As we get closer to the 2012 presidential elections in the U.S., we are taking another look at the results of past elections to see if we can discern any patterns. Our first attempt consists of visualizing the margin of victory of each major party in the state of North Carolina. The map above shows the county by county results for the past four elections (click on the map for a larger version). Counties shaded red were won by the Republican party, while counties shaded blue were won by the Democratic party. Deeper shades are used to represent counties where the margin of victory was relatively large. Take Yadkin county for example. In 1996 it was the only county in the state where the Republicans won by over 40%, hence its deeper red color. Note that counties where the margin of victory was less than 5% are colored white.