Re: The Great Divide

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…and more on the red/blue map.

Reader M.G. points out this mostly overlooked fact: “I have also found it interesting to compare data on per capita dollar returns from federal taxes (available from the Tax Foundation at with the state-by-state red/blue map. Surprisingly, blue states (considered “liberal”) tend to contribute more in federal taxes than they receive in federal largess, whereas the red states (considered to be “conservative” and against big government) tend to receive more from the federal government than they contribute. In other words, via their federal taxes, the folks in blue states like Connecticut and Massachusetts are effectively subsidizing the folks in red states like Alaska and Montana.”

Clifford Grammich adds this: “An interesting tidbit: the number of counties that the Dem or Repub won by less than 5 percent appears to have decreased from 404 (229 Bush, 175 Gore) in 2000 to 292 (162 Bush, 131 Kerry) in 2004. It isn’t clear to me if all counties are included in the 2004 count of close counties, but it appears enough are to raise some questions about increasing polarization. I hope to identify those counties that moved from (or even to) those groups once I get my hands on complete official returns.”

10:09 am on November 4, 2004