The National Journal takes an extensive look at Hillsborough, a Bush-Obama County.
The article also cites our blog:
Hillsborough’s makeup had been changing. David Dent, an associate journalism professor at New York University, has launched a website dedicated to counties like Hillsborough that voted for Bush in 2000 and 2004 but went for Obama in 2008. Nationwide, 272 counties fit the BushObamaAmerica.com profile. Although some similarities with nationwide averages on race and income can be drawn when all of the counties’ populations are grouped together, the makeup of the individual counties varies widely. Some are home to growing minority populations; others are overwhelmingly white.
“Hillsborough is clearly one of the BushObama counties where a tilt in diversity helped produce the win, and the question is whether those ingredients are still ripe enough, given the current economic climate,” Dent said.
How closely divided is Hillsborough? Of the 1.95 million votes cast in presidential elections since 1992, Republican nominees won only about 14,000 more than Democratic nominees. Another nugget dug up by [Steve] Schale, the Democratic strategist: The outcome in the Tampa Bay market has run within 2 percentage points of the statewide result in every presidential election since 1992.
Overall, the article presents a fascinating look at what its author suggests may be the most important county in the 2012 presidential election. The importance of winning there has not been lost on the Republicans, who plan to hold their national convention in Tampa, Hillsborough’s central city. As Florida’s only Bush-Obama County, Hillsborough is doubtless an important place to watch as the race moves forward.