Red vs Blue

Common sense could have told us about this result.

The O’Leary Report /Zogby International poll of Red States (those that voted for George W. Bush in 2000) and Blues (sic) States (those that supported Al Gore) reveals a nation deeply divided by party, ideology, the presidency of George W. Bush, and values.

For example, the answer to whether the 2000 election was “stolen” by George W. Bush depends on where you live.

When respondents were asked whether Bush was legitimately elected president, or whether the 2000 election was stolen, 62% of Red State voters said that Bush is the legitimate president, while 32% said the election was stolen away from the popular vote winner, Al Gore. In the Blue States, half (50%) of the respondents said that the election was legitimate while 44% think it was stolen.

Then there’s party identification.  Of interest is the large number of people in both “Americas” (Zogby’s phrasing) who identify as independent.  Both major parties should note this as an indicator of dissatisfaction with the choice between Socialism (Democrat Party) and Socialism-lite (Republican Party) amongst people like me.

Ideologically, the two Americas are quite distinct. Those who label themselves “progressive” constitute just 5 percent of voters in the Red States, but 11 percent of voters in the Blue States. Meanwhile, conservatives account for 39% of respondents in the Red States and just 29% of those in the Blue States.

Ideological differences are buttressed by considerable discrepancies in party identification. In the Red States, 38% call themselves Democrats while 39% are Republican. In the Blue States, Democrats dominate with 40% of the respondents while Republican identifiers total 31%. The number of independents is higher in the Blue States (29%) than in the Red States (22%).

On the gun issue, it’s easy to want to restrict something that you know nothing about.

There are significant differences in gun ownership. A majority (51%) of those living in the Red States say they own a gun, while 64% in the Blues States do not.

Again on the subject of guns, I came across a reference on Zogby’s site to this article by David Keene in The Hill, which cites the results of the above poll.

Gun issue could cost Democrats the White House again

Liberal Democrats in Congress are getting ready to force their party’s presidential nominee down the same road that led to the defeat of Al Gore and his running mate four years ago.

In the days following the 2000 election, a number of Democrats realized that their fixation on guns and gun owners had cost their candidates millions of votes that year. Even before leaving office, President Bill Clinton warned that the “gun issue” and the efforts of the National Rifle Association (NRA) had cost Gore five states that he might otherwise have won and, thus, the election. Labor leaders began urging the party to “get the gun issue off the table” after watching droves of their own members desert Democrats they were afraid would restrict their right to own firearms.

The irony is that as Democrats prepared for the 2000 elections, many of them believed in their bones that if they could get their candidates to focus on the gun issue and “go after” the NRA, they would win millions of new votes. In those days it was an article of liberal and Democratic faith that most Americans loathe guns and live in fear precisely because guns are legal in this country. It followed that their opposition to what they liked to describe as the “gun culture” would be applauded by an appreciative public and would help their candidates win.

Their inability to realize before the votes were counted that they were dead wrong stems from the fact that Democrats and Republicans, or liberals and conservatives, really do live in different worlds. Recent evidence of this comes in the form of data from a poll conducted by John Zogby for Southern Methodist University’s Tower Center and the O’Leary Report. The poll was unique in that Zogby broke down the results by looking at contrasting attitudes in the states that voted for George W. Bush and for Gore four years ago. The data showed on issue after issue that those who live in the so-called “red states” won by President Bush harbor far different beliefs and attitudes than those who live in the “blue states” carried by Gore.

Surprisingly, however, the data showed that while more people in the blue states favor new and tougher gun laws than those in the red states, most voters in both groups of states are far more supportive of the right to own firearms than the Democrats suspected. Indeed, only the sorts of urban and campus-based liberals who dominate the leadership of the Democratic Party were found to be as hostile to gun ownership as Gore and his running mate had been in 2000.

While the candidates are trying like crazy to distance themselves from the gun control platform that seems core to the Democrat Party, we’re still seeing the party being driven by the shrill, pointy-headed “urban and campus-based” set.  This is part of the reason that I almost never believe a Democrat who says he supports the right to own guns.  If the candidate says that he believes in hunting or makes a point to be seen shooting skeet or hunting ducks, then I give him extra demerits on my internal freedom scale.  As someone once said, “The Second Amendment ain’t about duck hunting.”  Of course, GW isn’t winning any points with his silly statements about supporting renewal of the “Assault Weapons” ban. 

It’s almost enough to make me stay home on election day, given the dearth of available candidates that seems likely.  And I’ve heard the arguments about how if I stay home the Democrats will win.  Well, if they do at least we have a pretty good idea where they stand on the issue.  A declared enemy is better than a “friend” who is an enemy in disguise.


  1. Outlaw3 says:

    I always heard it called “mirroring.”  The practice of surrounding yourself with several layers of people who all think like you do, filter all your information, stack the famous “focus groups” to get the results they want, tailor-rehearse any questions you get asked, and so of course it comes out like you thought.  All this evidence accumulates until you forget about the layers between you and real people, and come to believe that all rational, thinking people hold the exact same beliefs and ideas you do.  Those others?  The here and there nut case will slip through so things look “fair” to represent the lunatic fringe.  They are just noise in the statistics, after all.  The democrats found out that was a LOT of statistical noise.

  2. Yep.  I think the bi-coastal set is in for a shock if they don’t realize that those “rubes” in “flyover country” have a completely different set of values.  It’s easy for them, in their cocoon of comfy compadres, to never come in contact with the real America.