Is Population Density the Key to Understanding Voting Behavior?

Red States and Blue States

Separating the results from states that went, as a whole, either red or blue, we can see that on a local level voting behavior is still directly correlated to population density.

Red States Are Just Underdeveloped Blue States

Historically, one can argue that red states have disproportionately affected election results by delivering a material number of electoral votes — and this is part of our constitutional design. But as cities continue to grow in red states, those cities will become more blue, and ultimately, those states will become more purple, and then blue.

Republicans: Fighting the Future

In the 1960’s, the Republican Party adopted the Southern Strategy as a way of moving white voters in the South from the Democratic party. This was a devil’s bargain: by marrying the party with the social issues important to rural voters (along with dog-whistle racism), the party was able to aggregate a relatively large voting bloc and field successful candidates over the course of several decades.

New Platforms, for Both Parties

If the Republican party wants to build a viable future for itself (or if a new party wishes to rise in its place), a very good place to start would be to drop social issues adopted to appeal to rural voters and build a new platform that meaningfully addresses cities: repairing and building infrastructure, effective and tolerant immigration policy, financial accountability, and ending the failed war on drugs would be great places to start.

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Investigative journalist addressing threats to democracy. Public speaker, writer, podcaster. @davetroy on Twitter. See davetroy.com for contact info.

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Dave Troy

Dave Troy

Investigative journalist addressing threats to democracy. Public speaker, writer, podcaster. @davetroy on Twitter. See davetroy.com for contact info.