Red & Blue geography, Why?

This is a map of the Presidential election 2004.
You can characterize the map as red rural. And futher characterized as northern Blue cities and souther red cities.

The Blue rural can be explained by
Atlas black african american

The Blue rural can be further explained by
atlas hispanic latino

The Blue rural can be further explained by regions not white
atlas white

The white population are in the majority in the Blue northern cities. The white population are in the majority in the red counties and red southern cities. With a few exceptions. These are broad characterizations. Many of the individuals in a given race will vote the other ticket and I intend no racism.

Please comment on the validity of my broad strokes.

I want to know why the whites in the northern blue cities vote democrat and why the whites in red counties and red southern cities vote republican?

Sure There are the issues and people will differ but why does the difference of opinion fall so simply as red rural and Blue city?

And sure there is a conservative and liberal view points but again why does the view point fall so simply as red rural and Blue city?

This is a perplexing question that needs an answer! Please provide links to any previous threads that might be relevant to subject. The answer can’t be as simple as environmentally caused, can it?

See this thread. See also The Emerging Democratic Majority, John Judis and Ruy Teixeira.

Another reason, independent of the difference between city and countryside as such, is regional political culture, a theory developed by David Hackett Fischer in Albion’s Seed. See also Vietnam: The Necessary War, by Michael Lind, Chapter 4, “The Fall of Washington”:

Actually, Latino-Americans are only 57% Dem.

You might be interested to see how the blue/red urban/rural divide is reversed in Britain.

Simply mapping the colours of parties makes Labour look a distant third, behind the Tories (blue) and Liberal Democrats (orange). However, the huge chunk of orange at the top is only three very rural seats, and Labour’s support has always been in the cities, where constituencies may be only a mile or two across. Labour will never, ever, colour the map red.

You say only 57% Democratic, I say 30 point registration advantage versus Republicans.

There was an interesting theory put force in The American Conservative a few months ago to explain political trends in American cities. The theory was that the more a city is surrounded by water, the more liberal it will be. Hence New York City and San Francisco are extremely liberal, cities like Chicago and Milwaukee that have waterfronts on one side are moderately liberal, and landlocked cities like Dallas and Oklahoma City are the most conservative.

The reasoning went roughly like this. When population density is higher, liberal policies make more sense. When it is lower, conservative policies make more sense. Landlocked cities can expand outward in every direction, so they have lower population density. Waterfront cities can only expand in one direction, so density builds up. Cities on islands or peninsulas can barely expand at all, so they have the highest population density.

Personally I’m not sure if this theory is brilliant or crazy, but it seems coherent enough to be worth mentioning in a thread like this.


In high-density settings it’s more practical to have the government offering things such as public transportation, support for arts and culture, public parks and other spaces, and regulation of rents and housing. In low-density settings more people own their own homes and hence have reason to support strong property rights. Also high-density settings appeal to the childless while families tend to move to low-density settings. Large families, needless to say, are much more common among conservatives.