Nate Silver has unearthed something about Obama's November 6 win that is pretty interesting. In California's Bay area, technology central, President Obama's winning margins were very, very big.
So what's the deal? And why does this matter so much?
Over all, Mr. Obama won the election by 49 percentage points in the Bay Area, more than double his 22-point margin throughout California.
Although San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley have long been liberal havens, the rest of the region has not always been so. In 1980, Ronald Reagan won the Bay Area vote over all, along with seven of its nine counties. George H.W. Bush won Napa County in 1988.
Republicans have lost every county in the region by a double-digit margin since then. But Democratic margins have become more and more emphatic. Mr. Obama’s 49-point margin throughout the Bay Area this year was considerably larger than Al Gore’s 34-point win in 2000, for example, or Bill Clinton’s 31-point win in 1992. ...538
The reason is that Democrats’ strength in the region is hard to separate out from the growth of its core industry — information technology – and the advantage that having access to the most talented individuals working in the field could provide to Democratic campaigns.
Companies like Google and Apple do not have their own precincts on Election Day. However, it is possible to make some inferences about just how overwhelmingly Democratic employees at these companies are based on fund-raising data. (The Federal Election Commission requires that donors to presidential campaigns disclose their employer when they make a campaign contribution.)
Among employees who work for Google, Mr. Obama raised about $720,000 in itemized contributions this year, against only $25,000 for Mr. Romney. That means that Mr. Obama took almost 97 percent of the money between the two major candidates. And these aren't people who just gave money. They were also more likely to donate volunteer time to the campaign.
Apple employees gave 91 percent of their dollars to Mr. Obama. At eBay, Mr. Obama took 89 percent of the money from employees.
Over all, among the 10 American-based information technology companies on the Forbes list of “most admired companies,” Mr. Obama raised 83 percent of the funds between the two major party candidates. ...538
Romney did badly. Ron Paul a little better. But technology + Bay Area liberalism ("tolerance and multicultural values") made Obama the winner by very big margins.
Thing is, I don't believe these values are here today, gone tomorrow. If you look at the aspects of American life that reflect intolerance and a narrow authoritarian culture, Pew Research has shown over and over again that their appeal is fading. Religion? Bye bye. Homophobia? don't let the door hit ya. Racism? stay away from me, buddy. Foisting punitive fiscal policies off on the non-elite? The guillotine has been sharpened.
If money means anything to Americans, then the contribution to the Obama campaign in the Bay Area, ranging from 71% to 99% of the total contributions to Romney + Obama are an indication of where all this is going.
Kind of looks like David Axelrod has taken everything Karl Rove thought he'd cornered the market on and taken it home.