What Kind of Hater Are You?: E.J. Dionne writes….
The paper has a fetching title: “Rich state, poor state, red state, blue state: What’s the matter with Connecticut?” Dr. Seuss, who wrote “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish,” meets Tom Frank, the author of the influential book “What’s the Matter With Kansas?”
The authors — Andrew Gelman of Columbia University, Boris Shor of the University of Chicago, Joseph Bafumi of Dartmouth and David Park of Washington University in St. Louis — show, through careful statistical analysis, how several things can be true at the same time.
Yes, Bush carried a lot of poor states — but with heavy support from the rich people who lived in them. The class war is being waged more fiercely in the Republican states than in the Democratic states. The income divide is especially sharp in the South, where it is reinforced by a strong racial divide.
“In poor states,” Gelman and his colleagues write, “rich people are much more likely than poor people to vote for the Republican presidential candidate, but in rich states (such as Connecticut), income has almost no correlation with vote preference. . . . In poor states, rich people are very different from poor people in their political preferences. But in rich states, they are not.”
Here’s the link to a presentation about the paper by the authors Dionne refers to. Brilliant. At least part of the story of red/blue division is that “income is more important in red states.” In other words, in red states there is still a sense that privilege comes with wealth, an antiquated old Europe idea if there ever was one.
The finding that “Journalists noticed a pattern (richer counties supporting the Democrats) that is concentrated in the states where the journalists live” shows how poorly the media represents the world, not just red states. It’s not that journos are bad or liberal, only that they tend to see the view from their porch better than from the perspectives of readers in poor and distant lands.