UPDATE: I've updated my blog entry, but it's not done yet. I want to discuss the analysis I've done on Virginia a bit more in depth. But I guess that will have to wait tomorrow, as I have church service tonight. But I've uploaded my spreadsheet in excel sheet and sources with links provided.
I am on a brief break as I type this blog. It's something I always wanted to bring up, but could never find time to do it. Today, I've decided to force myself to type this brief blog, and hoping to update it as soon as I have data available, which is left at home.
The reason I wanted to do this blog is I did a short, amateurish research on how Obama won Virginia. To be truthful, I was in shock as I watched on news that Obama barely won Virginia and other states. I had always thought Virginia, North Carolina, Indiana and Ohio all would go for McCain, if for no reason other than the fact many of counties in those states went red in 2000 and 2004. As it turns out, it's not quite the same case this year.
I was hoping that somebody more experienced than I am in researching this type of case would provide some rundown on statistics and other facts on how Obama successfully turned such states from red to blue. So far, it has not happened yet, thus I've decided to take upon myself to do it, because I think it's important to study those cases in preparation for 2012, making sure GOP presidential candidate would not repeat the mistakes made on part of McCain campaign.
Of course, every election year is unique, and every candidate is unique, in which each has different strengths and weaknesses. But every candidate must work hard to win states, and some states aren't just worth campaigning in, like California, with near 100% certainty, would always go blue regardless of how good a GOP presidential candidate is. Despite economic troubles, I always figured this would be the same scenario, with a close McCain victory.Unfortunately, that's not the way it turned out, so I took a look at at how Virginia, aka Old Dominion, went for Obama.
I did research at county level, and what I found was quite interesting. In 2000 and 2004, the numbers at county level were similar, with no real major differences, but in 2008, Obama managed to gain 18 counties and cities, while losing just three counties to McCain. It turns out that in my research, the reason those three counties were lost to McCain is because each county had its population declining in numbers. On the other hand, in every county Obama won, the county population rose, in some cases drastically.
However, it is worthwhile to note that even in 2004, when some of counties' population increased, Bush still won some of them anyway. It demonstrated that Bush ran a disciplined campaign. You can say anything about Bush, but at least give him due credit when it comes down to being skillful in campaigning hard and winning states. It is my personal opinion that McCain this year simply ran an awful campaign, and while this is pro-Democrat year, there is still no excuse for McCain not to win Old Dominion.
In my research, I attempted to match Obama's regional offices in Virginia to that of counties that were contested hotly this year. It would appear that Obama poured huge resources and rented offices even in counties that's supposedly red...heavily. It shows that Obama was a smart campaigner, and at least some of his subordinates in Virginia knew what they were doing in order to contest every vote.
I will update the information tonight or tomorrow, depending on how much free time I have. But all information is in excel format, so I'm not sure how to upload that anyway.
I used the following sources:
Here is my spreadsheet in excel format: My amateurish case study of Obama winning Virginia.
I wanted to find out how many people lived in all Virginian counties:
The list of county population estimates (scroll down to population estimates)
I used the poll numbers for 2000 and 2004:
Thanks for your patience, and have a good day!