Map of the Day: Most Vulnerable Seats Are in Rural Areas

Not all of the 31 Democrats who signed the letter to Pelosi yesterday are on the chopping block, but a large majority of them are from rural, red districts. In fact, the rural advocacy blog Daily Yonder found that two-thirds of the nation's closest races in 2010 are in rural areas. 


Intuitively, this makes sense. Rural areas are more conservative, and Democrats made inroads in those areas in 2006 and '08. From the Eastern Shore of Maryland to the High Plains of Colorado, those incumbents are now up for rehire. But even in historically Democratic rural areas like the Bayou of Louisiana or the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Dems are in trouble. 

Some of Democrats' legislation, such as cap-and-trade, has certainly been unpopular in places like Danville, Virginia and Waco, Texas, but I don't think that tells the full story. 

I think consciously or unconsciously, voters see this as the most urban government in history.   With a president from Chicago, a speaker from San Francisco, and two new Supreme Court justices from New York City, there may just be a simple lifestyle disconnect between government and voters.


 Most Shaky House Districts are Rural
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.

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

Video

A Stop-Motion Tour of New York City

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this Big Apple flip book

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open for 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

More in Politics

Just In