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Wednesday, January 4, 2006


Posted by on January 4 at 11:22 AM

There are only five states with less than 10% minority population:

Maine 3.9%
Vermont 4.0%
West Virginia 5.6%
New Hampshire 5.7%
Iowa 8.3%

Given that conventional wisdom says the more diverse you are the more liberal you are, it’s interesting to note that 3 of the 5 Whitey states are Blue states: Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire. Meanwhile, the two Red states, Iowa and W. Virginia, are on the higher end of minority population for these five states.

A smart friend of mine from NYC forwarded me this analysis: “Perhaps white people turn red-statish if they feel threatened by a poor minority - Mexicans in Texas and Arizona, African-Americans in Mississippi, Alabama, etc., Native Americans in SD, Montana, ND, etc.”

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And WV was only a red state (and just barely) as of two years ago.

And Iowa was a blue state in 2000, but then that minority population crept up to 8.3% and the backlash begins.

Where are you getting these statistics?

Having grown up in Idaho, I'm surprised it's not in the top 5. The Native American population isn't that big, and there aren't that many seasonal workers, at least not in the north. Same with Montana. Then again, there's a reason people move there, and stay there. The same reason Mark Fuhrman lives in Sandpoint. In other words, some places it doesn't matter what the minority population is. People move there because of the minority population elsewhere.

I think the red / blue state thing has been over sold: it is a meaningless comparison.

Example my adopted state of Wisconsin; blue state, but only because Madision and Milwaukee voted that way. Break the map down by county and you have a better picture of the voting patterns. Doing so by precinct is more revealing yet.

Or not - my precinct voted Bush. Next precinct over voted Kerry. The difference between them? Not a thing as far as I can tell.

You would get a better view of diversity and blue/red status by overlaying minority population with voting at the county level.

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