A New Perspective on the Red State – Blue State Divide

September 12, 2008

The 2008 presidential election has been already called historic because an African-American is a major party candidate for the first time and in light of the high consideration given to one woman for the presidency and the nomination of another to be vice president.  But the choice in November will be noteworthy too for underscoring the further migration of population away from the North and East and toward the South and Southwest.  That shift has been linked with the polarity of cultures and what has been called the red state/blue state divide.  Senator Obama is from Illinois, a state with 73 towns and cities of at least 10,000 people in the middle of the twentieth century, whereas Senator McCain’s state of Arizona had just three cities with more than 10,000 people according to the 1950 census: Phoenix, Tucson, and Mesa.  The urban area of Wilmington, Delaware, where Senator and Vice Presidential candidate Joe Biden lives, had a population of 186,265 people in 1950, whereas Wasilla, Alaska, home to Vice Presidential candidate and Governor Palin, had a two-digit population of 97 in 1950.

The United States is much younger than Asia or Europe.  Red state America is likewise much newer than blue state America.  Those disparities caused by the migration of populations partly explains the fundamental cultural differences between the regions and the all-too-often failure of one group to communicate with the other.  It is not surprising that Obama enjoys greater relative popularity in the world than just the United States. It’s a generational thing.


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