The Myth of Red and Blue States

The Washington Post's political chat just featured this exchange: New York: In at least nine states, the governor of that state is of a ...
by | October 31, 2008

The Washington Post's political chat just featured this exchange:

New York: In at least nine states, the governor of that state is of a different party than the presidential candidate of choice for the majority of that same state's electorate. For example, according to the current electoral map, the majority of California, Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Vermont voters are likely to choose Barack Obama. However, all four of those states have Republican governors. Similarly, the map shows Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and Oklahoma as states that will likely go to John McCain and all have governors who are Democrats. How does this happen? What makes a governor from a certain party more palatable than a president from the same party?

Michael Abramowitz: It's a good question: What I would say that in some cases, it really depends on what kind of governor you have. Take California, which is as blue of a state as you could get. There's no way that McCain would win that state, and there's no way that a a conservative Republican would be governor right now. But Schwarznegger is govering as a liberal Republican, just as Janet Napolitano in Arizona is considered more moderate.

In other words, the presidential leanings are a good indicator of the state's ideological leanings, and governor often finds a way to reflect that in how they govern.

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