A funny thing happened as I was looking at the political map of this year’s presidential election: It began to look like the map of the presidential election of 2004.
I’m not talking about the superficial similarity, the fact that in both elections an incumbent president beat a challenger from Massachusetts by a 51 to 48 percent popular vote margin.
I’m talking about the fact that the large majority of states voted just a little bit more Democratic in 2012 than they did in 2004.
Enough to give 2012 nominee Barack Obama 332 electoral votes, far more than 2004 nominee John Kerry’s 252. But not enough to change the political balance of the nation or the various regions very much.
At current count — the numbers may change a bit as California and a few other states waddle in with late tabulations — Barack Obama’s 50.73 percent of the popular vote exceeds John Kerry’s 48.26 percent by 2.46 percent. (Eerily, George W. Bush’s final percentage was also 50.73 percent.)