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Where was Bush's surge in 2004?

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flashl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-13-08 12:47 PM
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Where was Bush's surge in 2004?

Beyond Red&Blue
August 12, 2008



How did George W. Bush, who couldn't even win a plurality of the national vote in 2000, win re-election four years later and also become the first person to top 50 percent since his father in 1988? In my Boston Globe column of June 23, I examined changes in the Republican vote, county by county, from one "W" election to the next. You can see the general change in the map below, but I thought it would also be fun, and possibly instructive, to note the individual counties where the GOP share of the vote increased the most. Below the map, I've listed them and speculated on the reasons for Bush's bump. If you're familiar with any of the areas and have better explanations, please pass them along!



BIGGEST % INCREASES FOR BUSH AMONG ALL COUNTIES, 2000-2004

1. Smith County, Tennessee. Total vote: 7,828. Bush percentage: 47.8%, up 15.3 points.
Carthage, the county seat, is the hometown of Al Gore, so it's not surprising that the Republican vote surged once he was off the ballot.

2. Walker County, Alabama. Total vote: 28,367. Bush percentage: 67.8%, up 15.0 points.
Walker is part of the Appalachian region in the northern part of the state, so it probably has more in common with Al Gore's Tennessee than with Alabama's true "Deep South" counties. It's 93 percent white, and it's largest employer is the Walker Baptist Medical Center. The county seat, Jasper, is referred to as the hometown of Sawyer on the TV series Lost.

3. Terrell County, Texas. Total vote: 469. Bush percentage: 65.3%, up 14.3 points.
A tiny county on the Mexican border, this is the setting for the novel and film No Country for Old Men. Its county seat, Sanderson, calls itself the "Cactus Capital of Texas."

4. Wyoming County, West Virginia. Total vote: 8,718. Bush percentage: 57.2%, up 13.1 points.
This 99% white county in the southern part of the state has 20% of its families living below poverty level (more than twice the national average) and only 41% of its adult population in the workforce (vs. the national average of 64%).



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