05.10.09

Arkansas liberalism?

Posted in Maps, Politics at 6:38 pm by ducky

I added a state legislatures partisanship layer to my election map, and also modified a metric which shows kind of how liberal an area is.  For every governor, US senator, or US congressman in a district that is a Democrat, I added one.  For every legislator who is a Republican, I subtracted one.  Now, with the new data, I also add one point for each state legislative chamber that is controlled by Democrats, and subtract one for each that is controlled by Republicans.

This gives me a range of -6 to plus 6 (governor, two US senators, one US congressman, one state senate, one state lower chamber), which I can show in shades of red to blue:

demlegislators-2009

Some things are not surprising: the northeast is very blue; Idaho and Utah are very red.  However, I don’t get Arkansas.  I wouldn’t have thought that it would be culturally very different from its neighbours, yet most of the state has the maximum value of +6.

Is this all due to Clinton?  Did he build a really strong Democratic Party operation in Arkansas?  Or did he throw a bunch of money towards Arkansas, for which they are still grateful?

Can anyone familiar with Arkansas shed any light on this?

UPDATE:

A reader from Arkansas explained that the Arkansas Democratic party is very entrenched and strong, but that the populace is not particularly liberal.  Essentially, people who are Democrats in Arkansas would be Republicans just about anywhere else.  (This is similar to the Liberal Party in BC, which is the most conservative of the three viable parties in BC.  The Liberal Party in BC is much more conservative than the Canadian federal Liberal party.)

1 Comment »

  1. jdougan said,

    July 11, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    The comment on Arkansas is interesting. I wonder if it would be fair to say that the great political policy shift of 1968 affected them less?

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