Today we begin a series of visual presentations on swing state elections and key US Senate and CD races using our GeopolitIQs™ mapping tool. We developed GeopolitIQs to aid in the quick analyses of historical voter turnout and key demographics that help define the current political landscape.
As shown in the maps for OH below, we have manipulated the shape files of a traditional state map to show county boundaries based on actual voter turnout in an election. And here, we have colored the counties from dark blue (very Democratic) to bright red (huge GOP wins).
These GeoPolitIQs maps help to remind us that people not land mass drive voter turnout—see the big dark blue mass in the 2012 map for Cleveland!! They also remind us of the difference in presidential years versus midterms—notice the dearth of blue in the 2014 Fitzgerald bid for Governor.
As to the story told in these maps, we see that President Obama was able to win in Ohio in 2012 in large part thanks to huge voter turnout in Cuyahoga and Franklin Counties, homes to the urban centers of Cleveland and Columbus, respectively. This swell of voters disappeared in 2014, however, killing any chance of unseating the incumbent Republican governor, John Kasich, in this ever-important bellwether. Turnout fell by a whopping 43% in Cuyahoga County and 45% in Franklin County from 2012; in real numbers, 500,000 fewer voters showed up to the polls from these counties alone.
If Democrats are to retain the White House and take back the Senate in 2016, we must do much better turning out our base in these urban centers.
If you’d like us to build a GeopolitIQs map for your race, just click here. We invite you to join our voter behavior research conversation on social media with the hastag #chismstrategies.