Voting patterns

November 26, 2012 

JEREMY BELSHER, Richland

In his Nov, 16 letter to the editor, Jerry Czebotar argued that it was primarily "moochers" who voted Democrat in the recent election, and he suggested that we should "look at the recent U.S. election map by county." Well, I took his advice.

The general trend is that rural areas went to Mitt Romney and the urban centers went to President Obama -- no surprise there. The suburban counties usually went to the candidate who won that particular state. Are the suburbs of Minneapolis and Des Moines filled with moochers? I'm not really sure, but I suspect that the answer is no.

Since the county-by-county map wasn't as informative as suggested, I pulled my own state-by-state data from the Census Bureau. The 26 states that went for Obama had an average (not weighted by population) per-capita income of $40,694, an average of 29.5 percent of the population had a bachelor's degree or higher and these states received 98 cents in federal funds per dollar of federal taxes paid. The corresponding averages for the 24 red states are $35,422, 24.2 percent and $1.32.

These numbers are hardly the end of the story, but they provide a more complete picture than the facile analysis that "moochers" voted Democratic.

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