We’re all familiar with red states, blue states and, as Nov. 6 nears, the maddening indecision of the swinging purples. But state-level, and even county-level, polls aren’t the whole story.
When presidential election results are examined at the level of individual polling places, subtler geographic trends emerge. Long-extinct transportation corridors and industrial centers remain deeply relevant determinants of voting trends in modern America.
And looking at precinct-level data can illustrate the sometimes-stark political differences between adjacent neighborhoods in the counties thought of as simply “purple.” …
In an ongoing excavation of these hidden patterns, the SSSL [Spatial Social Science Lab] has released the Stanford Election Atlas, an online interactive data visualization tool that allows users to inspect the precinct-by-precinct results of the 2008 presidential election. [cont.]
Max McClure, Stanford U.