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Author Topic: Hawaii and Alaska  (Read 2847 times)
UK.USfan
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« on: September 03, 2004, 04:52:23 pm »
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I know these 2 States were the last to join the Union, but they seem to be set in their ways on voting issues. I mean Hawaii is strong Democrat (exp 72 and 84), and Alaska is always strong Republican(exp 64).
Any reason for this total dedication to one Party from 2 States that were 'aquired' by the US?

I'd be obliged for any expaination into this, however absurd the query might be!
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A18
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« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2004, 05:13:20 pm »
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The Democratic voting base is locked up in big cities. As you can imagine, Alaska doesn't have many of them.

I have no clue about Hawaii though. I've been trying to kick them out for a long time, but no one will sign my petition. Wink
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UK.USfan
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« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2004, 05:26:17 pm »
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The Democratic voting base is locked up in big cities. As you can imagine, Alaska doesn't have many of them.

I have no clue about Hawaii though. I've been trying to kick them out for a long time, but no one will sign my petition. Wink

Thanks...as for Hawaii...don't worry its only 3 EVs!!!
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Niles Caulder
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« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2004, 05:31:41 pm »
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It's a very probing question, UK...far from absurd!

The answer on the surface may seem as simple as this: the cultures of the respective states identify strongly 'liberal'/'conservative.'  But trying to cross-examine a state's culture from long-distance is no small feat.  I'll give it a shot anyway.

In the case of Alaska, the Last Frontier...it's plainly enough the last refuge of the American pioneering spirit that prefers to fend for itself than to conform to the urbanized 'sophistication' that trends 'left.'  So the electorate of Alaska is going to be hugely anti-tax, anti-spenders when it comes to federal policy.  (Let's not talk about those govt. checks that pay Alaskan citizens and their progeny to show up in the first place, though.)  What can you say..."All politics is local."
Alaska attracts its fair share of left-idealists, too (--Mountains always attract the zealots, it seems--) and you can get the same cultural sparks in Alaska as you get in Colorado at times.  But AK is far more spread out and "live and let live"--and so its political winds are a lot less prone to turbulence.

Hawaii is a bit of a tougher explanation...but my best angle on it is the fact that its multicultural Asiatic legacy--and that means "family" economy has a whole magnitude of meaning we white Westerners don't really get.  The social net for people is something they don't see as terribly controversial--it's just the thing to do.  Like California, this philosophy has put Hawaii in some financial straights that make it extremely prone to hurt during economic down cycles, and it's learning how to balance.
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« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2004, 05:40:24 pm »
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It's a very probing question, UK...far from absurd!

The answer on the surface may seem as simple as this: the cultures of the respective states identify strongly 'liberal'/'conservative.'  But trying to cross-examine a state's culture from long-distance is no small feat.  I'll give it a shot anyway.

In the case of Alaska, the Last Frontier...it's plainly enough the last refuge of the American pioneering spirit that prefers to fend for itself than to conform to the urbanized 'sophistication' that trends 'left.'  So the electorate of Alaska is going to be hugely anti-tax, anti-spenders when it comes to federal policy.  (Let's not talk about those govt. checks that pay Alaskan citizens and their progeny to show up in the first place, though.)  What can you say..."All politics is local."
Alaska attracts its fair share of left-idealists, too (--Mountains always attract the zealots, it seems--) and you can get the same cultural sparks in Alaska as you get in Colorado at times.  But AK is far more spread out and "live and let live"--and so its political winds are a lot less prone to turbulence.

Hawaii is a bit of a tougher explanation...but my best angle on it is the fact that its multicultural Asiatic legacy--and that means "family" economy has a whole magnitude of meaning we white Westerners don't really get.  The social net for people is something they don't see as terribly controversial--it's just the thing to do.  Like California, this philosophy has put Hawaii in some financial straights that make it extremely prone to hurt during economic down cycles, and it's learning how to balance.

That seems like a pretty good analysis to me. I don't know about Hawaii, but many Alaskans consider themselves part of the US in name only--holding much of the lower 48 in contempt. It's the ultimate live free or die state.
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Niles Caulder
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« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2004, 05:42:59 pm »
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It's a very probing question, UK...far from absurd!

The answer on the surface may seem as simple as this: the cultures of the respective states identify strongly 'liberal'/'conservative.'  But trying to cross-examine a state's culture from long-distance is no small feat.  I'll give it a shot anyway.

In the case of Alaska, the Last Frontier...it's plainly enough the last refuge of the American pioneering spirit that prefers to fend for itself than to conform to the urbanized 'sophistication' that trends 'left.'  So the electorate of Alaska is going to be hugely anti-tax, anti-spenders when it comes to federal policy.  (Let's not talk about those govt. checks that pay Alaskan citizens and their progeny to show up in the first place, though.)  What can you say..."All politics is local."
Alaska attracts its fair share of left-idealists, too (--Mountains always attract the zealots, it seems--) and you can get the same cultural sparks in Alaska as you get in Colorado at times.  But AK is far more spread out and "live and let live"--and so its political winds are a lot less prone to turbulence.

Hawaii is a bit of a tougher explanation...but my best angle on it is the fact that its multicultural Asiatic legacy--and that means "family" economy has a whole magnitude of meaning we white Westerners don't really get.  The social net for people is something they don't see as terribly controversial--it's just the thing to do.  Like California, this philosophy has put Hawaii in some financial straights that make it extremely prone to hurt during economic down cycles, and it's learning how to balance.

That seems like a pretty good analysis to me. I don't know about Hawaii, but many Alaskans consider themselves part of the US in name only--holding much of the lower 48 in contempt. It's the ultimate live free or die state.

Many a Hawaiian doesn't care for the rest of us, either, lol.
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« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2004, 05:49:03 pm »
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My thoughts are:

Alaska-A pretty libertarian minded state espeically in terms of gun control (hunting's big up there) and ecology (the oil industry is obviously huge).  Also, as others said, the lack of large cities contributes a lot to the GOP vote.  However, I think the Dems may have a glimmer of hope there for the future with their popular former Democratic governor probably a slight favorite to knock off the unpopular Republican incumbent.

Hawaii-I think Hawaii might vote democratic for a couple of reasons.  First off, Hawaiians don't strike me as the type of people who would attend Church a lot and thus there probably aren't that many of the religious right out there.  Also, the state probably attracts a lot of younger, fresh out of college naturalists who tend to be Democratic.  However, a recent poll showed Kerry only +7 there and a Republican governor may give the GOP some hope for the future.
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« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2004, 07:13:11 pm »
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The Democratic voting base is locked up in big cities. As you can imagine, Alaska doesn't have many of them.

I have no clue about Hawaii though. I've been trying to kick them out for a long time, but no one will sign my petition. Wink

Thanks...as for Hawaii...don't worry its only 3 EVs!!!

No, it's 4.

Anyway.

I basically agree with everything that has been said, here.
Alaska votes Republican because they are Libertarian, economically at least, and they are very supportive of the oil industry. The lack of a major city doesn't help the Democrats, and I generally don't think of Alaska as a very socially liberal place. I think Alaska will turn heavily Democratic in 50 years, when the environment starts to break down, or when someone finally convinces them the oil industry just isn't worth it, which won't hapen soon.

Hawaii is Democratic because of the environment, they have a beautiful one, and I think they are intent on keeping it that way. They are also liberal because of Social Liberalness, which, can be found by walking down the streets of Honolulu. They are culturally different than the mainland, and I believe their commitment to respecting diversity makes them Democratic.  
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« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2004, 10:06:41 pm »
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what's odd is both states were very close in their first election, 1960. No reason why they turned so partisan after that.

don't forget that Hawaii is also mostly non-white.
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« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2004, 11:30:15 pm »
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My father's entire side of the family lives in Hawaii.  I've personally met Senator Akaka and Rep. Abercrombie.
And honestly, the best answer I can give as to why Hawaii is so heavily Democratic is because most of the population is concentrated in Oahu around Honolulu, and thus in an urban center.  In addition, as Niles said, the Asian approach to live is extremely difficult for most Americans to understand, but this approach heavily favors Democrats because we commit ourselves to toleration of others and helping everyone.

Some choice Confucian quotes that my grandmother likes to say are:

"Ideal people are universal and not clannish.  Small minded people are clannish and not universal"
"to be poor without bitterness is easy, to be rich without arrogance is hard."

And my personal favorite whenever Iraq comes up:
"Few lose out on account of prudence."
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Lunar
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« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2004, 12:43:06 am »
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I've been to Alaska and I can tell you that the regional issues cause it to strongly fall in the GOP camp:

Hunting - no gun control
Oil revenues - less environmental restriction
Cheap land - property rights

In general they side with rural values which means Republican values.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2004, 12:43:26 am by Lunar »Logged

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Lewis Trondheim
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« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2004, 02:47:19 am »
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Alaska`s population is actually pretty concentrated...a third of the population is in Anchorage city limits.
High number of Texan immigrants in that state, btw.
16% Native American, with the West and North Coast 80%+ Native American. And Bush won these areas, if by a whimper. (It seems to be that oil-dominated communities and welfare-dominated communities voted Bush, traditionalist communities Gore...Those on welfare hoping for oil jobs from the Republicans)
I guess back in 1960 both states still voted purely on traditional party lines from the colonial territorial era. Reps have always remained competitive on a state and local level in Hawaii, Dems have long remained so in Alaska.  
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