Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Density Divide by Steve Sailer

The concept of America being divided into sprawling red Republican regions and dense blue Democrat districts first became a cliché In November–December 2000. Over the past decade and a half I’ve probably thought as much about the underlying reasons as anybody, and in this column I’d like to speculate on an even more fundamental cause behind the red-blue divide.

Until 2000, the colors red and blue were not permanently associated with either American political party, in contrast to Britain, where the Socialists long flew the red flag of revolution, while the Tories had settled in response upon blue.

The main exception to the global standard of red equals left and blue equals right is the U.S., where both major parties prefer the full red, white, and blue panoply of the American flag. There was no consistent standard in the media until the 35-day dispute over who won the 2000 election, when it became habitual to map Republican states as red and Democratic states blue, with Florida purple.

The famous 2000 red-blue map revealed that a new electoral era had dawned, one whose gradual emergence had been temporarily obscured by Ross Perot’s third-party runs in 1992 and 1996. From 2000 through 2012, relatively little has changed in how the red-blue map is determined.

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