Decision MediaWorks

Summering in North Carolina

Recently, Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise announced that SunPass would now work on North Carolina toll roads. This agreement makes sense seeing as how every Floridian we know has made the requisite pilgrimage to the mountains this summer.

If you’re interested in more facts on this long standing vacationing trend, check out this article from a North Carolina business publication (WARNING: You will learn what native North Carolinians really think about us “Floridiots”).

We wanted to get a better picture of which Florida cities are best represented along the ridges, so we made this list of Florida cities with the highest Google search volumes for “North Carolina.” The cities are ranked in proportion to the top searching Florida market (Jacksonville).

As always, if you find this a tid-bit interesting, please share it.

N.B. Embed may not display on some iPad browsers.

The Hidden 30-year Trend That Has Dem Operatives Salivating

Among the longest standing assumption among political practitioners is that young voters start liberal and move to the right as they age.

The narrative goes that voters under thirty are traditionally heavily influenced by outspoken peers or lefty college professors. These youthful voters move to the right, however, as they begin careers, pay taxes and have children.

Pollsters watched as Baby Boomers and Gen Xers took predictable paths to voting Republican. The assumption is that Millennials will follow the same course.

They will not.

The chart below shows the generation gap in presidential voting since Jimmy Carter. A few items to note about this chart:

- The generation gap in voting has never been wider. The apparent drop in 2012 is exaggerated because many Millennials turned thirty between presidential elections and were counted in the 30 and over crowd in 2012.

- For most of the last thirty years, there really has not been a generation gap. Younger Boomers and all Gen Xers generally did not swing hard for one party over the other. In fact, the average pre-Obama vote gap was only 3.6 percent.

Millennials are a radically different generation from their parents with regards to communication and social traits. In the coming weeks we will explore what the data says about this large generation and why they will not follow traditional political behavior patterns…and why that matters to Florida’s future.

Enjoy the interactive chart and if you like it, please share it.

Data from Pew Research Center


Who Vacations In Florida?

Tourism is a major driver of the Florida economy. The industry brings in millions of visitors and billions of dollars to Florida every year. Although the recession put a dent in Florida tourism, the visitors are crowding back into Florida again.

We decided to take a look at exactly where all these visitors are visiting from. Below is a map of Google searches for “Florida vacation” over the last decade. The numbers are “normalized” so every state’s search volumes are compared to the state with the most searches (in this case, Florida).

Interesting item of note:

- Florida leads the nation in searches for “Florida Vacation.”

- The Mississippi and Ohio valley regions are more interested in Florida vacations than the more populated Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions.

A State Divided: College Loyalty and County Lines

In Florida, college affiliations matter…a lot. Anyone who has driven Florida’s interstates knows that our state is regionally divided into distinct post-secondary tribes. We wanted to find out just where those lines of demarcation are drawn in the Sunshine State, so we designed a project to do just that.

We used specialty license plate sales by county to measure college pride around Florida. The first map below shows which school is the number one seller of speciality plates in each county. The second map shows the top school per county when you take away Florida and Florida State.

A few notes:
– The number one spot in each county is held by UF or FSU in every county but Miami-Dade.

- Ignoring UF and FSU dominance in plate selling, FAMU holds its own around the northern portions of the state with Miami covering South Florida.

- The I-4 corridor is the Yugoslavia of Florida with Bethune-Cookman, UCF, Miami and USF all holding at least one county in the region.

Click any county for more detail on the number of active plates and sales ranking among college speciality plates in each county. As always, if you like it, please share it.

Map Colored by School with Most Active Plates in Each County


Map Colored by non-FSU/UF School with Most Active Plates in Each County