Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Olympic Power

Could Olympic medals be an accurate surrogate of world power over time? I’m thinking, in particular, of early successes from traditional powers like France and Britain. I also know the Germans put on a good show when the Nazis came to power. Finally, there’s the arch-rivalry between the US and Soviet Union after WWII, as well as the recent rise of China.

I mean, it makes sense, doesn’t it? A powerful nation should be able to draw on its resources of people and money and expertise. And Olympic medals would also seem to be something that any nation that’s striving for world leadership would see as an easy way to quantify where they stand with their rivals.

So, let’ see if it’s true …

  • I focused on what country won the most medals.
  • To make sure that representation wasn’t too narrow, I included the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners. To give credit where credit was due, though, I awarded 3 points for 1st, 2 for 2nd, and 1 for 3rd. Kind of like gold, silver, and bronze.
  • I limited this to the summer Olympics. The winter Olympics are just too particular (to countries where it is cold some of the time), but any nation can run, and jump, and swim, right?
  • I eliminated any countries that only totaled 3 or more points. I figured you could get that with just one good showing (which is, indeed, what Greece did in 1896).
  • I combined East and West Germany.


So, here’s what I came up with:


A couple of notes:
  • The US has been the dominant nation since the start, reflecting the 20th Century’s common title as the “American Century.”
  • In the early years, The US’s main rivals were the traditional powers of Europe – in particular, France and Britain (and Sweden?).
  • Europe – having managed to destroy itself in WWI – pretty much stagnated after that.
  • The one possible exception here, though, is Germany, which first rose to prominence with the Nazis, then again after WWII, and is now the dominant player in Europe.
  • After WWII, Germany was joined by the Soviet Union, reflecting the arch-rivalry between the US and the Evil Empire. Interestingly, that rivalry seems to have never really gone away. 
  • Recent developments show Germany joining the other European powers in going stagnant.
  • Its place seems to have been taken by China, reflecting its recent growth since turning away from Communism.

So, how will the 2016 Olympics play out? Will China continue its run? Will Russia, with its drug scandals, give up a place to someone else? Will that someone else be Germany? Who else might step in?

Friday, July 22, 2016

People You May Know ...

Ah, LinkedIn. So many people marketing themselves … and without any idea how to do so.

These are real, honest-to-goodness photos people took to “sell their personal brand.” I got them all from simply following the People You May Know feature to end of the Internet. I’m not sure I actually know any of them though. Hey, thanks anyway, LinkedIn.

Needless to say, all these poor people will necessarily have to go anonymous. I have included their job titles (some of which are a hoot in and of themselves).

Marketing Manager (Enough about me – let’s talk about you)

CIU Manager (Hey, have you been working out?)

Non-Functional Test Solutions Manager (mug shot – nice!)

Sr. UX Visual Designer (funny, though – Sprockets does not appear on his resume)

Roots Muse Media Gypsy (No, really, what do you really do?)

Patient Access (put a lot of effort into this shot – I can tell)

UX Designer (in a blurry, anonymous kind of way)

Higher Education Technologist, Digital Marketer and Content (and Total Geek to boot)

Co-founder (Of what though? Hmm … Sorry, can’t remember)

Front End Developer (taken at a developer’s conference, no doubt)

Director, Senior Solutions (yo, over here, Mr. Director)

Team Manager, Principal User Experience Designer and Product Owner (okay, now up a little, Mr. Team Manager, Principal User Experience Designer and Product Owner)

User Experience Designer (and wild and crazy guy, I’m sure)

Technical Recruiter (and man about town)

Experienced Change Leader (Stop it! You make my neck hurt!)

UX Content Strategist (and you made me fall off my chair!)

Interaction Design Product Manager (if you must ask)

Graduate Teacher of Record / PhD Student (and an obviously superior person to you)

VP Technology Manager - Application Security Testing (but not too damn happy about it)

Senior AIX System Administrator (and having an absolute ball!)

Contract Consultant for Sales and Recruiting (“Don’t know why I even bother”)

Manager, Global Product Management (“God, why don’t I just kill myself?”)

Senior Web Engineer (and probable serial killer)

Senior Interaction Designer (and pirate???)

CCO, Co-founder (and obviously having a little fun at our expense)

Chief Cloud Architect  

Busboy at Olive Garden (‘nuff said)

Monday, June 6, 2016

Can Bernie Win?

In a word, no.

Hillary’s got this baby pretty wrapped up. And it’s not just the super-delegate thing either. In fact, Hillary’s leading Bern in a number of different ways. Let’s take a look …

Delegates – No big surprise here. We all know that Hillary leads. The actual numbers are 1,812 to 1,521. That’s 54% of all committed delegates so far. Advantage: Hillary

Delegates minus super-delegates – We all probably also know that, if you take the super-delegates away, Hillary is no longer in front. And the numbers for that are 1,264 to 1,475, or just 46% for Clinton. Advantage: Bernie

Super-delegates – Well, it’s not too surprising that Hillary’s killing when it comes to these. In particular, it’s 548 to 46, 92% to 8%. Advantage: Hillary

So, I can certainly see why the Bernie supporters are upset. There are, however, a couple of other ways to look at this.

Popular vote – You’d think this would have to be in Bernie’s favor, right? Well, Clinton’s got a 3 million advantage. She’s leading 13 million to 10 million, or 57% to 43%. That’s the strongest plurality yet. Advantage: Hillary

Electoral college – Well, why don’t we just cut to the chase and see how these two would do if we did this the way they do the actual presidential election? As you probably know, that’s just winner-takes-all for each state. Once again, Hillary’s out in front, 319 to 133. That’s an even stronger plurality, at 71% (and 59% of all states whether they’ve held their primary or not). Advantage: Hillary

Number of states – Just for fun, let’s take a look at how many states each candidate has won. Off the top of my head, my guess would be that this is probably pretty close. Indeed, Hillary is still leading, but at a much more reasonable 55% (or, more specifically, 24 states to 20). Advantage: Hillary

And what those last two tell me is that all Bernie’s really been able to do is cherry-pick some of the smaller states that the Dems have carried easily (Vermont, Colorado, Hawaii) or haven’t had much luck in (Kansas, Nebraska, Utah).

Hillary’s the one who’s taken the big states that matter and that actually will be in play (Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York). She’s also done strongly in the South. Though the South's red tendencies may be too much to overcome, Clinton's popularity with African-Americans might cause at least some states (NC, FL, and VA perhaps) to break blue.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Income Inequality in the Good Ol' USA

Well, we’ve been hearing a lot lately about income equality. Is there a way, though, we can quantify all that? So, it’s not just a bunch of stories and opinions?

Well, yes, there is. It’s called the Gini Coefficient, and it’s basically a number that tells you how equal or unequal a country is based on distribution of income.

I won’t get into all the gory details (though you can find them on good ol' Wikipedia), but essentially the Gini will give you a value of 1 for complete equality (everybody makes the same) and 0 for complete inequality (1 person makes all the money, and nobody else makes nuthin’). It’s something that any serious economist knows all about and takes very seriously.

Now, there are two ways to look at this number …


Believe it or not, this country was pretty darn equal at one time. Can you guess when? It was actually in the 1950s, the heyday of the middle class. Yup, everyone was working, unemployment was usually under 5%, the CEO of the average company made 25 times more than the average worked at that company (it's over 200 now), the highest tax rate was 90% (it's 40 now), and the Gini bottomed out at just under 39. (Oh, we were also the strongest country in the world and basically paid everyone’s military bill, gave foreign aid all over the place, and managed to fund all sorts of internal improvements and R&D.)

Now, this was a major contrast to what was going on pre-Depression, when the (mixed metaphor alert) Fat Cats were rolling in the dough and the Gini was over 50. 

What’s really interesting, though, is what happened in the 1980s, when numbers started to rise and rise, advancing to almost pre-Depression levels. 

So, what exactly was going on in those years? Well, you may remember a fellow by the name of Ronald Reagan. As avuncular and charming as he was, he was also the first Republican in almost 60 years who wasn’t essentially a DINO (a Democrat In Name Only). Yup, all the Republicans elected in FDR’s (and the Depression’s) very long shadow basically believed in the same model of government. That means Eisenhower, of course, but also Nixon and Ford too.

Reagan, however, wanted to blow the whole thing up. In that regard, he was essentially as nutso as Barry Goldwater (who ran in ’64) – but somehow managed to win more than his little home state and the Deep South.

And Reagan did (blow the whole thing up, that is). He totally changed the game – so that gummint was the enemy, unregulated capitalism was the hottest thing since the middle of the 19th Century, economic victims deserved their plight, and greed was good. And one of the major effects of all that was for the Gini coefficient to rise by almost a quarter, back to figures similar to those of the Roaring 20’s.


Another way to look at this is to compare ourselves to the rest of the world. Yes, I realize we American don’t really like to do that. American exceptionalism is, after all, a storied tradition in this land. Sometimes, though, the exception is on the debit, not the credit, side.

Like, for example, when it comes to the Gini coefficient:

On the plus side, it looks like we’ve got everybody beat directly south of us. Take that, Colombia! And that, Guatemala! At the same time, though, it looks like we’re in the same boat as Argentina and Nicaragua – and Suriname’s got us beat flat. Dang!

Africa’s looking pretty good too – at least south of the equator, that is. It’s a little hard to believe, though, that were losing out to Ghana, and Sudan, and Mali, and Burkina Fasso.

And here’s a call out to China, and Malaysia, and – um, er – Papua-New Guinea. It’s looking, though, like Japan, and South Korea, and even such light weights as Mongolia and Vietnam and Afghanistan have us bested in Asia.

As for Europe? Are you kidding? Canada? Fuggedaboutit. The ANZAC countries? Yeah, right. Heck, even India and Iran and Greece have us beat.

Care to see it in a list? Well then, the World Bank has us coming in at 96, just above Gabon, but just below Qatar. Not a World Bank fan? Well, how about the CIA? They’ve got us at 102.

Ready to give up? I know I am.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Opening Day Scheduling

Ah, Opening Day! The crack of the bat. The roar of the crowd. Games getting canceled because of snow …

Yup, it happens every year, doesn’t it? So far this year, we’ve got games in Cleveland and New York cancelled (for cold, though, not snow). Huh! Who ever saw that coming?

At the Jake

Now, Cleveland I might be able to understand. They were playing the Red Sox, for crying out loud. And, sure enough, the weather was worse in Boston (28 to 30).

But do you know who the Yankees were playing? The Marlins!?!? So, not only was it a balmy 78 in Miami, but the Fish play in a friggin’ dome!

And, while I’m on the subject of domes, did you know that 3 dome teams – Toronto, Seattle, and Houston – start the season on the road? In fact, we’ve even got 2 dome teams (Toronto and Tampa Bay) playing each other. 

To return to Cleveland and NYC, though, did you know that 4 other teams were kind of in the same boat? In particular, I’ve got Pittsburgh at 41 and Cincinnati at 45.

On the other hand, I’ve also got some travelling teams with some pretty nice temperatures:
  • San Francisco – 64
  • Washington – 65
  • Colorado – 73
  • Los Angeles – 76 

I’m not so sure about those middle 2, but Los Angeles? Los Angeles?!?! And, just to add insult to injury, would you believe they’re actually playing San Diego?!?! 

Now, none of this is very encouraging, but is there perhaps a way to make all this concrete, to see how bad it actually is?

Yup, those are palm trees

A Better Way

Well, the first thing we’re going to have to do is come up with something to compare all this to. So, our first set of home teams is going to have to be those with domes (or retractable roof):
  • Toronto
  • Tampa Bay
  • Milwaukee
  • Seattle
  • Arizona
  • Houston
  • Miami
That’s 7. We only need 8 more.

Milwaukee - a balmy 38 outside 

So, let’s round things out wiith the home teams with the highest temperatures:
  • Texas – 83
  • Los Angeles (2 teams) – 76
  • Atlanta – 76 
  • Oakland – 71 
  • San Diego – 69
  • Washington – 65
  • San Francisco – 64 

Now Let’s Compare

So, there’s a couple of ways we can go about this. We probably first, however, need to eliminate any of the dome games. Temperatures are going to be perfect there, right?

Now, let’s look at the average temperature for those remaining home games.  And that gives us:
  • Current – 61
  • Better way – 73

That’s 12 whole degrees!

Next, how about if we take a look at the difference between the temperature in the visitor’s city and that in the home team city. I figure, in aggregate, that will give us some feel for how much sense the whole scheme might make. In other words, I think it can give us the best take on whether we’re meeting our overall goal of avoiding colder cities and playing in warmer ones.
  • Current – 136
  • Better way – 195

That’s a difference of not quite 60 degrees.  Divided over the 9 games that would  actually be played outdoors, that’s a difference of 9 degrees per game.

So, what am I missing? Why am I not in charge of scheduling for Major League Baseball?

It's probably this guy, right?

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Those Not So All-American Republican Presidential Candidates

You may know already that Ted Cruz was born in Canada, or that Marco Rubio’s parents were both born in Cuba. What you might not know, though, is the extent that the few final Republican presidential hopefuls all have extensive ties to foreign shores.

So, here’s how I went about it … I looked at each candidate’s parents, grandparents, and spouse(s). I then simply saw what percentage of these were foreign-born. Now, let’s take a look at those rather surprising results.

Jeb Bush (13%)

Yup, even super WASP Jeb Bush makes this list. Note, though, that that’s only through marriage.

Columba Garnica Gallo was born in Mexico. She and her future husband met when Jeb went down there on something of a mission trip when he was at Phillips Andover, his super-WASPy prep school. He was 17 and she was 16 (and spoke no English). They would marry a mere four years later. She would become a naturalized US citizen in 1979.

John Kasich (44%)

Well, here’s one I wasn’t expecting. Kasich seems about as blue-collar, all-American as they get. 

Turns out, however, all four of his grandparents were immigrants from Eastern Europe. His father’s parents were Czech and his mother’s were Croatian (her maiden name was Vukovich).

Dad, John, Sis, and Mom

Kasich’s been married twice, with both of his wives being native-born Americans.

Marco Rubio (50%)

Marco Rubio is a true first-generation American. And that means that both his parents, as well as all his grandparents were foreign-born – in particular, in Cuba.

His Dad was Marco Rubio Reina and his mom was Oriales Garcia. They came to the US three years before Castro, in 1956. They would both become naturalized citizens in 1975.

Mama y Papa

In 1962, Rubio’s maternal grandfather, Pedro Garcia, came to the US as un “undocumented immigrant,” was all set to be deported, but somehow managed to get off the hook at the last minute and stay.

Marco’s wife, though the daughter of Colombian immigrants, was herself born in Florida.

Ted Cruz (50%)

Ted Cruz is an interesting case. On the one hand, he himself was born in Canada, of a Cuban-born father. (Hey, what is it with all these Cubans?)  On the other hand, though, his mom seems to be pretty all-American.

Ted’s dad, Rafael, is an interesting one as well. Born in Cuba, he originally supported Castro, coming to the US in the late 50s. He was actually a Canadian citizen when Ted was born, becoming a US citizen only in 2005. Bet you didn’t know that Ted’s real first name is Rafael as well.

Ted's wife, Heidi Nelson, sounds about as WASP as they come.

Donald Trump (58%)

Well, well, well … How could it be that immigrant-basher Donald Trump is the least native of all the Republican candidates? 

Well, did you know that his mom is from Scotland? Yup, Mary Anne MacLeod was born on the island of Lewis and Harris, in the Outer Hebrides. I guess that’s where Donald got the red hair and enormous eyebrows from.

She met Donald’s father while on a visit to the Big Apple. Though Donald’s father, Fred, was born in New York, both of his parents were from Germany. Put it all together, and Donald doesn’t have a single grandparent who was native born.

Just to continue the theme, Trump would show a real predilection for marrying outside the US as well. Of his three wives, only one – Marla Maples – was American. His first wife, Ivana Zelníčková, was Czech, and his third and current wife, Melania Knauss, is Slovenian.

Special Note

So, you may be wondering about all the Rand Pauls, Mike Huckabees, and Chris Christies out there. Well, they seem to be pretty boring ancestry-wise. All I could really find was that Rick Santorum dad’s, Aldo, was born in Italy.

On the Democratic side, Hilary’s about as WASPy as it gets.  Bernie Sanders is the only Dem who rivals the Republicans when it comes to a foreign background. With a father and all four grandparents born in either Poland or Russia, he clocks in at 50% – tying Cruz and Rubio, and besting Trump.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Home State Losers

Listening to NPR this morning, I heard some pundit express the opinion that if one of the current presidential candidates couldn’t win their own home state, they were done. 

That made me wonder if there were any presidents who had not won their home state. A quick look at the Interwebs told me no (at least for the modern political era – i.e., after the Civil War).

So, how about the losers then? Well, would you believe that’s actually what happened in half of all presidential contests in that period?

Now, the fact that some of the candidates (major-party only) have been absolutely trounced explains quite a bit of that. But not all, mind you. 

So, here’s a list of the presidential candidates who have lost their home states. I’ve listed them in ascending order based on how much of the electoral college they won – in other words, from pretty explainable results to those that are little bit more of a mystery.

Here we go …

#18 – 1936, Alf Landon, Republican, Kansas (2%)

Poor Alf Landon, Can you imagine running against FDR in the middle of the Depression? Well, I guess someone had to do it. 

Yes, the symbol of Kansas is the sunflower

Landon was actually a likeable, pretty moderate candidate. He did win Maine and Vermont – at that time, bastions of the Republican Party. He also won 46% of the vote in his home state.

#17 – 1912, William Howard Taft, Republican, Ohio (2%)

Alright, here’s our outlier. This election was a real weird one – basically one of a handful that featured a serious 3rd party. In this case, that party was Teddy Roosevelt’s  he had served previously as Republican president, vowed to not run again, but reneged on that promise and ran on the Progressive ticket. Taft, the incumbent, would be the official Republican candidate.

Taft is the big one

TR would outpoll Taft by a score of 88 electoral votes to 11. The only state Taft would win would be Utah, of all places. Roosevelt and Taft would split Taft’s home state of Ohio, allowing that to fall to Woodrow Wilson (in addition to the whole election as well).

#16 – 1972, George McGovern, Democrat, South Dakota (3%)

Not totally sure why this one was up there with the Landon/FDR result when it came to numbers, but there you have it. McGovern was fairly liberal, as well as a bit of an unknown and something of a dark horse candidate as well.

The Eagleton Affair didn’t help any either

McGovern’s only victories were in Washington DC and in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts. SD was somewhat close, though, with McGovern winning all of 45%.

#15 – 1932, Herbert Hoover, Republican, Iowa (11%)

Poor Herbert Hoover. I’m sure the Dems could have run anybody and won.

It was really more like swap horses or drown

I debated throwing this one in here. Unlike a lot of candidates, Hoover didn’t have a strong connection with any particular state. Though born in Iowa, he also spent part of his youth in Oregon, spent his young adult years in California, and was generally extremely peripatetic (including stints in China, Australia, and London).

Well, turns out he didn’t win any of those. In fact, the only states he did win were all in the northeast (at the time, pretty solidly Republican) .

#14 – 1956, Adlai Stevenson, Democrat, Illinois (14%)
#12 – 1952, Adlai Stevenson, Democrat, Illinois (18%)

The prosperous, conformist, post-FDR 50’s were not a good time to be a Democrat. Poor Adlai Stevenson ran in both the ’52 and ’56 elections, but pretty much everyone but the South “liked Ike” instead.

Adlai Stevenson I was a winning VP candidate in 1892 and a losing one in 1900

Egghead Adlai lost his home state with just 45% of the vote in ’52 and an even lower 40% in ’56. And that makes him the only repeat offender on this whole list.

#13 – 1928, Al Smith, Democrat, New York (16%)

Al Smith was the first Catholic to run for president. Hard to believe, but that was a sure formula for defeat just less than 100 years ago. Back then, Republicans had targeted the Dems as the party of rum (anti-prohibition), Romanism (Catholicism), and rebellion (the South).

He was known as the “Happy Warrior”

Smith, a former governor of New York, did lose the state by only the slimmest of margins (47% to 50%). He’s actually one of 5 New Yorkers who have not carried their home state. Hmm, I wonder what this will mean for The Donald?

#11 – 1872, Horace Greeley, Democrat, New York (18%)

1872 was a weird one. Turns out the Republicans themselves were split. The main part of them, called the Stalwarts, voted for the incumbent, Grant. The Radical Republicans, however, started their own party, the Liberal Republicans (actually not an oxymoron way back then), and nominated Greeley. The Dems, who were highly motivated to defeat Grant, adopted Greeley as their candidate as well. Whuuut?

Can you imagine this guy getting any votes today?

Just to make things even more interesting, Greeley would subsequently pass away between the election and the actual seating of the Electoral College. And that meant that he would actually not get any of the electoral votes at all, with those being split between no less than 5 others.

#10 – 1944, Thomas Dewey, Republican, New York (19%)

Here’s another one that had to be pretty unwinnable as well. Imagine running against a sitting president, in wartime, who’s going for his fourth term, and who won the last 3 elections by 10%, 16%, and 17% of the popular vote.

Poor guy would not fare much better in 1948. Though everyone was sure he was going to win, Truman would beat him handily. Dewey would, however, hold New York this time. Both years were very close though – 46-45% in’48 and 47-52% in ‘44.

#9 – 1920, James Cox, Democrat, Ohio (24%)

1920 was the model for all but a handful of elections pretty much between Reconstruction and the Great Depression. In each of those elections, the South went blue and the rest of the country went red.

Dems were also known as the Wets back then
(Prohibition had been enacted just the year before)

Needless to say, Ohio is not part of the South. I’ll bet you may not have realized, though, that both candidates that year were from Ohio (the other one was Warren Harding). So, one of those guys was going to end up on this list. Harding would win pretty handily though – 58% to 39%.

#8 – 1924, John Davis, Democrat, WV (26%)

Finally, we’re over the 25% mark. The rest of these home-state losers were at least able to get over a quarter of the electoral votes.

Unfortunately, Davis’s results would look almost exactly the same as Cox’s – a blue South and everything else red. It was pretty close in WV though – 44% to 49%.

By the way, Davis’s loss would start a string of 5 straight elections – from 1920 through 1936 – where the losing candidate would also lose their own state. There have also been some repeats from election to election, but no other string quite like this one.

#7 – 1904, Alton Parker, Democrat, New York (29%)

Once again, we’ve got two guys from the same state. The sitting president – Teddy Roosevelt – would be the one to win this one however, 53% to 42%.

No, you’re right, Jefferson was not the Democratic candidate for president in 1904

And once again, we’ve got the same blue South / red everywhere else template. In fact, this one stood out primarily because one of the Southern states – Missouri – was the first to buck the trend and go Republican.

#6 – 1892, Benjamin Harrison, Republican, Indiana (33%)

And here we are at the one-third mark. It is important to note, though, that this is another one of those 3rd-party elections. The outsider this year was the Populist candidate James Weaver. My guess is Harrison would have won Indiana – and the election – if it hadn’t been for him.

Colorful, no?

This was an interesting election in that both Harrison and the eventual winner, Grover Cleveland, were running as incumbents. Harrison was actually the real incumbent, but Cleveland had been the president immediately preceding him.

Harrison would lose Indiana by less than 10,000 votes.

#5 – 1900, William Jennings Bryan, Democrat, Nebraska (35%)

This one fits that same blue-South template, but was a little different in that the Democrats were able to capture some Western states as well (Colorado, Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming). Interestingly, though, Nebraska was not one of them.

That same pattern would repeat in 1908, when Bryan won again. This time, though, he would be able to take his home state. He also won the Cornhusker state when he first ran for president, in 1896.

#4 – 2012, Mitt Romney, Massachusetts, Republican (38%)

Hard to believe, but this home-state loser phenomenon actually happened in the last election. Yup, Mitt Romney failed to hold Massachusetts, where he had been governor. Of course, how the People’s Democratic Republic of Massachusetts ever elected a Republican in the first place is totally beyond me. Poor Mitt was actually trounced in the Bay State, a whopping 38% to 61%. Buyer’s remorse?

Going for the Green vote?

#3 – 1888, Grover Cleveland, NY, Democratic (42%)

Grover Cleveland and Benjamin Harrison – together again, for the very first time. It’s a little hard to believe, but this election would be an exact mirror image of 1892. 

In ’92, Harrison lost the election and his home state, with Cleveland winning both. In 1888, Cleveland lost the election and his home state, with Harrison winning both. Honestly, I can’t make this stuff up.

He did get his picture on the $1000 bill however

#2 – 1880,  Winfield Scott Hancock, PA, Democratic (42%)

This was the first election where the South was really the Solid South. And that’s a tad ironic, as Hancock was actually a Union general. 

Poor guy, his Civil War exploits didn’t help him in his native state though. He would lose the Keystone State by 4%. Of course, he was running against another Civil War general, one James Garfield. Hancock was, however, the better looking one.

#1 – 2000, Al Gore, TN, Democratic (50%)

Remember this one? It was pretty darn close, wasn’t it? It wasn’t quite as close in Tennessee though. Gore lost the Volunteer State 47% to 51%. And I don’t believe there were any hanging chads there.

“This close!”

The South is about as red as you can get these days, a remarkable turn-around since the days when it was just as solidly Democratic. The South did make an exception for native sons Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton – in ‘76, ‘92, and ‘96. Not one Southern state went blue for Gore however. Looks like that flip is pretty much totally complete at this point.