Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Red State Obama Couldn't Win

One of the most impressive aspects of Barack Obama's victory in the 2008 Presidential Election is that he won NINE "red states" that had gone for Bush in 2004: Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia.

Obama won Virginia. Amazing.

Obama won North Carolina! Incredible.

Obama won INDIANA!!! Only two other Democrats have won Indiana in the last 96 years: FDR in 1932 and 1936, and LBJ in 1964.

But there was one "red state" Obama couldn't win. . . . One of the five boroughs of New York City: Staten Island.

Staten Island has always been the dirty little secret of "Liberal" New York City. For the last eight years, I have listened to liberal New Yorkers raging furiously against the dumb idiots in the Red States. They have joked about letting the Red States secede from the "real" U.S. They have sent around a map of this "real" U.S. made up only of "blue states." Never once have I heard a New Yorker even whisper that part of their own city was a "red state." (Unless an asshole like me brought it up.)

[Is Staten Island why "Liberal" New York City has had a Republican mayor for the last 15 years? Even Salt Lake City, Utah, can elect a Democrat for Mayor.]

Obama managed to win Nassau and Suffolk counties out on Long Island - not exactly hotbeds of radicalism. But he couldn't win part of New York City.

Obama won rural counties out in WEST TEXAS, for God's sake. But he couldn't win part of New York City.

Obama won rural counties in UTAH, a state that went 63% -34% for John McCain. But he couldn't win part of New York City.

Obama even won a rural county in bloody WYOMING, a state that went 65% -33% for John McCain. But he couldn't win part of New York City.

(By the way, that's Teton County, whose seat is Jackson. Better known as the home of Dick Cheney.)

In the end, Staten Island voted in this election by exactly the same percentages as the state of Georgia: 52% for McCain to 47% for Obama.

I've always thought the whole Red State-Blue State dichotomy was false and unhelpful. Grade-school-level political analysis that was actually disrespectful to people in more conservative states who worked their asses off to get progressives elected.

Kudos to all those people in the nine former "red states" who worked hard to show that the very concept of "red" and "blue" states is just not viable.

And instead of raging against the dumb idiots in the Red States, New Yorkers might want to consider getting in touch with the good folks out in Culberson County, West Texas, where Obama won 65%-34%, about helping them win back their own city.


Liam said...

The Utah counties aren't typically rural -- they host the non-Mormon havens of Park City and Moab, but still, good point.

Salt Lake City now has a new mayor, also a fairly liberal Democrat.

cowboyangel said...

I really have no explanation for some of those counties in West Texas. The southern counties have always been pretty strong Democrat - and El Paso. And I imagine there are a lot of Mexican-Americans in the two counties in big Bend, on the border. But those others... Very interesting.

Actually, it would make a good article.

I knew Rocky was leaving office. glad to hear a Democrat won. According to that map, though, it looks like Salt Lake City voted for McCain. Is that true?

IEC 104.01 said...

A very informative, eye-opening comment on New York City and our country. Thanks for the interesting facts!! --Alexandra

Liam said...

Salt Lake County voted for McCain... barely. I'm sure the city itself went strongly for Obama.