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A blog about my life, universe, etc. At any given time you might find something endlessly interesting or just me ruminating on something else, which no one (not even myself) finds interesting. That's the way blogs go, I suppose. Anyway, I was eleventh in line, and you weren't. Hah!

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Columbus, OH
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Ohio State University
Political Science, International Studies
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Wednesday, November 03, 2004
Round on the sides and high in the middle!  
From a post I wrote at LiningUp.Net, with some minor editing for context and a few fixes, including a parenthetical statement that became four paragraphs... I started this post at around 11:30pm EST.

First, for those who, like me, are without remote controls:



[NOTE: in the half hour since I started writing this, the totals have changed, though the proportions haven't; I STRONGLY suggest actually looking at the data in the SOS link below]

My county has so far gone 63% for Bush. It looks so far, from the Ohio SecState's website, like only Cuyohoga Co. (Cleveland) has a Democratic advantage that's of significance within the state as a whole (150k for Kerry, 90k for Bush). Butler is closer but with smaller numbers (23k Kerry to 20k Bush), as are Erie (20k vs 18k), Franklin (222k to 200k), Loraine (59k to 47k) Lucas (29k to 17k), Mahoning (63k to 42k), Monroe (4k to 3k), Montgomery (99k to 97k), Portage (16k to 14k), Stark (41k to 39k), Summit (96k to 70k), and Trumbull (52k to 32k). All the remaining counties (there are 88 total, but Cuyohoga and Franklin are the biggest by a fairly big margin, as they are the homes of Cleveland and Columbus) are going for Bush (I could be wrong, as I'm running short of sleep -- verify on the links below). Hamilton (Cincinnati) and Lucas (Toledo) are next up in terms of population; Dayton is in Montgomery county.

Of the four largest counties by population (and those four are MUCH larger than their neighbors -- Fairfield is next to Franklin, and it's about 15% of its size in population terms), all but one -- Franklin -- are at around 30% reporting. Franklin's at 80%. And all four are pretty much going the way most people in Ohio would expect those counties to go, with the possible exception of Lucas (Toledo), which might go more conservative (but probably not, it's been hit pretty hard with factory closings).

Now, there are some nearby neighbor trends you want to look at: Lake County is right next to Cuyohoga, and is far more conservative (60k Bush to 57k Kerry). It's relatively small (118k votes total), but remember that's worth 7 or 8 other counties. That's how my county, Fairfield, sometimes works -- it's a +20% boost for whoever gets that little "R" by their name, [compared to our neighbor's totals]. But [then again,] Loraine is the little-yet-big neighbor to Eerie, and it's actually slightly more Kerry-leaning today (and Democrat in general) than Eerie is (Kerry is leading by 55%, 59k to 47k).

I point this out because while we have 35% type reporting levels in the biggest counties, their neighbors are at 70% or higher, and you can make rough predictions based on how the neighbors are behaving. [This is] in part because unlike with the larger counties, the neighbors are more likely to be uniform across precincts -- there's no notable difference amongst Pickerington A-G, the Bloomfield Township and Canal Winchester districts, etc. -- to compare, I just look at the differences in the OSU area, where neighboring precincts include the Ohio State dorm area (there's quite a few for the 10k dorm residents and 15k apartment/frat dwellers; it takes 4 or 5 different buildings to distribute all the kids, and that's despite the fact that so many of them vote absentee in their home counties) and Upper Arlington (a very conservative upper-middle class area). When you can get a rough idea of how much more conservative or liberal (I hesitate to use the word in Ohio, where the Democrats are often Republicans with the support of organized labor) a smaller neighbor is relative to a larger county, you can to a limited extent predict how big the difference between the parties will be.

Blech. That was annoying to write. For Ohio Election returns broken down by county:

And for a quick map of Ohio's counties:

and one that tells you where people live, but has difficult to read county names (that's why the one up there is the one I like better):

(the large one is easy to read, but HUGE:

Anyway, look to the neighbors, if you really want to see how some of those big counties with small responses will go. I'm pretty confident the rates won't change much, except that trends expressed will get stronger (that Kerry leads will get bigger, and so will Bush leads). Since I started writing this, for instance, Kerry's lead in Franklin county has increased by 1%, with an additional 13% reporting.

In other words, I'm not seeing surprises here. If Kerry does win, it'll require an absolute landslide in ALL the counties he's leading in, plus the largest possible gain in all the counties we're still waiting for (including ones where that's unlikely), which seems doubtful as all the counties are already at leads I was expecting. If it does go for Kerry it'll be something like 3.1 million to 3 million. And it'll be a move, with 70% reporting right now, of 5% -- Bush is leading 52% to 47%

Possible, but I wouldn't go putting a lot of money on it right now.

I'm really interested to see how the actual counties break down soon. I was planning to go to bed (I slept for the entire 8pm-11pm "oh my gosh polls are CLOSING!!!" thing, and it felt nice, and I was thinking of doing some more sleeping before leaving for work in 4 hours) but this is a lot more interesting than I thought it would be.

Oh! Something I just noticed that's helpful: for trying to figure out those mystery "0% reporting" counties and seeing if they matter, try the list of counties on this page:

Jackson and Huron I think are the only offenders remaining. When you click on them you can see they have very very VERY small populations.

EDIT: I forgot to add, the biggest Bush lead in any county is 75%, in Holmes county:

(woohoo, they have an airport!)

I don't know for sure, but it's hard to see the rather larger and more diverse Cuyohoga getting that kind of support level for ANYone (Kerry's at 62%, with 62% of precincts reporting as of this edit).


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