Tip O’Neill may not have originated the phrase “All politics is local.” but he used it frequently enough that he is credited with it. Still, as we relearned in 2020, it might be better phrased “Politics, like real estate, is location, location, location.”
This map showed up in The Hill in 2020 – showing the election would be decided in 10 counties. It isn’t too much to expect that the 2022 midterms will also be decided in a handful of locations.
This map, following the 2020 election reflects the article:
Most locations are politically consistent. Los Angeles votes Democrat – you can take it to the bank. When I worked in South Dakota, Leroy was the most diehard Democrat I knew – and a registered Republican, so he could actually vote in the primary. As a young adult, my Lincoln County was a Democrat stronghold. This year, the closest Democrat on the county’s primary ballot was in Polson. Six years ago, just before Trump won the presidency, David Schultz had an opinion piece in MinnPost, predicting that “If my calculations are correct, it is perhaps no more than 19 counties in 11 states — fewer than 500,000 voters — who truly matter in the 2016 contest.”
PEW research, back in 2016, provided this map of “swing counties” from the 2012 presidential election:
“As a 2014 Pew Research Center report noted, there’s a clear ideological divide both in the types of places people would like to live and where they actually live, with liberals preferring cities and conservatives favoring small towns and rural areas.”
Looking back at 2020, 10,000 votes in Maricopa County put Arizona into the Biden camp.
This article from the Daily Kos, following the 2020 election, does a pretty good job of supporting The Hill diagnosis that there are 10 counties to watch.
I really do prefer having a 2 party system where I do my voting. I wouldn’t mind 3 or 4. But I despise the attitude that locking the position for one party – whether republican or democrat – is a good thing.