Sunday, December 16, 2012

Some more on the Republican's Yankee Problem

For those with an interest in how regionalism is shaping U.S. politics, I have a new extended essay in today's Maine Sunday Telegram on how the G.O.P. has managed to make itself all-but extinct in the region of its birth.

The argument is built on the framework developed in my most recent book, American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America. If you're interested in examining the "nations map" more closely, there's a high-resolution PDF available here at World Wide Woodard.

Readers of the print edition will find it on the front of the Insight section today. My thanks to staff artist Michael Fisher for the excellent "elephant-in-the-boat"  illustration.

Regular readers will recall that I floated an initial version of this argument last month at Washington Monthly's Ten Miles Square.


  1. I enjoyed this latest essay as I enjoyed your book. I think it misses something you may take for granted, however: it's impossible for a single party to appeal to both the Deep South and New England, at least for any length of time. When Republicans were racking up election victories in Maine in the 19th century, they were loosing every state in the former Confederacy. Now the party alignment has reversed.

    It doesn't make sense for republicans to worry about New England, any more than democrats should worry about the deep south. Both sides should (and do) worry about the west and south west - that's the story that's worth telling.

    1. I entirely agree that no one party can be fully appealing to Yankeedom and the Deep South simultaneously, and have said so in many venues.

      Perhaps the "war for the west" is the most important story, but that's one others have been telling. My point is that victory in that war is all the more important, since the G.O.P. is now all-but extinct in the most populous U.S. region, which limits its room for maneuver in the Electoral College and other national political venues.