The lay of the land in Florida’s Gold Coast

After looking at the map of the 10 States of American Politics, Brian wrote:

A friend suggested Broward County (FL) be included with Northeast Corridor, just as Miami-Dade was put with El Norte rather than with South Coast. Was this ever considered? Outside the Everglades, the county’s density is over 4,000, voting tends to be heavily Democratic, and most residents are relocated from the Northeast Corridor.

That’s a good point, and I did consider putting Broward with the Northeast Corridor, but I didn’t want to make the map too complicated, and I wanted to take into account a longer time frame than the past two or three elections. As the chart below shows, Broward County, like the Northeast Corridor , has trended Democratic beginning in 1992. But Broward was closer to the South Coast during the 1960s through the 1980s — swinging toward Richard Nixon in 1968, back to Democrat Jimmy Carter in 1976, and then again to Republican Ronald Reagan in 1980. And South Coast, in contrast to Southern Inland, now looks like a swing region. If Broward gives the Democratic nominee a New York City-style landslide this fall while the South Coast goes Republican, I may change its region, but I think it’s possible John McCain will do measurably better in Fort Lauderdale than on Long Island.


Miami-Dade County really is one of a kind. Its swing toward the GOP during the Reagan years, and the Republican Party’s plunge in the 1990s, was a far more extreme version of what happened in the United States as a whole. It doesn’t fit exactly in any region, but its imitation of a long-necked bird puts it closest to the South Coast and El Norte. But the fact that it’s been solidly, if unspectacularly, Democratic in the last few elections makes it a better fit with El Norte.


And as proof that the three "Gold Coast" counties of Florida have distinctive personalities, here is how they compare with each other.


Finally, here are the stats reflected in the charts above.