Colin Woodard on the 2016 election

He writes,

Much of the action, as history would predict, was in the Midlands, the great swing region of U.S. politics and the only one that was the least bit competitive in 2016. This region—communitarian-minded but wary of top-down government action—voted for the Democratic candidate for the third election in a row, but by a greatly reduced margin that proved catastrophic for Clinton. Whereas Obama’s margin of victory in the Midlands was 11 points in 2008 and six in 2012, Clinton won by just 0.4 percent — in effect a tie, and a doomsday result in three traditional Electoral College swing states…

Trump significantly improved on Romney and McCain’s results in Yankeedom, losing by eight points rather than 16 or 19, respectively, a swing equal to that in the Midlands. Significantly, this shift was overwhelmingly concentrated in rural areas that traditionally vote for the more community-minded candidate.

…Overall, rural Yankee counties went for Trump by more than 18 points, after having voted for Obama in 2008.

Recall my previous post on Woodard. I wrote,

Woodard sees a centuries-long struggle for power between the nation he calls Yankeedom (New England) and the two nations that he calls Tidewater and Deep South. His antipathy toward the latter shows through, especially in the final chapters of the book.

He is no fan of President Trump, either. Note that Yankeedom actually includes the northern parts of several Midwestern states, and that is where Mr. Trump’s gains in Yankeedom helped swing states into his column.

You should read Woodard’s post to look at the maps and his tables.

When I compare Woodard to David Hackett-Fischer’s classic, Albion’s Seed, Woodard makes several modifications. Woodard’s Far West, Left Coast, El Norte, and New Nederland were not part of the English migration of the 1600s and 1700s. Woodard splits Tidewater from Deep South, where Hackett-Fischer did not. Woodland sees the Midlands as incorporating a number of non-English ethnic groups, mainly from Germany and other parts of Northern Europe, who had values similar to the Quakers that Hackett-Fischer placed at the heart of the original region.

Woodard predicts that rural Yankeedom and the Midlands will come back to the Democratic fold in the mid-term House election.

This entry was posted in Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Colin Woodard on the 2016 election

  1. EMichael says:

    I stopped reading when I read, “in rural areas that traditionally vote for the more community-minded candidate.”

    Really? He gets to decide that?

  2. Tom DeMeo says:

    Given the recent post on winner cities… it may be worth looking at winner nations, and how long they will tolerate a disproportionately small voice in Federal politics.

  3. collin says:

    Nice map but I would avoid 2018 Midterm gains as any real D gains for 2020. It is about ~8 D advantage and high D turnout will send pundits overstating changes. (A lot will depend on R Primaries and they really need to avoid Roy Moore talk radio types and campaign for more boring Handle.):

    1) I don’t think Midland return D in 2018 in general although D will do a OK here in 2018.
    2) El Norte will slowly grow at the expense of Far West and Texas. (Arizona, Southern Nevada, into Colorado) Far West will be changed Mormondom by 2020. The area is very Red but anti-Trump. (TBH El Norte is a terrible name here TBH.)
    3) Yankeedom will solidy down to most of Virginia.

  4. MikeW says:

    I read the post you linked to, and then the earlier one that claims that the urban-rural divide is not what’s important, but rather his “11 nations”. I did not think he made a convincing case for that. I would agree that he made a case for both being important factors, but not that his “nations” dominate over the urban-rural split. I continue to think that urban vs. non-urban is the big split in our politics.

  5. Lord says:

    2020 should be open. I can’t see Trump winning after lying to everyone.

  6. Matthew Young says:

    I thought that it was New York’s turn at the wheel. California got ruled out on account of nearly going bankrupt, twice. Texas would have had two turns out of three, breaks the rule. Actually Florida should get a shot next time.

    The thing rotates on account the system cannot deal with the three large at one time. We have recessions at the switch points, we have a menu costs when we reorient the giant machine.

Comments are closed.