A group called MassINC created a map called the “10 Regions in American Politics” in 2004 and has now released an updated version. Some of the regions such as the “Upper Coasts” and “El Norte” are the same, although some other regions have been shuffled around. The area called “Appalachia” in the 2004 report, for example, seems to have been expanded westward and renamed “Cumberland.”
Michael Barone had an interesting blog post about the map a few days ago and analyzed how well both of the Democratic candidates are performing in each region:
“[Robert David Sullivan of the Concord Monitor] has calculated the number and percentages for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in primaries and caucuses in each of his 10 regions…. He notes that Clinton has been ‘cleaning up’ in counties where Bush improved his percentage most between 2000 and 2004 and that Obama has been running strongest in areas where Bush’s percentage was lower in 2004 than in 2000. The reason is that Clinton has been running well in areas with many white ethnics, Jacksonians and Latinos—the groups among which… Bush most improved his percentage in 2004. And Obama has been running strongest among blacks and upscale whites, groups which tended not to give Bush higher percentages in 2004 than in 2000.
“Curiously, Obama is carrying only three of Sullivan’s 10 regions: Mega-Chicago, South Coast, and Southern Inland….The highest percentage for either candidate is Clinton’s 55 percent in El Norte.”
For the record, I love studying these maps, but I don’t think they are worth much when analyzing demographic or political trends. They do too much pigeonholing, grouping towns like Miami with ones like Colorado Springs. I’m not sure how much folks in Warrenton, Va. think they share in common with people is Sarasota, Fla.
2008 Version of the Ten Regions of American Politics
2004 Version of the Ten Regions of American Politics