Wednesday, November 11, 2020

The Map

Do something interesting, go see this RealClearPolitics map of congressional districts colored red and blue for which party controls which House districts. What I’m finding particularly interesting is how the Democrat votes in the coastal states of CA, OR, and WA are clustered along the coast.

Go inland in any of those and see a sea of red. Of course where the blue is, that is also where most of the population is. The key to this is district size, the smaller the district, the higher the population density. The blue districts are mostly small in geography, while the red districts are mostly large in acreage, at least in the west. This is less true in the east.

The parts of the U.S. where Democrats are majorities actually make up quite a small percentage of the total country. Most of this great land is bright, gleaming red. You could almost generalize that the Democrats control the west coast, the northeast, the Indian reservations, Hispanic-majority areas and whatever big cities are scattered elsewhere. 

Republicans represent the rest, blessed with lower population density and greater personal freedoms. Across the northern tier of states, from eastern OR and WA to western IA there are no Democrat-held House seats at all - zero, zip, nada. Hat tip to Brandie Malay for that flip turn of phrase.