Sunday, May 18, 2008

Why Is Everything So Hard to Understand? Is It Me?

This map makes some sense and no sense.

It makes sense that traditionally redneck, poor, ignorant backward states like the Deep South would have few women elected to office, led by South Carolina as the most backward and conservative state in the Union -- an honor usually reserved for Mississippi. The Confederacy, originally intended to keep blacks down, is still keeping women down. It makes sense that the two southern states that have had large influxes of northerners, Florida and North Carolina, would be more enlightened than the rest of the South.

It makes sense that prosperous liberal progressive states like Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii would elect women. Even Colorado, though the home of Adolph Coors, is often progressive. Same for Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

But what gives with conservative states like Delaware, Maryland, and Nevada? Or Arizona, the reddest of red states, Land of Goldwater and McCain? Why are prosperous progressive states like Massachusetts, New York, California, and Wisconsin only in the middle of the pack? And Pennsylvania and Michigan actually in the rear?

Why don't my models of how things work ever work?

Later note --

Perhaps it isn't only a question of the progressiveness or regressiveness of the voters. It may also have to do with the candidate pools. Perhaps otherwise inexplicable states like Arizona, Nevada, and Delaware have particularly large pools of multi-millionairesses? Maybe any woman wealthy enough to buy a seat in the Pennsylvania or Michigan legislature is wealthy enough to leave for somewhere else?

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