Trivia absurdism of the day. At Beyond Red and Blue, Robert David Sullivan last month did some serious research into bellwether states:
I calculated the percentage-point differences between each county’s swing and the nationwide swing for each election from 1980 through 2004, then added them all up to find out the places that have deviated the least from the US total over that time. (For example, there was a swing toward the GOP and George W. Bush of 2.86 points in the last election. A county that swing 12.86 points toward Bush and a county that swung 7.14 points away from Bush would each be penalized 10 points for that election.)
The result is a map, list and Excel spreadsheet of the Top 50 Bellwether Counties, 1980-2004.
Which county is #1 — the single most conformist county in matching the country’s overall swing for the last seven elections?