Thursday, December 01, 2005
On this day:

Alabama's "bellwether" counties

PoliSciZac has an interesting analysis of 2002 statewide election results on his Alabama Elections blog. He looked at county-by-county results for the 2002 elections and found that only 6 counties - Butler, Covington, Crenshaw, Henry, Madison, and Tallapoosa - "voted for the winning candidate in each of the 7 constitutional offices (Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Auditor, Treasurer, and Agriculture Commissioner)." He goes on to say:

One obvious observation is that 3 of the 6 (Butler, Covington, Crenshaw) are contiguous and a 4th (Henry) is just a couple counties east. Now I am not sure exactly what that indicates, but if any Alabamians can claim to represent "Alabama values" they should be from that neck of the woods.

Special attention should also be paid to Madison county and not just because of its size. Not only did Madison county select the winner in each race, but also its percentages nearly mirror the statewide margins. For example, Madison county voted for both Bob Riley and Nancy Worley by a margin of less than 1%. Across the board Madison county proved eerily representative of the statewide electorate.

It would be even more interesting to see whether the same 6 counties served as "bellwether" counties in previous elections. If so, then I propose that we save the state a lot money by holding the election in only these 6 counties next year....or better yet, just let Madison County (where I live) decide. Hey, why not? Can't you trust a bunch of geeky engineers and rocket scientists?