The Center for Rural Strategies has compiled a list of the 372 counties that swapped party allegiances between the 2004 and 2008 presidential elections.
Some findings about the flippers, via CRS's release:
- The Midwest was the hotspot for flips this year, accounting for 173 or nearly half of all counties that changed allegiance in this election.
- Counties that changed their majority vote to Democratic this year had average per capita income of $25,587. Counties flipping Republican had average per capita income of only $18,555.
- Of the 211 rural counties that switched, 177 went Democratic while 34 went Republican.
- Of the 112 urban counties that flipped, all but one went Democratic.
- Of the 49 exurban counties that flipped, 39 went Democratic.
A map on CRS's website indicates that shifts toward the Republicans occurred primarily in rural Appalachia and Arkansas. You can check out individual breakdowns for urban, rural, and exurban counties on these handy data charts.