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The Northeast

All but One, Blue
  • Kevin J. McMahon

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Presidential Election Democratic Party Democratic State Republican Party Electoral College 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    On the politics of northeastern states, see generally: Duane Lockard, New England State Politics (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1959);Google Scholar
  2. Josephine F. Milburn and William Doyle, New England Political Parties (Cambridge, MA: Schenkman, 1983);Google Scholar
  3. Robert W. Speel, Changing Patterns of Voting in the Northern United States: Electoral Realignment, 1952–1996 (University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1998);Google Scholar
  4. Jeffrey M. Stonecash, ed., Governing New York State (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2001);Google Scholar
  5. and John Kenneth White, The Fractured Electorate: Political Parties and Social Change in Southern New England (Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 1983).Google Scholar
  6. See also, John Leonard, ed., These United States (New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press/Nation Books, 2003 );Google Scholar
  7. Alan Rosenthal and Maureen Moakley, eds., The Political Life of the American States ( New York: Praeger, 1984 ).Google Scholar
  8. 4.
    David Fisher quoted in HBO Films, Nine Innings from Ground Zero, 2004.Google Scholar
  9. 7.
    Quoted in White, The Fractured Electorate, 72. For more on Cianci, see Mike Stanton, The Prince of Providence: The Rise and Fall of Buddy Cianci, America’s Most Notorious Mayor ( New York: Random House, 2003, 2004 ).Google Scholar
  10. 12.
    Christie Todd Whitman, It’s My Party, Too: Taking Back the Republican Party and Bringing the Country Together Again (New York: Penguin, 2005).Google Scholar
  11. For more on the Republican Party, see Lewis L. Gould, Grand Old Party: A History of the Republicans (New York: Random House, 2003).Google Scholar
  12. See also, Nicol C. Rae, The Decline and Fall of Liberal Republicans: from 1952 to the present ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1989 ).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Michael Barone and Richard E. Cohen, The Almanac of American Politics ( Washington, DC: National Journal, 2004 ), 723.Google Scholar
  14. 15.
    Kevin Phillips, The Emerging Republican Majority (Garden City, NY: Anchor Books, 1970; originally published by Arlington House in 1969); and Speel, Changing Patterns of Voting in the Northern United States, 18.Google Scholar
  15. 17.
    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
  16. 23.
    See James M. Jeffords, My Declaration of Independence (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001 ).Google Scholar
  17. 34.
    For possible reasons for this Democratic decline, see John B. Judis and Ruy Teixeira, The Emerging Democratic Majority ( New York: Scribner, 2002 ), 94–95.Google Scholar

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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