50 Purple States

by on November 5th, 2004

A lot of people are either very excited or very upset about this map. Conservatives look at it, noting how much of it is red. Liberals look at how much of it is red and bemoan the state of the union. I’ve got some shocking news for both sides. The country doesn’t look that way. Essentially, it looks like this.

I took the values for red and blue and mixed them according to the percentage of the vote by state. What you wind up with is a lot of purples. Some a little more blueish some a little more reddish.

And outside the context of the electoral college, the red-state, blue-state maps are useless. A more in-depth map, county by county, would yield a rainbow covering the entire purple spectrum. A few counties here and there would be solid red or blue, but unless you were planning your 2008 campaign, there’s no reason to even look at it.

The people on the right need to stop waving the red & blue maps around as a taunt to the left and as a symbol of their triumph. Yes, some of the states you won are on the red end of the purple scale, but a good number of them are close to the 50/50 mark.

The people on the left need to stop, too. They need to stop looking with despair at the red states and denigrating the intellect of their populations. There are a lot of your people living and voting in those red states, and a few of the states you won were a lot closer to purple than blue.

Stephen Macklin