Saturday, April 17, 2010

Education and the election by region: The Northeast

And we come to what would be our final region, the Northeast, or what would be our final region besides it seems that I didn't actually include the West when I posted earlier.
But the Northeast, (Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland) even though it is declining in importance, is still one of the most important regions in the country, both electorally and otherwise. It has 114 electoral votes, and has a large manufacturing base, and some of the countries largest and most ethnically diverse cities. It is home to much of the country's educated elite, and is also very strongly and consistently Democratic. Other than a curveball plurality decision in New Hampshire, every state in this region has voted Democratic since 1992.
This area does have some conservative counties, but they are mostly in the rural areas of Appalachia. There is a smattering of educated counties that McCain carried, and most of them are in suburban New Jersey. Other than that, all of the counties over the 30% mark voted for Obama. However, there is a pretty good chance that a lot of this is due to race: as we can see from the lower right of this diagram, this area's ethnically diverse population was probably just as important to Obama's success as its college-educated population. The fact that there is a conservative middle class in New Jersey is a small chink in the armor of Democratic dominance in this region.

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