The first results of the 2008 election are trickling in ... from Indiana's Vigo County.
That might sound kind of random. But the interesting thing is, Vigo County--home of Terre Haute--has for decades most closely matched the national vote for president of any county in the country. As the Indianapolis Star reported earlier this week, "only six counties in the nation have voted for the winning presidential candidate in every election since 1960--[and] of those six, Vigo County, which is about 70 miles southwest of Indianapolis, has voted closest to the national margin." In 2004, for example, Vigo voted for George W. Bush over John Kerry 53 percent to 46 percent--only a point or two off the final margin.
So what are the early 2008 returns showing?
With 69 percent of precincts reporting, Barack Obama is beating John McCain in Vigo County--57 percent to 42 percent. That 15-point margin will likely close as more ballots are counted, and the senator still needs to drive up big margins around Gary and Indianapolis to win the Hoosier State. But if Obama retains even a fraction of his current lead, history says this will be a very good night for the Democratic nominee.
I'll update as more results come in....