Comments: Rural Constructions


Here's my recent post on AmSam about recent Democratic victories in the Rockies:

These states went to Bush, but overall are "bluer" than ever.

Even in the "bluest" cities Bush still got 20% percent of the vote. Nope. Try DC. Try San Francisco. (Or Manhattan, for that matter.)

(There should have been Italics on your line I quoted.)

Bush got 16% of the vote in San Franciso, and 17% in Manhatten (and with the exception of Queens, got even more in the rest of NYC).

A few others: 34% in King County (Seattle), Multnomah County (Portland): 27%, Essex County (Boston): 37%

In those last three, I suburban votes could have boosted the # of votes for Bush.

For a comparison: my county in Wyoming, Sheridan County, went 29% to Kerry.

San Francisco is a small town in my book..

And in New York City proper Bush got a lot more then 20%. Closer to 40% I believe. Not nearly the divide that's being painted.

Far more importantly though in a tactical sense is something I saw very clearly in Ohio on the ground. While there is a degree of polarization of the extremists in either party (no surprise there) in the middle there is a huge melded ground. I met a ton of Bush voters who could easily go for a Democratic candidate in the right circumstances. Clinton (Bill) running against Bush would have been a landslide for the Dems, and any number of minor shifts in events might have tipped Ohio to Kerry.

Bush might be a polarizing force, but that doesn't mean we are anything close to permanently polarized between city and country..

(There's also Washinton, DC where Bush commanded a whopping 9%.)

One serious disadvantage for the democratic party going into the presidential election is that a year or a year and a half prior to the election, the party line was to mostly go with the flow of the Bush agenda and keep heads down on polarizing issues.

It was going to be really hard for any candidate for president to chart a different course and claim strong leadership so soon after that. In effect, Dean was used as the lead goose in this one.

Kathryn, DC seems more like the exception than the rule.

Abe, you said "blue cities" not "big cities." And you're right: LA: 36%, Cook County (Chicago): 29%, Harris County (Houston): 55%, Philidelphia (19%), Wayne County (Detroit): 30%

Abe - very nice. Very well put. So how does cultural flow relate to economic flow? (This requires neverending thought - major question here - I'd only consider the outlines one must take in demarcating these terms today so we can even begin to understand this relation .. : temporal media pockets, urban/rural geographies contrasting w/ time spenders + savers -- transportation public and private -- geneaologies, family trees, implication of power structuers -- familial, societal, institutional -- relation of family to business, capital to investment, home, house, family, social relations, etc.).

The idea of time pockets rings true with the thesis research I am engaged in that reconsiders space/time relations via globalization.

I'll post my critique / response to the Stranger article shortly.

cheers, tobias

The urban vs. rural analysis misses the fact that Bush's "secret weapon" was legions of exurban voters. These folks are not properly described as living in small towns -- they are in the unanchored suburban-style developments sprouting up well outside major metro areas. They were a group almost totally overlooked by Democratic and leftist organizers. And they voted overwhelmingly for Bush.