The Two Maps Explained
Sensory Overload has a couple of maps that purport to show the True Nature of Bush Voters. On “the Pre-Civil War Map, the red areas were slave states and the brown areas were territories open to slavery, while the green areas were free states and territories.” In a map of the 2004 election, the red and brown areas went for Bush whereas the green areas went for Kerry.
There's another explanation besides racism. American politics require a multicultural society to work right. The arguments of The Federalist Papers were originally intended for a multiregional society but they apply even more strongly to a multicultural society. Unicultural societies tend to become socialist.
In the mid-20th century, immigration was restricted. That meant the normally multicultural port cities (the heart of the green areas of the Pre-Civil War map) congealed into a white majority. That, in turn, produced powerful labor unions and runaway government spending in green areas. In the same era, the red areas had large black minorities and the brown areas had Native American minorities. That enabled them to retain their multicultural nature.
There is hope for the Democratic states. Immigration has revived and that might account for the swing to the right that we currently see in areas as disparate as Beverley Hills or Flatbush.