In NH, Kerry Country Is Now Clinton Country

The pollsters and pundits are busy analyzing how they could have been so wrong about New Hampshire on Tuesday. They could be at this for a while, actually, as they try to out statistic and analyze each other.  Everyone has a theory or an answer, and no one may ever figure out the exacts. It’s politics after all… But I did run across this interesting tidbit on the HuffPo from Thomas Edsall who notes, that in New Hampshire, Kerry Country is now Clinton Country and Dean Country is now Obama Country:  

MIT political scientist Charles Stewart found that “Clinton did better, on average, in the towns that had the biggest [positive] change in turnout across the four years. Conversely, Obama did worse.” Stewart’s analysis of NH voting data showed that a “strong predictor of how Obama did, town by town, are the results from ’04. Dean country is now Obama country.”

Stewart also found that, conversely, John Kerry country has become Clinton country: “In the towns where Kerry beat Dean in 2004 [Clinton country now], turnout increased by a total of 31.4% between 2004 and 2008; where Dean beat Kerry, turnout increased by a total of 27.5%. That’s not a huge number, but in a close race, you need everything you can get.”

Fascinating… In ’04 John Kerry was seen as the candidate with experience, and Howard Dean was the upstart. And so the voters in New Hampshire followed the same patterns again on Tuesday when they chose their candidates. I’ll be curious to see if the analysts see this pattern developing across the country as the Democratic race for the nomination plays out.

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4 Responses to In NH, Kerry Country Is Now Clinton Country

  1. alrudder says:

    That’s really interesting, I eat this stuff up.
    A political consultant told me that in 1984, Gary Hart (Obama’s analog) won in places where people were optimistic about the future and Mondale won in places where people were nervous and wanted their jobs and gov’t programs protected. Hart carried homes with a personal computer in ’84. I’m sure that an analysis here in California in the ’06 governor primary between Westly and Angelides.
    I expect you look to cities with lots of college degrees, new economy jobs, and professional services and that’s where Obama wins. Dems with Clinton’s socio-economic constituency have always won tho.

  2. Blue says:

    Wow, I just saw that Kerry is endorsing Barack Obama! I really didn’t see that coming. Interesting timing, as well.

  3. alrudder says:

    Kerry’s endorsement isn’t that surprising, most of the Kerry financial supporters I know are backing Obama.
    I remember after the NH primary in 2004 that Kerry had a broad victory across every demography

  4. Blue says:

    Maybe not to you, but it was surprising to me. At this point, I didn’t really think he was going to endorse at all.