April 10, 2016

Trump country is the most deeply rooted region of America

A commenter brought this map to my attention, showing the extent of settlement in America as of 1830:

It looks an awful lot like the map of inferred Trump support from last year, and the map of states that Trump has won so far in the primary, which ties into the east-west dimension of the current political re-alignment:

It shows why the states just west of the Mississippi River on the southern part are Trump states (Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri), and why those farther north are not (Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin). More or less everywhere east of the Mississippi is Trump country, aside from Maine -- which the 1830 map shows was not settled very much back then, and so whose communities are not as rooted as the rest of New England. Ohio only went to Kasich because there was a favorite son for the non-Trump vote to rally around; Trump got the same share of the vote there as in the surrounding states that he won due to a more divided opposition.

The only real exception is Floria, which was not settled until much later but did go to Trump in a landslide.

Out West, we can see that the Bay Area and SoCal will be nice to Trump (as the Field Poll has already suggested). Arizona and Nevada (=Vegas) are by now extensions of SoCal, and they went heavily to Trump.

Since the Plains, Mountain, and Pacific Northwest regions aren't as deeply rooted, their people aren't going to resonate with "Make America Great Again," which relies on the listener feeling that something once great has been lost. But if your community's roots don't go that far back, it's hard to feel that there was a mythical long-lost Golden Age.

"Oh yah? Yah mean like when my grandparents came over from Norway in 1887? Oh gosh no, I don't wanna go back to dose days, heck no. But do I wanna live near da Mall of America? You betcha!"

Why is 1830, or thereabouts, the cutoff date? That's when the long Gilded Age began, when competitiveness and status-striving began increasing, after a decline from the founding of the nation through the Era of Good Feelings in the 1820s. If your community was founded during that initial period of getting along, pitching in for the greater good, and sacrificing some individual ambition for social harmony, that could have sent the community down a path of concern for the greater national good.

Whereas if the community was forged during an era of "I got mine, lots of luck getting yours," get-rich-quick schemes (including cattle ranching in Texas, farms in the Plains, started up overnight with large speculative loans from banks, or fur trapping and gold mining in the virgin Rockies), and minimal regulation of individual behavior (laissez-faire), that could have sent the community down a path of not really caring that much about the greater good of the nation. Not necessarily being hostile to the rest of the country, just being more insular and numb to what's going on at a national level -- let the rest of the country deal with its own problems.

Looking forward, the whole Northeast looks good for Trump, especially the two remaining Appalachian states of West Virginia and Pennsylvania. California will be his best remaining state out West. Idaho is the only Pacific NW state to predict what will happen in Oregon and Washington -- Cruz won not only the Mormon cult area of SE Idaho, but also the major city of Boise and the only metro area in the northern panhandle between eastern Washington and western Montana (Coeur d'Alene). Indiana is smack in the middle of Trump country, and has lots of delegates because it's not a sparsely and recently settled farming state (it ranks 15th by population, just behind Massachusetts and well ahead of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa).

Worst comes to worst, we have another Civil War -- but at least we'll know where to draw the borders. Were you settled before the long Gilded Age began around 1830, or did you fill up mostly from the waves of Gilded Age immigration?


  1. Random Dude on the Internet4/10/16, 2:24 PM

    An interesting factor not taken into account will be how the primaries play out after April 26. Since most, if not all of the states from April 19 to April 26 will go to Trump, it will then be mathematically impossible for Ted Cruz to win 1237 delegates after April 26. So what then? Will fair weather Cruz supporters stay home, improving Trump's chances in places like the Pacific Northwest and New Mexico? Will #nevertrump have enough steam in a couple of weeks when the writing is on the wall? How low will the establishment go to poison the well, knowing full well that there is just only one candidate who has a path to 1237 delegates? Most Republicans support the idea of whoever gets first place wins.

    I'm being optimistic here but I think/hope that after April 26, Cruz's support collapses once it no longer appears viable that he will win and people have a strong distaste of stealing the nomination from the winner, even if it isn't their winner. For sure Mormons and Cruz's hardcore base will turn out but the "anyone but Trump" guys and fair weather Cruz supporters might just stay home that day their state has a primary.

  2. Southern California--represent!

    OT: Went to Starbucks yesterday. The barista asked for my name. I replied: "Trump". There was initial confusion (they know my real name) and then laughter. Took some pics.

  3. advancedatheist4/10/16, 9:45 PM

    (((Robert Zubrin))), the aerospace nerd who has obsessed over colonizing Mars for years, has boasted on Facebook about how he helped to game the Colorado Republican Convention this week end to deprive Trump of delegates.

    Jeez, talk about the success of profiling who would likely oppose Donald Trump. Although this doesn't apply to many people, you might also want to add an interest in space travel and colonization like (((Zubrin's))) as another sign of rootlessness.

  4. It's a fascinating analysis but I'm really surprised no one has pointed out that Trump's level of support is more likely to be related to how exposed to Blacks and Hispanics Republican primary voters are. That's the glaring difference between the east and the Plains and Mountain states. As was pointed out after Cruz's win in Utah (by a margin he's unlikely to repeat) the place is basically still in the 1950's. It's also true of Oregon and Washington compared to California and coastal California compared to the inland counties Cruz will do better in. You could throw in Maine too but Cruz's win there probably had more to do with it being a low turnout caucus. Yes Appalachia is heavily white but you just have to look at how even Democrats vote in West Virginia (going heavily for Clinton over Obama and almost voting for an imprisoned criminal over him in the 2012 primary) to see how much they like it that way.

  5. Florida was settled in some of its northern sections (which I'm guessing were the most pro-Trump); Miami, Tampa, etc. came much later when air conditioning and refrigeration started to attract snowbirds and Caribbean immigrants started flooding in.

  6. So you're saying Trump supporters are pining for the days pre-1830? That those people living in Fargo whose ancestors came over in the 1880s missed the boat on America's golden age? So Trump is referring to Lewis and Clark's contemporaries when he goes on about making America great again? Points for originality.

  7. Everyone else understood the point clearly, you must be dense (or dim).

  8. "Trump's level of support is more likely to be related to how exposed to Blacks and Hispanics Republican primary voters are."

    We can tell that's wrong by simply looking at a map of non-Hispanic whites as a share of total population.

    New England has zero blacks or Hispanics (or Asians or Indians or Arabs for that matter). Yet Trump got some of his yugest numbers in Massachusetts.

    Ditto Michigan, Ohio, and soon to be West Virginia, western PA, and Appalachia generally -- nary a NAM to be seen. Yet they're at the top of Trump supporters.

    Swing down to Texas and Oklahoma, which are over-run with Aztecs and Mayans, and they went for Cruz. Ditto for Utah -- which is no longer lily-white, only 80%, right along with OH, PA, MO, IN, OR, etc. It's over-run with Aztecs like the rest of the Southwest / West, and Salt Lake City is a sanctuary city.

    On the other hand, Trump does incredibly well in the Southeast, where there are tons of blacks, so it's not as though he does well in whiter-than-average places either.

    Within the state, exposure to non-whites doesn't seem to matter either. He got crushed in the Milwaukee area, which is heavily black compared to NW Wisconsin where Trump did well, but he dominated in Birmingham AL, which is blacker than the rest of the state.

    To sum up: the Trump phenomenon is not a race/ethnicity war, as much as the white nationalists want it to be. It's about populism and nationalism.

  9. To be clear: the race/ethnicity war is going on within the Democrats' primary. Bernie does well in states / sub-regions that are more white, Hillary does well where they're less white.

    Identity politics among Republicans is not based on race or ethnicity, but apocalyptic emotion vs. common sense. Trump wins where common sense prevails, and Cruz where apocalyptic hysterics prevail.

  10. Here in the South, "strivers" (often transplants) are the main opposition to Trump, though some have changed their minds; the Deep South and especially Appalachia have few of either, but he's vulnerable in North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia...

  11. ''New England has zero blacks or Hispanics (or Asians or Indians or Arabs for that matter). Yet Trump got some of his yugest numbers in Massachusetts.''
    Yes he did and Boston is barely half white so far from zero. Vermont and New Hampshire are the admittedly lily white outliers to the theory not Massachusetts but he polled about 50% higher there than in it's northern neighbours so they may be the exceptions that prove the rule in a sense.
    Michigan is basically the Rhodesia of America so it shouldn't matter what far flung corner of it Republican primary voters hailed from they're all familiar with Detroit's disintegration.
    Appalachia is overwhelmingly white yes but as I already pointed out voters in West Virginia are a very poor example to use in making the case that Trump's supporters aren't at all racially minded. Even WV Democrats hate Obama and they kept an exalted Cyclops in the senate for decades. To use your own style of historical analysis the region was initially settled by Scots-Irish looking to avoid having to compete with slave labour and WV split from Virginia to be a free state so you could argue that outlook has been there all along.
    At 80% Utah would still be considerably whiter than America on the whole is today but it's closer to 90% going by the numbers I've seen. That and of course the Mormon majority which has to be borne in mind too make it exceptional even compared to the rest of the interior west and so unsurprisingly Cruz's best state by far.
    Texas voted for Cruz because Cruz is from Texas, same as Ohio went for Kasich. Sometimes politics is that simple. But if you look at the handful of Texan counties Trump did carry they're nearly all on the border and majority Hispanic.
    The other big difference between Trump terrain and Cruz country is the relative absence of deindustrialisation in the west. As you said the west was built on Agriculture and resource extraction and it pretty much still is. You don't have the same large numbers of disillusioned blue collar whites that you can find almost continuously from upstate New York to Mississippi.
    ''To sum up: the Trump phenomenon is not a race/ethnicity war, as much as the white nationalists want it to be. It's about populism and nationalism.''
    I think the truth is somewhere in between, Trump has become the unlikely standard bearer of the ''Citizenism'' that Steve Sailer has been talking about for years.

  12. The Florida outlier isn't as much of an outlier when you consider that close to 18% of its population consists of retirees, many of them from the more settled regions (Midwestern retirees end up in Arizona).

    Trump's share of the Florida vote was 36% with voters under 30, a share in keeping with his national numbers at the time. Voters under 30 are much more likely to be native born Floridians. But among voters older than 30, of whom a fair number are retirees and work transplants, his support soared to 46%. The pattern of Trump resonating more with settled Americans seems to hold.

  13. "Yes he did and Boston is barely half white so far from zero."

    Trump won every county in Mass., not just Boston, moron. The state that is ~75% white.

    Western Michigan went heavily for Cruz, despite being as "far-flung" as the Upper Peninsula. You think folks in Grand Rapids don't know what a shithole Detroit is? And yet they cucked hard for Cruz.

    I'm stopping with your comment there, it's too dumb to continue reading.

    Get a better name too -- you've got epicycles and epicycles to prop up your white nationalist argument.

  14. In the map of the rooted east, there should be a hole around DC: central Maryland, and its extension in Nothern Virginia. That area is not rooted. It is one the most transient places in the country, full of strivers from elsewhere, a no mans land between the south and the north. Marco Rubio won the DC primary, and he also won Fairfax and Arlington county in Va, just as you would expect.

  15. Trump will probably win Maryland on the strength of the Appalachian West, the Tidewater Southern Eastern Shore. Working class Baltimore whites, and the northeastern section that is more Philadelphia oriented. But that giant vacuum surrounding DC is where the population bulge is.

  16. Trump's support in the Northeast and New England seem to be heavily Catholic ethnics, who weren't even in the country in 1830.

    Trump's main pillars of support are Northeastern Catholic ethnics and the South, basically the FDR New Deal coalition.

  17. Also far western, amoral (not apocalyptic or prepper types) are onboard, see Nev and Cali support for Trump. I love the idea of a new Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion coalition keeping the moralists and ID politics shysters of both left and right at bay.

  18. The ethnics in New England don't have to belong to an ethnic community that stretches back to 1830, just a cultural one. They more or less assimilated into longstanding communities, whether they're large cities like New York or small towns along the Ohio Valley.

    By contrast, the Gilded Age immigrants who filled up Minnesota didn't have longstanding founding-stock communities to assimilate into. That's why there's still a Nordic bubble around MN, IA, and WI after all these years. It was the Scandis who founded those communities, not founding-stock people who absorbed them.

  19. I wouldn't call my argument a white nationalist one, I'm saying the Cruz-Trump divide cant be explained by your theory as neatly as you seem to think it can. Race is a large factor though, do you really think the Trump phenomenon can be properly understood except in the context of post 1965 changes? The relative lack of manufacturing in the west is also very important but apparently you stopped reading before I mentioned that. I agree that historical settlement patterns are playing a role but your theory is insufficient and doesn't explain glaring internal state differences like in Ohio, Kentucky and Missouri. Or even Idaho where Trump won a dozen counties - rural ones away from Boise and the other cities before you go giving Californians all the credit. The historical population differences and their impact on this election are better explained by the Albion's Seed/American Nations theories of Jay Man and others.
    You've done something quite similar to Thomas Sowell's elegant but ultimately ridiculous idea that blacks picked up their degeneracy from rednecks in ascribing to the last few centuries differences that are actually thousands of years in the making.

  20. Culturally, New England and the Northeast today aren't anything like what they were in the 19th century when they were demographically WASP. The Midwest and West today are more like the New England of the past culturally.

    Trump's main support consists of traditional Democrats i.e. NE Catholic ethnics and the South that switched over to the GOP beginning in the 60s/70s. Whereas the anti-Trump GOP vote seems to consist of traditional Republicans i.e. Northern and Midwestern WASPs and Germanic Protestants.

    NE Catholic ethnics were major supporters of FDR and the New Deal, while New England WASPs were Republicans and among the chief opponents of FDR and the New Deal. New England WASPs were largely displaced and their kind of culture and Republicanism can mainly be seen in the Midwest and West today. Trump is tapping into the NE ethnic culture that came into dominance with the New Deal coalition.

  21. Maps pretty well with population density as well - http://www.mapofusa.net/us-population-map.gif

    Although with a clear exception of California. Pop density of Whites might work better.

    Thinking about virology, perhaps the Trump wave (fever) spread like a virus through the dense populations, then there's a transmission barrier, to the more nomadic and sparse region, where people are more isolated and spread out. Poss. the population sparse areas tend to be behind the curve, with cyclic changes taking longer to spread. More "traditionalists" of sorts fighting the last (culture) war (hence Cruz as more of a libertarian and culture war candidate). The dense areas on the West Coast tend to be less White, and also more isolated from the communications networks rooted back east, separated by the quarantine / buffer states. Could also be the Trump fever is adapted to mass rallies and so forth, and that works better where population is denser.

  22. If you look at the county level, it's the opposite -- Trump does better in rural areas than in cities. Cruz, Rubio, and Kasich tend to take the cities, and the dense ring of suburbs around the cities.

    Just think of who is going to resonate more with restoring America to a Golden Age -- folks from small towns and rural areas, or rootless (sub)urban transplants?

    Trump support boils down to community-centered rootedness, and non-Trump support to unfettered self-centeredness.

  23. Trump's support in the Northeast and Rust Belt seems to be in economically depressed areas that rose and fell with American industrial growth in the mid 20th century. It was during this time that Catholic ethnics adopted and assimilated into a kind of rootless "Americanism" based on commerce and mass media and popular culture that came to define and dominate American society, and still does to a significant extent. It's this sort of Americanism that Trump is harking back to, rather than the rooted small town republican, WASP America that prevailed until the early 20th century.

    The most rooted and community oriented small towns don't seem to be very supportive of Trump:


  24. One of the reasons they oppose Trump is their dependence on Mesoamerican labor in dairy farms and such, not very community oriented of them.

  25. Yeah, that's just a report from the Cuck Belt. Check out Appalachia, where small towns have been around for centuries. In Ohio, the eastern and southern counties went for Trump around 50%, the only region of the state that didn't cave in to Kasich.

    Those small towns along the Ohio Valley have been in place since the early 1800s or earlier -- well before the Lutheran Triangle even existed.

    Ditto western Mass., Vermont (where Kasich only won the Burlington transplants), and the entire South aside from major cities and some of their suburbs. Alabama was the standout -- Trump won every single county, whether it had a major city or not.

    Cuck Belt residents have little idea how old some of the places are further back East.

  26. In addition to Mesoamerican labor, you have to wonder how big of a concern this is: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agricultural_subsidy#United_States
    Trump is an economic nationalist, but is perhaps viewed as less reliable when it comes to protecting preexisting patronage schemes.


You MUST enter a nickname with the "Name/URL" option if you're not signed in. We can't follow who is saying what if everyone is "Anonymous."