Bush's gains and losses

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The just published Almanac of American Politics 2006, of which I am co-author, is out and can be ordered: www.aap2006.com. It includes the presidential vote within each congressional district, as calculated by Polidata.

Let me add here some additional analysis of the presidential vote by CD. Nationwide Bush's percentage increased 3 percent from 2000 to 2004, from 48 to 51 percent. In most CDs his percentage increased between 0 percent (rounded off) and 5 percent, as one might expect.

Where did Bush gain most (6 percent or more)? In districts that can be characterized by the following labels: Italians, Jacksonians, Latinos, and Asians. To wit:

Italians and other ethnics. Think of these as Rudy Giuliani districts. New York 9, 13, 8, 3, 5, 2, 4. New Jersey 4, 3, 6, 2, 12, 13. Connecticut 3, 1, 5. Rhode Island 2. Florida 19 (which has a large Jewish population). Maryland 1. Massachusetts 5. In New York 9 (ethnic neighborhoods in Queens and Brooklyn) Bush's percentage rose 14 percent, more than in any other CD in the nation. Some of these CDs have large Jewish populations (most of the New York and New Jersey districts, plus Florida 19). There was obviously something in the nature of a September 11 effect in the New York metro area. Massachusetts 5, by the way, is the district that John Kerry lost in 1972, when it was one of only three districts that voted for George McGovern and elected a Republican congressman.

Jacksonians. Think of these as the Zell Miller districts. Tennessee 6, 4, 1; Alabama 4, 2, 3, 5; Georgia 10, 7, 9; Oklahoma 2, 3, 4; Florida 3; Louisiana 3; Missouri 4; West Virginia 3. These are all country music districts, except perhaps for Florida 3, which has a large black population. Al Gore once represented counties in Tennessee 6 and 4 in the House; it stands to reason that John Kerry of Louisbourg Square, Boston, was not going to duplicate Gore's hometown percentage.

Latinos. California 47, 43, 18, 32, 38, 41, 44.

Asians. Hawaii 1, 2.

Where did the Bush percentage decline most (3 percent or more)? In districts that can be characterized by the following labels: Universities, Episcopalians, Changing Neighborhoods.

Universities: Texas 21, California 14, Oregon 4.

Episcopalians: Texas 32, 7, 31; Oregon 1; Virginia 8. The Virginia district includes Arlington and Alexandria, with their high populations of single apartment dwellers. The Texas and Oregon districts are the kind of high-income suburban areas where you will find clusters of elite university graduates. Texas 32 and 7 may also have significant changing neighborhoods (see below).

Changing Neighborhoods: Georgia 13, Florida 18, North Carolina 12. These results probably represent increasing black percentages in the Georgia and North Carolina districts and an increasing non-Cuban Hispanic percentage in the Florida district.

Conclusion: The Bush Republican Party has an increasingly demotic base. The anti-Bush Democratic Party has an increasingly elite base.

For more on these trends, see Patrick Ruffini's fascinating analysis of increases and decreases in the Bush percentage in cities and townships in New Jersey, complete with map (and posted at 1:21 a.m.: keep that midnight oil burning, Patrick).