell his hundreds of thousands of dollars in BP stock and plow it into his campaign, move it into a blind trust, or just tape all his stock certificates together and use them to club baby seals. Now he’s just saying he’s going to sit on it and sell when market conditions are favorable — not because it’s the right thing to do, just because he wants a better profit on it.

    NH-Gov: PPP also has gubernatorial general election numbers are part of their New Hampshire sample. We’d been wondering if John Lynch, whose previous PPP numbers were kind of lukewarm, might be ready to sneak onto the list as Likely D, but today’s numbers seem to suggest otherwise. (In fact, the once-unassailable Mike Beebe may now be likelier to fill that role.) Lynch’s approvals are up to 52/36, and he leads his likeliest GOP opponent, ex-state HHS director John Stephen, 51-34. He also leads Jack Kimball 52-29, Karen Testerman 52-28, and Frank Emiro 48-28.

    NV-Gov: Rory Reid just got gifted some serious help in the Nevada governor’s race (and having seen him on the stump at Netroots Nation, he’s going to need all the help he can get…), via a gaffe from Brian Sandoval. Sandoval has denied previous allegations that he’d said on TV that his kids didn’t look Hispanic, but now Univision has dug up the tape. Perhaps even more troublesome for Sandoval: he said that in the context of his kids’ appearance being why he was not worried about his kids being racially profiled under Arizona’s new law.

    NY-Gov: Unfortunately, Carl Paladino has confirmed that no cat fud will be served in the general election in November (not that Andrew Cuomo, polling over 60%, needs any shenanigans to win). Paladino says he won’t puruse a third-party bid on the yet-to-be-named teabagger ballot line if he loses the GOP gubernatorial primary to newly-minted Islamophobe Rick Lazio.

    AZ-03: John McCain waded into the overstuffed GOP primary field in the race to replace retiring Rep. John Shadegg to flag a favorite. He’s backing state Sen. Jim Waring. McCain had his choice of endorsers to pay back (Waring, as well as Vernon Parker and Ben Quayle, are supporting McCain, while Sam Crump is the only out-and-proud J.D. Hayworth backer in the field).

    CA-47: While there’s nothing really newsworthy going on the 47th, Politico has a very interesting look below the surface at this forgotten race in a demographically-complex district. Both Loretta Sanchez and GOP challenger Van Tran seem aware that the Vietnamese minority in this low-turnout Hispanic-majority district is the district’s electoral linchpin.

    DE-AL: Michelle Rollins was supposed to be the moderate in the GOP field in Delaware, but the wealthy philanthropist seems to be going the full Sharron Angle. She joined the swelling Republican ranks of candidates saying that extending unemployment benefits just takes away people’s motivations to go out and get real jobs.

    FL-08: The main story here may be that Zogby, the pollster ubiquitous in 2004 and once though to be in the Dems’ pocket, is now reduced to doing internal polls for low-priority GOP House candidates? Anyway, they did a poll on behalf of attorney/talk show host Todd Long (the guy who almost successfully primaried Ric Keller in 2008). Long’s poll gives him a 46-38 lead over Rep. Alan Grayson. Of course, Long isn’t a likely bet to emerge from the primary (which he shares with ex-state Sen. Daniel Webster, state Rep. Kurt Kelly, and rich guy Bruce O’Donoghue), and there’s no mention of primary numbers.

    IN-03: If this were two years ago, an open seat in the 3rd (especially with 2006 candidate Tom Hayhurst on board) might have been a good pickup opportunity. Not so this year, apparently. GOP nominee state Sen. Marlin Stutzman is out with an internal from American Viewpoint giving him a 56-29 lead. Hayhurst has the financial advantage, though, and may be able to use that to make up at least some of that ground.

    KS-04: SurveyUSA has one last pre-primary look at the primary races in the 4th. There’s a lot of movement in the 4th, where businessman Wink Hartman seems to be rapidly deflating (as the carpetbagging issue may have gotten some traction) and moderate state Sen. Jean Schodorf is quickly gaining (as people realize the other candidates are all wackos). RNC committee member Mike Pompeo is still in the lead, though, at 31. Schodorf is at 24 (up 8) and Hartman at 21 (down 8), with 13 for Jim Anderson. On the Dem side, state Rep. Raj Goyle’s ad blitz seems to have had its desired effect, which was to raise his name rec and prevent him from getting VicRawl’d. (Ah, sweet memories of 2008.) Having trailed Some Dude Robert Tillman in the previous SUSA poll, Goyle now leads 63-19.

    KY-03: This race seemed to move onto the map (albeit just barely) with Republican Todd Lally having narrowly outraised Democratic Rep. John Yarmuth last quarter. Yarmuth seems to be acting quickly to squelch any sense that he’s in unusual trouble, though, rolling out an internal from Cooper & Secrest that gives him a 58-32 lead over Lally.

    OK-05: Everyone in the Beltway seems to be wondering a) what the heck went wrong with state Rep. Kevin Calvey, who was deemed frontrunner in the GOP primary in the 5th based on his Club for Growth and American Conservative Union backing, but finished second, and b) who the heck is James Lankford? The youth camp director and newbie to politics won thanks to grassroots mobilizing in the social conservative community. At any rate, this sets up a GOP runoff that’s similar to a number of others we’ve seen in southern states: a faceoff between the CfG and Mike Huckabee (a Lankford endorser) sub-wings of the right wing.

    DCCC: Here’s an interesting piece from National Journal that runs the DCCC’s list of 60-some districts for ad buys through some demographic sifting. It’s based on “quadrants” developed by Ronald Brownstein (which are pretty simple, really, just education and racial diversity — we’ve been working behind the scenes here at SSP on something similar but more sophisticated, which hopefully will see the light someday soon). As you might expect, most of the vulnerable seats, and the DCCC’s ad buys are in the low-education, low-diversity (i.e. mostly white) districts, which is where Obama tended to perform the weakest in 2008.


    IL-Gov: Pat Quinn (D-inc) 37%, Bill Brady (R) 44%

    MO-Sen: Robin Carnahan (D) 43%, Roy Blunt (R) 49%

    OR-Sen: Ron Wyden (D-inc) 51%, Jim Huffman (R) 35%

    WI-Sen: Russ Feingold (D-inc) 46%, Ron Johnson (R) 48%

    On the Rasmussen front, it’s also worth checking out Chris Bowers‘ latest Senate projections at Open Left. He ran separate Rasmussen-free and Rasmussen-included versions, and the difference is remarkable.

    FL-Sen, FL-Gov: The Shady Billionaires Strike Back

    Quinnipiac (7/22-27, likely primary voters, 6/2-8 in parentheses):

    Rick Scott (R): 43 (44)

    Bill McCollum (R): 32 (31)

    Undecided: 23 (24)

    (MoE: ±3.6%)

    Jeff Greene (D): 33 (27)

    Kendrick Meek (D): 23 (29)

    Maurice Ferre (D): 4 (3)

    Undecided: 35 (37)

    (MoE: ±3.5%)

    Who would have ever thought, even three months ago, that the once-seeming-insane vanity campaigns of ultra-wealthy GOPer Rick Scott and Dem Jeff Greene would actually take off? If anything, it shows the power of money to sway voters, especially the power of money in primary elections where name rec and interest are low and the establishment candidates are on the underwhelming side.

    Things haven’t changed much in the Republican gubernatorial primary; if anything, Bill McCollum seems to have arrested Rick Scott’s progress, although his small turnaround is all within the margin of error. The big movement this time is in the Dem Senate primary, where Greene has shot past Kendrick Meek into first place, with Meek only getting on the air with his first ad this week. (Not to get too morbid about Meek’s chances here, but I’ve gotta wonder how many establishment Dems both in Florida and the Beltway are secretly pleased to see Greene on track to win the primary, which will then free them up to support Charlie Crist in November with a clean conscience…)

    If there’s any hope to be had for Meek, it’s the high number of people who might change their mind, and the preference for experience over outsider status. On the Dem side, only 43% say their mind is made up, and 54% might change, while 44% of Dems prefer someone with experience while 35% want an outsider. Compare that with McCollum’s chances: on the GOP side, 55% say their mind is made up, 43% may change. 54% want an “outsider,” while 28% want experience.

    NV-Sen: Base Connect Snares a Big One: Sharron Angle

    This is wild:

    Sharron Angle, who has fallen behind Harry Reid in several recent polls and can scarcely afford to squander any resources, has sunk $637,000 into a notorious D.C. direct mail firm. A Salon review of the Nevada Republican’s FEC filings found that Angle has forked over about 20 percent of all the money she’s raised to Base Connect, which is known for charging its conservative clients exorbitant fees — as high as 80% — and was recently dropped by a sitting Republcian congressman because of its terrible reputation.

    Formerly known as BMW Direct, Base Connect describes itself “a full-service creative agency for conservative candidates running at the national level.” For the past several election cycles, the firm’s M.O. has gone like this: find a longshot conservative candidate running against a well-established Democratic incumbent, then launch a national fundraising campaign by sending direct mail to a list of true-believing but small-time conservative donors around the country.

    Longtime readers of SSP are very familiar with the shady practices of Base Connect (formerly known as BMW Direct). The firm, and its satellites Century Data and Legacy Lists, eat up huge sums of money in direct mail and data fees from its clients, which usually accounts for the lion’s share of the money that they actually “raise” for their candidates. While many of its clients have included true no-hopers (candidates running against the likes of Barney Frank, Jack Murtha, and Nancy Pelosi), Base Connect was famously dumped as a client by GOP Rep. Joe Cao earlier this year.

    In Angle’s case, Base Connect’s fees and fundraising, while substantial, accounts for a much smaller proportion of her total spending than expected from a typical Base Connect client. (If anything, this is more Allen West-like in scale.) Still, the fact that Angle is partly reliant on funding from one of the most notorious firms in politics today is not a flattering revelation in the least — especially now that Salon is reporting that Angle’s communications director and ex-deputy campaign manager, Jordan Gehrke, formerly worked as director of business development for the firm back in its BMW Direct days. It’s unclear if Gehrke steered Angle to Base Connect or if he was sent to Angle’s campaign as some kind of package deal for their services, or what.  

    You Can Vote However You Like, or Analyzing Fulton County, Georgia

    I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Fulton County, Georgia, is quite a polarized place. Even its shape is odd, formed as a consolidation of an older Fulton with Milton County to the north and Campbell County to the south during the Great Depression; it’s now Georgia’s most populous county. Alternatively, you can think of it as a county that on one end gives us T.I. (to whom the title pays homage) and Ludacris (both of whom are from Atlanta), and Tom Price (Roswell) and Jeff Foxworthy (Alpharetta) on the other.

    Now, in 2008, Fulton County gave Barack Obama 67% of the vote. But, as its diverse history and composition would suggest, that was far from uniform:

    As you can see, the county’s also quite racially polarized (% Black registered voters on the right).

    More over the flip…

    Now without getting into the politics of municipal incorporation that I’m far from qualified to talk about, you can see that Fulton’s quite the tale of two cities, er…former counties. If we take the 112 precincts (and six municipalities – Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Milton, Mountain Park, Roswell, and Sandy Springs) that form completely incorporated North Fulton (from which many county secession efforts start in the Georgia Legislature), we would get this astonishing result:

    “Milton” South Fulton
    Population (2009) 303,469 730,287
    Obama 56,678.61 215,312.39
    McCain 86,673.18 43,462.82
    Total 144,644.68 260,296.32
    Obama% 39.18% 82.72%
    McCain% 59.92% 16.70%
    Reg. Voters 197412 356801
    Black RVs 10.43% 51.62%
    Hisp RVs 1.40% 0.74%
    Asian RVs 2.38% 0.57%

    Fulton County would lose its most-populous title to Gwinnett County and DeKalb would move to 2nd, while “Milton” County would be the 5th largest county, with Cobb at 4th. More interestingly, Milton County would be a 60% McCain jurisdiction, while South Fulton would shoot to 83% Obama. Perhaps also tellingly, “Milton” is 10% Black, 2% Hispanic, and 3% Asian (by registered voters), South Fulton is 52% Black.

    Of course, we don’t need to consider the wet county secession dreams of some suburban Republicans to see this polarization – we can examine the results by municipality. (Sidenote: five points for Fulton County for good precincting procedures…more on that later.)

    Municipality Obama McCain Total Obama% McCain% %Black %Hisp %Asian
    Alpharetta 8,380.27 14,253.58 22,784.46 36.78% 62.56% 8.92% 1.56% 2.89%
    Atlanta 143,150.79 35,609.43 180,059.08 79.50% 19.78% 44.05% 0.72% 0.71%
    Chattahoochee Hills 381.96 827.87 1,233.70 30.96% 67.11% 23.49% 0.65% 0.20%
    College Park 4,584.40 607.66 5,218.90 87.84% 11.64% 62.98% 0.89% 0.16%
    East Point 13,838.28 1,209.71 15,109.12 91.59% 8.01% 66.37% 0.96% 0.25%
    Fairburn 4,018.35 773.27 4,814.00 83.47% 16.06% 63.16% 2.05% 0.52%
    Hapeville 997.56 653.96 1,676.88 59.49% 39.00% 31.68% 2.26% 2.14%
    Johns Creek 10,957.29 18,476.15 29,689.93 36.91% 62.23% 7.71% 1.45% 5.66%
    Milton 3,914.32 8,915.53 12,931.26 30.27% 68.95% 7.60% 1.46% 1.69%
    Mountain Park 145.26 175.73 328.45 44.23% 53.50% 1.01% 0.25% 0.25%
    Palmetto 959.27 345.31 1,309.05 73.28% 26.38% 51.61% 1.66% 0.05%
    Roswell 14,582.85 23,392.87 38,415.64 37.96% 60.89% 9.03% 1.34% 1.30%
    Sandy Springs 18,698.61 21,459.31 40,494.94 46.18% 52.99% 15.48% 1.31% 0.94%
    Union City 6,588.59 790.97 7,391.49 89.14% 10.70% 71.37% 0.64% 0.11%
    Uninc South Fulton 40,802.19 2,644.63 43,484.11 93.83% 6.08% 78.20% 0.49% 0.17%

    Anyways, I’ll let the numbers speak for themselves on that one.

    Sidenote number 2: At this point, you’re probably going, “WTF, Jeff??” and wondering if I’d hit some of the ganja that Rogers County, OK was busy with last night. Well, the reason there are decimal points is because of the allocation of early votes to precincts. 45% of votes in Fulton County were cast early and not allocated to specific precincts. Additionally, Obama won 62% of votes cast on Election Day in Fulton, and a whopping 75% of votes cast Early. Early votes are non-trivial and need to be allocated. Thanks to the University of Georgia, we do know how many voters in each precinct voted, and from that we can allocate early votes. I’m always hesitant to round at an early stage (this would lead to significant discrepancies, especially here), so that’s why you get decimal points.

    Oh, and for reading this far (including both sidenotes!), you get a prize in terms of more eye candy.