2012 elections, Chris Koster, Claire McCaskill, Clint Zweifel, Jason Kander, Jay Nixon, Susan Montee
Technology threatened to inflict slow times on the manual election map creation front. But so far since Tuesday, the Missouri Secretary of State’s site hasn’t found a way to make their mapping technology work (or they forgot to reactivate the maps after the traffic subsided).
So here’s where I step in.
This map shows which counties picked the most candidates who won statewide:
11 of 115 counties voted for Romney, Claire McCaskill, Jay Nixon, Peter Kinder, Jason Kander, Clint Zweifel and Chris Koster.
The largest of the counties to pick all 7 winners are Clay and Jefferson Counties. Jefferson County is considered by some to be a weathervane of how statewide elections will play out.
Also notable that Kinder swept 5 traditionally Democratic Southeast Missouri counties (Iron, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot and Reynolds).
Jackson County has two election boards, the Kansas City Board and the Jackson County Board (which reports non-KC results). If we counted the County Board separately, they would be on the 7 for 7 list as well.
So, which counties picked 6 winning candidates and 1 losing candidate?
Six counties picked one losing candidate.
Buchanan and Ste. Genevieve Counties backed St. Joseph native Susan Montee over Peter Kinder. Henry, Shannon and St. Francois Counties backed Shane Schoeller over Jason Kander. Linn County picked Cole McNary over Clint Zweifel.
The 23 counties picking 5 winners and 2 losers either backed Obama and Montee (Boone, Jackson, STL City, STL County) or backed Schoeller and McNary (the rest).
9 counties backed 4 winners and 3 losers. Dave Spence won Cass, Daviess, Gentry, Schuyler, Scotland, Sullivan and Worth Counties. Todd Akin won Monroe County. Ed Martin won Lewis County.
15 counties supported 3 winners and 4 losers almost had diversity as to the successful Democrat they supported. Claire McCaskill won Andrew and Pulaski Counties. Chris Koster won Callaway, Cole, Lincoln, Livingston, Maires, Moniteau, Montgomery, Oregon, Randolph, St. Clair and Vernon Counties.
The other 50 counties backed the entire Republican ticket.
As for media markets, for the sake of reference:
Voters in the St. Louis market went for the entire Democratic ticket. Voters in the Kansas City market went for Romney, and then 6 Missouri Democratic candidates. In head-to-head (D or R) percentages, Claire/Nixon/Zweifel/Koster were over 60% in St. Louis. While Kansas City State Rep Jason Kander won a higher percentage in the St. Louis TV marker than in the Kansas City TV market.
A majority of Springfield market voters went for the Republican candidates. With Romney winning 69% h2h in the market. But Akin winning 54% and Ed Martin winning 52%. 76 thousand Springfield voters voted Romney but not Akin. 52 thousand Springfield voters voted Claire but not Obama.
Columbia’s market picked 6 winners but backed Schoeller.
Cape Girardeau’s markets and Joplin’s markets backed all 7 Republicans. Jay Nixon won 42%h2h in the Joplin market and 45%h2h in Jasper County.
Kirksville and Hannibal were two parts of the state subject to Presidential ads, as both reached Iowa. Kirksville backed Claire and Koster, and Hannibal backed all 7 Republicans.
So the basic maps for the 5 Missouri-level races and the Senate race.
Remember 2006 when a lot of coverage and emphasis went on Claire’s focus on outstate? This time around, outstate did pretty well, all things considered. The only way the result could have been more lopsided is if Claire won more counties (instead of just winning 53 of 115 and winning by 15%). The Pulaski County result was surprising, as it seemed like the only Democrat to win that county recently was Ike Skelton. A variety of counties north of the river may have been softened up by the one-two of Akin’s radioactivity and the Farm Bill issue, causing those voters to pick Claire over Akin.
It takes a special kind of terrible campaign/candidate to not win 40% in a Missouri statewide race.
The 2008 map which had a horseshoe ring of counties from St. Louis to Springfield to Kansas City could not be reproduced here. Notable that Nixon pulled out a win in Greene County.
Kinder already had spent a bit statewide to win the primary, and Montee didn’t have to spend as much in her primary. The difference between wins and losses involve the Dem losing places they should win in these kinds of elections.
Secretary of State:
Jason Kander put together enough of the usual Democratic coalition of KC, St. Louis and Sympathetic Outstate residents to move away from the recount margin by the time the last precinct reported. So despite the attacks thrown against him (“He likes Obama too much”, “He’s part of a 57 seat Democratic minority that is somehow crushing our hopes and dreams”), he wound up running 4.5% ahead of the President and winning traditionally Democratic outstate areas to get that 1.3% margin.
Clint Zweifel won 3 counties that Jason Kander lost (Henry, St. Francois and Shannon), and lost one county that Kander won (Linn). Once you get to the Secretary of State/Treasurer level, concern is warranted if the upballot results are not looking as favorable as they could. Despite the difference in years, Clint Zweifel still managed to almost hit his 2008 winning percentage in 2012. Clint’s ads were some of the best statewide ads I had the chance to see this cycle (although Jay’s were good enough to inspire a defamation lawsuit).
I haven’t done enough reading or research to verify this theory. But I suspect that voters who reside in state capitals sometimes defy their usual habits because they may have heard a little more about the actions that occurred in the capital city. Chris Koster won Cole County and counties all around Cole County. How much of that had to do with his time in Jeff City and how much of that has to do with the end of Ed Martin’s last job in Jeff City? Probably a bit. Koster also won 60 of 115 counties, making him the only Democrat who could claim a majority of the counties this year.
So that’s a look into how the maps looked for the statewide candidates on November 6th.