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Redblue for locals

I’m speaking Monday 11 Dec, 4:30pm at the City University of New York Graduate Center (365 Fifth Avenue at 34th Street). Location is room 9204, on the 9th floor (not the Kimmel Center, room 907, which is what I’d posted earlier). Here’s the announcement, here’s the paper, here’s the graph:


and here’s the abstract:

We find that income matters more in “red America” than in “blue America.” In poor states, rich people are much more likely than poor people to vote for the Republican presidential candidate, but in rich states (such as Connecticut), income has a very low correlation with vote preference. In addition to finding this pattern and studying its changes over time, we use the concepts of “typicality” and “availability” from cognitive psychology to explain how these patterns can be commonly misunderstood. Our results can be viewed either as a debunking of the journalistic image of rich “latte” Democrats and poor “Nascar” Republicans, or as support for the journalistic images of political and cultural differences between red and blue states — differences which are not explained by differences in individuals’ incomes. We have also found similar patterns in election polls from Mexico.

Key methods used in this research are: (1) plots of repeated cross-sectional analyses, (2) varying-intercept, varying-slope multilevel models, and (3) a graph that simultaneously shows within-group and between-group patterns in a multilevel model. These statistical tools help us understand patterns of variation within and between states in a way that would not be possible from classical regressions or by looking at tables of coefficient estimates.

Maybe someone will ask a question about rent-seeking. (See the comments here.)

And, for those of you who have bothered to read this far, here’s a brand-new graph just for you:


MS, OH, and CT represent poor, middle-income, and rich states, respectively, and the red, blue, and gray lines on each plot represent frequent church attenders, occasional church attenders, and nonattenders. We’re still trying to make sense of it all.


  1. Seth Roberts says:

    Fascinating. I wish I could hear/see your talk. Will you post the powerpoint?

  2. Andrew says:


    The talk is here. It has a bit of psychology in it, actually, which most people like but the political scientists are very suspicious of.