- Read Andrew Gelman's post and his regressions. To summarize: the polls were mostly spot on. (No Bradley effect.) Obama did a few points better than Kerry across the board; in many states, that was enough to push him over the 50% mark.
- Obama won the popular vote by roughly 5%. What happens if we subtract 5% from his statewide margins? He won all the Kerry states by at least five points, and most of them by about ten; they'd still have been in his column. He won Colorado by 7% so that stays; on the other hand he narrowly loses both Virginia and Ohio, and somewhat less narrowly, Florida, North Carolina, and Indiana. He also wins New Mexico, Iowa, and Nevada. Kerry + IA + NM + CO + NV = 278, which is a win.
- Obama won states worth 269 electoral votes by at least 9.6%. (The 9.6% is Iowa.) This is substantially bigger than his popular vote margin.
- I had Jay Cost's swing state review in mind when I was watching the countywise returns. He did pretty well at figuring out what an Obama win would look like. His bellwethers (Obama's margin in Hampton County, VA; whether he flipped Cincinnati) were both useful early indicators that Obama was going to do well in those states.
- Interestingly, while Obama won PA by a lot, he did pretty atrociously in the west of the state -- i.e. Pittsburgh and its suburbs. He made up for this with enormous margins in Philadelphia and with a very strong performance in the Scranton area. (Did Biden help or was it just the economy?) Compare these maps -- if you don't look at the margins it appears as if Obama did worse than Kerry or Gore.
- Ohio, on the other hand, was an across-the-board improvement, and not a huge one. Obama did anomalously well in Cincinnati, and held McCain's margins down in the suburbs somewhat. Unlike Clinton, he was pretty weak in Appalachia.
- In Colorado, Obama won the same counties as Kerry, Gore, and Clinton II, who all lost the state. The difference was that Obama ran 10-15 points better in the entire metro Denver area.
- The same pattern holds elsewhere. Obama held the line -- relative to Kerry -- in the "real America," and ran up huge margins in big cities and their inner suburbs.
- Obama won Hampshire county (where Amherst is) by 70 to 28. This is about the same as Kerry, though somewhat better than Gore.
I guess there's always the Ted Stevens saga...