Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State: Why Americans Vote the Way They Do

On the night of the 2000 presidential election, Americans sat riveted in front of their televisions as polling results divided the nation s map into red and blue states Since then the color divide has become a symbol of a culture war that thrives on stereotypes pickup driving red state Republicans who vote based on God, guns, and gays and elitist, latte sipping blue staOn the night of the 2000 presidential election, Americans sat riveted in front of their televisions as polling results divided the nation s map into red and blue states Since then the color divide has become a symbol of a culture war that thrives on stereotypes pickup driving red state Republicans who vote based on God, guns, and gays and elitist, latte sipping blue state Democrats who are woefully out of touch with heartland values Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State debunks these and other political myths.With wit and prodigious number crunching, Andrew Gelman gets to the bottom of why Democrats win elections in wealthy states while Republicans get the votes of richer voters, how the two parties have become ideologically polarized, and other issues Gelman uses eye opening, easy to read graphics to unravel the mystifying patterns of recent voting, and in doing so paints a vivid portrait of the regional differences that drive American politics He demonstrates in the plainest possible terms how the real culture war is being waged among affluent Democrats and Republicans, not between the haves and have nots how religion matters for higher income voters how the rich poor divide is greater in red not blue states and much Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State is a must read for anyone seeking to make sense of today s fractured American political landscape.Myths and facts about the red and the blue Myth The rich vote based on economics, the poor vote God, guns, and gays Fact Church attendance predicts Republican voting much among rich than poor Myth A political divide exists between working class red America and rich blue America Fact Within any state, rich people vote Republican The real divide is between higher income voters in red and blue states Myth Rich people vote for the Democrats Fact George W Bush won than 60 percent of high income voters Myth Religion is particularly divisive in American politics Fact Religious and secular voters differ no in America than in France, Germany, Sweden, and many other European countries.
Red State Blue State Rich State Poor State Why Americans Vote the Way They Do On the night of the presidential election Americans sat riveted in front of their televisions as polling results divided the nation s map into red and blue states Since then the color divide has

  • Title: Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State: Why Americans Vote the Way They Do
  • Author: Andrew Gelman
  • ISBN: 9780691139272
  • Page: 288
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State: Why Americans Vote the Way They Do”

    1. Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State by Andrew Gelman is a good book on voter behaviour. Mr Gelman uses income statistics, as well as survey results, to explain the differences in voting patterns between red and blue states on the electoral college maps. In sum, income differences are an important factor in red states, where rich voters overwhelmingly support the Republican Party and poor voters generally support the Democratic Party. In blue states, both poor voters and rich voters are [...]

    2. I was familiar with the material because the author was a former professor of mine who used the raw data as an example in a stats modeling class. The title of the course lecture was "Whats the matter with Connecticut?". Having already read "Whats the matter with Kansas?" before taking this class / reading this book, I admit I felt a little silly for not having immediately thought about this.The takeaway is simple, completely intuitive, and rock solid. Yet it is something that gets fucked up by p [...]

    3. Gelman identifies some very interesting trends in voting behavior. He notes that rich states tend to vote Democrat and poor states tend to vote Republican--this isn't surprising. What is surprising is that rich people in each of those states tend to vote the other way; that is, rich people in Red States tend to vote Democrat, while rich people in Blue states tend to vote Republican. It's an incredibly potent observation. Gelman then looks at what impact this has on our politics, and speculates a [...]

    4. This is an extremely wonky book. Copious amounts of data and charts. I skimmed it and it didn't really take an in depth reading to get the gist of what they were saying. I would only recommend this for people who are data AND political geeks. (I'm only the latter and not the former)

    5. This particular book is a fascinating statistical analysis, with learned and technical endnotes that show the author’s conceptual debt to data visualizing pioneers like the great Edward Tufte [1] that views the recent polarization of America’s politics, dismantles plenty of punditry and conventional wisdom, and makes a rigorous and well-defended statistical argument for why Americans vote as they do and what that means from a comparative international perspective [2], with a particularly clo [...]

    6. Attempting to explain 'why Americans vote the way they do,' Gelman and a group of fellow political scientists crunch numbers and draw graphs, arriving at a picture that refutes the influential one drawn by Thomas Frank, in What's the Matter with Kansas?, of poor red-staters voting Republican against their economic interests. Instead, Gelman persuasively argues, the poor in both red states and blue still mostly vote Democratic, and the rich, nationally speaking, overwhelmingly vote Republican. -- [...]

    7. Given that the author of this book has a blog with the not-so-catchy title of 'Statistical Modelling, Causal Inference and Social Science' I was expecting this book to be enlightening if not particularly enjoyable. I actually enjoyed it immensely (although that might say more about me than the book). Although the blurb describes it as being Freakonomics-esque, Gelman doesn't use any stories to make his points, just data. There are plenty of graphs and figures but they're pretty simple to read an [...]

    8. Gelman, et. al offer the political science version of pop-social science, in the Gladwell-Freakonomics vein. They do a fine job, though not quite reaching the captivating levels of Gladwell, etc. Since the 2000 election and the near dead even split in the electorate, the "red-blue" divide has captivated politicos. The blue states voted for Gore and Kerry, and the red states put George W. Bush in the White House. What has amazed a few people is the fact that the poor states are the red states, wh [...]

    9. This book reads somewhat like a scholarly paper expanded to book length - I mean, it's a good scholarly paper, but it suffers from some repetition as the results of the data analysis are graphed and reworded in different ways. The writing becomes too dry at times but for the most parts engaging enough to hold the reader's interest.In the first five chapters, Gelman presents the apparent paradox that richer states (states with average higher incomes) tend to vote Democratic, but rich individual v [...]

    10. This is an interesting, analytical book that debunks the "What's the Matter with Kansas?" myth, among others. Using lots of graphs that are easy to understand but also convey a lot of information, the author shows how household income, state income levels, religion, and voting habits interact.Despite much political writing about latte-sipping Democrats, the data shows that high-income people (the author does not distinguish between income and wealth, which is a personal pet peeve of mine but non [...]

    11. Andrew Gelman and colleagues (Gelman, Park, Shor, Baumi, & Cortina, 2008) use a method of number crunching, to blast the political myths of the great divide. Gelman et al examine another stereotype: that the rich vote Republican and the poor Democrat. In this vein, rich states should be Republican and poor states Democrats. But, these authors point out the paradox, that in both the 2000 and 2004 Presidential elections, Democrats captured the richer Northeaster and West Coast States, while Re [...]

    12. The first thing that comes to mind when I try to review this book is an analogy: Gelman's book is to Thomas Frank's Whats The Matter With Kansas as Baseball Prospectus is to the writings of Buzz Bissinger. For those of you not geeky in all the same ways that I am, this basically just means that Gelman has decided to ignore much of the conventional wisdom of political and demographic thinking and instead look at hard cold facts and statistics about how people actually vote and try to construct a [...]

    13. Note: this is review of how the book fared as a pedagogical tool for one class.I assigned this book to an undergraduate Political Science Research Methods class as a) a supplement to the material covered in the textbook; and b) an ongoing example to which we could refer back to, and a salient one at that, given the class's coincidence with the 2012 Presidential election.When we had finished the book I asked my students what they thought of the book. They by and large liked the book but thought t [...]

    14. Incredibly boring. Reading this was a struggle. I didn't even finish the thing because it was torturous. Halfway through it's already clear that while Americans like to label everything (and everyone) and assume they know what it's all about based on stereotypes, those assumptions are not always true. After propping my eyelids open a la A Clockwork Orange to read the meandering and pointless graphs and charts and numbers, the bottom line is: We'd like to be able to predict how rich people, poor [...]

    15. The big criticism I have of this book is something that is not really its fault at all. This book was written in 2008, in the midst of the campaign, as there is a reference to the Jeremiah Wright controversy, but none to the election results. Two election cycles have passed since then, two election cycles that are historically consequential because they involve the first black President. I wonder if the conclusions the authors reach are in need of revision based on the outcomes of these two elec [...]

    16. Andrew Gelman's thesis shouldn't surprise anyone who critically follows the news. He begins with the oft repeated media phrase, "limosine liberal", and goes on to demonstrate how reliably those with high incomes and those with low incomes vote Republican and Democratic respectively. The same correlation holds for religion.There is some interesting material on how the correlations are different in other countries and in Mexico how quickly things can change.The value of this book is that it provid [...]

    17. Although it is somewhat difficult to follow, it presents a very interesting and important take on a modern issue. As he breaks apart and escapes from common effects of ecological inference, Gelman is able to present an argument that gives evidence to the fact that region influences the manner in which economic issues affect voting. However, he is not always able to make it clear that this is what he is doing, making the book a somewhat difficult read. Additionally, while providing much in the wa [...]

    18. Thank You Mr. Andrew Gelman. This book smashes every voting stereotype out there and will truly enlighten any reader about how Americans actually vote. It makes the talking heads on television sound dumber. As elitist as it may sound I honestly wouldn't take anyone's opinion on why people vote for a certain party seriously if they have not read this book. This book makes the reader ask more questions at its conclusion after answering millions. Simply amazing and amusing to read. Backed up with t [...]

    19. Very exciting, data oriented look at American politics. It's amazing how some solid data can completely undermine perfectly good characterizations. Read this before you tell me "what's the matter with Kansas." I don't necessarily recommend the whole book, but the first few and the final chapter on the 2008 election are seminal. I do wish there was more discussion of the underlying data sources (exit polls) and the limitations. It seems Gelman, who is usually great about discussing uncertainty, r [...]

    20. I know, this is probably going to be out of date given what happened on Tuesday. But it was on a list of books that are examples of graphical excellence, so I'm really just interested in looking at the pictures.

    21. This book frustrated me because I feel like at this point, the data is out of date (it was published in 2007 with an Afterword about the 2008 election). It's great for true "political science" buffs who love the graphs and numbers of all Gelman's research. As a mere politics buff, I was more interested in the analysis, but this book definitely emphasized the numbers.

    22. The book had lots of detailed data, but it was a little too dry for reading on the bus. A little too much review of the raw data and not enough analysis to satisfy me. The basic argument about how pundits misunderstood red state vs. blue state was easy to make, but the book pursued it at length. Some of the key observations seemed a little obvious.

    23. I was disappointed into this book. After a couple hundred pages of stats, the conclusion is that you can't trust stereotypes of states to predict individual voting choices. Seems like a whole lot of analysis for very little new insight.

    24. Why do poor voters vote against their economic interests? - Aspiration: I might be rich someday- Fairness and admiration: Rich people worked hard and deserve more- Skepticism: Don't trust the government- Republicans support conservative views

    25. I was really excited to read this book, but I found the writing style and format difficult to read. Also, I was a bit skeptical of some of the author's analysis of the voting behavior statistics. I must confess, I only made it half way through the book which is unusual for me.

    26. Easy read. A bit repetitive but it is necessary to rule out all the holes you might try to poke in the theory that rich states vote for Dems and poor states vote for republicans, but rich people vote republican and poor people vote for democrats. Weird I know So read it!

    27. Not as readable or "enlightening" as I was hoping it would be. Lots of charts and figures repeated and the same general conclusion that people really don't vote just by wealth or education as some claim, but no real attempt at explanation of why this might be.

    28. Some nice analysis of voting patterns in the U.S. over the past several decades, finding the relationship between income, religion, geography, etc. and election results. Should squash the silly notion that the Democrats are the rich "elites."

    29. Interesting read, most of the conclusions and findings have-by now-entered mainstream political understanding by both parties. It would be neat to see an update of these analyses after the 2014 elections and provide forecasts for the 2016 presidential elections.

    30. All books with a plethora of graphs and tables score high in my world. I think of note is the little celebrated fact that the book demonstrates that despite our problems our system of government has a process that works to represent the will of the people.

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