Birth of a Nation: To no one's surprise, California was one of the Bluest of Blue States in the last election, a point that was confirmed by the official election tally released this week. In spite (or perhaps because of) the fact that the Golden State remains one of the ripest of targets for potential terrorists, Kerry defeated Bush by just under 10%, or 1,235,000 votes. Although the margin narrowed for the third straight Presidential election, Bush's pick-up in the vote total only amounted to 1.8%, or less than 58,000 votes from his 2000 performance. In fact, outside of the five counties abutting Los Angeles County, where Bush picked up close to a quarter million votes on his Democratic rival, Kerry dramatically improved on Gore's performance last time. Critically, Bush failed to provide much competition, or make up significant ground, in Los Angeles County, which provided Kerry his third largest margin in the country (behind only Cook County, Illinois, and the District of Columbia).