Whole Foods Republicans & the Smarty-Pants Vote: Part Two


Thanks to all those who took the time to comment on my last post RE: Michael Petrilli’s op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal — besides the comments that appear with that post (Republicans & the Smarty-Pants Vote: Part One), others took time out of their busy lives to email their reactions. All these commentators were generous with their time, insightful in their commentary, & hopeful about the future —- just the kind of dialogue that the Dark Horse Dispatch hopes to generate!

Well to keep the conversation going, I thought I’d take Petrilli’s advice that the GOP needs to reach out to college grads in a bit of a different direction.

Based on the assumption that before charting a new direction for the GOP, as Petrilli suggests, it’s useful to see where the party stands right now — I went back to the last election and tracked which states Obama won, and which ones McCain won. I matched those victories with where those states ranked, based on what percentage of their citizens were college grads. The results appear below.

STATES RANKED BY % OF CITIZENS WITH COLLEGE DEGREES & PRESIDENTIAL VOTE

STATE RANK VOTED
MA 1 DEM
MD 2 DEM
CO 3 DEM
CT 4 DEM
NJ 5 DEM
VA 6 DEM
VT 7 DEM
NH 8 DEM
NY 9 DEM
WA 10 DEM
MN 11 DEM
HI 12 DEM
RI 13 DEM
CA 14 DEM
IL 15 DEM
KS 16 GOP
UT 16 GOP
OR 18 DEM
MT 19 GOP
DE 20 DEM
AK 21 GOP
NE 21 GOP
GA 23 GOP
ME 24 DEM
ND 25 DEM
AZ 26 GOP
PA 27 DEM
FL 28 GOP
NM 28 DEM
WI 30 DEM
NC 31 DEM
SD 31 DEM
TX 33 GOP
MI 34 DEM
MO 35 GOP
IA 36 DEM
ID 37 GOP
OH 38 DEM
SC 39 GOP
WY 39 GOP
OK 41 GOP
IN 42 DEM
TN 43 GOP
AL 44 GOP
LA 45 GOP
NV 45 DEM
KY 47 GOP
MS 48 GOP
AR 49 GOP
WV 50 GOP

SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau, Table 225, Statistical Abstract
of the United States, 2009: “Persons 25 Years Old & Over
With a Bachelor’s Degree or More, 2007”.

States with the same percentages are given identical rankings,
and are listed alphabetically.

As with my earlier post that ranks states by the 2008 Presidential vote (“College Football Rankings, the BCS, TCU & … Politics?”), I’ll begin by reminding everyone that part of the fun of these kinds of rankings is that people interpret them in all sorts of ways.

But golly!

Looking at this ranking while considering Petrilli’s advice to the GOP to go after the college grad vote, one word comes to my mind: DAUNTING!!

Team Obama cleaned up in the contests waged in states with the highest % of college grads. The GOP was shut out — zippo, nadda, — in the top 15 such contests, managed to win just 3 of the top 20, & only 7 out of the top 25.

Put differently, in states where the highest % of the country’s college grads live, the Dems not only won, they stomped, steam-rolled and beat the GOP silly.

And while Republicans won only 15% of the contests waged in the top 20 such states, they won 70% of those run in the bottom 20. They practically owned the bottom 10, winning 8 of those campaigns.

Here’s another thing to consider: The U.S. Census Bureau reports here that 27.5% of Americans 25 yrs old or older have graduated from college. Only the top 2 Republican states, Kansas & Nebraska, have a higher % of college grads living within their borders than the national average.

That might be a bright spot for the GOP as they consider this ranking. If they aren’t persuaded to follow Petrilli’s advice, they can console themselves with the knowledge that almost 73% of Americans have not graduated from college.

So what bearing does this ranking have on Petrilli’s advice?

And does it have any implications for Democrats?

I look forward to hearing what you all think about this……..
danreagan

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One Response

  1. I don’t even think the Republicans have a good enough platform right now to win! So, certainly they need to do something!

    In the years past, when the more educated voted for Republicans I always viewed it as a business and labor divide. The latter leaning towards the Dems. I think this dichotomy is a little outdated, but still has some explantory power.

    I think if the Republicans can stick with their economic talking points and policies they can win. The problem, aforementioned in the post and in the article, is that they have been slowly chipping away at their base of support by sometimes running candidates solely on their stance on abortion rights (Hat Tip: Ohio campaign billboards). Do you think most laborers or businessmen/women care too much about abortion rights compared to business and economic issues? I don’t, especially with a more educated populace and less stay-at-home mothers.

    Abortion rights is just an easy example, but I think it can be used with other issues.

    Face it, I would be a Republican and probably a lot of other Dems or lefties, if economic and business issues were of sole importance. However, if they can just focus on that they would move in the “right” direction! (This paragraph might get me in trouble.)

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