No Child Left Behind … Alive

by Kieran Healy on November 4, 2004

A National Guard F-16 “strafed an elementary school in New Jersey”:http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=227410 last night with 25 rounds from its “M61-A1 Vulcan Cannon”:http://www.wpafb.af.mil/museum/arm/arm8.htm:

bq.  A National Guard F-16 fighter jet on a nighttime training mission strafed an elementary school with 25 rounds of ammunition, authorities said Thursday. No one was injured. The military is investigating the incident that damaged Little Egg Harbor Intermediate School shortly after 11 p.m. Police were called when a custodian who was the only person in the school at the time heard what sounded like someone running across the roof. Police Chief Mark Siino said officers noticed punctures in the roof. Ceiling tiles had fallen into classrooms, and there were scratch marks in the asphalt outside.

I take it this is an early warning of the attack on the Blue States that will be launched early in the new year, after Colin Powell makes a presentation to the U.N. demonstrating the existence in New Jersey of large “research”:http://chemeng.princeton.edu/html/home.shtml and “production facilities”:http://www.conocophillips.com/global/na/bayway.asp most likely devoted to the manufacture of lethal chemical weapons.

It’s called gratitude

by Ted on November 4, 2004

Many thanks to guest poster Bill Gardner for his on-the-ground posts about the scene in Columbus. If the bug hits him and he decides to start blogging on his own, we’d be glad to give it some attention.

What happened in Clark County?

by Daniel on November 4, 2004

Just tying up a few loose ends as the US election fervour comes to an end … I bet nobody else was planning to audit this one so I might as well …

After all the brouhaha and kerfuffle over the Guardian‘s Clark County Project, it turns out that the citizens of Clark County voted exactly the same way as the rest of Ohio: 51% Bush, 48.5% Kerry. You might possibly argue that there was a slight “anti-Guardian effect” because last time round Clark was slightly more Democratic than the rest of Ohio (50-46 for Gore when the state was Bush by half a percentag point), but if you did, I think I’d say you were data-mining.

Update I promise I wrote that sentence before I saw someone had done it.

Red Counties, Blue Counties and Occupied Counties

by Kieran Healy on November 4, 2004

Via “Pandagon”:http://www.pandagon.net/mtarchives/003885.html I see that Michelle Malkin “smugly presents us”:http://michellemalkin.com/archives/000792.htm with a map (from “USA Today”:http://www.usatoday.com/news/politicselections/vote2004/countymap.htm) showing the apparently overwhelming predominance of Bush-supporting counties in the United States. That’s the top panel in the figure below. Looks like the GOP is overwhelmingly dominant, eh? Well, no, of course. It takes about ten seconds on Google to find the bottom panel of the figure, which shows you about how many people live in each county. The comparison is instructive. Of course, there are still a bunch of well-populated areas that Bush carried, but we know that already because, you know, he won the election.

Note also that the USA Today map has quite a few missing observations, shaded in grey, presumably because the final results weren’t available when they drew the map. Missing observations seem predominantly to be counties with large urban populations. Most of these (like Cook County, IL, and Palm Beach County, FL!) should probably be colored blue, as a comparison with the “2000 results”:http://www.usatoday.com/news/politicselections/vote2004/countymap2000.htm shows. CT readers are probably too sensible to fall for invidious comparisons like this to begin with, but it does seem that the likes of Michelle Malkin think that complete dominance of the Prairie Dog and cowpat vote is what really matters. She should check to see how “Leroy Chiao”:http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/astronaut_vote_041018.html voted — maybe the GOP can claim the Solar System vote, too.

*Update*: Thanks to some pointers in the comments, below the fold I’ve included two other figures. The first is a cartogram from the New York Times that scales the states by their electoral college votes, and the section is a terrific map from “Robert Vanderbei”:http://www.princeton.edu/~rvdb/ that gives a continuous rather than a binary representation of the county vote data, allowing us to see that “purple America” is more common than red or blue America.

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More on religion and elections

by Eszter Hargittai on November 4, 2004

Judging from the comments to yesterday’s post on religion and politics, people seem to be quite interested in the topic. So I thought I’d post a pointer to this NYTimes article that discusses a paper by three economists about “Why Republicans and Democrats Divide on Religious Values”.[1]

fn1. I’d say more, but I have a flight to catch.

Shining city on a hill

by Chris Bertram on November 4, 2004

Since 9/11 American nationalists have not been shy to tell us about the marvellous things that the United States have brought to the world. And I agree with them. The US Constitution, the struggle against slavery, the struggle for civil rights, the greatest city in the world (New York), the blues, jazz, soul. I could go on and on. I might even, on a generous day, include Hollywood. I love those Americas, and I always will. I’d like to thank them for standing against the strident nationalists and George W. Bush.

— The thirteen original states that brought us the Constitution voted overwhelmingly for John Kerry. [1]
— The states that didn’t secede and which fought against slavery voted overwhelmingly for John Kerry.
— Black America which brought us in Martin Luther King, one of the greatest moral exemplars of modern times as well as the blues, jazz and soul voted overwhelmingly for John Kerry.
— California, home of the modern motion picture industry, voted for Kerry.

These are the great American achievements: the United States’ lasting contribution to freedom, culture and progress. Sadly, that America, the America of which Americans have the most reason to be proud and foreigners have the most reason to admire, just lost. Again.

fn1. UPDATE This is ambiguous and, on one resolution of the ambiguity, false. Since some commenters are incapable of doing charitable disambiguation themselves, let me do it for them: an electoral college based on the original 13 states would have voted in Kerry by an landslide.

Would Gephardt have won ?

by John Quiggin on November 4, 2004

Most of the post-election discussion I’ve seen has focused on the impact of religion, and quite a few commentators have suggested that the Democrats need to shift their policies to appeal more to religiously-motivated voters. This approach would entail some fairly substantial compromises in the search for marginal votes.

If we’re the mood for pragmatic populism, there’s a policy option that might well have delivered the Democrats the election, without the risk of fracturing the Democratic base as an appeal to the religious right would have done. That option is protectionism, of the kind espoused during the campaign by Gephardt[1]. Gephardt had his electoral problems, but I think he could have carried Ohio and his home state of Missouri, as well as having a good chance in West Virginia and even Indiana. He might have lost some coastal states but overall he would have had a better chance of a majority in both the popular vote and the electoral college.

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