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Articles in Elections

The Political Contradictions of Anti-Urban NIMBY Activism in California

By Martin W. Lewis | March 19, 2012 | 4 Comments

This final entry on Northern California will conclude the series by elaborating on the previously stated thesis that the local drive to protect urban and inner suburban neighborhoods from development is self-contradictory. Although anti-development activists incline to the left, their land-use policies are actually conservative, undermining their own larger agenda. Earlier posts looked at environmental sustainability and class divergence, contending …

Republican Primary Results by County

By Martin W. Lewis | March 15, 2012 | One Comment

Yesterday’s GeoNote examined the recent Republican presidential primary in Alabama, stressing the divergent results in the state’s various regions. In both Alabama and neighboring Mississippi, each of the top three candidates took a significant number of counties. As the first map posted today shows, this has been a somewhat unusual pattern in this election season; in most states that have …

Geographical Patterns in the Alabama Primary Election

By Martin W. Lewis | March 14, 2012 |

The recent Republican presidential primary in Alabama reveals some interesting geographical patterns. As the first two maps indicate, the so-called Establishment candidate, Mitt Romney, did well in the wealthier and more urban parts of the state. The one major exception here was Madison County in the far north, home of the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center, located near Huntsville. …

Chechnya’s Questionable Votes—and Investments

By Martin W. Lewis | March 13, 2012 |

Returns from the recent elections in Russia indicate significant “irregularities” in the voting process. Nowhere was fraud more widespread than in Chechnya, which recorded a 99.6 percent voter turnout, and which Vladimir Putin took by 99.76 percent.
The Russian government has been pouring money into Chechnya in recent years —US$21 billion by some accounts. Many of these investments have been questionable. …

Rethinking California’s Political Divide

By Martin W. Lewis | March 6, 2012 | 5 Comments
California Liberal and Conservative Precincts Map by David Latterman

Recent GeoCurrents posts on Northern California have emphasized the political divide between the left-leaning coast and the right-leaning interior. Such an analysis is reinforced by an incisive new report, David Latterman’s “The California Political Precinct Index,” published by the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good at the University of San Francisco. Based on returns from …

Egypt’s Electoral Geography Revealed

By Martin W. Lewis | March 4, 2012 | 3 Comments
Egyptian Block Vote Map from Electoral Politics 2.0

By Western standards, Cairo is a socially conservative and religiously devout metropolis. By Egyptian standards, however, it is a rather liberal place. Such a position is evident in the electoral maps of Egypt’s 2011 legislative election, recently put on-line by the invaluable website, Electoral Geography 2.0: Mapped Politics. As the first map posted here shows, the secular, center-left party, Egyptian …

The 1980s Geopolitical Transformation of California

By Martin W. Lewis | February 29, 2012 |
California Presidential Election 1960 map from Dave Leip's Atlas

Recent GeoCurrents posts have examined the political allegiances of various parts of California, focusing on Mendocino County. Mendocino today votes strongly for Democratic Party candidates, although not overwhelmingly so, like San Francisco. Voting history places Mendocino squarely in the Democratic camp for many decades, as the county has turned to Republican candidates only in landslide years, such 1972, 1980, and …

Political Complexities and Contradictions in California’s Mendocino County

By Martin W. Lewis | February 27, 2012 | 6 Comments
California 2008 Election Map from Dave Leip's Atlas

A GeoCurrents post last week highlighted the left-wing orientation of Anderson Valley in California’s Mendocino County, while noting that not all residents lean to the left. The same observation holds for Mendocino County as a whole. Recent election returns show roughly one-third of Mendocino voters selecting Republican candidates, including John McCain in the 2008 U.S. presidential election. As the election …

Regionalizing California

By Martin W. Lewis | February 16, 2012 | 6 Comments

With thirty-eight million people spread over an area of 163,696 square miles (423,970 km2) and an economy that would rank between the eighth and eleventh largest in the world if it were an independent country, California makes an unwieldy state. Its different regions are so distinctive culturally, economically, and politically that numerous attempts have been made to divide California into two or more …

Conflict in the Comoros

By Martin W. Lewis | October 28, 2011 | 4 Comments
Wikipedia Map of the Invasion of Anjouan in the Comoros

Although Mayotte is a troubled island, its difficulties are minor compared to those of the other islands in the Comoro Archipelago, which collectively form an independent state. By some accounts, the Comoros is the most coup-wracked country in the world, having suffered twenty military assaults on its government since independence in 1975. Its instability is almost matched by its poverty; …

Red Tripura and the Geopolitics of Greater Bengal

By Martin W. Lewis | June 1, 2011 | 13 Comments
Map of Indian states by party of government, 2011

India’s regional elections in early May 2011 saw the devastating defeat of the far left. After having ruled the 91-million-strong state of West Bengal for thirty-four years, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [abbreviated as CPI(M)] lost 146 seats in the Legislative Assembly, retaining only 42. In what could be an epochal loss, the larger

Ivory Coast: Divided and Reunited

By Martin W. Lewis | May 10, 2011 |
Map of the main political/ethnic blocks in Ivory Coast

According to most reports, Ivory Coast is slowly returning to normal. On May 6, 2011, Alassane Ouattara was sworn into office by Constitutional Council President Paul Yao N’Dre, a close associate of deposed leader Laurent Gbagbo. N’Dre, not surprisingly, called for national reconciliation. Although he was heckled at times, the event generally proceeded smoothly. A

Electoral Politics and Religious Strife in Nigeria

By Martin W. Lewis | May 5, 2011 |
Map of Nigeria's 2011 Presidential Election

For the past week, GeoCurrents has demonstrated that the conflict in Ivory Coast cannot be reduced to a simple north/south, Muslim/Christian split. This kind of broad cleavage is more apparent in Nigeria, as shown by its recent election. But even in Nigeria, the contrast between a Muslim north and a Christian south is not as

Ethnic Dimensions of the Conflict in Ivory Coast

By Martin W. Lewis | April 28, 2011 | 3 Comments
Map of Ethnic Groups in Ivory Coast

Careful map analysis reveals that the conflict in Ivory Coast cannot be reduced to a split between the Muslim north and Christian south, as is routinely suggested in the press. But it is structured around ethnic differences that have religious aspects. Today’s post seeks to demonstrate the struggle’s cultural parameters by comparing maps of electoral

Disparate Interpretations—and Misinterpretations—of the Conflict in Ivory Coast

By Martin W. Lewis | April 25, 2011 | 5 Comments
Map of the Division of Ivory Coast in 2007

Understandings of the recent conflict in Ivory Coast (officially, Republic of Côte d’Ivoire) vary significantly among different sectors of the news media. Mainstream sources in the United States often mention the Ivorian Civil War of 2002-07 that effectively divided the country in two (see map), but they focus primarily on the presidential election of 2010

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