Mitt Romney’s demographic troubles have, by this point, been well-rehearsed by practically every pundit across the political spectrum. However, even in his most troubled demographic (black voters, where Romney was trounced 94-6), the GOP nominee could probably comfort himself that at least – contrary to some polls – he didn’t get 0 percent.
But what if there are parts of the country where Romney not only got zero percent of the vote (a possibility in the case of vote totals so small that rounding renders them null), but actually got literally zero votes? For the nominee of a major party, that would be truly extraordinary – so extraordinary, in fact, that it would strain credulity.
And seeing as this highly unlikely turn of events happened not in one or two precincts, but in over 59 in Philadelphia, and 9 in Cleveland, that credulity can be safely said to be completely strained, if not broken. From the Philadelphia Inquirer:
It’s one thing for a Democratic presidential candidate to dominate a Democratic city like Philadelphia, but check out this head-spinning figure: In 59 voting divisions in the city, Mitt Romney received not one vote. Zero. Zilch.
These are the kind of numbers that send Republicans into paroxysms of voter-fraud angst, but such results may not be so startling after all.
“We have always had these dense urban corridors that are extremely Democratic,” said Jonathan Rodden, a political science professor at Stanford University. “It’s kind of an urban fact, and you are looking at the extreme end of it in Philadelphia.”
Many parts of Philadelphia and other big cities simply lack Republican voters, a fact of campaigning that has been true since Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, Stanford University’s Rodden said.
In 2008, McCain got zero votes in 57 Philadelphia voting divisions. That was a big increase from 2004, when George W. Bush was blanked in just five divisions.
But Larry Sabato isn’t convinced.
“I’d be surprised if there weren’t a handful of precincts that didn’t cast a vote for Romney,” the regular Fox News guest who also heads the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, said.
“Not a single vote for Romney or even an error? That’s worth looking into,” he added.
But the oddity doesn’t end there. Weaselzippers also passes along this map of Ohio’s Cuyahoga County.
Note the pure blue areas, where Obama is supposed to have won this full, every-single-vote sweep. Such a victory isn’t logically impossible, but it’s so thoroughly unlikely that some observers are already raising questions of fraud. At bare minimum, this outcome certainly raises questions about the political makeup of the areas in question.
This story has been updated.