" I arise in the morning torn between a desire to inprove the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day." -E.B.White

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Outlier Minnesota

With politics all over the television recently, I've noticed something about the red/blue maps that has made me wonder. It's maybe an urban versus rural phenomenon, but in general, the East Coast and West Coasts are blue; the south, center and rural west are red. Minnesota is a blue island. I understand Iowa and the Dakotas; frankly Wisconsin is harder. It's all over the map politically, right now almost schizophrenic. Minnesota is consistently liberal. The last time Minnesota voted for a Republican for president was for Nixon over McGovern in 1972.  That's a long time to tilt to the left. 

Minnesota is not only a political island, it is a cultural outlier too. This is not a right or wrong thing, but we are very different than our neighbors. In many ways the states that Minnesota is most alike are probably Oregon, or maybe even Massachusetts, so I'm not sure which coast we drifted away from. In my opinion all this has made Minnesota a more livable place, but how the hell did it happen over time?

A quick addendum:
Minnesota does not have a Democratic Party. It has the DFL, the Democratic Farmer Labor Party. It is the results of mid 1940s merger of the Democrats with the progressive populist Farmer-Labor Party. I'm not certain how that figures into the above, if at all.

4 comments:

George A said...

No mystery to me Gunnar--your state was blessed with an over load of socialists from Scandinavia. Fortunately their descendants are slow to change.

Gunnar Berg said...

Ja, we are slow.

George A said...

Congrats on keeping the nation's longest "blue streak" alive.

Anonymous said...

If Romney had won last night, but without Minnesota's 10 electoral vote, it would have been time to begin talking about secession. There have been times in my life when I've thought about that, especially after a sojourn in any of the Scandinavian countries.

Cheri