Obama wins just 4 of 120 counties in Kentucky, including my hometown

Tonight I was nosing around The Washington Post’s cool interactive map of voting results from all the counties in the country.

I was certainly not surprised to see that Obama won just four counties in my home state of Kentucky. Two of them were predictable:
*Fayette: home to Lexington and the University of Kentucky, plus a sizable black population
*Jefferson: home to Louisville and the University of Kentucky, plus a sizable black population

But how about the other two:

Elliott County in Eastern Kentucky, which has less than 8,000 people and is over 99 percent white. Elliott has apparently voted for the Democrat in every presidential race since the county was founded in 1869. That’s the longest winning streak for any party in any county in the country. But it was close this year, with Obama beating Romney 1,186 to 1,126.

And Franklin County went for Obama. That’s where I grew up — the county seat is Frankfort, which is also the state capital. Here’s what the vote looked like in Franklin County in 2012 and 2008:

What a curious switch. Largely because of government employment, the economy in Frankfort seems to have held up pretty well — but certainly not extremely well. The county has less than 50,000 people, with a black population of less than 5,000. The city has a little bit of a funkier edge than it used to have — or so it seems to me on my visits every few months — but it’s hard to account for the shift in a year when Obama typically underperformed his results from four years ago.