Sunday, June 22, 2014

Red Town, Blue Town

A map that purportedly shows the most conservative and most liberal town in each state:

Knowing western Ohio, I thought this was interesting:
The map is based on a series of questions that ask about party affiliation, abortion, global warming, gun control, and taxes. So it doesn't pick up the nuance of some political issues, but it does cover a range of topics.
Some of the results aren't really shocking. I don't think anyone is going to be in awe that Berkeley, California, for instance, is the most liberal town in California.
But there are a few surprises. The liberal Wichita, Kansas, for example, is right by the conservative Elbing, Kansas. As an Ohioan, I was also a little surprised to see the most conservative town in the state is in the northwest part of the state instead of the notoriously conservative southwest portion, where Speaker John Boehner is from.
No, I wasn't surprised that the most conservative town in Ohio would be in northwest Ohio.  All of Western Ohio is very conservative (with the exception of Cincinnati proper, Dayton, Toledo and usually Bowling Green), but northwestern Ohio is absurdly so, certainly because it is so rural and so white.  I am more surprised that Wichita, home of Operation Rescue, would be considered the most liberal town in Kansas.  I'd figure Lawrence would score that title.  Looking at Iowa, I'm not surprised that the most conservative town is shown to be in the northwest corner of the state.  I would imagine that most of the red dots on the map are in less populated, less diverse and generally less prosperous areas (and also areas of the least growth/greatest population decline, at least outside of city cores) of the state than the blue dots.  I'm not drawing any conclusions from that, but I think it is notable. 

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