The 'Blue Blood vs. Blue Collar' Rift

"It's over," mumbled Peggy Noonan at the 2008 Republican National Convention when she found out that McCain had nominated Sarah Palin as his vice presidential candidate. The remark wasn't supposed to have been public but the columnist was caught on a hot mike saying what most of the Wall Street Journal wing of the Republican Party felt about the GOP ticket.

Fast-forward two years and many Republicans were uttering the same words after Tea Party-favorite and Palin-endorsee Christine O'Donnell beat moderate Mike Castle. It's a battle between "blue bloods vs. blue collars in the GOP," wrote Wilmington News-Journal columnist Cris Barrish after the primary. 

Rhodes Cook also noted today that the same dynamic was at work in the Colorado Republican primary, where Lt. Gov. Jane Norton won the Denver suburbs and ski towns and Tea Party favorite Ken Buck won the rural areas, and in Alaska, where Sen. Lisa Murkowski won Anchorage and the coast and Joe Miller won the interior.

It's definitely an issue that the Republican Party is going to have to deal with in 2012. Mike Huckabee might have driven Mitt Romney out of the race last go-around. Will the same dynamic play out next time? The Senate results map from DelawareOnline.com coupled with the state's density map are informative:

  Delaware Republican Primary Senate
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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.

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