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Old 05-19-2012, 09:46 PM
 
Location: Floyd County, IN
24,749 posts, read 42,515,979 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by callmemaybe View Post
So Minot, ND is part of the West?
Minot is a transition zone area, but it has more in common with the West overall.
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Old 05-20-2012, 11:24 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stlouisan View Post
The Midwest as a whole region is politically moderate. You have the Great Plains states, which are solidly red.

The only reason that Illinois is more progressive than Missouri, Indiana, and Ohio in certain areas and more politically blue is due to the size of Chicago. Take that out of the picture and you have a more moderate state.
The same thing (that you said about Illinois) can be said for New York and Pennsylvania. Take out the New York City and Philadelphia metropolitan areas, and you have much more moderate states. What states like Illinois, Ohio, Minnesota, and Michigan have in common with New York and Pennsylvania is that you have liberal population centers and more conservative hinterlands.

And it's not just Chicago, Philly, and NYC. Illinois also has industrial and post-industrial population centers like Peoria, for example. New York also has Albany, Buffalo, etc. Indiana has South Bend; Ohio has Cleveland, Akron, Toledo, Columbus. Pennsylvania has Scranton and Pittsburgh. You have this whole industrial region of cities that stretches across the Great Lakes, into the Northeast, into and including New York City and Hartford, CT (and when I talk about NYC, it's important to remember the blue-collar boroughs as well as northeast Jersey...Metro NYC is more than just Manhattan...as a Chicagoan, I feel completely at home in Jersey or Queens). You have generations of union workers who will vote Democrat, from Milwaukee to Boston...the blue-collar, industrial, union, "Rust Belt" experience that the Plains states don't have, and appears to be on the political upswing with unions becoming more of a political issue this year than other recent presidential elections.

You're right to point out that elections in Ohio and Indiana were very close, but my point is that the Great Lakes region has been trending more and more blue. Whereas Ohio went from a barely red state to a barely blue state, Ohio appears to be trending towards becoming a moderately-solid blue state, like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin: not quite as blue as Illinois, but consistently blue from here on out.

I could be wrong with this analysis, but unions have become more of a political issue than in elections past, and Ohio is a very unionized and urbanized state. In Missouri, OTOH, having such a massive Baptist population (as opposed to Catholic/Mainline Protestant Ohio), people there will more likely vote on same-sex marriage. In fact, according to opinion polls, while elections in Missouri are always close, the state looks like it will become a more moderately-solid red state, with Romney winning the state with a larger margin than McCain did.

Another thing -besides industrialization and urbanization- that binds the Great Lakes closer to the Northeast, is that the Great Lakes region was settled by people from Pennsylvania, New York, and New England. Additionally, the Great Lakes region absorbed European immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th century, just as the Northeast did, mostly into the cities (the Plains states absorbed Europeans at an earlier time). Then came African-American migration from the South into Northeastern and Great Lakes cities...Chicago, St Louis, Detroit, Philadelphia, Washington, New York. All these experiences and geo-demographic realities (the presence of several mid-size industrial cities across the Great Lakes region, from Green Bay to Peoria to Toledo to Grand Rapids in addition to the big cities like Chicago), make the Great Lakes region a separate region, that ends roughly at the Mississippi river, but includes St Louis, Minneapolis-St Paul, and Iowa's Quad City region.

You're right that there's shades of grey, and that outside the population centers, the Great Lakes region looks more moderate, or even more conservative in parts, but the political divide between Great Lakes and Plains is only part of the puzzle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tablemtn View Post
Growing up on the west coast, the traditional impression was that stuff west of the Rocky Mountains was "the west," the mountains themselves were a transitional zone, and everything on the other side was "back east."
Interesting you bring this up.

If you look up Wikipedia's entry on "Eastern United States", and click on the "discussion" tab, where people discuss and debate the merits of the article, some [ignorant] people have expressed surprise that the article considers the "east" as everything east of the Mississippi. Someone wrote something like "since when is Ohio East Coast"?

Thing is, "the East" and the "East Coast" are two completely separate things. The eastern United States is the geographic eastern United States. From a historical perspective, it's everything that was US territory by the end of the 18th century. So that includes Illinois, Wisconsin, Alabama, Mississippi, and so on. East Coast is -as the name suggests- the eastern coast.

I think that there are several geographically-stupid people who think that the "East" is equivalent to "East Coast" and that the "West" is just the "West Coast", and everything in-between is "Midwest", including Texas. But I've also heard geographically-stupid people say that Switzerland is in Scandinavia, Vienna is in Italy, Jamaica is in the Southern Hemisphere, and -here's a common one that irks me- Mexico is in South America (let alone Spain being in South America). Geography idiots surround us on a daily basis.

Some people take the term "Midwest" far too literally. The Midwest from some East-Coast perspectives is the "Middle West" as opposed to the Far West. There's no doubt that the name "Midwest" came from there, but it should not be taken literally...to take "Midwest" literally would be as silly as trying to figure out how names like "Canada" or "Italia" came into being. The word "Chicago" in the local Indian language, meant "land of smelly onions", and no one takes that literally anymore. The "Midwest" is more like north-central-but-slightly-east. Not "middle west" by any means. Kansas, the Midwest's southwestern corner, is geographically centrally located in the US...just to give some perspective on how the "Midwest" is not by any means the middle vertical third of the country.

Last edited by skyduster; 05-20-2012 at 11:51 PM..
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Old 05-21-2012, 12:03 AM
 
Location: Appalachian New York, Formerly Louisiana
4,410 posts, read 5,983,508 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyduster View Post
I think that there are several geographically-stupid people who think that the "East" is equivalent to "East Coast" and that the "West" is just the "West Coast", and everything in-between is "Midwest", including Texas. But I've also heard geographically-stupid people say that Switzerland is in Scandinavia, Vienna is in Italy, Jamaica is in the Southern Hemisphere, and -here's a common one that irks me- Mexico is in South America (let alone Spain being in South America). Geography idiots surround us on a daily basis.
This is so sad but true.
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Old 05-22-2012, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Cleveland, OH
10,508 posts, read 10,737,081 times
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I hate the term "Midwest" because of the connotations (at least that I feel it has) of close-mindedness, "family" values, etc. Also, the "Midwest" consists of such a large territory and many of these cities really aren't very similar to each other in terms of culture, economics, or anything else. I am from Cleveland and used to live in Columbus for a bit. Both in the same state and in the "Midwest" but I think of Cleveland as more "Great Lakes," more similar to Detroit, Milwaukee, Chicago.
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Old 05-23-2012, 12:14 AM
 
197 posts, read 627,869 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjimmy24 View Post
I hate the term "Midwest" because of the connotations (at least that I feel it has) of close-mindedness, "family" values, etc. Also, the "Midwest" consists of such a large territory and many of these cities really aren't very similar to each other in terms of culture, economics, or anything else. I am from Cleveland and used to live in Columbus for a bit. Both in the same state and in the "Midwest" but I think of Cleveland as more "Great Lakes," more similar to Detroit, Milwaukee, Chicago.
What's wrong with family values?

I mean, just because a few politicians use the phrase cynically to ostracize people they don't like, doesn't mean that there's no value itself in valuing families.

And to me Midwesterners are the most open minded people in America.

The coasts have their left-wing dogma that forces that they cling to.

The south has it's right-wing dogma that it clings to.

The Midwest is just kind of in the middle being polite while California and Texas dominate the discussion.
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Old 05-23-2012, 09:05 AM
 
Location: West Michigan
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Quote:
And to me Midwesterners are the most open minded people in America.
In a strange way, I think you are right.

We don't have an overabundance of closed-minded radical liberals, nor do we have a ton of closed-minded radical conservatives. People generally hang out somewhere in the middle.
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Old 05-23-2012, 09:06 AM
 
Location: Floyd County, IN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michigan83 View Post
In a strange way, I think you are right.

We don't have an overabundance of closed-minded radical liberals, nor do we have a ton of closed-minded radical conservatives. People generally hang out somewhere in the middle.
This is very true of the Great Lakes region, but not true at all for much of the Great Plains region.
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Old 05-23-2012, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Jefferson City 4 days a week, St. Louis 3 days a week
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I still believe the twelve states of the Midwest are as accurate as the way the South is classified, the exceptions of course being Maryland and Delaware. Again, if you're going to argue that KS, NE, SD, and ND are not the Midwest, you then have to argue that OK and TX aren't the South. And that is very difficult to do culturally, linguistically, etc.
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Old 05-23-2012, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Jefferson City 4 days a week, St. Louis 3 days a week
2,709 posts, read 4,798,312 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyduster View Post
The same thing (that you said about Illinois) can be said for New York and Pennsylvania. Take out the New York City and Philadelphia metropolitan areas, and you have much more moderate states. What states like Illinois, Ohio, Minnesota, and Michigan have in common with New York and Pennsylvania is that you have liberal population centers and more conservative hinterlands.

And it's not just Chicago, Philly, and NYC. Illinois also has industrial and post-industrial population centers like Peoria, for example. New York also has Albany, Buffalo, etc. Indiana has South Bend; Ohio has Cleveland, Akron, Toledo, Columbus. Pennsylvania has Scranton and Pittsburgh. You have this whole industrial region of cities that stretches across the Great Lakes, into the Northeast, into and including New York City and Hartford, CT (and when I talk about NYC, it's important to remember the blue-collar boroughs as well as northeast Jersey...Metro NYC is more than just Manhattan...as a Chicagoan, I feel completely at home in Jersey or Queens). You have generations of union workers who will vote Democrat, from Milwaukee to Boston...the blue-collar, industrial, union, "Rust Belt" experience that the Plains states don't have, and appears to be on the political upswing with unions becoming more of a political issue this year than other recent presidential elections.

You're right to point out that elections in Ohio and Indiana were very close, but my point is that the Great Lakes region has been trending more and more blue. Whereas Ohio went from a barely red state to a barely blue state, Ohio appears to be trending towards becoming a moderately-solid blue state, like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin: not quite as blue as Illinois, but consistently blue from here on out.

I could be wrong with this analysis, but unions have become more of a political issue than in elections past, and Ohio is a very unionized and urbanized state. In Missouri, OTOH, having such a massive Baptist population (as opposed to Catholic/Mainline Protestant Ohio), people there will more likely vote on same-sex marriage. In fact, according to opinion polls, while elections in Missouri are always close, the state looks like it will become a more moderately-solid red state, with Romney winning the state with a larger margin than McCain did.

Another thing -besides industrialization and urbanization- that binds the Great Lakes closer to the Northeast, is that the Great Lakes region was settled by people from Pennsylvania, New York, and New England. Additionally, the Great Lakes region absorbed European immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th century, just as the Northeast did, mostly into the cities (the Plains states absorbed Europeans at an earlier time). Then came African-American migration from the South into Northeastern and Great Lakes cities...Chicago, St Louis, Detroit, Philadelphia, Washington, New York. All these experiences and geo-demographic realities (the presence of several mid-size industrial cities across the Great Lakes region, from Green Bay to Peoria to Toledo to Grand Rapids in addition to the big cities like Chicago), make the Great Lakes region a separate region, that ends roughly at the Mississippi river, but includes St Louis, Minneapolis-St Paul, and Iowa's Quad City region.

You're right that there's shades of grey, and that outside the population centers, the Great Lakes region looks more moderate, or even more conservative in parts, but the political divide between Great Lakes and Plains is only part of the puzzle.



Interesting you bring this up.

If you look up Wikipedia's entry on "Eastern United States", and click on the "discussion" tab, where people discuss and debate the merits of the article, some [ignorant] people have expressed surprise that the article considers the "east" as everything east of the Mississippi. Someone wrote something like "since when is Ohio East Coast"?

Thing is, "the East" and the "East Coast" are two completely separate things. The eastern United States is the geographic eastern United States. From a historical perspective, it's everything that was US territory by the end of the 18th century. So that includes Illinois, Wisconsin, Alabama, Mississippi, and so on. East Coast is -as the name suggests- the eastern coast.

I think that there are several geographically-stupid people who think that the "East" is equivalent to "East Coast" and that the "West" is just the "West Coast", and everything in-between is "Midwest", including Texas. But I've also heard geographically-stupid people say that Switzerland is in Scandinavia, Vienna is in Italy, Jamaica is in the Southern Hemisphere, and -here's a common one that irks me- Mexico is in South America (let alone Spain being in South America). Geography idiots surround us on a daily basis.

Some people take the term "Midwest" far too literally. The Midwest from some East-Coast perspectives is the "Middle West" as opposed to the Far West. There's no doubt that the name "Midwest" came from there, but it should not be taken literally...to take "Midwest" literally would be as silly as trying to figure out how names like "Canada" or "Italia" came into being. The word "Chicago" in the local Indian language, meant "land of smelly onions", and no one takes that literally anymore. The "Midwest" is more like north-central-but-slightly-east. Not "middle west" by any means. Kansas, the Midwest's southwestern corner, is geographically centrally located in the US...just to give some perspective on how the "Midwest" is not by any means the middle vertical third of the country.
Actually, not all of Ohio's metropolitan areas are liberal. Cincinnati leans more to the right. Missouri is balanced very much politically like Ohio. Kansas City and St. Louis are the two liberal areas in that state for the most part...without them the state would be solidly red. As far as Illinois and Ohio were concerned, the same would be true if you took the major cities out of the picture. I don't like mentioning Michigan in the same sentence as Ohio..Michigan is really not a swing state.
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Old 05-23-2012, 09:48 AM
 
Location: Floyd County, IN
24,749 posts, read 42,515,979 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stlouisan View Post
Actually, not all of Ohio's metropolitan areas are liberal. Cincinnati leans more to the right. Missouri is balanced very much politically like Ohio. Kansas City and St. Louis are the two liberal areas in that state for the most part...without them the state would be solidly red. As far as Illinois and Ohio were concerned, the same would be true if you took the major cities out of the picture. I don't like mentioning Michigan in the same sentence as Ohio..Michigan is really not a swing state.
That isn't true. Both Illinois and Ohio have far more smaller cities that are more blue collar that vote Democratic than any comparable area of Missouri.
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