Tuesday, November 3, 2009

County Interals from 2005 in New Jersey and How to Assess in 2009

Since New Jersey seems sure to be the closest race of the night, let's take a look back at the 2005 returns and look for clues as to what to watch for tonight.

In 2005, Jon Corzine won 55% of the two-party vote. Since he needs 50.1% of the two party vote, we'll focus on the counties where he won close to 55% of the vote 4 years ago to look at the counties that will likely tip the balance this time.

In 2005, Corzine handily won the following counties(with at least 60% of the vote):

These counties will be interesting only in the MARGIN of victory as he is likely to carry them all again.

In 2005, he LOST the following counties:
Cape May

He will almost certainly lose these again.

Which leaves us with the swing counties and Corzine's %'s from 2005:
Salem -- 51%
Burlington -- 53%
Atlantic -- 55%
Gloucester -- 55%
Bergen -- 57%
Middlesex -- 59%
Mercer -- 59%
Cumerland -- 59%

Mostly South Jersey counties are the swing counties. Of these counties, Burlington, Middlesex and Bergen are the big ones, together representing over 25% of the votes cast in 2005. Pretty much, whoever wins the three counties will win the election. I'll be analyzing the returns through this filter -- who is winning the key swing counties?

I would do a similar analysis in Virginia if I thought it mattered. Hampton Roads is usually the key to Virginia in close races, but let's face it, Virginia is not looking close this year.

Stay tuned -- 48 minutes until we start counting votes.

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