Red State, Blue State, Purple State: Three Views of the Electorate
The interesting 2004 electoral map shown above appears in a University of Michigan Study that seeks "to use not just two colors on the map, red and blue, but instead to use red, blue, and shades of purple to indicate percentages of voters." You can find larger and more detailed versions of the above approach in a Princeton study by Robert J. Vanderbei here. Both sites are very interesting and worth visiting.
What does all this mean? If nothing else, the map above shows that the red state-blue state divide cannot be analyzed as simplistically as our friends in the elite news media seem to think. Novelist Scott Turow (whose political persuasion is decidedly liberal) thinks the country is really quite evenly divided and that Republican claims of ascendancy are hollow. On the more conservative side of the equation, Deacon at Power Line has an answer for Turow.