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Author Topic: Does being from a neighboring state matter at all?  (Read 584 times)
Jacobtm
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« on: September 26, 2011, 08:51:44 pm »
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You often hear that Bachmann was born in Iowa and lives in Minnesota, so that will help her in Iowa. Or that Romney is from Massachusetts so he'll do well in New Hampshire.

I don't think those things matter at all. You have seen it a million times before, a candidate from a neighboring state does terribly in that state's primary.

The way I think about it is that regions have attitudes that can help. Romney's moderate style is what will help him win in NH, not the simple fact he's from MA. McCain won NH even though Romney was in the race in '08. It was simply that NH likes moderate Republicans, but was more than willing to choose an AZ over a MA.

In South Carolina, Perry will probably do well because of the ''southern conservative'' thing he does, even though Newt is from Georgia, and Texas is half-the-country away from SC.

Bachmann might do OK in Iowa, finishing 3rd or 4th, but that isn't because of her geography, but because she's very religious and very conservative and so is the Iowa GOP.

So while geography can impart the same flavor, it's that flavor that is important, not simply being from nearby.
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« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2011, 09:21:53 pm »
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Here are my comments from the other thread:


I can think of three reasons why it would help, in order of ascending importance:

1) Shared media markets
2) Outmigration from the candidate's home state to the state in which the election is taking place
3) Shared regional culture (especially New England, the South, and the Upper Midwest)

#1 and #2 really just help with prior exposure, so they might not improve a candidates standing depending on campaign dynamics.

In this case, you're right. Texas and Nevada are divided by two large states and hundreds of miles of mountain and desert. They're not in the same region and have few important cultural ties. And most of the Texan population is concentrated in the state's less arid eastern half, which is even farther from Nevada.

3) Shared regional culture (especially New England, the South, and the Upper Midwest)


Right. I think a good ol' boy from TN would do better in Georgia than would someone like Charlie Christ from Florida. GA and FL are neighbors, but Charlie Christ sure as hell ain't no Georgia Bo...

To be clear, the candidate him/herself matters. (For that matter, other than the panhandle, Florida's not so Southern.)

Right. The ''neighboring state'' thing is meaningless because of the differences you can get within neighboring states. If the candidate matches the state's style, that's one thing, but simply being from a neighboring state isn't important on its own.

McCain won NH in '08 over Romney, who was a neighbor. NH likes their Mavericks.

Other factors often overwhelm regional advantages. But I wouldn't write them off as totally
uninfluential and irrelevant. (And NH's John McCain fetish is just weird.)
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TXMichael
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« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2011, 09:50:27 pm »
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To an extent.  It matters more if the media market of one state moves into another.  Such as the greater Chicago media market having influence in lake county Indiana.  New York City's massive media market influencing Connecticut and New Jersey. 
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« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2011, 09:56:25 pm »
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No
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milhouse24
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« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2011, 11:33:55 pm »
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Yeah, GOTV is essential to any campaign.  Obama bused in volunteers into Iowa from his homebase of Illinois/Chicago, and those volunteers made the difference against Hillary and Edwards.  Some say people from Illinois were crossing the border to vote for Obama - but it was never proven. 

McCain won NH based on name recognition and the military veteran vote he secured in 2000 and 2008.  I think Romney finished a close second, but Romney actually ignored NH based on arrogance and spent all his money in Iowa. 

Hillary had a lot of Bill Clinton supporters in NH (comeback kid) and she had bused in volunteers from Albany and NYC.
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pbrower2a
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« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2011, 11:46:10 pm »
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You often hear that Bachmann was born in Iowa and lives in Minnesota, so that will help her in Iowa. Or that Romney is from Massachusetts so he'll do well in New Hampshire.

In 1976, Gerald Ford (R, MI) lost Ohio and the election. Michigan and Ohio share obvious similarities of economics. In 1993 Bill Clinton lost Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas both times. In 2000 Al Gore lost not only Tennessee but also all eight states bordering Tennessee. In 2008 John McCain lost three of the four states that border Arizona, and Barack Obama lost Missouri and Kentucky.  

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I don't think those things matter at all. You have seen it a million times before, a candidate from a neighboring state does terribly in that state's primary.


If the neighboring state is very different from the one from which the candidate is from in political culture (Barack Obama is a very poor match for Kentucky but excellent for Illinois) then one can usually expect a loss in the very different state in a general election.

The Favorite Son (usually worth about 10%) effect ends at the state line. If the nominee is extremely strong in his own state, then he can expect most bordering states to follow. But if you are looking at Indiana, it may be more significant that the headquarters for the campaign of President Obama was located in Chicago and that very soon the paid staff there had little electioneering to do in Illinois... or some neighboring or near-neighboring states (Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan), so if such staff had some spare time they might work Indiana.    
    
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The way I think about it is that regions have attitudes that can help. Romney's moderate style is what will help him win in NH, not the simple fact he's from MA. McCain won NH even though Romney was in the race in '08. It was simply that NH likes moderate Republicans, but was more than willing to choose an AZ over a MA.

Mitt Romney has never been politically active in New Hampshire as an elected official. New Hampshire, far more R-leaning than any Northeastern state except West Virginia and Indiana, is more likely than its neighbors to vote for Romney in the general election because it is more Republican. New Hampshire is the only state north and east of the Potomac to have voted for any Republican for President after 1988, and if Mitt Romney should win even some of the near-neighbors  (Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, or Rhode Island) then he has surely won a landslide. The same would be true in reverse if President Obama were to win Kentucky, Tennessee, or Arkansas.

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In South Carolina, Perry will probably do well because of the ''southern conservative'' thing he does, even though Newt is from Georgia, and Texas is half-the-country away from SC.

Gingrich fails in the South because he is a faux intellectual; Perry is a blatant anti-intellectual who appeals to the anti-intellectual attitudes of white Southerners. President Obama is a real intellectual, so a matchup between Gingrich and Obama would be interesting in the South, where white people with strong local ties would see themselves with a choice between two objectionable characters.    

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Bachmann might do OK in Iowa, finishing 3rd or 4th, but that isn't because of her geography, but because she's very religious and very conservative and so is the Iowa GOP.

Bachmann seemed likely to win over the Republican vote in Iowa for the primaries for a while because Iowa Republicans are as religious and reactionary as Republicans almost anywhere.

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So while geography can impart the same flavor, it's that flavor that is important, not simply being from nearby.

Someone had a chart of how the states voted in Presidential elections based on how states voted together. At the extreme, Alabama and Mississippi haven't voted differently (although the Civil War and Reconstruction did prevent some votes) since 1840. Hawaii and Rhode Island have voted together since 1960, and it is hard to think of states more separate in geography than those two... except perhaps Alaska and Oklahoma.

Thirteen states (except for the bare one-time exception of the Second Congressional District of Nebraska) have voted for the Republican nominee for President, and  seventeen states and DC have voted for the Democratic nominee for President in the last five Presidential elections. Nobody would confuse South Carolina and South Dakota, and nobody would confuse Pennsylvania and California.  
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Jacobtm
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« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2011, 11:50:51 pm »
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Good post, but I'm definitely thinking about Primaries where it isn't D v. R but a bunch of D's or R's competing.
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« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2011, 11:56:53 pm »
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To an extent.
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« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2011, 12:25:52 am »
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Of course it does. In fact just being from the region helps. Look at how Romney is doing in the Northeast and Perry is doing in the South.
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« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2011, 12:41:44 am »
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Hillary winning Indiana was a surprise. Of course she had once lived in Illinois, too, but whatever.
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Bacon King
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« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2011, 12:45:35 am »

I think it only really matters with regards to media markets, and even then it's only relevant for a candidate who has held statewide office- so voters are familiar with them from previous campaign ads and state news coverage and such.

See, for example, Obama's Iowa caucus performance in the counties that bordered Illinois.
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jfern
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« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2011, 12:52:40 am »
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I think it only really matters with regards to media markets, and even then it's only relevant for a candidate who has held statewide office- so voters are familiar with them from previous campaign ads and state news coverage and such.

See, for example, Obama's Iowa caucus performance in the counties that bordered Illinois.

On the other hand, Hillary won all of the Indiana border counties, except for Lake County where Obama had an unimpressive 13 point victory. The Gary area should have been landslide Obama.
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Bacon King
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« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2011, 03:45:03 am »

I think it only really matters with regards to media markets, and even then it's only relevant for a candidate who has held statewide office- so voters are familiar with them from previous campaign ads and state news coverage and such.

See, for example, Obama's Iowa caucus performance in the counties that bordered Illinois.

On the other hand, Hillary won all of the Indiana border counties, except for Lake County where Obama had an unimpressive 13 point victory. The Gary area should have been landslide Obama.

True, but unlike Iowa, only five Indiana counties in the northwest corner of the state are in an Illinois-based designated market area. The rest of the state watches Indiana-based TV stations.

Granted, I have no idea why Obama didn't do better in Gary- but that's just proof that being from a neighboring state doesn't really matter too much at all.
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« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2011, 03:56:38 am »

Further evidence, while I'm at it:

2008 GOP-
Huckabee did much better in the parts of Texas, Louisiana, Missouri, Tennessee, and Oklahoma that have TV market territory in Arkansas. The only counties Romney won in New Hampshire were in the Boston media market.

2004 Dem-
Look at the counties Dean won in New Hampshire, and look where Kerry polled the strongest (not counting the sparsely populated northernmost county). Same with John Edwards in SC.
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« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2011, 04:10:49 am »
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The only counties Romney won in New Hampshire were in the Boston media market.
and those same counties both went to Bush over Kerry in 04, unlike 3/4 of the McCain counties. I think this has more to do with the pattern of Romney's support in most states: upper middle class suburban conservatives.
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« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2011, 05:35:31 am »
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Someone had a chart of how the states voted in Presidential elections based on how states voted together. At the extreme, Alabama and Mississippi haven't voted differently (although the Civil War and Reconstruction did prevent some votes) since 1840. Hawaii and Rhode Island have voted together since 1960, and it is hard to think of states more separate in geography than those two... except perhaps Alaska and Oklahoma.

Thirteen states (except for the bare one-time exception of the Second Congressional District of Nebraska) have voted for the Republican nominee for President, and  seventeen states and DC have voted for the Democratic nominee for President in the last five Presidential elections. Nobody would confuse South Carolina and South Dakota, and nobody would confuse Pennsylvania and California.  

Do you have a link to aforesaid chart? If it exists, I would like to see it.
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« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2011, 12:15:14 pm »
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Let's take a look:

2008: McCain (AZ) only won Utah, Obama(IL) lost MO and KY
2004: Bush (TX) and Kerry (MA) both won all neighbors
2000: Bush (TX) lost NM, Gore (TN) lost all
1996: Dole (KS) lost MO, Clinton (AR) lost TX and OK
1992: 41 (TX) lost all but OK, Clinton (AR) lost TX and OK
1988: Dukakis (IN) kost all but Illinois
1984: Mondale lost every state except MN
1980: Reagan (CA) won all of them, Carter (GA) lost all of them
1976: Ford (MI) won only IN, Carter (GA won all neighbors
« Last Edit: September 27, 2011, 02:59:55 pm by Genghis Timberlake »Logged
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« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2011, 02:28:27 pm »
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Let's take a look:

2008: McCain (AZ) only won Utah, Obama(IL) lost MO and KY
2004: Bush (TX) and Kerry (MA) both won all neighbors
2000: Bush (TX) lost NM, Gore (TN) lost all
1996: Dole (KS) lost MO, Clinton (AK) lost TX and OK
1992: 41 (TX) lost all but OK, Clinton (AK) lost TX and OK
1988: Dukakis (IN) kost all but Illinois
1984: Mondale lost every state except MN
1980: Reagan (CA) won all of them, Carter (GA) lost all of them
1976: Ford (MI) won only IN, Carter (GA won all neighbors
Clinton's not from Alaska Tongue
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