Why are Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico Democratic in a GOP region?

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  1. Credence2 profile image78
    Credence2posted 11 years ago

    Based on the following map, why is Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada the blue oasis surrounded by a sea of red crimson. Would anyone care to speculate as to why these states are politically different from their surrounding sisters?

    http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2012/P … Sep07.html

    1. American View profile image60
      American Viewposted 11 years agoin reply to this


      I don't know the answer but the question is interesting. I know New Mexico has been blue for a long time and I always wondered why. I didn't pay much attention to Colorado, but it's still an interesting question

      1. Credence2 profile image78
        Credence2posted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Hi, AV, I have heard that New Mexico is close to having the most minority as the majority when compared to other states. It is surrounded by both a conservative Texas and Arizona, how come NM is different?
        Thanks for weighing in, just kinda of wondering.....

    2. Quilligrapher profile image74
      Quilligrapherposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Just an uneducated guess, but it seems natural that Nevada’s economic dependence on prostitution and gambling would attract more East Coast gangsters than new conservative GOP voters.

      1. Credence2 profile image78
        Credence2posted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Thanks for the input, but Nevada has always attracted that element and had been a reliably conservative (red) state until the last 10 years or so.
        But your suggestion has got me to thinking a bit, Las Vegas has been booming over the last few years and has probably attracted a lot of transplants for relatively liberal and expensive California, add that onto Hispanic influx, there could well be an explanation surrounding those factors.

        1. kathleenkat profile image71
          kathleenkatposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          A friend of mine who moved here (Democratic Washington) from Vegas said "there are lots of gay people in Vegas." I would guess that gay people wouldn't want to support people who are against gay marriage, either.

    3. Billy Hicks profile image77
      Billy Hicksposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      It's a "perfect storm" of three things:

      Population increases in metro areas
      Las Vegas demo/economic shifts

      All three states have half (or more) of their respective populations in one city (Denver, Las Vegas, Albuquerque).

      The Hispanic population has a little bit to do with it, but not as much as most people think.

    4. Repairguy47 profile image60
      Repairguy47posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Because there is no such thing as a GOP region.

      1. Credence2 profile image78
        Credence2posted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Some geographical areas of the country are more politically conservative than others. Here in Hawaii, the GOP have the least chance of any of the 50 states while the reverse can be said about Utah, in regards to the Democrats.

    5. habee profile image92
      habeeposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I've always wondered the same thing about Indiana. ??

  2. kathleenkat profile image71
    kathleenkatposted 11 years ago

    Very uneducated guess here, but based on the 'kind' of cultures that populate these states...

    New Mexico: Lots of Hispanics; GOP seems very slam-the-hammer on illegal immigration, and I'm guessing they feel sympathy, or know someone who is illegal, because they, themselves, are immigrants.

    Nevada: Sin City. Burning man. Gambling. Prostitution. GOP has a very religious agenda, which would call these kind of things 'sinning.' If the GOP would drop the religious B.S., it may be another story.

    Colorado: Big 'granola' hiking and biking culture there. Old hippies and their offspring. In my experience, these 'health nuts' have always been Blue.

    1. Credence2 profile image78
      Credence2posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks for weighing in, Kathleen,
      As for New Mexico, there are alot of Hispanics in Arizona and Texas, but both are crimson red. But your thoughts have got me thinking as well, New mexico is a relatively poor state compared with either Texas, Arizona or Utah, demographically poorer people tend to vote democratic. With no growing and shining metropolises, there is probably just that much more poor to go around. There is no equivalent of Phoenix or Dallas in New Mexico, Albuquereque does not even compare to Denver. High hispanic population being relatively poor in comparison is my guess.

      Nevada: see my previous reply.....

      Colorado: I have lived in Colorado for many years, it is trending blue when the surrounding mountain and plains states are solid red. But Colorado's transformation toward the blue has also been relatively recent, otherwise it was much like its surrounding neighbors.

      First of all most of mountain states and adjacent states of Kansas and Nebraska do not have any major urban centers. Urbanites tend to be more liberal as a rule. But Arizona has growing metropolises, Pheonix and Tucson, that make Denver look like its standing still, why have they not affected Arizona in this way?
      Colorado, once you get outside of Denver and Boulder toward to more rural parts of the state, is quite conservative.
      Denver/Boulder is very liberal to have this effect over the entire state even though a sizable portion of the states population is found there, but is that not true for Arizona as well?
      I also think that the Hispanic influx has also tipped the balance. I can only guess but adding a relatively liberal metropolis (why is it liberal and not a Salt Lake City) on to a burgeoning hispanic voice throughout the state might explain things....Whew!

      A good hub would be what makes certain metropolises in the United States relatively liberal and conservative and why.....One of these days....

      1. kathleenkat profile image71
        kathleenkatposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        At Salt Lake, I think the large population of Mormons has everything to do with that. Salt Lake is very conservative. They can't sell alcohol on Sundays, and I think beer has like a maximum of 3% or 4% alcohol.

        And Washington is the same way. Geographically, most of the state is Red. But something like 80% of the population is in Seattle and surrounding areas, and Seattle is a *very* liberal city.

        1. Credence2 profile image78
          Credence2posted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Hi, Kathleen, yes, I know about the Wasatch Valley area, I have family that live in Ogden. They use to have a quaint custom of your having to get a membership card to frequent a tavern and armed guards at state owned liquor stores. With the 2002 winter games they had to get rid of some of that stuff.

          Washington state is a thesis paper all in itself. I have heard that eastern Washington is as conservative as neighboring Idaho and Montana, Spokane being at its center. Sheer population and the extraoridinary blue and progressive nature of Seattle and its metro, puts Washington firmly within the blue column. When you look at Oklahoma City for example, a large portion of its population is either there or to a lesser extent in Tulsa and the place practically bleeds red!

      2. American View profile image60
        American Viewposted 11 years agoin reply to this


        I find it interesting that several people brought up that Hispanics along with other reasons, all of which by the way were pretty good reasons, contributing to why they're blue states. Like you said, Texas has a large Hispanic population and we are definitely big-time red. As I was thinking about it and putting together partial comments from each contributor here I come up with a question. For Utah and Nevada and New Mexico, how much of their population is poor or living below the poverty level? I asked that because here in Texas, while we do have a large Hispanic population, due to the good economy here in Texas most of them are working. Perhaps a look at the state's demographics might shed some light on that.

        1. Credence2 profile image78
          Credence2posted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Hi, AV, I think that it fascinating to speculate on varied geographical areas and ponder over the forces that make people vote the way they do.

          You do point out rightly so that Hispanics contribute, but what about Texas and Arizona, has to be a great deal of Hispanic influence there, but they are both quite red? I know that New Mexico is poor relative to states that are adjacent to it and it is the most consistently blue of the Mountain States region. Mississippi and Alabama are relatively poor states, but racial politics may explain more about who they vote for and why over their economic status.

          There has been talk about the possibility of Texas becoming blue over the next few years. They a lot of the "symptoms", fast growing and dynamic urban centers and a fast growing hispanic population. Austin sounds like a lot of fun,

          It would certainly be an interesting study, to be sure.

  3. Mighty Mom profile image78
    Mighty Momposted 11 years ago

    Very true. My son found that out the hard way driving from Boulder home to Durango when he got stopped by highway patrol who gave him sh#t about his peacenik bumper stickers.

    Further to the discussion, apparently influx of Republicans from So Cal and Texas are actually tipping balance in CO to R from D!


    1. American View profile image60
      American Viewposted 11 years agoin reply to this


      Makes sense, but the cost-of-living and doing business in California so high, I can truly see a huge influx of people leaving California to go to Colorado. I know for me personally cost-of-living was one of the biggest factors I moved from New York and settled here in Texas.

      1. prettydarkhorse profile image54
        prettydarkhorseposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        California is out going state - meaning there are more out migrants rather than in migrant - state wise. It is losing its population probably because of econ condition. Tx is fastly growing - in migrants and birth rate are increasing smile

        1. kathleenkat profile image71
          kathleenkatposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Yes. The company I work for is based out of California, but my office is in Washington. Washington isn't a whole hell of a lot cheaper, but there are more rural areas available that are significantly cheaper than the Microsoft/Boeing/Starbucks city center. The trend of companies expanding outside of California is very likely related to how expensive it is. There is Silicon Valley, but most of those companies have production sites in Asia, Polynesia, and even in places like Texas, Kentucky, Colorado...

      2. Mighty Mom profile image78
        Mighty Momposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        No surprise that Southern Californians seem to move to Colorado or Arizona (red).
        Northern Californians move north to Oregon (blue).
        Nevada's in worse shape than us. For awhile people moved there.
        You guys still got plenty of wide open space in TX. And I read the speed limit is now 85 and it's legal to drive with an open container (although not drunk).
        Who wouldn't want to live there?

        1. habee profile image92
          habeeposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Ooooohhhh...lots of cowboys, too! I loves me some cowboys!

    2. Credence2 profile image78
      Credence2posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Very true MM, what Coloradans call the "Western Slope", Grand Junction, Durango, Cortez, etc falls back into the traditional conservative western mantra of federal hands off of natural resources and autonomy from DC, this spirit is found to the extreme in places like Montana or Alaska, I lived in Montana for 3 years, fiercely independent people..

      Living in Denver metro for many years, I remember the 'invasion' of Californians with their wacky ways, driving up real estate prices. We had a saying among the natives "Don't Californicate Colorado"

  4. prettydarkhorse profile image54
    prettydarkhorseposted 11 years ago

    maybe the socio economic and demographic composition, more older migrants  smile

    Check data about ethnicity and voting behavior..

    California and Tx plus NY are highly populated whoever win those states have an edge too, just a sidenote..

    I'll check census about it!

    1. Wayne Brown profile image82
      Wayne Brownposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Much of it is determined by the orientation of the people who are drawn there.  In Texas, Austin is our liberal mecca....almost an island in a sea of conservatism.  It is a land of government types but also a place where artists congregate and tend to lean liberal.  New Mexico has it population bases in areas that are very artsy....Albuquerque, Santa Fe, etc.  draw that type of crowd and the leaning is liberal while the outlying lesser known areas may be staunchly conservative.  The same is true in California.  The orientation of that state is decided heavily by the orientation in San Francisco and Los Angeles.  It thrives on itself...as more people arrive, they tend to embrace that culture...the culture of liberalism.  Conservatism is far more at home with people who think with their heads and not with their hearts.  Descisions are more mathematical than simply emotional...they don't work on the premise, "wouldn't it be great if we did this" unless they see a clear cut way to get there without penalizing everyone for the good of a few.  Everyone loves warm and fuzzy but the truth of the matter is "warm and fuzzy" is not always in the budget.  ~WB

      1. Mighty Mom profile image78
        Mighty Momposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        California is actually bipolar. We seem to elect as many (or more)Republican governors as Democrat.
        As you say, SF and LA are the big blue meccas. Farmers (of which we have a LOT) tend to be staunch Republicans.
        Some very interesting voter stats here. I've excerpted a couple of highlights.

        Our surveys indicate that among those we consider most likely to vote, 44% are Democrats, 35% are Republicans, and 18% are independents.

        Among those most likely to vote, 66% are white and only 16% are Latino.
        Among Democrats, 56% are white, 22% are Latino, 10% are black, and 9% are Asian. Among Republicans, 82% are white, 8% are Latino, 7% are Asian, and 1% are black. Among independent likely voters, 56% are white, 15% are Latino, 19% are Asian, and 4% are black.

        Nearly half of likely voters live in Los Angeles (25%) and the San Francisco Bay Area (21%); 18% live in Orange/San Diego Counties, 16% in the Central Valley, and 9% in the Inland Empire.
        Most Democrats live in Los Angeles (30%) and the San Francisco Bay Area (26%)/
        Nearly half of Republican likely voters reside in the Central Valley (25%) and Orange/San Diego Counties (21%); another 19% of Republicans live in Los Angeles.

      2. Credence2 profile image78
        Credence2posted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Well, Wayne that is always the explanation that I hear from rightwingers that conservative thought is more evolved, hardly. But you folks have a right to y;our opinion, but I have a right to mine as well and the conservative ideology and those that wear the mantle do not play to such rave reviews in my world.

        There are major urban areas in Texas why do they not influence the rest of the state the way you believe that LA and San Francisco influence California?
        Not all urban areas are created equal? urban dwellers are more than likely liberal and most of the studies that I have seen show that they are usually the better educated, how does that fit with your theory?Isn't it you guys that are notorious as plutocrats advancing the needs of the well heeled few over the needs of the rest of us. .

        Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

        1. habee profile image92
          habeeposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          It could just be peculiar to my "neck of the woods," but most of the liberals around here are either at the top or the bottom of the education/socio-economic ladder. Most of the ones in the middle are conservatives, or at least moderates.

        2. kathleenkat profile image71
          kathleenkatposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          At what point did he say that liberals were less evolved or less educated? He mentioned nothing whatsoever about education. I see that he mentioned differences in the way liberals think in comparison to conservatives. He says liberals think with their hearts. Do you then think that following your heart makes you uneducated?

          1. Credence2 profile image78
            Credence2posted 11 years agoin reply to this

            Kathleen, Wayne and I have had similar confrontations on other issues.
            "Do you think that that following your heart makes you uneducated"? NO. But to suggest that the foundation of progressive thought and liberalism is based on emotions rather than factual data is saying the same thing. I consider myself a progressive and all of the topics that I engage in I would like to believe are not based on emotional arguments that cannot be substatiated by the facts on the ground. This stuff comes from the "power right" to minimize progressive/liberal ideology and beliefs.
            I was just calling him on it.


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