I like to Move it Move it…

I comment a lot about how people tend to be pretty geographically static, i.e., they don’t move. For like, generations. Now some dude over at Strange Maps has overlaid Historical Cotton Picking with votes for Obama.

It’s pretty amazing:

The link between these two maps is not causal, but correlational, and the correlation is African-Americans. Once they were the slaves on whom the cotton economy had to rely for harvesting. Despite an outward migration towards the Northern cities, their settlement pattern now still closely corresponds to that of those days.

During the Democratic primary, many African-American voters supported Hillary Clinton, thinking it unlikely Barack Obama would win the nomination, let alone the presidency. When it became apparent that Obama had a good shot at the nomination (and thereafter at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue itself), their support for Obama became near monolithic. As it turns out, president-elect Obama won with the an overall support of 53%, but that includes over 90% of black voters (1).

And while their votes did not swing their states towards ‘their’ (2) candidate, the measure in which black residents of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and South Carolina voted for Obama is remarkable in that this particular voting pattern still corresponds with settlement patterns of almost a century and a half ago.

Largely, these groups of people haven’t migrated significantly in 150 years. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear about that in Europe, where you have city-states hundreds and hundreds of years old. But I guess it holds true here too.

330 – From Pickin’ Cotton to Pickin’ Presidents « Strange Maps