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Geographic voting patterns

11:51 AM ET (US)
Well said, NJer. We know that public welfare recipients enjoy far less goverment benefits than do military and government contractors, federally subsidized corporate entities and their owners and officers. But this is an irony that is never brought up by major political candidates.

And a further irony is that those who are clamoring for either Big Daddy protections or more localized freedoms don't themselves know what is really benefitting them or depriving them most. Millions of poor Americans are happily co-opted by a monthly handful of food stamps and welfare benefits while a handful of wealthy Americans are receiving millions of dollars apiece in subsidized income and profits from some of those very poverty programs.

Perhaps a reasonable reconciliation of the two, currently ill-informed, blocs of opposing voters might be achieved through better understanding of their sometimes mutual and sometimes disparate but legitmate needs .
07:38 AM ET (US)
Perhaps the first step in helping the 'two Americas' understand each other is not to imply that Less Crowded America is good ('local, hands-on') and Crowded America is bad ('looking for Big Daddy solutions').

In fact, most parts of Crowded America receive far less in 'Big Daddy' federal benefits than they pay in taxes. New York pays $17 billion more than it receives, New Jersey $11 billion. Meanwhile, Uncrowded America (the South and the West) has always lapped up 'Big Daddy' pork-barrel solutions such as military bases, dams, elaborate irrigation schemes, vast agricultural subsidies, shiny new highways through the middle of nowhere, etc. All thanks to taxpayers from Crowded America.
02:23 PM ET (US)
An interesting aspect of this discussion is the seemingly clear emergence of another two Americas: the crowded America with stressed out citizens looking for Big Daddy solutions for their problems, and the less crowded Americans who like the feel of a more local, hands-ons control of their situation.

I guess the real challenge for effective political leadership would lie in helping these two Americas understand each other a little better in an effort to unite their respective needs and goals towards the reformation of one great America. Is there anyone currently trying to do that?
Bill T
09:41 AM ET (US)
QUOTE:Made me wonder--how does proximity to water effect voting orientation?


Water was the "internet" of the
pre-industrial/Enlightenment/industrial era
(prior to rail and air travel)( thanks Marshall... ;) )
Many (not all) major urban areas, formerly known as "Large Cities" prior to the spread of Megalopolis, have(had) a need
for proximity and access to waterways for transportation of goods(atoms not bits).

Exchange of Goods=Commerce
Jobs = Growing or Stable Economy
Growing or Stable Economy = PEOPLE MAGNET

From here on I would agree with JTM's earlier post about population density and stress( I might add 'speed of life' and 'complexity') and the resulting desire for
a Government Solution(tm) to control the "mess".
02:43 PM ET (US)
Yeah, I know effect can be a verb. Context would indicate that's not how Peter was using it. It was all a dumb joke on my part anyway. Wake me when we have a president...
02:47 PM ET (US)
As to the mysterious swath of Gore voters in the bible belt, this map (http://www.census.gov/geo/www/mapGallery/images/black.jpg) of the distribution of blacks in the US from the Census Bureau is rather telling.

Check out the Hispanic distibution as well.(http://www.census.gov/geo/www/mapGallery/images/hispanic.jpg).
Edited 11-15-2000 02:04 PM
11:30 AM ET (US)
Anil states "The real problem I had with this map is:
"Made me wonder--how does proximity to water effect voting orientation?"
Dammit, Peter isn't it a usability sin to confuse "effect" and "affect"? I should think so"

Then you think wrongly, Anil. "Effect" may also be a verb, with the specialized meaning of "bring about" or "cause to happen;" as in - how does the proximity of water bring about voting patterns and predilections.

In any event, this syntactical subtlety is hardly a real problem of the map and it's demographic exploration.
Mike Monteiro
09:39 AM ET (US)
Overlay it with a Starbucks map. It's all becomes clear.
11:59 PM ET (US)
It looks like the Southern E-W band roughly follows I-20, which would tend to hit the major cities there. The patch in Texas runs from Brownsville to Laredo and further NW along the Rio Grande, which I think is a heavily hispanic area - as I've read. the pattern picks up all along the border with Mexico - around El Paso and in Arizona and New Mexico as well. It also corresponds to the poorest area of TX - see http://www.bidc.state.tx.us/maps/TX-PerCapitaIncome.htm for more info.
10:20 PM ET (US)
I don't know about the county breakdowns, but as I looked at the state-by-state map wondered, hmmm, what if you drew a map and assigned color as follows: blue = more SUVs than pickups, pink = more pickups than SUVs. Assume that urban areas will have more SUVs, and large urban areas will have lots more SUVs.
09:13 PM ET (US)
I agree with JTM's comment about electoral preference following population density, though I would argue that the patterns arise because of an acceptance of diversity, not social stress.

People in population dense areas are more accepting of diversity - probably because it is ever present.

I can only speculate about the population density of the areas that Peter pointed out, but I do know New York and the more densely populated areas (Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany and New York City) overwhelmingly voted for Gore.

Does anyone disagree that Gore is the candidate more accepting of diversity?
08:56 PM ET (US)
The real problem I had with this map is:
"Made me wonder--how does proximity to water effect voting orientation?"

Dammit, Peter isn't it a usability sin to confuse "effect" and "affect"? I should think so.

On an on-topic note, is there some demographic explanation for the heavily-Gore-slanted turnout in southern Texas? Perhaps someone else knows this area...?
06:45 PM ET (US)
The path through the Bible Belt captures the cities of Raleigh, Columbia, Atlanta, Montgomery, and Jackson.

Cities in general pack more people per square foot than outlying areas.

I suggest the key to electoral preference is population density. Stay with me here. The density of human bodies in a contained space, per se, gives rise to social stress. Social stress gives rise to social problems such as alcoholism, crime, and violence. The presence of social problems precipitates an interest in government intervention to solve the problems. Ergo, the party that offers the most government solutions (for better or worse) gets votes in densely populated regions.
Edited 11-12-2000 06:46 PM
05:32 PM ET (US)
The pattern you circle along the 'Ohio River' correlates in (the north) with
Cleveland and Pittsburgh, both traditional blue-collar union towns.

Actually, none of the blue areas correspond with the Ohio river except around Pittsburgh. The blue areas south of the Mason/Dixon line i don't know about. They're not along the Ohio River, though. The blue pattern does look, vaguely, like it follows the ridge lines of the western Appalachians, so there may still be a link between geography and voting here. I'd have to pull up a terrain map to be sure.

What I find interesting are states like Ohio, for which the eastern half was generally for Gore or Bush only carried a plurality, while the western half was solidly in Bush's camp -- you can draw a straight north-south line through the state. Cities like Cincinnati and Columbus appear to be entirely sold over to Bush, which puts a spin on the usual urban/rural split.
05:01 PM ET (US)
You might try overlaying the interstate highway system on your east coast circled areas. Part of the NC, SC, GA area seems to conform to I-95. It breaks down on the way between Atlanta and Birmingham, but I think that's were I-10 goes...
02:24 PM ET (US)
So, what's going on with those geographic voting blocs?

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