A little while ago I posted some thoughts on the aftermath of the Trump election. Included in those thoughts were the election results by state. For some extra results, you can navigate CNN’s graphics or click here for senate results and here for the House of Reps results. This is some important information, because it shows closer races in Congressional contests than in the overall Presidential election. That said, the races broke down under similar demographic lines as the Presidential race.
This means that it wouldn’t take much to turn red states blue.
Already this process has happened in Florida (via New York) and Colorado (via California). These shifts will turn Florida bluer over time, and they’re close to turning Colorado into a Democratic solid state. But what about other states like Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana? Can they shift blue as well?
The answer is yes, and it wouldn’t take many voters to do it. Even in my home state of Alabama, there are very blue sections in Birmingham, Montgomery, Mobile, and Huntsville. Move 600,000 Democrats to this state, and there would have been a shift in the Presidential race, and it could have shifted 4 Congressional seats as well. Not only that, it could have affected the Senate race (and with Sessions’s appointment, a subsequent race too).
Alabama is just 9 electoral votes. Shift some other Solid South states blue, and suddenly the whole GOP landscape is in disarray. Shore up Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania with 100,000 voters each, and they would have gone for Clinton instead of Trump. All this could have been done with about half of the surplus voters in California. I’m not even talking about borrowing votes from New York, New Jersey, or Massachusetts.
This highlights a slight problem we have in our electoral process, though.
I’m not even talking about the Electoral College. Rather, I’m referring to the fact that more voters vote Democrat, and they still don’t get Congress. While some of this is because of gerrymandering, a lot of it has to do with the fact that a ton of Democrats are huddled on the coasts. It might be nice to hang out with a bunch of people who are like-minded, but it doesn’t do anything to actually put power in voters’ hands.
What I mean is that Congress has a finite number of seats right now. Changes in population might shift seats from one state to another, but combined with gerrymandering it means large states would have to get a ton of extra people in order to shift towards one party or another. In smaller states, that shift can happen with drastically fewer people. Or to put it more succinctly, it’s easier to influence a small state.
And before anyone objects that people moving from California to Mississippi would give more seats to Mississippi, remember that the districts would be drawn by the overall winning party. So if those are Democrats moving to Mississippi, the districts get drawn by Democrats and not Republicans.
What this has to do with protesting.
There are a lot of protests over Trump being elected. While it might seem like people in the streets might be making your voice heard, in reality it’s doing absolutely nothing to fix the problem. Protests are not votes. And they especially are not votes in places where it would do the most good.
Rallying in Democratic strongholds is preaching to the proverbial choir while serving as fodder for people who don’t live nearby. Someone in Alabama isn’t going to respect protesters hundreds of miles away. The people telling him or her about those protests uses phrases like “sore losers” and “whiny liberals” to describe what’s going on. It’s easy to dismiss something on a screen.
More importantly, red states could benefit from people who actually know what effective local government should look like. Southern states still have problems with poverty, education, and other social ills. Other red states outside the South are looking to race to the bottom (like Kansas going bankrupt for no good reason). These problems exist because the political climate is not contested.
Of course, I get that not everyone can just pick up and move.
And I understand that not everyone would want to move to a red state. However, thinking about it a different way, it would be a chance to share ideas that’s not inflammatory like some Internet locales. There are also a bunch of people here who do agree with some of what blue state people have to say, and it would be very nice to have some more friends.