Today from the WTF department comes a quick story from KING 5 about traffic fatality rates across the nation -- and how these statistics relate to which presidential candidate each state went for in this year's election. In fairness, it was kind of a slow news morning for those not covering the weather beat.
As KING 5 details, citing statistics from a 2010 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, "states that voted for Pres. Barack Obama in the 2012 election generally have a lower rate of traffic fatalities than those who voted for Mitt Romney."
According to KING 5:
... there are 27 states in which the traffic deaths per 100,000 people was higher than the national average. Of those, 22 went to Romney in this month's election while five went to Obama.
Of the remaining 23 states and the District of Columbia, which were below the national average, 21 went to Obama and 3 went to Romney.
So are Obama voters safer drivers? Are Romney voters reckless behind the wheel?
Turns out, KING 5 isn't the only media outlet to have run with this, well, gee, let's call it "fascinating" story.
When shown the pattern, author Thomas Frank -- who has examined the nation's political culture in such books as "What's the Matter With Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America" - called it "amazing."
"This is someplace where you would not expect to see a partisan divide," Frank said.
Even the former federal auto safety researcher who brought the numbers to FairWarning's attention, Louis V. Lombardo, couldn't explain them. "It may be something we don't have a definitive answer for," he said.
Or, it could just be coincidental stupidity. Tough to say.