Election 2008: The McCain Belt -- it's not 'the South'

The New York Times features this map about the 22% of counties nationally that voted MORE Republican in 2008 than in 2004:

There's no catch-all description that captures these areas, but it's clearly not -- as some pundits see it -- "the South." In fact, notably excluded are great swaths of the South -- from the mid-Atlantic into the Deep South, as well as West Texas and Mid- and South Florida.

The clearest geographic feature unifying the red zones is Appalachia, stretching from the southwest tip of Pennsylvania and into the northern edge of Mississippi.

Aside from that, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and the Louisiana/Texas Gulf Coast are clear areas of concentration -- and of course, the home states of McCain and Palin.

(H/T Matthew Yglesias)