RED, white and BLUE
The presidential election is in four days and the divide in America has once again been colorized for our dim amusement. It’s the red states versus the blue states! We should all get t-shirts for the $10 billion being spent on the race, a patriotic “shirts versus skins” game for the world to observe. Is this a case of north versus south, east versus west, the egomaniacal one-per-centers versus the torpid proletariat, big business versus farmers, cities versus the heartland? Classify it however you want. Categorize it until it meets your expectations. But the differences are there. First, the facts:
|Blue States||Red States|
|Population Density, people per sq. mile||659||75|
|Foreign Born Americans||11.5%||5.5%|
|High School Graduation Rates||87.4%||85.5%|
|Home of Top 50 Universities||40||10|
|Military Recruits, per 1,000 eligible 18-24||2.07||2.49|
|Median Home Value||$260,089||$141,129|
|Median Household Income||$56,293||$46,696|
|New Home Construction||50.8%||49.2%|
|Marriage Rates, per 100,000||7.9%||7.3%|
|Divorce Rates, per 100,000||3.5%||4.1%|
|Belief in God||66%||78%|
|Deaths by Firearm, per 100,000||9.5||13.7|
One could spend all day searching for correlations among these characteristics; however, a few do stand out more prominently than others. For example, combining several characteristics, one can state that the Blue States tend to be better educated with higher high school graduation rates, more bachelor degrees and more of the top universities. Blue States also tend to spend more on their houses (4.6 times their median income) versus Red States who spend only 3.0 times their income on a home. True, this could be due to the fact that there is more available land in the Red States presumably making lots cheaper to build on. However, then isn’t it strange that new home constructions are split about evenly between Blue and Red? And while the overwhelming numbers of businesses reside in the Blue States, their unemployment rate is higher than in the Red States. However, the poverty rate and obesity rate is higher in Red States. There is also a strange dichotomy in the Red States. While being comprised of the “Bible Belt,” they yet have lower marriage rates, higher divorce rates, higher gun ownership and more deaths caused by firearms. What would God think of that combination?
Politically, it is also a mixed bag. When polled, Americans consider the economy to be the overriding theme of this presidential election season. To borrow a phrase from Bill Clinton’s White House, “It’s the economy, stupid.” But while you would think the states with the highest unemployment would lean toward Mitt Romney and his job creating (albeit mathematically mystical) juggernaut, it is quite the opposite. Is this a case of mass delusion or a schadenfreude miasma? Similarly, if Barack Obama is the embodiment of a socialistic welfare state, why then would the region with the highest household income, the most businesses and a lower poverty rate bother to look at him? Were they all working late and missed his soporific first debate?
It is in these mysteries that this election is wrapped. God bless the RED, white and BLUE. Now go vote.