The Northeast

All but One, Blue
  • Kevin J. McMahon


In the haze of an election lost, some disgruntled Democrats—most with their tongues firmly planted in their cheeks—pondered a new nation encompassing the Blue John Kerry states and America’s northern neighbor, Canada. Significantly, this hypothetical United States of Canada could easily link all the continental Blue states together. Driving this possibility was the Northeast, much of which borders Canada. These twelve states plus the District of Columbia provided John Kerry—the hockey-playing, French-speaking Democratic candidate—with his base of support.1 However, it wasn’t always this way. In fact, the Northeast’s development as a Democratic stronghold represents a dramatic turnaround for the region, long regarded as the most Republican in the country. For example, in the critical election of 1896, Republican William McKinley won all of the Northeast’s twelve states while losing the entire South, one midwestern state, and five western states.2 In 2004, the electoral map was almost reversed as Kerry won all but one of the Northeast’s states (plus Washington, DC) while losing all of the South and large chunks of the Midwest and West. This chapter analyzes both the politics of the Northeast and its political transformation within the context of the 2004 presidential election. In doing so, it explores how and why the Northeast has emerged as the nation’s bluest region.


Presidential Election Democratic Party Democratic State Republican Party Electoral College 
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  1. 1.
    On the politics of northeastern states, see generally: Duane Lockard, New England State Politics (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1959);Google Scholar
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    Goldwater quoted in Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Packaging the Presidency: A History and Criticism of Presidential Campaign Advertising, 3rd edition (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996 ), 179.Google Scholar
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    See James M. Jeffords, My Declaration of Independence (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001 ).Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Kevin J. McMahon, David M. Rankin, Donald W. Beachler, and John Kenneth White 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin J. McMahon

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