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  Talk Elections
  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion
  U.S. Presidential Election Results (Moderators: Torie, ON Progressive)
  the 10 Regions of US Politics
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Author Topic: the 10 Regions of US Politics  (Read 8050 times)
zorkpolitics
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« on: December 13, 2003, 05:37:21 pm »

Here is an excellent analysis of national political trends that goes beyond the red and blue:

http://www.massinc.org/commonwealth/new_map_exclusive/beyond_red_blue.html

This site has divided the US into 10 nearly population equal regions, each with a distinct political character. The regions are based on voting returns from both national and state elections, demographic data from the US Census, and certain geographic features such as mountain ranges and coastlines.

The propose strategies for both a Bush win and a Democratic win in 04, that can occur by focusing on 5 or 6 of the regions.


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JNB
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« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2003, 07:25:34 pm »



 I e mailed the author of the map, and I agree with it for the most part, except he should have placed Baltimore in the Southren Lowlands, and DC and its suburbs(Both NO VA and Prine Georges County and MD) in the NE corridor.

  The GOP has the most to lose in El Norte, but the Democratcs chances here depend entirely on increasing the Hispanic vote in terms of registarion and turnout, though if the GOP does get close to 40% of the Hispanic vote, the Dems then need a new plan. The Democrats have the most to lose in the Big River region, a region where that has a older population and a large number of white working class socially conservatives voter who vote Democrat out of habit more than anything else.

  Barring a economic coallpse(and yes I still think this is possible) or a foreign policy disaster, Bush will have a easier time of getting crossover votes than the Democratic canidate. Bush will concentrate on the Big River region, and the 27 electoral votes in IA, MN and WI that went to Gore in 2000, possibly even some in the Great Lakes region. On the other hand, Democrats run a risk of white backlash in El Norte if they overly pander to Hispanics in attempts to increase the vote in this region.
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Bleeding heart conservative, HTMLdon
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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2003, 06:03:03 pm »
« Edited: December 14, 2003, 06:14:29 pm by htmldon »

Ok, I've come up with my own analysis of Tennessee, which I would divide into about seven regions.



Urban - Mixed, trending Democratic

The States four urban counties vary greatly with only Knoxville and Chattanooga sharing mostly common traits.

Memphis - Shelby County is very deeply divided by race with around 85% of whites supporting Republican candidates on at least a local level and at least 90% of blacks supporting Democratic candidates at all levels.  The county remained controlled by Democrats until the arrival of partisan primaries in the early 1990's which gave Republicans the opportunity to control most of the county-wide offices.  However, as the Republican voter base moves from eastern Shelby County into the exurbs of Fayette and Tipton Counties, it gets more and more difficult for Republicans to keep those offices.  On the state and federal level, Shelby County has remained Democratic except during Republican landslides.  It went for Democrats Gore and Bredesen, but Republicans Alexander, Frist,
and Sundquist against inferior opposition.  It is difficult to unify the politics of Shelby County and no one figure has truly united the white and black populations.  On the Democratic side, the Ford family and supporters of Mayor W.W. Herenton duke it out (sometimes literally) for control of Memphis.  However, with the city's major contributions to the state's politics being comprised of Governor Don Sundquist and State Senator John Ford, many Tennesseans of both parties have expressed the wish that Memphis would just "fall off into the damn river already."

Nashville - Nashville has always been the capitol of Tennessee Democratic politics and remains so to this day.  Both whites and blacks are mostly Democrats so the politics tends to be fights among Democratic factions - more Populist Democrats, Blacks, and "Good-Government" business types.  Governor Bredesen was from the latter faction when he was Mayor of Nashville. It is the home of a legacy of white Democrats with last names like Cooper, Briley, and Clement. There are some Republicans in Nashville, almost all of whom live in the Brentwood area on the extreme southern end of the county and identify more with the politics of the Collar counties that surround Nashville.

Knoxville & Chattanooga - These cities are similar in both size and political outlook.  The cities themselves are both slightly Republican and the counties are heavily Republican. Both cities have had strong moderate Republican Mayors who have been in office "forever", Victor Ashe of Knoxville and Bob Corker of Chattanooga.  Ashe recently retired from his office and was replaced by fellow Republican Bill Haslam.  The cities themselves have a slight Democratic trend as Republicans move out into the counties and exurbs - the City of Knoxville voted for Al Gore by a slim margin in 2000.  These areas are the center of Republican politics in the state but have had to share the limelight with the Collar Counties and Memphis suburbs.


Collar Counties and Memphis Exurbs - heavily Republican, trending even more Republican

Collar Counties - The collar counties is Tennessee's newest political region and is basically where all of the Republicans in Nashville were exiled to.  The heart of this region is Williamson County, one of the most Republican counties in the country and where the Democratic party is not even a recognized party.  It is the home of Congressman Marsha Blackburn who defeated four strong opponents from the Memphis suburbs in the '02 Republican primary.  Blackburn was the leader of the fight against a state income tax, a tax which of course would not be popular in the state's most wealthy region.

Memphis Exurbs - Memphis's exurbs are nothing compared to Nashville's suburban Collar counties in terms of wealth or political power and really aren't their own region yet... but they will be soon.  They are still MUCH more rural and the two most powerful Democrats in the State legislature are hiding in political caves in the region. Among these are the state house Speaker Jimmy Naifeh of Tipton County, who was forced to gerrymander most of his district to reach into African-American areas of neighboring Haywood county in order to remain in office.  Even with the gerrymandering, Naifeh only won his seat by a six point margin against a Republican who got in the race with a write-in campaign. This year Republicans have already united behind Dr. Jesse Cannon, an African-American with ties to both Tipton and Haywood counties, to win the seat.  The other one is Lt. Governor John Wilder.  While Naifeh was a staunch Income tax supporter and has made himself the enemy of virtually every Republican and around 30% of Democrats, Governor Wilder has taken a much more accomadating tone and been much more generous to the state's new Republican leaders - and in turn has faced spirited but not over-powering challenges from Republicans.  Once the political careers of these two strong Democrats are over, this area will be almost exclusively Republican.


West - Democratic, trending Republican

This area in the northwestern part of the state is the home of Blue Dog leader Congressman John Tanner.  Most of its local and state legislative offices are still held by Democrats but there is a sense that things are changing in the area.  Last year, young Republican Chris Crider was elected to the state house, toppling an entrenched Democrat who out-spent Crider 20 to 1.  President Bush also won several counties in the area including Tanner's home of Union City.  Tanner is probably safe because of his conservatism but you can bet that this seat will
become competitive the moment he retires.  This area is the only part of the state outside of the urban areas where there is a significant African-American population.


Southwest - Republican

This area of the state, which includes the towns of Henderson, Selmer, Lexington, and Savannah, used to be the only area where Republicans did well outside of East Tennessee.  The area has supported almost every Republican Presidential candidate with the exception of 1912, where the area split between Republican Taft and Progressive Teddy Roosevelt.  However, it has never had the power within the Republican party that East Tennessee has had or that the Collar Counties and suburban Memphis have developed.  It is the home of former Congressman Ed Bryant, who made an unsuccessful bid for the Republican Senate nomination against East Tennessean Lamar Alexander in 2000 - but Bryant's name is certainly in the hat to replace Bill Frist should he decide to retire.


Middle Belt - Democratic

The home of Jack Daniels Whiskey, Al Gore, and the Ku Klux Klan; rural Middle Tennessee is the Democrats' answer to rural East Tennessee.  It provides the Democrats' margin to remain viable in the state. The area has voted heavily for Democrats with the exception of the 1968 election where it went strongly for segregationist George Wallace and most of the counties went for Nixon in the 1972 landslide.  It has since gone heavily for Carter, Clinton, and to a lesser extent Gore.  Republicans have started to break up the Democratic belt across the middle
of the state but were unable to hold on to the fourth congressional district as Democrats redistricted it to include more of southern middle Tennessee to help Congressman Lincoln Davis, a close ally of Al Gore.


East - Republican

East Tennessee has been synonomous with the Republican party since it backed the Union in the Civil War.  Up until the 1970's, it had just enough power to annoy the Democrats but not enough to gain any power statewide or in the legislature.  As areas in the rest of the state began to trend more Republican, East Tennesseans like Howard Baker and Lamar Alexander became not only statewide but national political figures.  Despite the rise of the collar counties around Hashville and suburban Memphis, East Tennessee remains the powerhouse for Republican politics in the state.  


Small Cities - Mixed, trending Republican

Jackson/Madison County is kind of a combination of the West, Southwest, and Memphis Exurban regions.  It is trending Republican.

Clarksville remains mostly Democratic like the Middle Belt region but Montgomery county did support Bush in 2000 and the area is trending Republican.
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Bandit3 the Worker
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« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2003, 09:24:41 pm »

Think of what a map like this would look like for Kentucky. Would Campbell County even fit into any region?
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Beet
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« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2003, 11:44:41 pm »

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I agree with you that the DC suburbs should be placed in the Northeast corridor. However, as a resident of this area of Maryland I can say the reason the author probably placed Prince Georges County (bordering northern and eastern DC) in the Southern Lowlands is that it is a predominantly black county. Even though it is a reliably Democratic area and looks more like the Northeast corridor in that sense, the Democratic votes are not coming from liberal whites in the same way as the rest of the corridor. Besides that, the author missed Arlington, Alexandra, and Fairfax county. The former two round out the DC box that was originally area ceded from Virginia to DC but later returned to the state. To be fair, Fairfax county looks more like a high-growth southern county than a member of the Northeast corridor; it is kind of a hybrid of both. It voted Republican solidly and probably still will given GWB's strength... only in the 2003 elections did a shift towards Democrats become apparent, perhaps as the area becomes more developed and affluent.

Overall, quite an impressive site.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2003, 12:36:37 pm »

I would disagree with their regions, most of them are in effect gerrymandered and are often historically and geographically innacurate.

Good idea, bad practice.

BTW
The "Tennessee regions" is very good.
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Nym90
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« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2003, 03:34:26 pm »

Well they are trying to group areas more demographically and politically than geographically.
I wouldn't say that anything has been gerrymandered though. Most of the counties that were put into various regions seem to make sense in terms of the politics and culture of the areas.
It's a very interesting and useful paradigm. Better than the simplistic "red states" and "blue states" that the media likes to use.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2003, 05:37:20 am »

They look gerrymandered to me!

More than anything else I dislike the names of their regions: the choice of the name Appalachia to include the Atlanta Suburbs, the Mississippi part of the Mississippi delta and lots of low ground... whilst omitting Pittsburgh is historically, geographically, economically and politically stupid(what has Logan county WV got in common with Cobb county GA anyway???)

Some of the analysis is shoddy(and quite snobbish in parts) but in comparison to much of the media coverage is high quality...

This disturbs me.
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Nym90
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« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2003, 10:36:47 pm »

I'll agree with that.
It's certainly not 100% right. The northern part of Michigan in which I live is definitely not "Farm Belt", there are very few farms here. It is politically more like Big River, although we're nowhere near the Mississippi either...
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nclib
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« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2004, 11:52:39 pm »

Does the author separate Southern Lowlands from Southern Comfort simply because of its higher black population?
In other words, are whites in Sou. Lowlands as conservative as whites in Sou. Comfort?
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2004, 04:15:44 am »

I think it is based on black population as the Cajun area of LA is in "Southern Comfort" and has a low % of black people(for Lousiania)
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Nym90
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« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2004, 11:40:13 am »

I think that is basically right. Southern comfort has a lower black population than southern lowlands, and thus is more Republican.
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nclib
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« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2004, 06:08:22 pm »

In general, I like this idea. It is a good way of showing political differences within individual states, particularly TX, PA, OH, and MI.

I dislike the names of their regions: the choice of the name Appalachia to include the Atlanta Suburbs, the Mississippi part of the Mississippi delta and lots of low ground... whilst omitting Pittsburgh is historically, geographically, economically and politically stupid(what has Logan county WV got in common with Cobb county GA anyway???)

Yes, I couldn't figure out Appalachia either. They included the northern halves of Miss. and Ala., which I would have considered Deep South rather than Appalachian.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2004, 09:02:08 am »

I'm guessing that they haven't looked at a physical map of the Eastern U.S for a while...
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