Saturday, January 7, 2017

The American Nations and the 2016 Presidential Election

Thanks to all of you out there who've been asking for my American Nations-driven analysis of the 2016 presidential election. At long last -- and with the help of Christian MilNeil at the Portland Press Herald and Will Mitchell of NBT Solutions -- I'm able to provide that. It's all posted at the Press Herald's website.

The highlights: the regional cultures followed precisely the same partisan pattern as they have in the last three cycles, but Donald Trump's substitution of ethno-nationalism for laissez faire economics on the campaign trail allowed him to outperform his recent predecessors in the Midlands and rural Yankeedom, tipping margins just enough to eke out victory in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, securing an Electoral College victory, but not the popular vote. Details herein.

A note for data geeks: while preparing this analysis, I discovered and corrected an error in the maps published in the book: Bernalillo County, New Mexico -- that's Albuquerque, which coincidentally I wrote from last month in Politico -- should of course be in El Norte, not Far West.

I've been tied up with other professional and family responsibilities this past year and a half -- including the writing and launch of American Nations' sequel, American Character -- so wasn't able to provide frequent analysis of the campaign as it happened, but here are some American Nations-driven pieces I did on past elections and political developments:

* On the regional cultures's constraints on the Tea Party's agenda (that's the laissez faire stuff again).
* On the 2012 Super Tuesday Republican primaries.
* On Obama's Greater Appalachia problem (from 2012).
* On the 2012 presidential and Congressional elections and Dixie-style Republicans' weakness in Yankeedom.
* On why to watch Utah as a potential swing state down the road (2012).
* On regionalism trumping rural/urban splits in the 2013 Virginia gubernatorial race.
* On regional effects in New Jersey's 2013 gubernatorial contest.
* On why Iowa matters, as the strongest indicator of Midlander thinking (late 2015)

Hopefully I'll have more time in the coming weeks and months to generate more regular analysis.

[Update, 1/13/17: Here's a little primer for all this I put together for Washington Monthly's readers.]

[Update, 1/19/17: I did a long-form interview about this post with WNPR's "Next," a program about New England that airs on public radio stations across the region.]


  1. Here's the link to the story:

    Great analysis, as always.

    Best Regards,

    Hugh Pickens

  2. Seems like today's marches are happening along national lines. The only non blue state block city being, as far i know, Austin. Your thoughts on Austin as a blue enclave?

  3. ... well, Atlanta and Denver now also, so maybe the lines are irrelevant here.

  4. Speaking from Albuquerque, one more quick correction. My county is Bernalillo county, not Bernadillo County.