A state-by-state look at our cultural politics.
Global news with a spatial perspective: Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography teachers and students.
Curated by Seth Dixon
A state-by-state look at our cultural politics.
While this doesn't say everything about the state of cultural politics in the United States, it does lay out some of the more ideologically charged debates in the new political landscape after the midterm elections. What does this Venn diagram say about the state of cultural politics in your state? The Courts have aided the push for same sex marriages; will that also occur for marijuana legalization?
|Suggested by Thomas Schmeling|
"We're far less politically divided by geography than it may seem....Of course, it’s true that Americans aren’t of one mind on many political issues. But it is important that we not look at these maps and infer that we are so politically polarized by geography. In fact, most Americans live in places that are at least somewhat politically and ideologically diverse — even if that’s not reflected in how congressional district boundaries are drawn. In terms of the most important driver of political choices — partisanship — most of us live in a purple America, not a red or blue America."
The Esri Thematic Atlas is a configurable web application that uses a collection of intelligent web maps with text, graphics, and images to talk about our world.
ESRI is moving towards creating a dynamic, authorative, living digital atlas and empowering users to create their own. See this great political map of 2008 U.S. presidential election that is a part of the altas; it goes far beyond simple blue and red states. StoryMaps are also democratizing the mapping process. Explore these excellent examples of storymaps (Endangered Languages and top 10 physical landforms).
Heuristic: if a place has sidewalks, it votes Democratic. Otherwise, it votes Republican.— Nate Silver (@fivethirtyeight) September 3, 2012
Nate Silver became about as big of a celebrity as a statistician can become during the election (being called everything from a prophet to a witch). This little nugget is obviously an overgeneralization, but it appears that is has enough substance to give it some serious consideration. Where does this hold true and where is it false? How come? If it is true, why would this be true?
Shaped like a giant pistol sitting on its butt end, Wisconsin's new 22nd state Senate District is Exhibit A in the case against partisan redistricting.
The redistricting process is far from neutral; to be fair we should remember that gerrymandering is has happened on all ends of the political spectum. Which map to you think is the best way to divide these districts? What is the fairest way to divide them?
While this cartoon is flippant, the attached Washington Post article is not. In the culumative congressional voting, Democrats have more votes but won fewer seats than the Republicans. Many are starting to question the redistricting process after the 2010 census.
I'm sure most of you have seen the 2008 version of these fantastic maps and cartograms and they've been a go-to reference for me since the last election. The typical red state/blue state map conceals much concerning the spatial voting patterns in the United States and fails to account for the population densities of these distributions. That's what makes this county level voting maps and cartograms so valuable.
Questions to Ponder: What new patterns can you see in the county map that you couldn't see in the state map? What do the cartograms tell you about the United States population?
"Why Republicans Can't Afford to Concede the City Vote Ever Again."
Not trying to make a political statement, just bringing the geography into an analysis of the political landscape: the United States is an urban country and any political party hoping to win a national election must capture at least some of the major metropolitan areas of the country. That isn't ideological; that's simple urban geography and demographics making it's way into national politics. "The math of assuming that the cities will go to Democrats is just a losing game going forward for Republicans."
See how much voter groups have shifted in the 2012 exit polls, compared to 2008. Early numbers are preliminary and may change significantly until midday Wednesday, when poll results are finalized.
The 2012 election mostly went as predicted (given Virginia and Florida's voting pattern, I'd invite you to re-think the "Where Does the South Begin" or at least to contextualize the political and cultural implications for the defining the vernacular region of "the South"). I'm sure we've all seen the electoral college map, but this great graphic shows the demographic groups voting patterns that produced that map.
Live election results from The Huffington Post. Romney vs. Obama, Senate, House and ballot measures.
This is one of many election maps that I am continually refreshing. When I lived in California I would always try to stay up for the results--now that I'm on the East Coast I don't think that is going to happen tonight (FYI: I've refreshed this map too many times to count).
NP: Four years ago, Channel One News, the weekday news program for middle and high school kids featured a dynamic area cartogram as a way of making the point that some states have much more electoral weight than others. In that broadcast, the map of the United States, featuring the familiar red and blue states indicating presidential election results, became animated. States with smaller populations squeezed into tiny shapes, while states with large populations expanded. At the time, we didn't know this kind of map was called an area cartogram; we called it a "squishy map." It does a nice job of making this case: some states matter more than others when it comes to US presidential elections.
Seeing the map on Channel One also launched me into work that continues with my dissertation. What kind of sense do kids make from complex representations like an area cartogram? In the Channel One broadcast in 2008, the map was presented as part of a sensible lesson about "electoral weight." With Vanderbilt professors Rogers Hall and Kevin Leander, we wondered if the map made sense to kids and if the argument was strengthened by the map.
Four years later, I'm still working on those questions and others like them. In the mean time, here's another awesome area cartogram. In this case, NPR's "It's All Politics" blogger Adam Cole makes an argument about the advertisement spending of superPACs and other outside groups. Which states matter to these groups? And how much do they spend per voter on these ads? The squishy maps tell the story. Cole has a great video here as well--it's whimsical and informative. Finally, another move by Cole in these maps is the scaling of elections at the level of the state by popular vote. This means that states that are more contested turn purple (half blue and half red) rather than the color of the winning candidate from the last election.
Right now, the conventional wisdom says that there are just nine states that might go either way on Nov.
Not all votes are created equally; votes in these 9 key states have a greater likelihood of impacting the actual outcome of the Presidential election. If we assume that the other states vote as anticipated, and that each candidate has an equal opportunity in the remaining 9 states (yes, these are a major assumptions, but work with me), than President Obama has a 84% likelihood of winning in the 512 possible permuations. Geographer Andy Baker has created a video that provides a solid non-partisan analysis of the political geography of these states (and other) states.
Theories about our right-wing and left-wing mind-sets don't explain why they are tied to geography.
While not endorsing all the cultural assumptions in the article, this is still an interesting exploration into expalining why distinct places are are politically aligned with particular parties.
Questions to ponder: What portions of the author's argument do you agree (or disagree) with? What do you see as the reasons behind the spatial distributions of "blue" and "red" in the United States?
Mitt Romney’s narrow electoral vote path explained — in 5 maps...
The above map represents the last time the Republican Party won a presidential election in the United States. As the polls currently are projecting that President Obama will be re-elected, the most critical questions about the voting patterns for both parties are spatial in nature.
Questions to ponder: how are current political patterns changing the map? Which states become the most pivotal for either candidate to be victorious?
We suggested ways to teach about Election 2012 and included links to lesson plans and Times features, and we'll be updating the page regularly as the march to the White House proceeds.
The Learning Network has partnered with the NY Times to produce lesson plans for all ages (and all disciplines) on how to teach using the 2012 United States Presidential Election.
For the first time in U.S. history, a Mormon is on a major-party presidential ticket. The Wall Street Journal examines the changing role of religion in Ameri...
Aren't religion and politics supposed to be the two things we are counseled not to discuss to avoid controversy? This video hits on something that plays a role for both candidates in the 2012 presidential campaign in the United States: their faith and how voters perceive their faith. This video discusses Mitt Romney, Barack Obama and some past presidents' religious beliefs. I feel this video handles very controversial topics in a thoughtful and fair manner given that it treats various religious traditions and political ideologies in a non-partisan manner. The geography of religion might play an significant role in the outcome of the 2012 election.
|Suggested by W. Robert de Jongh|
What political books are residents of your state reading? A new interactive map from Amazon shows recent book sales broken down by either "red" or "blue" political leanings.
I do not think that "book sales" is a surrogate for "projected votes," but this is revealing about the political landscape and especially the marketing of politically partisan materials.
In the race to the White House, no ethnic group is more prized than Hispanics. President Obama ended deportations for some young undocumented immigrants, and the Romney campaign is vetting Sen.
This interactive map feature combines to interesting variables (at the county level): the percentage of the total population that is Hispanic, and the 2008 presidential election. Analyze your local area and a few counties as well. What connection exists between the two variables? How come? What are some exceptions to these general patterns?
|Suggested by Kim Vignale|
President Obama and Mitt Romney are set to make appearances beginning Thursday at a major gathering of Latino officials and activists...
A core component of the 2012 U.S. presidential elections will be the demographic profile of both the Republican and Democratic Parties’ power base. For most of American history, the African-American population was the largest minority second to the Caucasian minority. Since the 2000 census, the Latino population has overtaken the African-American population as the largest minority in the U.S. How does this impact both parties? What are the strategies of both parties to appeal from a diverse set of voters? How does the immigration issue shape 'identity politics?'
Presidential candidate says Mexicans have voted for change of direction after exit polls project win for his PRI party.
For the first time in 12 years, Mexico's president will be from the PRI party (which dominated and led power from the 1920's to 2000). Enrique Peña Prieto won the election, in large part due to Mexico's dissatisfacation with the PAN's handling of the escalating drug violence. A few decades back, the PRI kept the violence out of the streets with some tacit agreements with the drug cartels to stay within particular territories.
An interesting case of identity politics is playing out in New York's new 13th Congressional District. A Dominican-American state senator is threatening longtime Rep. Charles Rangel in the district, which is now majority Hispanic.
Identity, whether it be be race, religious, color or creed absolutely matters in politics. Especially local politics where the demographics of a city or district play a major role in the viablity of a candidate. If the constituency perceives the candidate's cultural identity as either representing or not representing 'the people,' that can play a key role in the election.
With President Obama announcing that he now supports the legalization of gay marriage and Gov. Romney reiterated the GOP stance that marriage should be between a man and a woman, this sets the stage for a 'culture war' to be at the center of the 2012 election. While communities, churches and families may be split on this topic, there are some strong regional patterns that (given the electoral college) will have important political ramifications. As Jennifer Mapes stated about this interactive map, "it's useful in showing the geographic polarization of the country (coasts/center; urban/rural) as states strengthen laws that either allow for or restrict gay marriage/civil unions over the past ten years."