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Track: New Hampshire Primary Returns

Monday, January 09, 2012

The map on this page shows not only who’s winning in each of the state’s 10 counties, but, using Patchwork Nation, it shows how the candidates are doing in each of New Hampshire’s four types of county – from the wealthy Monied Burbs to the Service Worker counties.

How to read this map:

If you were devising a state where GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney could do well in a vote, it would probably look a lot like New Hampshire.

Romney was the governor of Massachusetts, which sits next door. He has a home in New Hampshire. And, from the perspective of Patchwork Nation’s geographic/demographic breakdown of counties, the Granite State offers excellent electoral terrain.

As we noted last week after the Iowa Caucuses, Romney seems to be emerging as the GOP candidate of the wealthy, largely suburban Monied Burbs. In fact, in Iowa the only county type where Romney did better in 2012 than he did in 2008 were the state’s Monied Burbs.

And the overwhelming majority of people in New Hampshire – some 61 percent – live in Monied Burb counties, in beige on the map below.

Bearing all those advantages in mind, Romney’s strong poll numbers in New Hampshire is not surprising, though recent days have shown his lead in shrinking. Even if Romney wins Tuesday night (you can follow the results live here) there are a few trends to look at in the vote using Patchwork Nation. 

The Choice of the Burbs

The Monied Burbs were good for Romney in the 2008 New Hampshire primary. He essentially tied Sen. John McCain in those places with 36 percent of the vote out of them. The four counties in the darkest green below, where Romney did best, are all Monied Burbs.

So one of the big questions for Tuesday night is can Romney continue to grow support in those places. Since Sen. McCain is not in this race, Romney should be able to garner more than 36 percent from those counties – possibly well over that amount. That would enable team Romney to claim two important things.

First, a solid win in New Hampshire. Second, proof that he is the best candidate to go head-to-head with President Obama in those critical swing-voting suburban areas.

The Monied Burbs were critical to President Barack Obama’s presidential win in 2008 and any Republican who wants to unseat him is going to have to do well in those places. If Romney does well in the Burbs again in New Hampshire, it would be further evidence that he is the one capable of doing that.

Winning the Small Towns?

On the other side of the coin for Romney, however, are the small town Service Worker Centers. There are three of those Service Worker counties in New Hampshire (in red on the first map above) and they were a weak point for Romney in 2008 – he got only 26 percent of the vote in those places.

 Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum won the Service Worker counties in Iowa and if Romney has a hard time on those counties in New Hampshire it could suggest deeper problems he has with less-wealthy voters. That might not be a problem for Romney in the GOP primaries, but it could come back to hurt him in the Service Worker counties in a general election vote.

The Service Worker Centers tend to vote Republican, but as we have noted in other reporting they don’t have the same strong cultural conservative element as the nation’s Evangelical Epicenter counties.

You can follow the New Hampshire vote through the Patchwork Nation breakdown as it comes in live on this site, we’ll have a look at what happened once all the votes are tallied.

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Comments [6]

cynthiacurran

Actually, Los Angeles is more of immirgate nation than the border towns on the map. La is closer to Orange and San Diego a lot of hispanics and asians. That's why the Industical metropolian doesn't really fit a county like LA which is about 34 percent foreign born. Also, Orange and San Diego are not really monied burbs. Santa Ana in Orange is around 53 percent foreign born and a poverty rate over 20 percent since adjusted for rent. Orange county 30 percent foreign born versus only 15 percent for El Paso Texas area whose hispanics are born more in the United States. San Diego only 24 percent foreign born. New Categories Los Angeles Immirgant Nation with a lot of hispanic and asian suburbs. Same for Orange Immirgant nation with a lot of hispanics and asian living in the older urban core towns of Santa Ana and Anahiem with a declining upper-middle class south county. Same for San Diego poor border hispanic towns with a declining upper-middle class population that is more white.

Jan. 14 2012 07:45 AM
brainart from NYC

I listen to NPR on WNYC almost every day or evening. I believe that they are the radio station where I get great guests and do not seem to be as biased ,trying hard to air objective imformation.That is not easy perhaps. They do speak of Ron Paul (who I happen to admire for his candor) as well as the others. I think it is good that the other canidates get heard.Perhaps that is the best way to expose them for thier patented forms of hypocracy.
I love WNYC and thier manner.

Jan. 10 2012 11:05 PM
John Corke from anniston,al

I like this site and N.P.R. BUT. Why doesn't N.P.R. talk about Ron Paul? I listen to NPR ALL day but it disturbs me why they don't like him or blow right by him.

Jan. 10 2012 09:05 PM
thcatt

New Hampshire, th black sheep of th Northeast. those lousy 4 electoral votes would've been enough to put Al Gore over th top nearly a dozen years ago, but, instead we now have THIS.

Jan. 10 2012 08:39 PM
zefi from colo springs

Cain drops in polls, numbers go to other man, both (shall I say three) of them experienced the same
thing in the nineties . No more please, we can do it.An ex adulterer in the oval office and a first lady who had an affair with a married man. These type of persons will be making history that will be read by our children and granchildren a century later .Is this the kind of role model that we want our children see? Hypocracy is the buzz word here.
Protect our children. They are not political ( pandering, expediency, etc), and they need a God fearing leader in the white house as their role model.

Jan. 10 2012 04:21 PM
Jim - Editor from Long Island

This site is awesome! I send our viewers to this site. Keep up the great work!

Jan. 10 2012 11:49 AM

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