Map of the Day: Would a National Popular Vote Highlight Local Politics?

Massachusetts became the sixth state today to approve a measure that would award all of its electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote. So far, six blue states with 71 cumulative electoral votes have signed on.

Proponents of the measure argue that every single citizen's vote should count, not just those in Broward County. Cynics argue that it's just a ploy by blue states to tilt the electoral math since the current system favors red and rural states.

I think the idea is rational -- It would force candidates to address national issues -- but as a political geographer, I also like watching candidates navigate the battlefield and gamble on whether or not to target certain states.

If enacted (which is an extreme longshot), candidates might have to pay attention to medium-size but "base" states like Massachusetts. If they did that, we might discover that even states like Mass are still often political quilts at the local level.

Robert David Sullivan at Commonwealth magazine draws the "10 regions of Massachusetts" every four years. Scott Brown's best area was Cranberry County (keep on eye on the 10th district race), while Coakley's was Bigger Boston.

(For more detail on the regions, check out his article about Deval Patrick).

Regions of Massachusetts

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Patrick Ottenhoff has been writing The Electoral Map blog since 2007. A former staff writer for National Journal Group and project manager at New Media Strategies, he now attends Georgetown's McDonough School of Business. More

Patrick Ottenhoff attends Georgetown McDonough School of Business in the Class of 2012. He previously served as a project manager in the Public Affairs Practice of New Media Strategies and was a staff writer for National Journal Group. Patrick has been writing The Electoral Map blog since 2007. As the name implies, the blog covers news and commentary at the intersection of politics and geography, but it also analyzes the stories, people, culture, sports, and food behind the maps and the votes. Patrick is a native Virginian and graduate of Union College in New York. You can follow The Electoral Map on Twitter and Facebook, and follow Patrick on YouTube.

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