Map of the Day: Obama All Alone in the Lone Star State?

There are two parts of Texas, according to Jack Burden. "The part where the flat-footed, bilious, frog-sticker-toting Baptist biscuit-eaters live," and the "part where the crooked-legged, high-heeled, gun-wearing, callous-assed sons of the range live."

Both parts are a long way form Hyde Park.

Burden's descriptions of Texas reflect the contempt that many outsiders have always felt toward Texas (he was a Louisianan). As early as 1845, New Englander Edward Everett Hale wrote "How to Conquer Texas Before It Conquers Us."

George W. Bush, a New Englander by blood, became as much of a Texan as Sam Houston or Stephen Austin. But Barack Obama, on the other hand, has no connection to the state and probably sees it somewhat similarly to Burden.

Texas Democrats found themselves a little too busy today to meet up with Obama as he spoke in Austin. But this capital city and university town is definitely the friendliest part of the state for the pro-academia and pro-public sector president.

If Texas were divided by region, "weird" Austin would be undeniably blue. The other solid Democratic area would be the "dry, hot, and Spanish" South Texas.

East Texas, on the "western edge of Scots-Irish American," would be solidly Republican. Gun sales soared here after the 2008 election and it maintains a "roughneck air," according to Barone. The "awl bidness" and the Bible reign here.

West Texas, home of LBJ, Willie Nelson and Anton Chigurh, is outlaw country where cattle outnumber people. This is "some of North America's most rugged and desolate landscape," according to Joel Garreau. El Paso is closer to San Diego than Houston.

For its part, Houston is "a swamp of heat and humidity only an air-conditioner repairman or an oil engineer could love." But it's also an international energy hub and world-class space center.

I could go on and on talking about the various regions and fissures in Texas, and I ought to write a longer post on it. But for today, Obama should rest assured that there isn't a more friendly and blue city in Texas than Austin.


Nate Silver envisions five regions in Texas:

Nate Silver's Five States of Texas

Robert David Sullivan sees three: Southern Comfort (red), Sagebrush (white), and El Norte (brown):

10 Regions of American Politics - Texas

Presented by

Patrick Ottenhoff has been writing The Electoral Map blog since 2007. A former staff writer for National Journal Group and project manager at New Media Strategies, he now attends Georgetown's McDonough School of Business. More

Patrick Ottenhoff attends Georgetown McDonough School of Business in the Class of 2012. He previously served as a project manager in the Public Affairs Practice of New Media Strategies and was a staff writer for National Journal Group. Patrick has been writing The Electoral Map blog since 2007. As the name implies, the blog covers news and commentary at the intersection of politics and geography, but it also analyzes the stories, people, culture, sports, and food behind the maps and the votes. Patrick is a native Virginian and graduate of Union College in New York. You can follow The Electoral Map on Twitter and Facebook, and follow Patrick on YouTube.

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus


How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin


Why Is Google Making Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.


How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.


A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple


What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

More in Politics

Just In