Beware the big red whale

How many times has an energetic field director brought you a chart like the one below and your eyes just glazed over?  These voter turnout/partisanship grid scores are very helpful, but it’s difficult for the untrained eye to put all these numbers in context. We all know that the bigger the sums in the upper right boxes in comparison to those in the lower right, the tougher the election. But races are rarely that simple and even rarer are the colleagues and clients who will pour over the numbers in each cell of the 10 x 10 grid.

We developed another application for our GeoPolitIQs tool to aid in the quick analyses of important election data. See the chart below which profiles the KY registered voter universe historical voter turnout and key demographics that help define the current political landscape. What looks like a kindergartener’s drawing of a big red whale illustrates the problem for statewide elections in KY in a low and moderate turnout election. The super voting GOP universe (90+ turnout and <10 on the partisan score) is much larger than the corresponding Democratic “fish”. The rows of lighter colored blue (decreasing scores of Democratic loyalty) are bigger than the comparable GOP soft partisans, suggesting that all is not lost for progressives. But the challenge of voter ID and field efforts is much greater—there’s actually more Blue real estate on this map than Red—it’s just further down the turnout and partisan intensity scale.

If you’d like us to build a GeoPolitIQs map for your race, just click here. And as always, we invite you to join our voter research conversation with #chismstrategies.


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