Out of curiosity, I pulled the election results from each county since 1960 and determined which have most consistently mirrored the results in that state. The theoretical idea is that one could watch these counties and get a sense for where the state will go. The practical reality is that it's just a neat little bit of data that doesn't really correlate to anything.

We looked at this at three levels: Closest to state results since 1960, closest since 1992 and closest in 2012. The 10 counties that have been closest to the state results on average since 1960:

  1. Broomfield County, Colo.: 1.1 points average deviation from state
  2. Burlington County, N.J.: 1.92 points
  3. Beltrami County, Minn.: 2.03 points
  4. Stutsman County, N.D.: 2.11 points
  5. Poweshiek County, Iowa: 2.48 points
  6. Bennington County, Vt.: 2.53 points
  7. Greenbrier County, W.Va.: 2.55 points
  8. Oxford County, Maine: 2.62 points
  9. New Haven County, Conn.: 2.64 points
  10. Atlantic County, N.J.: 2.66 points

And since 1992:

  1. Cedar County, Iowa: 0.91 points average deviation from state
  2. Codington County, S.D.: 1.09 points
  3. Broomfield County, Colo.: 1.1 points
  4. Northampton County, Pa.: 1.1 points
  5. Lenoir County, N.C.: 1.17 points
  6. Clay County, Mo.: 1.26 points
  7. Burlington County, N.J.: 1.32 points
  8. Platte County, Wyo.: 1.34 points
  9. Atlantic County, N.J.: 1.49 points
  10. Snohomish County, Wash.: 1.54 points

Past performance is no guarantee of future results, as the fine print on midday TV get-rich-quick advertisements always reminds us. If you're curious how Pennsylvania's going to turn out, though, you could do worse than to look at what's happening in Northampton County.

The three counties with the least deviation from state results since 1960

Least deviation in 2012

Alabama
1. Colbert, 1.84
2. Lee, 2.35
3. Escambia, 3.31

Arizona
1. Greenlee, 0.41
2. Navajo, 1.19
3. Maricopa, 1.66

Arkansas
1. Columbia, 0.07
2. Carroll, 0.16
3. Arkansas, 1.48

California
1. Alpine, 0.3
2. San Benito, 2.48
3. Humboldt, 4.01

Colorado
1. Ouray, 0.21
2. Larimer, 0.4
3. Jefferson, 0.51

Connecticut
1. New London, 0.93
2. Middlesex, 1.46
3. Windham, 4.06

Delaware
1. Kent, 13.69
2. New Castle, 15.44

Florida
1. Monroe, 0.44
2. Jefferson, 0.88
3. Volusia, 2.04

Georgia
1. Screven, 0.59
2. McIntosh, 0.78
3. Gwinnett, 1.4

Hawaii
1. Honolulu, 3.66
2. Kauai, 6.64
3. Maui, 7.54

Idaho
1. Power, 1.11
2. Elmore, 2.22
3. Kootenai, 2.24

Illinois
1. Whiteside, 0.14
2. Knox, 0.47
3. Jackson, 2.51

Indiana
1. Jefferson, 0.2
2. Vanderburgh, 0.36
3. Clark, 0.38

Iowa
1. Webster, 0.03
2. Boone, 0.83
3. Clayton, 1.22

Kansas
1. Harvey, 0.88
2. Atchison, 1.38
3. Labette, 1.39

Kentucky
1. Meade, 0.07
2. Campbell, 0.11
3. Wolfe, 0.57

Louisiana
1. Concordia, 0.04
2. Jefferson, 1.03
3. St. Mary, 1.56

Maine
1. Oxford, 0.56
2. Sagadahoc, 1.02
3. York, 1.04

Maryland
1. Howard, 4.1
2. Charles, 5.3
3. Baltimore, 9.07

Massachusetts
1. Hampden, 1.91
2. Bristol, 2.64
3. Nantucket, 3.7

Michigan
1. Isabella, 0.23
2. Gogebic, 1.39
3. Oakland, 1.43

Minnesota
1. Nicollet, 0.14
2. Clay, 0.23
3. Fillmore, 0.35

Mississippi
1. Forrest, 0.58
2. Attala, 1.69
3. Scott, 2.06

Missouri
1. Buchanan, 0.63
2. Clark, 0.93
3. Clay, 0.99

Montana
1. Rosebud, 2.88
2. Park, 3.08
3. Lake, 3.64

Nebraska
1. Burt, 0.1
2. Dodge, 0.45
3. Johnson, 0.68

Nevada
1. Washoe, 2.98
2. Clark, 7.92
3. Carson City, 15.7

New Hampshire
1. Hillsborough, 4.46
2. Carroll, 6.38
3. Merrimack, 7.13

New Jersey
1. Burlington, 0.27
2. Atlantic, 0.92
3. Bergen, 6.43

New Mexico
1. Grant, 3.27
2. Dona Ana, 4.63
3. Sandoval, 4.88

New York
1. Franklin, 2.11
2. Clinton, 2.59
3. Westchester, 3.04

North Carolina
1. Caswell, 0.19
2. Hyde, 0.78
3. Watauga, 1.06

North Dakota
1. Pembina, 0.22
2. Cavalier, 1.41
3. Griggs, 2.13

Ohio
1. Sandusky, 0.28
2. Ottawa, 1.31
3. Montgomery, 1.63

Oklahoma
1. Tillman, 0.13
2. Mayes, 0.25
3. Craig, 0.61

Oregon
1. Clatsop, 2.57
2. Clatsop, 2.57
3. Washington, 5.34

Pennsylvania
1. Luzerne, 0.59
2. Dauphin, 0.67
3. Northampton, 0.68

Rhode Island
1. Bristol, 4.19
2. Newport, 6.52
3. Providence, 7.46

South Carolina
1. Georgetown, 2.84
2. Edgefield, 2.87
3. Abbeville, 3.01

South Dakota
1. Codington, 0.27
2. Aurora, 0.31
3. Beadle, 0.55

Tennessee
1. Grundy, 0.22
2. Van Buren, 1.84
3. Marion, 1.9

Texas
1. Tarrant, 0.09
2. Bell, 0.49
3. Bastrop, 1.25

Utah
1. Tooele, 2.5
2. Weber, 2.81
3. Wasatch, 4.29

Vermont
1. Windsor, 2.37
2. Bennington, 2.48
3. Orange, 3.66

Virginia
1. Radford, 0.05
2. Staunton, 0.19
3. Loudoun, 0.61

Washington
1. Grays Harbor, 0.79
2. Whatcom, 0.91
3. Snohomish, 1.95

West Virginia
1. Wayne, 0.13
2. Webster, 0.83
3. Marshall, 1.48

Wisconsin
1. Door, 0.05
2. Juneau, 0.09
3. Forest, 1.5

Wyoming
1. Natrona, 0.13
2. Platte, 1.4
3. Sweetwater, 1.44

Least average deviation since 1992

Alabama
1. Tuscaloosa, 2.55
2. Pike, 2.95
3. Lee, 3.47

Arizona
1. Maricopa, 3.9
2. Yuma, 4.73
3. Navajo, 6.2

Arkansas
1. Johnson, 1.7
2. Garland, 3.08
3. Craighead, 3.72

California
1. San Benito, 2.18
2. Lake, 3.18
3. Imperial, 5.04

Colorado
1. Broomfield, 1.1
2. Jefferson, 1.79
3. Larimer, 2.15

Connecticut
1. Tolland, 2.36
2. New London, 2.47
3. Middlesex, 2.52

Delaware
1. New Castle, 10.97
2. Kent, 13.97

Florida
1. Monroe, 2.86
2. Hillsborough, 3.55
3. Flagler, 3.7

Georgia
1. Decatur, 3.64
2. Screven, 3.73
3. Lowndes, 3.94

Hawaii
1. Honolulu, 3.94
2. Hawaii, 7.82
3. Maui, 9.43

Idaho
1. Power, 2.61
2. Kootenai, 4.67
3. Boise, 4.94

Illinois
1. Knox, 2.15
2. St. Clair, 3.49
3. Henderson, 3.62

Indiana
1. Wayne, 2.11
2. Fayette, 3.91
3. Brown, 3.92

Iowa
1. Cedar, 0.91
2. Tama, 1.6
3. Marshall, 1.64

Kansas
1. Sedgwick, 1.8
2. Jefferson, 2.75
3. Geary, 2.86

Kentucky
1. Bourbon, 2.45
2. Mason, 3.13
3. Daviess, 3.23

Louisiana
1. St. Mary, 2.53
2. Concordia, 4.17
3. Morehouse, 4.83

Maine
1. Sagadahoc, 1.76
2. Oxford, 1.96
3. York, 2.05

Maryland
1. Howard, 6.15
2. Baltimore, 8.98
3. Baltimore, 8.98

Massachusetts
1. Hampden, 1.79
2. Middlesex, 3.8
3. Nantucket, 4.11

Michigan
1. Isabella, 2.14
2. Kalamazoo, 3.59
3. Saginaw, 3.71

Minnesota
1. Blue Earth, 2.34
2. Beltrami, 2.63
3. Nicollet, 2.64

Mississippi
1. Leake, 2.23
2. Attala, 2.41
3. Monroe, 3.06

Missouri
1. Clay, 1.26
2. Buchanan, 2.6
3. Jefferson, 5.08

Montana
1. Lake, 2.62
2. Yellowstone, 4.58
3. Cascade, 5.73

Nebraska
1. Dodge, 1.78
2. Otoe, 2.45
3. Burt, 3.31

Nevada
1. Washoe, 3.53
2. Clark, 7.78
3. Mineral, 11.62

New Hampshire
1. Hillsborough, 3.37
2. Merrimack, 4.09
3. Rockingham, 5.53

New Jersey
1. Burlington, 1.32
2. Atlantic, 1.49
3. Gloucester, 2.97

New Mexico
1. Sandoval, 2.21
2. Dona Ana, 3.71
3. Bernalillo, 3.91

New York
1. Albany, 3.46
2. Westchester, 3.88
3. Erie, 6.34

North Carolina
1. Lenoir, 1.17
2. Watauga, 2.45
3. New Hanover, 3.01

North Dakota
1. Griggs, 2.47
2. Richland, 3.05
3. Stutsman, 3.65

Ohio
1. Stark, 2.29
2. Montgomery, 2.58
3. Wood, 2.85

Oklahoma
1. Payne, 2.42
2. Adair, 3.45
3. Pottawatomie, 3.78

Oregon
1. Washington, 3.28
2. Washington, 3.28
3. Columbia, 4.81

Pennsylvania
1. Northampton, 1.1
2. Luzerne, 2.63
3. Bucks, 3.22

Rhode Island
1. Bristol, 4.77
2. Providence, 6.54
3. Kent, 7.05

South Carolina
1. Greenwood, 3.89
2. Beaufort, 4
3. Florence, 4.07

South Dakota
1. Codington, 1.09
2. Clark, 2.12
3. Aurora, 2.23

Tennessee
1. Montgomery, 3.99
2. Anderson, 4.71
3. Maury, 4.91

Texas
1. Tarrant, 1.98
2. Atascosa, 3.44
3. Uvalde, 4.12

Utah
1. Wasatch, 2.64
2. Weber, 5.9
3. Daggett, 8.37

Vermont
1. Windsor, 1.93
2. Addison, 1.99
3. Bennington, 2.6

Virginia
1. Montgomery, 2.49
2. Nottoway, 2.83
3. Essex, 2.87

Washington
1. Snohomish, 1.54
2. Pierce, 2.86
3. Kitsap, 3.52

West Virginia
1. Greenbrier, 1.88
2. Marshall, 2.1
3. Mason, 2.58

Wisconsin
1. Juneau, 2.9
2. Columbia, 2.91
3. Racine, 3.24

Wyoming
1. Platte, 1.34
2. Fremont, 3
3. Sheridan, 3.29

Least average deviation since 1960

Alabama
1. Tuscaloosa, 4.9
2. Talladega, 5.54
3. Monroe, 6.29

Arizona
1. Yuma, 6.26
2. Maricopa, 6.89
3. Navajo, 7.12

Arkansas
1. Johnson, 4.25
2. Van Buren, 5.29
3. Craighead, 5.49

California
1. San Benito, 2.96
2. Napa, 4.88
3. Lake, 4.94

Colorado
1. Broomfield, 1.1
2. Alamosa, 3.88
3. Clear Creek, 5.52

Connecticut
1. New Haven, 2.64
2. Middlesex, 2.72
3. New London, 2.78

Delaware
1. New Castle, 6.33
2. Kent, 9.22

Florida
1. Pasco, 4.71
2. Hernando, 5.16
3. Hillsborough, 5.57

Georgia
1. Screven, 4.5
2. Brooks, 7.05
3. Lowndes, 7.08

Hawaii
1. Honolulu, 2.7
2. Hawaii, 5.84
3. Maui, 6.74

Idaho
1. Boise, 3.98
2. Power, 4.9
3. Elmore, 6.43

Illinois
1. LaSalle, 5.65
2. Fulton, 6.39
3. Henderson, 6.77

Indiana
1. Fayette, 3.71
2. Madison, 4.03
3. Henry, 4.33

Iowa
1. Poweshiek, 2.48
2. Jones, 2.85
3. Tama, 2.88

Kansas
1. Geary, 3.83
2. Sedgwick, 3.84
3. Lyon, 4.24

Kentucky
1. Daviess, 3.59
2. Madison, 4.75
3. Mason, 4.88

Louisiana
1. St. Mary, 5.7
2. Tangipahoa, 5.97
3. Iberia, 6.78

Maine
1. Oxford, 2.62
2. Kennebec, 3.02
3. Sagadahoc, 3.7

Maryland
1. Montgomery, 9.2
2. Howard, 10.44
3. Charles, 11.08

Massachusetts
1. Middlesex, 2.79
2. Hampden, 2.81
3. Bristol, 4.93

Michigan
1. Monroe, 3.9
2. Manistee, 4.79
3. Menominee, 5.16

Minnesota
1. Beltrami, 2.03
2. Washington, 3.34
3. Rice, 4.08

Mississippi
1. Leake, 3.79
2. Lafayette, 3.97
3. Covington, 4.55

Missouri
1. Clay, 2.85
2. Buchanan, 4.71
3. Saline, 5.05

Montana
1. Valley, 4.89
2. Carbon, 4.93
3. Lake, 5.15

Nebraska
1. Dodge, 3.5
2. Richardson, 4.06
3. Hall, 4.35

Nevada
1. Washoe, 5.93
2. Clark, 7.99
3. Storey, 10.01

New Hampshire
1. Rockingham, 5.36
2. Hillsborough, 5.46
3. Merrimack, 5.67

New Jersey
1. Burlington, 1.92
2. Atlantic, 2.66
3. Passaic, 3.4

New Mexico
1. Dona Ana, 3.18
2. Bernalillo, 3.55
3. Luna, 4.11

New York
1. Erie, 8
2. Schenectady, 8.4
3. Albany, 8.57

North Carolina
1. Lenoir, 5.93
2. Wake, 5.99
3. New Hanover, 6.18

North Dakota
1. Stutsman, 2.11
2. Richland, 2.93
3. Barnes, 3.88

Ohio
1. Lake, 2.93
2. Stark, 2.96
3. Ottawa, 3.34

Oklahoma
1. Wagoner, 3.94
2. Payne, 4.86
3. Cleveland, 5.04

Oregon
1. Clackamas, 4.18
2. Clackamas, 4.18
3. Wasco, 5.79

Pennsylvania
1. Carbon, 3.8
2. Northampton, 4
3. Luzerne, 4.96

Rhode Island
1. Bristol, 6.22
2. Providence, 6.41
3. Kent, 8.27

South Carolina
1. Florence, 3.9
2. Saluda, 4.34
3. Newberry, 5.66

South Dakota
1. Clark, 3.11
2. Yankton, 3.45
3. Codington, 3.52

Tennessee
1. Anderson, 5.08
2. Carroll, 5.61
3. Madison, 6.25

Texas
1. Tarrant, 4.01
2. Matagorda, 5.41
3. Jeff Davis, 5.8

Utah
1. Wasatch, 3.86
2. Weber, 6.79
3. Daggett, 10.39

Vermont
1. Bennington, 2.53
2. Washington, 3.12
3. Windsor, 3.4

Virginia
1. Essex, 4.41
2. Chesapeake, 4.74
3. Accomack, 5.18

Washington
1. Snohomish, 3.53
2. Thurston, 3.69
3. Whatcom, 4.06

West Virginia
1. Greenbrier, 2.55
2. Marshall, 2.77
3. Pocahontas, 4

Wisconsin
1. Racine, 3.19
2. Price, 3.56
3. Washburn, 4.03

Wyoming
1. Fremont, 2.86
2. Platte, 3.2
3. Natrona, 3.63