As a Sociologist, I see a completely different picture than the hordes of Political Scientist and pundits when looking at this map:
Yes, I realize that this is a map of Barack Obama’s 2012 win in Virginia, but it’s also exactly the same as last night’s Governor’s election between the Democratic contender and the staunchly ultra-conservative Tea Partier.
Here’s how I see it differently: it’s demographics. And interesting ones too!
Just like Barack Obama in 2012, the Democratic contender for Governor won when most of the counties are “red.” For anyone that’s ever spent time in Virginia (like me), you know that all of those red counties are very sparsely populated.
This makes Virginia a microcosm of the “there’s more of us than there are of you” crowd when thinking about how Democrats can win against the Tea Party. The fact that it’s a southern state makes it more intriguing from a politically demographic viewpoint.
Defeating the Tea Party, it turns out, is all about the power in numbers.