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A redrawing of the Red/Blue map in November 2010?

Five questions to Andrew Gelman about the coming midterm elections


In the United States, the November midterm elections will most likely be a success for Republicans in Congress. Does it mean that the 2008 electoral map is already outdated? Does it definitely discard the hypothesis that 2008 was the beginning of a long term political realignment in American politics?

Andrew Gelman is professor of statistics and political science and director of the Applied Statistics Center at Columbia University (New York). He is the author of Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State. Why Americans Vote the Way They Do, published by Princeton University Press in 2008.

La Vie des idées interviewed him in June 2010 at the end of a year spent teaching at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques, to discuss American politics in the light of the coming midterm elections.

1. Many analysts have emphasized that there was a redrawing of the electoral map in 2008. To what extent will the November midterm elections affect this red-blue map? How long will the newly blue states remain blue?

Andrew Gelman (1)
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2. Do you think the predictable loss of the Democrats in November definitely disqualifies the hypothesis that Obama’s election was the beginning of a realignment in American politics, that is a period of dominance for the Democratic party due to favourable demographics?

Andrew Gelman (2)
If you don’t manage to watch this video here, tou can try to watch it on the video host site Dailymotion.

3. Some analysts consider that voting patterns are best explained by economic factors, others by values. How do you position yourself in the debate on culture wars vs. economic wars?

Andrew Gelman (3)
If you don’t manage to watch this video here, tou can try to watch it on the video host site Dailymotion.

4. In your book Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State, you renew the ongoing debate on the correlation between income and vote, showing it is much stronger in poor states. In light of this correlation, would you say that there currently is an increasing economic polarization in American politics?

Andrew Gelman (4)
If you don’t manage to watch this video here, tou can try to watch it on the video host site Dailymotion.

5. To what extent do you think internal mobility and the geographical concentration of like-minded voters (in some sort of “self-sorting” mechanism) increases the polarization of American politics?

Andrew Gelman (5)
If you don’t manage to watch this video here, tou can try to watch it on the video host site Dailymotion.

In case of technical problem, you can contact us.

Video by Ariel Suhamy.

Further reading

  • La recension du livre Red State. Blue State d’Andrew Gelman, par François Vergniolle de Chantal, « Comment votent les Américains », La Vie des idées, 16 mars 2009.

To quote this article :

Pauline Peretz, « A redrawing of the Red/Blue map in November 2010?. Five questions to Andrew Gelman about the coming midterm elections », Books and Ideas , 22 October 2010. ISSN : 2105-3030. URL : http://www.booksandideas.net/A-redrawing-of-the-Red-Blue-map-in.html

Nota Bene:

Si vous souhaitez critiquer ou développer cet article, vous êtes invité à proposer un texte au comité de rédaction. Nous vous répondrons dans les meilleurs délais : redaction@laviedesidees.fr.

by Pauline Peretz , 22 October 2010

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