Tuesday, November 09, 2004

You're Surrounded!

The post below quotes a US Democrat who realised what we're up against. But his post largely focuses on Red States vs. Blue States (i.e. States voting for Bush vs. for Kerry), as does the funny map I put at the end of the post.

However, if you look at it at the election district level, a pattern emerges that should worry US liberals even more. I saw such a map for the 2000 elections, didn't found one for this one, but Raed's girlfriend Nikki did:



UPDATE 11/10:James, presumably from Dead Men Left, Suggested me a good link in the Comments - here you can see the county voting map with gradient colours, and population-weighted cartograms of both states and counties. However, these shouldn't stop US liberals worrying: the above map should give you the idea that most of you live on islands slowly sinking in a red sea; and to change the political map significantly, it is not enough to talk to your neighbour, but you should go out into the miriads of far-away smalltowns and suburbs and exurbs.

9 Comments:

At 11:13 AM, Blogger Meaders said...

This says nothing about population size - hence the reason, despite the swathe of red here, Bush only won 51% of the vote. It also says nothing about how close each of these seats are. For someone who's done both, have a look over here. It'll stop you getting too doom-ridden.

 
At 11:16 AM, Blogger Meaders said...

(Did my last comment appear at all? If not, check this site out - electoral maps with counties weighted by population and Republican vote - and stop worrying quite so much.)

 
At 5:38 PM, Blogger DoDo said...

Thanks James for the link, I'll add it as an update to the main post.

However, while those population-weighted and gradient-coloured cartograms correctly express the 51%:48% relative weight of votes, what I wanted to hammer home gets lost.

The majority of US Democrats live on islands. 'Their America' is an island chain. A cluster of Blue subcultures in a Red culture.

Meanwhile, the Red culture itself is dominant in many many local communities that are small, and spread out. While cities dominate Europe, suburbanisation from after WWII made non-city and small-city US population major again.

To substantially change the political map in their favour again, the Democrats face a job a lot more complex than going around in New York or Cleveland or LA campaigning for votes. The inhabitants of Blue counties do not have to 'reach out' to the Bible Belt, they have to reach out to the miriads of small communities, and reinvigorate the in-the-closet Blue minorities there.

Of course, I'm talking about Democrats here with a reason; for progressives, the task is different and even more daunting, but usually recognised, for on their issues, a large part if not overwhelming majority (ABB and all) of Democrats have to be convinced, too.

(BTW, are you the James from Dead Men Left?)

 
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