I have mapped a random thing!
Actually, it isn’t as random as all that. Connecticut Republicans haven’t had a presidential primary since 2000–when a very different John McCain defeated a very different George W. Bush to take the state’s delegates 51%-49%. They’re having another one in February, so it’s worth taking a look back to last time.
I have mapped this race, and here it is:
I wasn’t expecting this map to tell me much of anything. I didn’t think I’d see any sort of geographical pattern at all. But there is one, isn’t there? There’s a big blot of Bush centered on Waterbury, and a smaller one centered on Hartford. Southeastern Connecticut Republicans went big for McCain–as did Republicans in the extreme west of the state. Bush lost his dad’s hometown of Greenwich, for instance. I have no idea why this should be the case. Maybe something to do with party structure and loyalty?
So what does it tell us about what Republicans will do in 2008? Really, almost nothing. The situation is so different now that it’s impossible to compare the two elections. President Bush has turned into a very different man from Candidate Bush, and McCain 2008 doesn’t have nearly the appeal of McCain 2000. I’d be tempted to say that McCain voters from 2000 might favor Giuliani, but I honestly have very little evidence for that.
I’m going to map the 2004 Democratic primary as well to get an idea of what Democrats might do–but again, I don’t think it’s going to be that instructive. I just like mapping things.