The elections Tuesday really give the lie to the whole Red State Blue State “divide”. What the results show is that people voted one way in 2002, maybe a similar way in 2004, and now in 2006, as the economy and the war changes (and as September 11, 2001 fades a bit) people voted a different way.
It’s true, in 2004, the nation was really very red.
And two years later, the blue has spread quite a bit.
Obviously, there are regional trends in voting, and New England will probably be backing the Kennedy dynasty for quite some time, while Texas sticks with the Bush clan. But this is nothing new – the color of each Congressional District has been changing election to election for more than 40 years, as this map shows. We’ve always been purple.
In the change from 04 to 06, it’s not that tons of liberals from Berkeley and Boston moved to Ohio, Montana, or the Dakotas. It’s that people actually do seem to vote based on (gasp) ideas and positions rather than party. That is, insofar as they can actually figure out what anyone’s position is from their superficial, substance-less ads.
And, I have to say, I think these election results are also attributable to the fact that many people who were once Republicans have become Democrats not because their politics changed but that the whole political spectrum moved right while they were standing still. As extreme conservatives pulled the Republicans ever further right, many centrist Republicans found the party had left them behind.