Steamboat Springs Most instructive of the studies that followed the election of Barack Obama and increases in control of the Senate and House by Democrats is a mapping of the percent change in party votes by county produced by the New York Times at http://elections.nytimes.com/2008/results/president/map.html.
Republican Party gains are notable in a distinct part of the country stretching from Western Pennsylvania (the area its Congressional Representative, John Murtha, referred to as racist bigots) through the rest of Appalachia and the Ozarks to Oklahoma. Arizona, Sen. McCain's home state, also is notable for its increase in Republican votes. Colorado, by this measure, was entirely blue, as was Utah.
The trend toward the Democrat Party during the past two general elections presages grave problems for Republicans. The party that gave us Lincoln, who emancipated slaves, and Goldwater, who saw no role for government in the private lives and decisions of individuals, has swung to the party concentrating on taking its support in stopping women from choosing what to do with an unwanted pregnancy and people who want to legitimize alternative lifestyles.
John McCain, a Goldwater disciple, was unconvincing in his appeal to this faction. While his choice for vice president brought out this group, she so alienated a significant portion of the remainder that they either stayed home or voted for someone else.
Unless you have lived in a region where covert racism has deep roots, you have no clue as to how it was used by Reagan to gain the undying support of Southerners and "Reagan Democrats." This group of supporters is dying, replaced by youths who are (mostly) color-blind and intent on seeing a political future unencumbered by bigotry and theology.