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BamaLefty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 01:58 PM
Original message
What Makes The Great Plains So Red?
Edited on Sat Jan-29-05 01:59 PM by BamaLefty
I live in the most conservative part of Alabama. Sounds rough huh?

But I am wondering what makes the Dakotas, Wyoming, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Kansas, Idaho...etc. so red? Sure, Bush almost doubled Kerry in Alabama, but we have a fairly significant Afro-American population to keep us from hitting the 70 mark with Utah. Is the non presence of blacks?

I was looking at some maps from the 1996 election, thinking that Clinton would make these states a little closer. For instance, in 1996 he won only 3 NE counties and lost by 21% there. I honestly don't get it. Why are these counties so red? ???

http://uselectionatlas.org/USPRESIDENT/
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 01:59 PM
Response to Original message
1. "traditional values"
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BamaLefty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 02:07 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. That's Just The Thing
Something leads me to believe that the "traditional values" deal isn't what colors the Plains red. In 1992 and 1996, Clinton lost Alabama by a very respectable 6%. And as I have already said, he lost Nebraska by 3 times that amount.

I have never been to this region, but I can almost assure you that there is no more socially conservative area than south Alabama.

There has to be something else... there has to be.
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RaulVB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 02:01 PM
Response to Original message
2. Ignorance about the issues and bad Democratic management
The DNC does not understand that they are a NATIONAL party, apparently.
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 02:05 PM
Response to Original message
3. Hot-button issues.
1) Abortion
2) National defense
3) Gun control
4) Homosexual/civil rights

Republicans court voters on these issues, and imply that the Democrats want to kill your unborn baby, gut the armed services, take away your guns, and make you marry a homosexual. A black homosexual.
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RaulVB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. All that is possible because they own the national media (n/t)
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AlinPA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #3
19. Perfectly stated. You hit the nail on the head.
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #3
22. simplistic - but not far off
heh heh
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StClone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 02:05 PM
Response to Original message
4. Read "What's the Matter with Kansas"
Hard to explain in brief.
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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 02:06 PM
Response to Original message
6. Good question. I would like to see a breakdown of --
-- the nutcase fundamentalist vote in those prairie states and then set it next to the remainder of the population.

And aren't there pockets of blue within those states? For instance, did Austin vote Kerry or Bush -- I would have guessed Kerry.

But what about Lincoln, NE? It's a great university town and I thought maybe it would be an oasis.

I would love to hear other DUers' info and insights.

Excellent post, BamaLefty.
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BamaLefty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Austin Voted For Kerry
But Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston voted for Bush.

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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Well, I'm glad Austin went with the blue. Now we have to --
-- work on some of the rest of Texas.

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davidgmills Donating Member (651 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 05:05 PM
Response to Reply #11
28. good luck
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BamaLefty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. Speaking of the University of Nebraska
Lancaster County, NE voted :

Kerry 42.4% 52,747
Bush 56.0% 69,764

Much better margin than all other counties.
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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. It does look better than some of the overall stats in those --
-- red prairie states.

But my god, why are 56 + % of people doing voting for Dubya in the first place?

Can we ship them all to Uruguay or something?
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ultraist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #6
17. Lack of diversity is likely a big factor too
Kansas, for example, has only a 5% black population and a 7% Hispanic population. The national average for those pop.s' is 12% each .

In other words, Kansas' minority population is HALF of the national average. (National black & Hispanic totals 25% vs. Kansas' total of 12%)

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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 04:33 PM
Response to Reply #17
27. Mmmm. Hadn't gone at it from that angle.
It would be a factor.

Thanks.
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Yupster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 08:17 PM
Response to Reply #17
29. Agree ultraist
I'd think the white and A-A vote trends aren't that different in Alabama and Nebraska. The difference is there is a much smaller A-A proportion in Nebraska than there is in Alabama. I bet if you would "weight" the black vote in Alabama down to the 5 % that it is in Nebraska, then Bush would have won in Alabama by about as much as he did in Nebraska.
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bobweaver Donating Member (953 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 02:16 PM
Response to Original message
10. Meat
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 02:19 PM
Response to Original message
13. Time warp...
I grew up in NE CO, tiny town, lots of farms, only city of any size was an hour away. This was the 70's and early 80's. 3 TV stations, (until cable came in about '83) 2000 people, 11 churches, almost no minorities. Almost everyone can trace their family back to a chuck wagon, and they still have the original deeds to the family land from 200 yrs ago. When I moved to a large city in 84, it was a time warp. The people back home are still trying to hold on to the 'old days' when everybody went to church, kept the same job for their whole life, and things weren't so complicated. They are scared, the world is moving too fast, and they can't keep up. So they vote for what they think will be stability and values and safety. They have almost no access to any information other than MSM. There used to be a 8-10 page paper printed everyday, now they print once a week, and is 4-6 pages.
I swear when I go back it feels like the twilight zone.
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BamaLefty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 02:24 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. That Explains It
I guess Alaska has the same problem.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 02:24 PM
Response to Original message
14. What Makes The Great Plains So Red???
How do you know they are?

I'm not making judgements about any state--at least in the '00, '02, and '04 elections--until I see a verified (and verifiable) vote.
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BamaLefty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Okay then...
Carter never won them. He doesn't seem to fit the Repubs portrayal of us.

Why didn't he win NE, WY, MT, UT, OK, SD, ND, ID, and KS? Huh?
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Ready4Change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 02:30 PM
Response to Original message
18. IMHO, Isolation and dependance on cable television.
Rural areas were the first to get cable, as they were often too far away from major population centers to get many, if any, broadcast TV stations.

As a result, they are informed nearly entirely by major cable news programming.

At least in my (pretty urban) location, there is a marked difference between the news, and its presentation, on local and cable channels. Cable is, on the whole, ruthlessly right wing, and local is far more diverse, balanced, and seems to at least attempt to be unbiased.

One reason I'm not a fan of satellite radio. Sure there's a bunch of channels. But, when they wipe out local programming, the nations radio waves will be totally in the hands of just a few interests.

No thanks.
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 02:42 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. rural first to get cable?
I was only 12 or so, but I remember visiting relatives in the city, they had cable, and every teenager in town was waiting for us to get it. Could be that the Fundies resisted it there longer. Ten or so years ago, they demanded that the cable co. block MTV. They still can't get it there.
Course, MTV sucks now, so no loss! lol
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TheFarseer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 02:33 PM
Response to Original message
20. Almost seems like force of habit
We've been a republican state for so long. It originally sprang from the civil war. I think it's just perpetuated by the media. It's even worse now because a guy like GW looks like he could be your wacky neighbor. John Kerry is some one from Massachusetts that looks down his nose at you and thinks he knows what's best for everyone. Republicans seem like the party of common sense. Lower taxes, smaller government, strong defense, traditional values. It looks good on paper. It's going to beat abortion, higher taxes, weaker defense, radical environmentalism, gay rights every time. No one out here wants the world turned upside down. They just want to be left alone so they can do their thing. Liberals/democrats are seen as the party that will turn the world upside down and interfere in your life, and conservatives/republicans are seen as the party of common sense and a traditional way of life. Even when your farm goes under and you have to go to town and work at Walmart, they still stick with the repubs because they think the dems will do even worse. I don't think people out here will ever get it, but maybe I'm just pessimistic.
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ultraist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #20
24. Good points!
Edited on Sat Jan-29-05 03:08 PM by ultraist
I agree that 'steady as you go' is a big cultural value in that area. Plodding away, day by day is the safe, sure way. Change and risk are not worth it. Many of their parents and grandparents were farmers.

I think the main contributing factors to the REDness are:
>Lack of diversity:
Pop of blacks and hispanics is only 12%compared to the national average 25% for these two groups.
Foreign born residents population is only 5% compared to nat'l average of 11%.
>Lots of Agriculture
>Provincial values
>Puritanical morals & work ethics
>Fear of change
>Plain Jane & simple are valued

Generally, narrow mindedness.

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fasttense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 02:57 PM
Response to Original message
23. What makes the Great Plains so red? Rigged elections.
Can you trust the numbers? I know I can't.
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prairierose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 02:59 PM
Response to Original message
25. There are several historical issues that feed the redness....
of most western/great plains states.

1. When these states/territories were opened for homesteading, people from the east & Europe flocked to a place where they could own their own land by homesteading. For Europeans, from a very rigid class structure, the opportunity to get farmland for their family and future was of enormous importance. My Dutch ancestors came here for that reason. The family business in Holland could only be passed to one son. That left every other male child with little hope for a good future. During the period of the largest migration/homesteading the President who signed the homesteading claims that gave the people title to their land was Republican. Many of these homesteaders then registered Republican in thanks to that President. For example, in SD the years of the greatest influx of homesteaders were 1861 to 1867. The Presidents during this period were Lincoln and Johnson. For many people, party affiliation is a matter of family tradition.

Today, in SD the largest business is still agriculture. Many people still vote Republican, thinking that the party helps farmers. In reality, since 1980, the R party has actively worked to destroy the family farm. Say hello to higher food costs!

And yes, for many people in rural America,especially older people, the past still seems to be a good thing. A time when it was safe to let your children out to play by themselves. A time when you knew your neighbors and could count on them if you needed help. A time when morality still existed. They hear the rhetoric of the rw noise machine and believe that it is true. They cling to the traditional MSM which we know has been co-opted by the cons. But more importantly, they still believe that the MSM is not only giving them the news but telling them the truth.

Actually, in many of these states, religious affiliation plays much less of a role than one would think. In SD, in may towns the largest church is the Catholic church, not one of the Evangelical noise makers. Other than the Catholic church, many people belong to mainstream churches. Unfortunately, the mainstream churches have not yet seen the danger of the evangelicals (other than to their collection plates). And they still cling to that old fashioned idea of the separation of church and state.

These are just a few of the factorsthat have leadto the sea of red in the western/ great plains states.
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emlev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 03:05 PM
Response to Original message
26. My six year old daughter's answer
Before the election, I was discussing with my teenaged son how I noticed that polls were showing that on the immediate west side of the Mississippi River all the states were red, and on the immediate east side it was more mixed. My daughter asked what we were talking about. I ended up explaining it to her and also explaining the electoral vote system (saying each state has a number of points, and whoever gets the most votes in that state gets all of that state's points...).

Later I asked her to explain to another family member what she understood about how the election works. She said, "All the people voting for Bush live on one side of the river, and all of the panel voting for Kerry live on the other side."

If only rerouting the Mississippi would solve our problems!
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googly Donating Member (801 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 08:47 PM
Response to Original message
30. The midwestern people do not like people getting
checks from the government (they read it as taxpayers)
for not doing work. Wrongly or rightly, democrats are
perceived as the force behind the welfare system.
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BamaLefty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 10:00 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. Some People On Welfare
Actually don't like the system (me neither). There is a sense of pride... and if they don't like it, I say, "Hell, don't take it."

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Darkhawk32 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 11:33 PM
Response to Original message
32. They label Democrats of being pro-welfare and pro-tax (misguided notions).
All the red Great Plain states are federal welfare states...

By that I mean, they receive more federal tax dollars than they put into the system.

The more logical explanation (from my observation living in Missouri) is that they're very uneducated, latch onto preconceived notions and don't let go of them in the face of obvious hypocrisy.

Simply put: their minds have been diseased.

They believe that any fluctuation of thought would result in their immasculization. They equate masculinity with voting Republican. It's really quite sad. When I ask Repub voters why they vote that way, they say: "Because Democrats are pussies." Or: "Democrats wants to take my guns away." or: "All Democrats do is raise my taxes."

That third claim is quite telling as to the intelligence level of these people. I have a friend that screams and complains that Democrats keep our taxes too high. I tell them that Missourians don't pay squat for taxes compared for states like California, New York or New Jersey. He then argues that Missouri is in the top 10 in states when it comes to highest tax burdens. I disagreed with him and he told me to look it up. I said that I would. I went to taxfoundation.org and looked it up right when I got off work (I also work with him btw).

I found that Missouri's total tax burden is 40th in the country (10th lowest). I printed it out and showed it to him the next day. He then proceeded to tell me that it was bullshit and that I went to a left-wing website to get that info.

I said, "Fine. Show me the source of your information and I'd be glad to look at it."

Needless to say no such source was ever produced.

And also needless to say, he blames Democrats for any sort of tax increase, either state or federal.

But then I showed a list of state and local tax increases in Missouri over the last 10 years. Needless to say that over 80% of these increases were brought forth by REPUBLICANS. Again, he calls my sourcing a lie. I then ask him to show his sourcing and I'd be glad to look at it. Again, no sourcing was forthcoming.

But I think my funniest moment was when we were talking about farm subsidies. He stated that the government shouldn't give money to farmer NOT to grow anything. I said that I tended to agree and explained an idea to partially subsidize (temporarily) and partially give low-interest loans so that farmers could convert parts of their farm land to grow other types of crops (like asparagus, brussel sprouts, etc.) instead of the usual corn, soybean, etc. My friend said that that's a wonderful idea and that Democrats could never come up with something like that.

I said, "Hmmm.... that's funny. Seems that I've heard that idea somewhere before. Oh yes, that's right. Michael Dukakis proposed this in 1988."

He then proceeded to say something to the effect that if a MA liberal came up with the idea, then it would never work.


Now this just goes to show the level of denial and ignorance that infests the midwest like a plague. There is no short-term cure, just long-term mediocrity in said states.
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