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  Political Geography & Demographics (Moderator: muon2)
  Why northwest is so liberal? (search mode)
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Author Topic: Why northwest is so liberal?  (Read 28294 times)
opebo
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« on: February 08, 2004, 08:05:20 am »

Can someone to explain why Northwest states (I mean only Washington and Oregon) are fairly liberal? Huge majority of population is white and there is a little minorities. (quite much Asian though) So there is no "natural" reason for this blooming of liberalism.

Of course Democrats' support is concentrated Seattle's and Portland's metropolitan areas, but there is also pretty liberal areas in Washington rural coast region (some poor fishing villages, I assume) and in western Oregon. In Dave's election maps there are lot of red colour in these rural areas at least since 1960. (As your know there is no countylevel information before 1960 in Dave's pages)

The reasons for the liberalism in the Northwest are complicated, but one thing you mention interests me.  As you say, the Northwest is very white, with few minorities.  The same could be said of places like Minnesota, Wisconsin, and some of the liberal states of New England.  Many Southern states, which are only 60-70% white are strongly Republican in spite of near total Democrat voting by the minority groups.   Also, even California, which is very Democratic has a very large percentage of its white minority that are conservative Republicans.  The obvious generalization is this - whites are more liberal when they are living in segregation, and much more conservative when living with other races.  
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opebo
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Posts: 47,088


« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2004, 11:43:16 am »

Can someone to explain why Northwest states (I mean only Washington and Oregon) are fairly liberal? Huge majority of population is white and there is a little minorities. (quite much Asian though) So there is no "natural" reason for this blooming of liberalism.

Of course Democrats' support is concentrated Seattle's and Portland's metropolitan areas, but there is also pretty liberal areas in Washington rural coast region (some poor fishing villages, I assume) and in western Oregon. In Dave's election maps there are lot of red colour in these rural areas at least since 1960. (As your know there is no countylevel information before 1960 in Dave's pages)

The reasons for the liberalism in the Northwest are complicated, but one thing you mention interests me.  As you say, the Northwest is very white, with few minorities.  The same could be said of places like Minnesota, Wisconsin, and some of the liberal states of New England.  Many Southern states, which are only 60-70% white are strongly Republican in spite of near total Democrat voting by the minority groups.   Also, even California, which is very Democratic has a very large percentage of its white minority that are conservative Republicans.  The obvious generalization is this - whites are more liberal when they are living in segregation, and much more conservative when living with other races.  

The generalization could also be that white people living in racist areas are more Republican than those living in non-racist areas. Then again, generalizations can be hazardous... Wink

Its possible that your generalization follows directly from mine - familiarity breeding contempt, etc.  But I think that 'racism' is a bit of a strong word.  Just because two population groups, largely corresponding to two races, see their political interests as diametrically opposed, does that mean they're racists?  
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opebo
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« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2004, 12:35:47 pm »

You guys actually don't realize how right supersoulty was, Idaho is receiving ... honestly, thousands of Californians yearly.  I swear the DNC is trying to lessen our Republican views.  Smiley  Then again it could be the vastly lower taxes.

Well I can't blame anyone for wanting to leave California.  But I still think that most escapees from CA will be more conservative than those that remain, on average.  Leaving for lower taxed, free-er pastures is by definition a right-wing, individualist act.
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