Immediately after the election pundits on all news networks started screaming about how our nation was so divided and pointed to the red state, blue state map that has become ubiquitous in US politics. This map seeks to show how conservative or liberal each state is and claims that this is an indicator of the great divide.
It seeks to say that red states are conservative and blue states are liberal but when you look at the actual breakdown of each state what you see is that states are both liberal and conservative at the same time. The average state was won by a few hundred thousand votes and some just by a few thousand, so on a state-by-state breakdown we see a division but not the way the map actually seems to portray it.
The map wants to make the south and northwest, besides the west coast, look completely conservative but in reality Republicans only won red states by a few million votes combined with Texas being the biggest win percentage.
I’d believe what they say if red or blue states were won by 80 or 90% type numbers, but when the average state is won 53 to 47% it shows that each state is about 50/50 when it comes down to politics. This is why even in red or blue states you’ll see democrats or republicans win congressional seats and governorships no matter what color the state swings for presidential elections.
This pattern has been true forever within US politics. If we go back to Ronald Reagan in 1980, even though he won 489 electoral votes and 44 states out of 50, he still only beat Carter by 8.5 million votes. He got 43.9 to 35.4 million respectably, with 7.1 million going to independent candidates.
If this has been the case in American politics, then why are pundits playing up the deep division in the US? This same divide has been present since at least the 80’s. So what’s different now, that wasn’t different back then?
One thing, a Black man is in the seat of the POTUS, and that’s it, see an article that I wrote in January 2012 for more!
Below is how the map looked in 2004 and 2000 when Bush won, does these maps look much different than the the ones for Obama, yet he’s considered a dividing force.What you have to realize now is that the white majority electorate is and has been shrinking for decades now, so when a Black man can garner 40% of the already dwindling white vote, they claim that it’s a dividing force because it pits white against white for a non-white person. But white against white for a white candidate is not viewed as a dividing force, its just business as usual.